So lets talk about efficiency in learning - Page 2

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  1. #31
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    Artistic talent is the ability to think poetically and to make meaningful images. An individual's artistic talent blooms when placed in the right environment. People do not have the same amount of talent.

    Sketchbook

    "Beliefs are rules for action"
    "Knowledge is proven in action."
    "It's use is it's meaning."
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  3. #32
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    Instead of calling it talent my art instructor used to talk about 'visually literacy'. A person who sticks their tongue out and struggles to draw a simple 3 dimensional form on a 2 dimensional surface even after being shown repeatedly how to do it would be visually illiterate.

    I wonder how many of us were inspired to draw early in life because we knew someone who did? My dad was an architect who trained to be an artist until my mom convinced him to switch his major to architecture as a much more viable career path. So I always saw him drawing and he gave me lessons early, so drawing seemed like a very natural thing to me. And guess what - everyone called me 'talented' when I knew it was just exposure to it and the fact that I had bothered to learn a few things about drawing while they haven't. I think people who aren't exposed to it as a normal thing in youth develop the notion that it's some kind of special almost magical skill and that people who can do it have the magical 'talent'.

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  4. #33
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    I think there's also such a thing as taste (besides the disputed talent) and that you can't quite learn it. You can sort of polish it and most people won't tell the difference!, but it's always gonna be a weakpoint if one doesn't have it to begin with; you either have it or you don't. Maybe it can be learned, but a lot of artists just overlook it, because it's not a prerequisite to make 'good' pictures.

    Last edited by nofu; February 4th, 2014 at 12:59 PM.
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  5. #34
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    It appears we might be debating semantics now, but I still think it is a meaningful/constructive conversation to have. Talent is a controversial word in any discipline.

    If I may chip in to the OP's original question... I do think someone could "practice" but only be repeating bad habits over and over again.
    To learn efficiently to me means approaching every sketch, painting and study with a goal in mind. Breaking down and analyzing your work and others work, being mindful while drawing, identifying where you are failing.

    You could have all the discipline in the world, but if all you were to do was repeatedly mindlessly copy or draw the same things with out ever truly analyzing and reshaping your observations of the world around you, you would never break through one of many "walls" that keeps each and every one of us from realizing our full potential.

    I agree that the importance of how to learn is not spoken of enough.

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  6. #35
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    Hey Stoneseeker - I'm not exactly disagreeing with you. More just chipping into the conversation for the sake of more conversation, but what about the school of thought which says don't think - just do.

    For instance, when you do martial arts you endless repeat the same drills again and again, whether that's BJJ or Kung Fu. Most of the time you don't think about what you're doing or why you're doing it. You do it to the point that things become internalised and just natural and instinctive, and then one day it comes out and you're like aha! Most sports in fact require this kind of mindless repetition. Is art really that different?

    CAN you for argument's sake just copy portraits from the great masters one after the other on and on and on - and somehow end up just internalising it all?

    I mean it's like sometimes I see these people on deviant art who do THE most amazing paintings of people from photos - they are like human photocopy machines. Are they really learning nothing? After you've done that kind of thing for 10 years - could you really not sit down without any reference and not just draw something half decent?

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  7. #36
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    About talent. I am using the dictionary definition of the term.
    talent (ˈtælənt)
    — n
    1. innate ability, aptitude, or faculty, esp when unspecified; above average ability: a talent for cooking ; a child with talent
    2. a person or persons possessing such ability

    I whole heatedly believe these people exist (some people believe aliens walk among us, we all have our quirks.)- there are tonnes of videos of 4 year olds who were born to sing, draw, dance with the quality of someone with years of learned experience. I studied with a few people who just had that knack. One guy works in a factory now, even though he can create whole worlds in minuets with a pencil - something I still cannot even begin to emulate and I have been drawing since I was 2. He spent more time smelling his utensils than practicing, he didn't come from an artist family - he just did it. But he couldn't focus, he didn't have the work ethic and he didn't make it.

    Regardless of it's validity, I still stand by my comment that talent is not necessary. Stubbornness is worth a lot more in the long run and hard work goes a long way.

