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Muay Thai Bones ep 22 - On Thai Technique, Mechanization, Precision and Correction

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Currently listening to this episode of the podcast and I was wondering what other people thought of the Western Mechanization/exportation part of the podcast. There is a couple specific points throughout that I think are worth stopping on. 

 

1. Kevin and Sylvie make a joke about kicking the "wrong" way and having a hard time adjusting to a proper or better technique as you develop because certain patterns are engraved over time. I'm a little perplexed by this because this is a very real issue that isn't insurmountable but can be serious in combat sports/martial arts. If I'm shooting a sweep single on someone and everytime I practice I have my head down and on the outside of their body I'm building a terrible habit. Of course it can be fixed but it goes along with further discussion on the episode of sort of finding your own way through training or not being coached on specific details. 

 

2. Going along with the above I don't really think wanting to have specific instructions on how a movement is done is looking for a "hack" or because you necessarily lack patience. (A random aside how many Thai Fighters that have came up in Thailand wish they could learn in a more specific straightforward way if they were given the option?)

 

3. When discussing fighters coming to Thailand for some time to train/fight and then leaving and teaching back home the suggestion seems to be because you aren't in Thailand learning in the same environment  the Thais are you aren't really doing Muay Thai. What is the specific line in the sand that denotes an authentic environment and inauthentic within this context? But the better question I guess is if we are trying to become the best fighters we can is that even super relevant. 

 

Sorry I'm typing this on my phone if the format is fucked up and this is relatively stream of consciousness but I'm very interested in this discussion so I'm all ears. Also I'm not trying to be a smart ass by opening this up or to "win" I just want to get deeper into these topics because I care about them a lot.

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This is a very helpful article on the subject, if you'd like to understand our perspective:

The Slow Cook versus the Hack – Thailand Muay Thai Development

https://8limbsus.com/blog/the-slow-cook-versus-the-hack-thailand-muay-thai-development

 

And this article as well:

Precision – A Basic Motivation Mistake in Some Western Training

https://8limbsus.com/muay-thai-thailand/precision-a-basic-motivation-mistake-in-western-training

with these graphics:

401590964_MuayThairelaxationtechnique.thumb.png.9457871dd6ee7bd59d8668b7898c2c25.png

1687708232_thewesterntechniqueofthailand.thumb.png.2c3e5686196e80fba8c9573b02ddf96a.png

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Much appreciated also I started listening to episode 16 of the podcast right after and I kind of felt stupid because it immediately was responding to my thoughts here.

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12 hours ago, AlexN said:

Much appreciated also I started listening to episode 16 of the podcast right after and I kind of felt stupid because it immediately was responding to my thoughts here.

What are you seeing in the problematic of correction, replication, mechanization of techniques? What is the perspective?

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My perspective is that you seem to privilege the stewing conception over the correction/mechanization as a method of teaching for reasons I don't really understand. If we are discussing how "real thais" train, learn, fight, etc. then the emphasis on what they do makes sense because you're simply recording the facts. Though when you talk about the mechanization of a technique you call it a "hack" which presumably isn't a term of endearment. It seems like you're saying if someone lays out a specific flow chart of what we do when someone does X or Y you're cheating??? Or that this method of understanding is necessarily shittier than figuring it out on your own with minimal help from others. You bring up clinching as an example - sure you can go to Thailand and learn a couple of neat sweeps and beat people up in your gym but .... I don't really understand the but.

 

Sure you I or any other person may not have some sort of exhaustive understanding developed through 1000s of hours of trial and error but the point is you don't always need to do that. At the highest highest levels in combat sports yes this starts to differentiate people because there will be people who have been competing as a black belt in BJJ for as long as you have been training. Clearly in situations like these that awareness that they have is worth quite a bit of weight but what is the individuals goal in learning? If my goal is to be the best or one of the best competitors or coaches in my weight class, city, country, etc. the stew method isn't obviously better by any stretch. You can't skip past the hours and hours of situational spars and awareness developed my grappling over a lifetime but we can give specific blueprints that speed an individuals development up. The thing I think for me is that 1. Most people have a shelf life physically and competitively 2. Is it obvious that the stew method would be clearly preferred by individuals who are given the option in the beginning? and 3. Which is probably most important is that your health is on the line within all of these contexts. How much burnout, injuries, damage, is accumulated in training in a way that is less than stellar or simply not particularly guided.

For an example if we are doing situational sparring for some version of half guard and maybe you know 1 or 2 passes as independent techniques but are having an incredibly hard time implementing them. I think it can be worthwhile for both individuals if the more knowledgeable person explains what they are doing wrong in that technique or engagement. Or better yet lays some ground work principles that benefit the person on top. Lets say separating the persons knee from their elbow, hunting for a high collar grip or crossface, and always fighting to have your body on the "inside". That doesn't replace being in that situation for 100s of hours but the important point to me is that a lot of people including myself have wasted a shit ton of hours when someone could have made in hindsight obvious adjustments to fix small things. Which when I'm training with younger people is exactly what I try to do.

Now I'm not arguing for babying individuals and clearly sometimes you need to shut the fuck up and wrestle then ask the question after the round. Though in saying this, most of the people I know who are phenomenal grapplers are constantly looking for what specifically did they do wrong in each exact position. How else do you wrap your brain around a seemingly endless problem? Lol how many different positions are there in sports that relate to the intertwining of human bodies...... at least a metric fuck ton.

 

I wish we could talk over a call or something because we could discuss this with much more fluidity and depth. You and Sylvie both are clearly very intelligent and I enjoy hearing your perspectives and thoughts. I really don't know if we disagree as much as I'm suggesting but I'm kind of stream of consciousness currently and don't have timestamps for anything to respond exactly to.

 

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11 hours ago, AlexN said:

It seems like you're saying if someone lays out a specific flow chart of what we do when someone does X or Y you're cheating???

I'm not really interested in whether someone is "cheating" in a sportmanship sense or not. When you "hack" a process you are changing the process. You are trying to extract the benefits of a process by other means. Very often "hacks" are perfectly necessary and warrented, especially when discussing developing "Thai" techniques, simply because the original processes of their development are not even available to you. Many of these processes are not even available to Thais today. But, if there is a "cheat" it would simply be representing the "products" of two different processes, as the same products. They are not. If a traditional recipe is to make a stew over 3 days of cooking, developing depths of flavors, textures and in the end meaningfulness in cuisine, but someone cleverly decides they can "hack" the recipe, and make the "same" stew in 30 minutes, by identifying the spices, this certainly is a possibility. But they are not the same stews. Attached to this, there might be very good commercial reasons to make this 30 minute stew for sale in a series of businesses (profit margin), and even to advertise this stew as the traditional one. Yep, you can do this. But, noting the two different stews also holds value. If the old process of stew making is lost, we also lose the stew itself. It will simply disappear. In the case of Muay Thai, the advanced level of artistry and the superiority over the fight space will no longer be reachable.

Our biggest focus has been what is largely a misunderstanding of what even Thai technique is AND how it is developed (it's not developed THROUGH precision-hunting, though it expresses itself with precision, for instance). The reason for this misunderstanding is how it has been historically exported out of the country. Its important to keep track of these transformations. It doesn't mean it is wrong to learn in all kinds of other ways, or to "hack" the longterm processes for all kinds of other uses. What I'm really concerned with is only when the "hack" (a radical change in process) REPLACES the original process, and starts to represent it as authentic. The reason why this is a concern is that if it becomes replaced in the mind's eye of the public, efforts to preserve (and respect) the original recipe and keep it from vanishing will fall away.

If someone's aim is to beat everyone in their weight class in a particular talent pool, or whip everyone in their gym, or protect themselves on the street, or mix some Muay Thai into MMA there are TONS of ways to learn skills and attempt to deploy them. I would not criticize any of those projects, under those aims. They just are not - in my opinion - in the tradition of the high art, and do not result in the quality that distinguishes the absolute beauty and effectiveness of the Thai tradition of fighting. But, this goes not just for the West. Thailand itself is losing its own connection to those processes. Thais themselves are becoming less effective fighters. The change in process is pervading.

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11 hours ago, AlexN said:

How else do you wrap your brain around a seemingly endless problem?