    Darkstrider - I don't have any artists in my family. My father is a tradesman and my mother worked in a factory. My grandmother started hooking rugs in her late 80's, though I was well into college by then .
    I started to draw because cartoons were magic and I wanted to be magical. Seemed like a plan and now I'm a 2D fx animatior, so I literally draw magic every day. Can't complain about that.


    lovingit - I think copying masters has it's merits, You can study a painting in a million ways- Perspective study, colour study, gesture study, composition study. I think knowing what you are studying certainly helps. In my experience photo-copy artists struggle with structural issues when trying to draw from imagination.
    I don't think there is any single thing that is the be-all end-all of learning. Part of growing is challenging your brain. Getting comfortable is dangerous, because you can easily fall into a formula or a routine.

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  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit View Post
    Hey Stoneseeker - I'm not exactly disagreeing with you. More just chipping into the conversation for the sake of more conversation, but what about the school of thought which says don't think - just do.

    For instance, when you do martial arts you endless repeat the same drills again and again, whether that's BJJ or Kung Fu. Most of the time you don't think about what you're doing or why you're doing it. You do it to the point that things become internalised and just natural and instinctive, and then one day it comes out and you're like aha! Most sports in fact require this kind of mindless repetition. Is art really that different?

    CAN you for argument's sake just copy portraits from the great masters one after the other on and on and on - and somehow end up just internalising it all?

    I mean it's like sometimes I see these people on deviant art who do THE most amazing paintings of people from photos - they are like human photocopy machines. Are they really learning nothing? After you've done that kind of thing for 10 years - could you really not sit down without any reference and not just draw something half decent?
    Well, a couple perspective differences regarding your examples. I may be mistaken, of course.

    In martial arts when students are endlessly repeating drills, I would not think they are doing so mindlessly, but actually with specific intention, made known to them (at some point) by their teacher/sensei. Such as breaking down into simple exorcises how to be thrown, a rotation of the core, etc. Nor would they grow by endlessly repeating bad habits they may have formed, but instead a good Sensei would attempt to show students in what way they are doing it wrong, how they can improve their form, and so on. Your right that eventually it will become mindless and instinctive (muscle memory), but I believe to get there it needs to be intended first.

    In sports, I'll use rock climbing as an example. I have known climbers to be at the same plateau for years, despite being very disciplined to train and climb lots. They get stuck because they don't seek to leave their comfort zones of technique they are confident with to work on the types of moves they don't feel accomplished in... fear of failure perhaps, or just not analyzing their form enough to know what they are weak at, and focusing on their technique to find ways to edge their performance in the right direction.

    I guess all I am saying is when you see repetition working, it is because a person is absorbing information leading to success in some intentional or conscious way each time, and so is the result of that internal analysis and adjustments made related to the activity, --rather than a result of the bare repetitive task itself making some kind of subconscious "mark" and causing you to grow.

    I am certainly not saying that repetitive studies are a bad thing! I think they are necessary for most of us, but that it holds the potential to be a waste of time if done mindlessly (or at the very least, a much slower journey). Which brings me back to the OP's discussion, the matter of "efficiency" in training/studying/learning. I simply feel efficiency, and someones ability to grow better at something quicker than another is directly correlated to their mindfulness and intention while doing it.

    Hope that helps clarify my thoughts. Really appreciating the discussion so far. Causing me to reflect on my journey as an artist and animator as well!

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  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneseeker View Post
    Well, a couple perspective differences regarding your examples. I may be mistaken, of course.

    In martial arts when students are endlessly repeating drills, I would not think they are doing so mindlessly, but actually with specific intention, made known to them (at some point) by their teacher/sensei. Such as breaking down into simple exorcises how to be thrown, a rotation of the core, etc. Nor would they grow by endlessly repeating bad habits they may have formed, but instead a good Sensei would attempt to show students in what way they are doing it wrong, how they can improve their form, and so on. Your right that eventually it will become mindless and instinctive (muscle memory), but I believe to get there it needs to be intended first.

    In sports, I'll use rock climbing as an example. I have known climbers to be at the same plateau for years, despite being very disciplined to train and climb lots. They get stuck because they don't seek to leave their comfort zones of technique they are confident with to work on the types of moves they don't feel accomplished in... fear of failure perhaps, or just not analyzing their form enough to know what they are weak at, and focusing on their technique to find ways to edge their performance in the right direction.
    Hehe - don't want to be some kind of contrarian d!ck. There's always ONE in any given conversation.