Eventually figure it out, because it isn't endless. When Sylvie started clinching with the Thai boys she would face the particularly difficult lock of the gym owner's son (who was pretty young, but also very strong). She suffered under this lock for a very long time. We guess it was maybe about a year before she "solved" it. I don't think he particularly liked clinching with a female (or even clinch at all) so he would just lock her hard (w/ a great technical lock I think he learned from his uncle, who has since passed), and would kind of stagnate the clinch and wait out the time. She just had to suffer it. I'm sure once in a rare while someone would go to her and show her a counter, which she might try (and the boy would just counter lock the counter), she got a little bit of information, but it honestly was a full year before she solved the position. People might think that a lot of that year with the boy was wasted. It wasn't. She had to learn to relax in that lock. Nobody was telling her "Relax!" "Relax!" (which was the proper thing to do). She had to struggle against it. Fail. Get seriously frustrated. Dread it. Almost give up. Suffer it. There was no way "out" of the lock. It was a death sentence. It was what you call "endless". But, think about the things she did learn. She learned tons and tons of deeper principles of Thai clinch. The answer wasn't a mechanical solution to a mechanical position, though it could certainly have been taught that way. When he does THIS, do THAT. And now, try it again and again and again, until you get it. Yeah, you could do that. No, she learned the nature of Thai clinch at an emotional level, at what it took to take...and eventually figure, when someone is dominating your will in a position you do not understand. This was a huge lesson in technique, and in clinch development. It gave the tools not in how to solve THIS position, but how to solve ALL positions, and how to properly comport yourself in Thai Clinch in Thailand (which has very specific aesthetic demands, from a judging standpoint). The result is that she probably is the best female Muay Thai clinch fighter in the world, at this point. Not because she has some kind of "technical" encyclopedia of "answers" to "questions". I mean, she does have a pretty big technical understanding; but beneath this she has a much deeper understanding. She, over a year of frustration, developed great resources within herself. Emotional and mental resources, but also tons of micro-physical, technical ones. Slight ways of turning the body to just delay or retard the endless lock (because you know its coming). Even though the lock would get there, even delaying it, slipping it for a moment, was a victory. These micro movements play into all other kinds of solutions to other positions, because SHE invented them, improvised them out of necessity. Because the fighter invented them they become part of your style, your language. They are like the micro movements that a surfer makes on the board, it only comes from riding the waves, endlessly. She learned to start to deny primary positions which would then result in the lock, counterfighting the lock before it even comes to be. She learned to eventually micro-wiggle out space for herself, when locked. Or to score when locked. Or to minimize the visual impact of the lock. All of it born from frustration, and lots of "endless" toil, which might seem to not have any real purpose. She learned to solve a very difficult puzzle, importantly, a puzzle that was put on her to control her in a social space. The solution had to be gained on every level.

Now, if she had only been in the gym for a month, and a Kru had seen the lock and walked over to her and told her the antidote. Hey, when he does that, do this! And she practiced it over and over. Maybe they even would use the boy to set up the position, so she could practice the solve...and THEN she went back to her gym in the West and face smushed the hell out of anyone in the gym who would try to lock her (much less skilled than this Thai boy), and even defeated any attempt to lock her in a few fights, this would be considered VICTORY! But these are very different things, very different levels of knowledge, and importantly, very different experiences of the art of clinch.

Yes, you can say there are LOTS of reasons to gain Knowledge #2, to be used in lots of circumstances, but Knowledge #1 is - at least to me - where true value is. Not just because it's more effective, in the long run, but its because its more meaningful, its more complete, more connected to oneself.

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7 hours ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

I'm not really interested in whether someone is "cheating" in a sportmanship sense or not. When you "hack" a process you are changing the process. You are trying to extract the benefits of a process by other means. Very often "hacks" are perfectly necessary and warrented, especially when discussing developing "Thai" techniques, simply because the original processes of their development are not even available to you. Many of these processes are not even available to Thais today. But, if there is a "cheat" it would simply be representing the "products" of two different processes, as the same products. They are not. If a traditional recipe is to make a stew over 3 days of cooking, developing depths of flavors, textures and in the end meaningfulness in cuisine, but someone cleverly decides they can "hack" the recipe, and make the "same" stew in 30 minutes, by identifying the spices, this certainly is a possibility. But they are not the same stews. Attached to this, there might be very good commercial reasons to make this 30 minute stew for sale in a series of businesses (profit margin), and even to advertise this stew as the traditional one. Yep, you can do this. But, noting the two different stews also holds value. If the old process of stew making is lost, we also lose the stew itself. It will simply disappear. In the case of Muay Thai, the advanced level of artistry and the superiority over the fight space will no longer be reachable.

Our biggest focus has been what is largely a misunderstanding of what even Thai technique is AND how it is developed (it's not developed THROUGH precision-hunting, though it expresses itself with precision, for instance). The reason for this misunderstanding is how it has been historically exported out of the country. Its important to keep track of these transformations. It doesn't mean it is wrong to learn in all kinds of other ways, or to "hack" the longterm processes for all kinds of other uses. What I'm really concerned with is only when the "hack" (a radical change in process) REPLACES the original process, and starts to represent it as authentic. The reason why this is a concern is that if it becomes replaced in the mind's eye of the public, efforts to preserve (and respect) the original recipe and keep it from vanishing will fall away.

If someone's aim is to beat everyone in their weight class in a particular talent pool, or whip everyone in their gym, or protect themselves on the street, or mix some Muay Thai into MMA there are TONS of ways to learn skills and attempt to deploy them. I would not criticize any of those projects, under those aims. They just are not - in my opinion - in the tradition of the high art, and do not result in the quality that distinguishes the absolute beauty and effectiveness of the Thai tradition of fighting. But, this goes not just for the West. Thailand itself is losing its own connection to those processes. Thais themselves are becoming less effective fighters. The change in process is pervading.

Yeah the way you just explained that makes a ton of sense. The misrepresentation of what you are receiving vs what is being sold is kind of hilarious. I recently started training at a Muay Thai gym in the midwest but have grown up around MMA/kickboxing etc. so you see or meet plenty of people who "know" Muay Thai but the stark contrast between what they do and what I see you guys post on the patreon is comical. At least the coach at this current gym is well aware of this divide between how the Thais train/develop and how we do and is honest about this split.

 

The analogy of the stew making process sticks out to me because its similar to other art forms. Lets say woodblock prints vs a laser or other computer generated engraving. If you want a super sleek no imperfections image on whatever that's great but I think there is value in a handcrafted images that seem to be human. Tattoos and the difference between them is another very similar position photorealistic artists vs Robert Ryan, Higgs, Jeff Zuck, etc etc. There is a beauty in craftsmanship with tattoos or drawings like that but they seem to lack "soul" the majority of the time and aren't connected to a greater tradition.

 

Your last paragraph clarifies your position the best simply in saying you respect the other endeavors but my goal is preserve the fruits of the Amazon.

 

Its interesting to see the difference between Muay Thai and BJJ in this aspect. Its presumably because the Golden Age was in the past and currently BJJ is probably in its own Golden Age. Everyone currently knows that traditional jiu jitsu is gone but the vast majority of individuals do not give a fuck. It seems to be that way primarily because most of us agree on the fact that the level of contemporary jiu jitsu is incredibly higher than it was 40 years ago, and a shit ton of Brazilians immigrated to the states so we received "authentic" training from Brazil from the start. Now we have our own issues with people claiming to be belts they aren't, teaching BJJ when they are teaching garage jiu jitsu, but most don't ever argue over the specific point of authenticity. The closest you get to this is we don't train with strikes anymore but those who care either do it or simply fight MMA.

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10 hours ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