    But honestly from my personal - and I stress personal perspective unconscious learning has always been way more powerful than conscious learning.

    Now in terms of martial arts, you're right in that there ARE techniques that are drilled and performed with intention but (and I gotta ask if you have done any martial arts yourself) - there are lots of times where there isn't any intention. You don't know what the hell you're doing! For instance I did white crane kung fu for about 5 years and we learned these patterns which are just a series of movements, and you just repeat them again and again. I must have done some patterns over a thousand times - and you're not really told what you're doing, you just do - BUT it's not just bad teaching!!!! Slowly, over the years when you spar etc... little bits of the movements that you have been drilling start to come into play. Understanding begins to seep in mysteriously...

    Same with BJJ & Judo which is more what I do now. We do this thing called 'shrimping' where you scooch along the ground moving your arms. It looks completely silly but it's practically the first thing you do - amongst a bunch of other warming up drills. No one explains why you're doing it, you're just repeating movement over and over again. Then one day, you're rolling (wrestling on the ground) and suddenly you repeat that same movement completely unconsciously but in an appropriate moment and bang!

    These are two examples of how I would say unconscious precedes conscious understanding.

    You picked climbing as an example. I've been climbing for over 10 years. It's part of the reason I moved to the Pyrenees... I only really stopped seriously when I snapped my achilles tendon a couple of years ago, (hence starting up BJJ and Judo) - before then I was a fanatic. I can tell you that from my personal experience, and again I speak personally - firstly you don't really learn any new techniques after your first 6 months. From what I can tell, there really aren't any 'secret moves' it's about combining simple techniques in appropriate ways to overcome a sequence of moves. I mean yeah obviously when you boulder - you're trying to think about how to do something, but how you learned to do that wasn't through theory if you get my drift?

    The biggest jumps in my grades that I've ever experienced haven't been through any kind of advanced tuition in new techniques. Every time I've been on an expedition or a climbing holiday, basically where I've been doing it 7 days a week for a period of time, my climbing jumps a notch. One other time, I went on a beach holiday in India and basically didn't do ANY climbing for 2 weeks but got massaged every day, ate curries and drank beer (nice). I came back and thought my climbing would suck because I hadn't done any exercise for a while. But miraculously I monstered everything???! But that was probably because my body needed the rest, who knows!

    But anyhow these are actually two sports where I've made gains via unconscious repetition - basically I'm doing something a lot and not necessarily thinking about it. For instance I reckon if you went on an art 'holiday' basically took a sketchpad and went out there and drew every day for 12 hours a day. I think you'd get better - even if you had no idea what you were trying to achieve, had no tuition and read no books. I think that your foundational knowledge comes from that kind of mindless practice and the theory comes in later to solidify and explain what you're doing to take you to the next level. I don't know - this is just how I seem to have learned. What you're describing sure sounds more efficient - I mean learning theory first but maybe if you dumped a load of theory on a complete beginner who'd never drawn a thing in his life it would all be meaningless garbage? I mean that's why they never dumped all this information on us in martial arts as beginners. You just do first and understand later... I never went to formal art training.

    Now I'm going to argue the other side...

    I've also been white water canoeing and kayaking for about 10 years and I've snowboarded for the same (basically it's why I'm in the mountains) - in both cases learning has been very conscious. Some techniques such as rolling the kayak - I had to think my way through quite rigorously. No amount of wiggling about with the boat upside down was going to help me there! I had to know exactly what I was trying to do before I practiced. Same with the strokes of canoeing and kayaking in general. You learn why something works, how it works, and you go do it. I don't know if it's because you're not just using your body but an accessory i.e. the paddle, kayak, snowboard or whatever - but in both theses sports I had to think and understand before trying to do.

    Having said that some people were just able to do it very annoyingly!