Eventually figure it out, because it isn't endless. When Sylvie started clinching with the Thai boys she would face the particularly difficult lock of the gym owner's son (who was pretty young, but also very strong). She suffered under this lock for a very long time. We guess it was maybe about a year before she "solved" it. I don't think he particularly liked clinching with a female (or even clinch at all) so he would just lock her hard (w/ a great technical lock I think he learned from his uncle, who has since passed), and would kind of stagnate the clinch and wait out the time. She just had to suffer it. I'm sure once in a rare while someone would go to her and show her a counter, which she might try (and the boy would just counter lock the counter), she got a little bit of information, but it honestly was a full year before she solved the position. People might think that a lot of that year with the boy was wasted. It wasn't. She had to learn to relax in that lock. Nobody was telling her "Relax!" "Relax!" (which was the proper thing to do). She had to struggle against it. Fail. Get seriously frustrated. Dread it. Almost give up. Suffer it. There was no way "out" of the lock. It was a death sentence. It was what you call "endless". But, think about the things she did learn. She learned tons and tons of deeper principles of Thai clinch. The answer wasn't a mechanical solution to a mechanical position, though it could certainly have been taught that way. When he does THIS, do THAT. And now, try it again and again and again, until you get it. Yeah, you could do that. No, she learned the nature of Thai clinch at an emotional level, at what it took to take...and eventually figure, when someone is dominating your will in a position you do not understand. This was a huge lesson in technique, and in clinch development. It gave the tools not in how to solve THIS position, but how to solve ALL positions, and how to properly comport yourself in Thai Clinch in Thailand (which has very specific aesthetic demands, from a judging standpoint). The result is that she probably is the best female Muay Thai clinch fighter in the world, at this point. Not because she has some kind of "technical" encyclopedia of "answers" to "questions". I mean, she does have a pretty big technical understanding; but beneath this she has a much deeper understanding. She, over a year of frustration, developed great resources within herself. Emotional and mental resources, but also tons of micro-physical, technical ones.

There is no guarantee that you as an individual will figure it out, or that the technique or process you develop is a better technique than what people have discovered before you. The positional awareness, relaxation, balance, mental toughness, etc. are not developed in a day and I'm not suggesting you can hack your way through years of experience on a mat. The point is though that individuals waste a ton of time trying to reinvent the wheel, or putting themselves in positions that are not really worth pursuing. I don't think people are naturally good at fighting or problem solving that is related to martial arts. How many peoples first reaction when they get put in the guillotine isn't to handfight? How many people belly down when they are in mount and give up their back? How many people turn into an inside heelhook when first put there which will tear your leg in half? You still need experience within the positions to be comfortable and smooth but there is no major benefit to either training partner in withholding information from you to toughen you up.  Especially if the information is something simple like hey when someone attempts to kimura you straighten your arm? When some attempts to footlock you keep your hip free and get your knee below theirs. Now if I tell someone these things obviously you aren't magically great in any of these positions hence my belief in constantly sparring and training but if I can lay the groundwork for someone else I believe I should.

 

Sure if all you are focused on is the process of development then what I'm saying isn't particularly relevant. The reality for most people though is you want to not be getting the shit kicked out of you unnecessarily. You already get toughened up by the fact that you fight/roll/spar everyday so I don't believe in compounding that for what seems to amount to a romanticization of struggling/being an autodidact. The reality is if your goal is to beat a specific technique within a fight then yes that year is "wasted". You are correct in saying that all of the experience you have in a particular position cannot be totally streamlined in a hack but plenty of people have immense experience and time in a position but aren't good there because they have been attempting to figure it out on their own.

 

Plenty of individuals have great emotional and mental resources through their training and are no where near the best within their respective field. Its a strange thing to point out when I'd be willing to bet Sylvie has an "encylopedic" knowledge of the clinch and what you are attempting to do within it. To be the best at anything you need to have the mental, physical, and emotional but people everywhere are tough and not good at what they do.

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4 hours ago, AlexN said:

The analogy of the stew making process sticks out to me because its similar to other art forms. Lets say woodblock prints vs a laser or other computer generated engraving. If you want a super sleek no imperfections image on whatever that's great but I think there is value in a handcrafted images that seem to be human. Tattoos and the difference between them is another very similar position photorealistic artists vs Robert Ryan, Higgs, Jeff Zuck, etc etc. There is a beauty in craftsmanship with tattoos or drawings like that but they seem to lack "soul" the majority of the time and aren't connected to a greater tradition.

I like these analogies from other arts.

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18 minutes ago, AlexN said:

There is no guarantee that you as an individual will figure it out, or that the technique or process you develop is a better technique than what people have discovered before you.

Well, this is maybe the source of a fundamental misunderstanding of the more traditional approach. It is never just "an individual" learning stuff. The Thai Kaimuay is composed of social learning. Techniques are not re-invented by every single person, every single time. Instead they are passed down - but not through top-down (mechanical) instruction. They are learned by training against superiors (at times) from whom you mimic solutions. They are learned by imitating the more accomplished fighters, older, who are training next to you. The entire social group passes knowledge across its members, once you learn to watch and learn. It's not a guru of some kind "teaching" everyone the same mechanics, the same solutions. There is top down instruction at times, but it happens at a very young age, and it usually is composed of aesthetic guidance, posture, demeanor, etc, the framework through with solutions flow. The Thai Kaimuay though isn't really something westerners can expose themselves to at a young age.

But yes, there is no guarantee that a single boy will figure it out. A Thai Kaimuay isn't making 30 champions out of its 30 boys. I suspect actually, that the powers of self-discovery, imitative solution making, self-motivation to persevere acts as a kind of filter on the 30 boys in the Kaimuay. Not only is it teaching the under-structure of the art, and developing elite skills...it is also weeding out boys without those possibilities.

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2 minutes ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

Instead they are passed down - but not through top-down (mechanical) instruction. They are learned by training against superiors (at times) from whom you mimic solutions. They are learned by imitating the more accomplished fighters, older, who are training next to you. The entire social group passes knowledge across its members, once you learn to watch and learn. It's not a guru of some kind "teaching" everyone the same mechanics, the same solutions.

Lol the more you respond the more I am realizing that this way of learning is very similar to how we learn and feed off of each other in BJJ. Thank you for letting me pick you brain on this topic, I'll shut the fuck up now!

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6 minutes ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

But yes, there is no guarantee that a single boy will figure it out. A Thai Kaimuay isn't making 30 champions out of its 30 boys. I suspect actually, that the powers of self-discovery, imitative solution making, self-motivation to persevere acts as a kind of filter on the 30 boys in the Kaimuay. Not only is it teaching the under-structure of the art, and developing elite skills...it is also weeding out boys without those possibilities.

Well put.

 

There is a pretty consistent tension within my mind of the purpose of martial arts, and how much something should be "dumbed" down for people who initially would be too afraid or "weak" to do it. I don't want to bully people out of something that may have a great benefit to their life. Yet at the same time I don't believe in sacrificing what makes certain martial arts great for the pursuit of a dollar.

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46 minutes ago, AlexN said:

Well put.

 

There is a pretty consistent tension within my mind of the purpose of martial arts, and how much something should be "dumbed" down for people who initially would be too afraid or "weak" to do it. I don't want to bully people out of something that may have a great benefit to their life. Yet at the same time I don't believe in sacrificing what makes certain martial arts great for the pursuit of a dollar.

Agreed!

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23 hours ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

Eventually figure it out, because it isn't endless. When Sylvie started clinching with the Thai boys she would face the particularly difficult lock of the gym owner's son (who was pretty young, but also very strong). She suffered under this lock for a very long time. We guess it was maybe about a year before she "solved" it. I don't think he particularly liked clinching with a female (or even clinch at all) so he would just lock her hard (w/ a great technical lock I think he learned from his uncle, who has since passed), and would kind of stagnate the clinch and wait out the time. She just had to suffer it. I'm sure once in a rare while someone would go to her and show her a counter, which she might try (and the boy would just counter lock the counter), she got a little bit of information, but it honestly was a full year before she solved the position. People might think that a lot of that year with the boy was wasted. It wasn't. She had to learn to relax in that lock. Nobody was telling her "Relax!" "Relax!" (which was the proper thing to do). She had to struggle against it. Fail. Get seriously frustrated. Dread it. Almost give up. Suffer it. There was no way "out" of the lock. It was a death sentence. It was what you call "endless". But, think about the things she did learn. She learned tons and tons of deeper principles of Thai clinch. The answer wasn't a mechanical solution to a mechanical position, though it could certainly have been taught that way. When he does THIS, do THAT. And now, try it again and again and again, until you get it. Yeah, you could do that. No, she learned the nature of Thai clinch at an emotional level, at what it took to take...and eventually figure, when someone is dominating your will in a position you do not understand. This was a huge lesson in technique, and in clinch development. It gave the tools not in how to solve THIS position, but how to solve ALL positions, and how to properly comport yourself in Thai Clinch in Thailand (which has very specific aesthetic demands, from a judging standpoint). The result is that she probably is the best female Muay Thai clinch fighter in the world, at this point. Not because she has some kind of "technical" encyclopedia of "answers" to "questions". I mean, she does have a pretty big technical understanding; but beneath this she has a much deeper understanding. She, over a year of frustration, developed great resources within herself. Emotional and mental resources, but also tons of micro-physical, technical ones. Slight ways of turning the body to just delay or retard the endless lock (because you know its coming). Even though the lock would get there, even delaying it, slipping it for a moment, was a victory. These micro movements play into all other kinds of solutions to other positions, because SHE invented them, improvised them out of necessity. Because the fighter invented them they become part of your style, your language. They are like the micro movements that a surfer makes on the board, it only comes from riding the waves, endlessly. She learned to start to deny primary positions which would then result in the lock, counterfighting the lock before it even comes to be. She learned to eventually micro-wiggle out space for herself, when locked. Or to score when locked. Or to minimize the visual impact of the lock. All of it born from frustration, and lots of "endless" toil, which might seem to not have any real purpose. She learned to solve a very difficult puzzle, importantly, a puzzle that was put on her to control her in a social space. The solution had to be gained on every level.

Now, if she had only been in the gym for a month, and a Kru had seen the lock and walked over to her and told her the antidote. Hey, when he does that, do this! And she practiced it over and over. Maybe they even would use the boy to set up the position, so she could practice the solve...and THEN she went back to her gym in the West and face smushed the hell out of anyone in the gym who would try to lock her (much less skilled than this Thai boy), and even defeated any attempt to lock her in a few fights, this would be considered VICTORY! But these are very different things, very different levels of knowledge, and importantly, very different experiences of the art of clinch.

Yes, you can say there are LOTS of reasons to gain Knowledge #2, to be used in lots of circumstances, but Knowledge #1 is - at least to me - where true value is. Not just because it's more effective, in the long run, but its because its more meaningful, its more complete, more connected to oneself.

This reminds me of a section in Kotler's book The Art of Impossible where he describes the art of learning. Understanding the "terminology" through exposing yourself to the feeling of being dumb. You gotta get through that part to learn it in a profound way and after a while your brain will recognize the patterns and connect the dots. And this happens on a subconscious level. Sure you could hack yourself to it, but would the knowledge be anchored in you? 

 

Screenshot_20210928_073246.jpg

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1 hour ago, LengLeng said:

This reminds me of a section in Kotler's book The Art of Impossible where he describes the art of learning. Understanding the "terminology" through exposing yourself to the feeling of being dumb. You gotta get through that part to learn it in a profound way and after a while your brain will recognize the patterns and connect the dots. Ant this happens at a subconscious level. Sure you could hack yourself to it, but would the knowledge be anchored in you? 

Wow, that is very good. Reminds me of this experience:

I had a very interesting professor who taught Foucault, the notoriously difficult Philosopher with very specialized language. She started the class with a passage of an unrelated text in German (anticipating that nobody in the class understood German). She then had the class draw out meanings from the German, a language nobody understood. Collectively people offered the meanings of words or even sentences, exercising bits of pattern recognition through cognates and similarities between English and German. This was so interesting because the assumption someone has when presented with a language they don't know is to just shut down. I don't read German. this text is nonsense to me. But the class actually did a pretty good job of drawing out meaning from the German. It's exactly this response to willing to feeling dumb. You start at dumb, and then you realize that you aren't completely dumb. It was also a marvelous teaching progression. Foucault's very difficult terminology and very opaque text, when presented AFTER the German text was in comparison much more clear. The difficulties in (trans) English of Foucault no longer were paralyzing, making you feel dumb. It suddenly became a challenge. How much of this text can I figure out on my own?

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1 hour ago, LengLeng said:

This reminds me of a section in Kotler's book The Art of Impossible where he describes the art of learning. Understanding the "terminology" through exposing yourself to the feeling of being dumb. You gotta get through that part to learn it in a profound way and after a while your brain will recognize the patterns and connect the dots. And this happens on a subconscious level. Sure you could hack yourself to it, but would the knowledge be anchored in you? 

 

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I'm not arguing against learned experience in positions and explicitly stated you can't hack yourself through it. My point is simply that you get all of that from training in positions and you don't need to attempt to reinvent the wheel in every scenario.

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7 minutes ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

Wow, that is very good. Reminds me of this experience:

I had a very interesting professor who taught Foucault, the notoriously difficult Philosopher with very specialized language. She started the class with a passage of an unrelated text in German (anticipating that nobody in the class understood German). She then had the class draw out meanings from the German, a language nobody understood. Collectively people offered the meanings of words or even sentences, exercising bits of pattern recognition through cognates and similarities between English and German. This was so interesting because the assumption someone has when presented with a language they don't know is to just shut down. I don't read German. this text is nonsense to me. But the class actually did a pretty good job of drawing out meaning from the German. It's exactly this response to willing to feeling dumb. You start at dumb, and then you realize that you aren't completely dumb. It was also a marvelous teaching progression. Foucault's very difficult terminology and very opaque text, when presented AFTER the German text was in comparison much more clear. The difficulties in (trans) English of Foucault no longer were paralyzing, making you feel dumb. It suddenly became a challenge. How much of this text can I figure out on my own?

How much of Hegel could you figure out on your own? Though what we mean by "your own" isn't particularly clear either.

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2 hours ago, AlexN said:

How much of Hegel could you figure out on your own? Though what we mean by "your own" isn't particularly clear either.

Well, I think that's the point. In this case it was the class, collectively, which resolved the German text. The point being, the immediate "dumb" that you feel when confronted with a language you simply do not know could be analogized to being locked in a clinch lock that feels "impossible to solve". Yes, it is at first blush impossible. You are dumb. But then you start building inches toward a solution...and when done in a group even more is possible. It's the communal construction of, and passing of knowledge. It's not one person "mastering" a technique (for themselves), or having special insight into the meaning of a text.

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5 hours ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

Wow, that is very good. Reminds me of this experience:

I had a very interesting professor who taught Foucault, the notoriously difficult Philosopher with very specialized language. She started the class with a passage of an unrelated text in German (anticipating that nobody in the class understood German). She then had the class draw out meanings from the German, a language nobody understood. Collectively people offered the meanings of words or even sentences, exercising bits of pattern recognition through cognates and similarities between English and German. This was so interesting because the assumption someone has when presented with a language they don't know is to just shut down. I don't read German. this text is nonsense to me. But the class actually did a pretty good job of drawing out meaning from the German. It's exactly this response to willing to feeling dumb. You start at dumb, and then you realize that you aren't completely dumb. It was also a marvelous teaching progression. Foucault's very difficult terminology and very opaque text, when presented AFTER the German text was in comparison much more clear. The difficulties in (trans) English of Foucault no longer were paralyzing, making you feel dumb. It suddenly became a challenge. How much of this text can I figure out on my own?

This is really interesting, thanks for sharing. I guess also the perspective of not expecting  to know anything (like a child) can allow one to get rid of assumptions and open our minds to understand things we didn't expect. Also very impressive considering how complex Foucault is and how different German is compared to English.

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5 hours ago, AlexN said:

I'm not arguing against learned experience in positions and explicitly stated you can't hack yourself through it. My point is simply that you get all of that from training in positions and you don't need to attempt to reinvent the wheel in every scenario.

I didn't mean to disagree with you. Rather the clinch experience made me think of something I read a while ago. 

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13 minutes ago, LengLeng said:

I didn't mean to disagree with you. Rather the clinch experience made me think of something I read a while ago. 

Yeah I came off really whiney sorry about that. I think part of the reason is that things get lost in the text and also because I agree with the deeper value of learning something and struggling with something over time. Though it feels like there is moments in which it's incredibly beneficial to have someone whether it's a peer or a teacher give you practical feedback within something. Which again I don't think you really disagree with either lol just hard to bounce ideas around sometimes without getting lost within the medium - forum posts that we are separated by time zones. Thanks for the book post it reminds me of trying to read Hume as a high schooler and having no clue what the fuck anything meant but attempting to learn by brute force.

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