    The next thing I wanted to say was although all my learning in painting and drawing was more or less unconscious up to the point I reached 18, what I noticed was that although I hadn't drawn anything seriously for 18 years after that, spending my entire working career doing things like 3D modelling and animation, I DID notice that when I came back to it recently (about 3 months or so ago) - I was better in every way. I understood lighting better (from lighting 3D scenes), I understood material behaviour better (from rendering 3D objects), I understood gesture and intention better (from animating in 3D) and I understood composition better from framing animations to storytell in previs. In this case it seems my theory preceded my actual practice of painting and drawing.

    Anyhow I'm being a completely facetious windbag so I'll stop.

    Having ranted for a while I think that it's a mystery. Really... And I think it's also very personal. I think the OP is well not silly but unanswerable. I think that no one is going to be able to come here and go 'this is the way' do it 'this way' and you'll be great.

    Unfortunately mr OPer - I think that whatever you do, you just got to get on with it. Good or bad, efficient or inefficient the more you do the better you'll get.

    K

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  10. #39
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    haha You might be a little contrarian (but your certainly not a dick!) and this is a really interesting conversation. ALSO, another climber on the forums?? right on.
    I think I'm seeing your point more clearly though... If you don't mind me boiling it down, your saying that no matter what way you choose to learn, either un-conscious repetition (probably most useful in muscle memory situations, like in Judo) or analytic and conscious practice, it will get you there eventually. Is this right? I think I can agree on that. My only interjection (and point from the beginning) is that one road can get you there faster than the other. Perhaps you are helping me to see that it is not always the fastest road for every example... This could explain (in part) why a "dumb" jock can be great at sports (physical disciplines can be learnt more intuitively), but struggle academically.

    But, --with your examples influencing my thinking-- perhaps with certain disciplines unconscious repetition may actually be an effective path.

    But since we found a mutual passion, let's use that for our discussion!
    I also have been climbing over 10 years, (13 yrs now actually, geez..) bouldering has become my focus, though I started more with sport and trad lead... climbing trips over the years all over the world, it is def an obsessive passion on par with my creative pursuits. Sorry to hear about your Achilles tendon, that's terrible. I hope it hasn't completely stopped you from climbing.

    So, I guess I see necessary intention in the seemingly-unconscious repetition of climbing hard problems.
    When I finally broke V10 barrier, it wasn't through trying over and over by itself. It actually came when I started climbing more with friends who were climbing harder than me. Like learning from a painting master, you absorb the way they climb, and begin to apply it to your own. Together we motivated each other, and constantly analyzed each others technique. Bouldering seems especially geared this way, but swapping BETA at the crag with another climber is like artists swapping what they learned about how light plays on water over coffee.
    I --like you experienced-- also have noticed my biggest improvements when on long climbing trips, living like a dirtbag in a tent and breathing climbing every day. I think some of the reason is you will naturally get stronger tendons climbing every day, get shredded and light, and gain new experience on different kind of rock than at home. But I would argue that every time you fall on a route, your not gonna just try it again and do it the same way as the time you failed, your gonna adjust your beta accordingly. If it's a really hard route, it could be a very subtle adjustment (tighten the core!). This may come naturally to you, but some people would need to be told to stop, look at where they fell, try to figure out why they fell, and then look for a solution for your next burn.

    The most obvious example that pertains exactly to the conversation would be the Sketchbook Forum. In some sketchbooks there just seems to be no noticeable improvement over 10 pages of some peoples practice! I guess I have felt that there is a lack of educating themselves as they draw, they are getting mileage but not learning anything new, and we have a type of proof of that at least, that progress can be made slower or faster depending on how you approach your practice.

    But I think your probably right about some disciplines benefiting from muscle-memory type repetition. Training your body to be perform a move in a split second instinctively. I'm just not convinced that it applies much to advanced painting or drawing. As kids who all of us would just draw for the passion of it, copying our favorite comics and getting a lot better over time, I think that eventually hits a ceiling. If you want to keep improving your craft beyond that level at any decent rate, you need to pursue some theory, observation, trial and error, education, etc.

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  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit View Post
    I went on a beach holiday in India and basically didn't do ANY climbing for 2 weeks but got massaged every day, ate curries and drank beer (nice). I came back and thought my climbing would suck because I hadn't done any exercise for a while. But miraculously I monstered everything???! But that was probably because my body needed the rest, who knows!
    Not just your body, your mind needs a rest now and then too. I've studied some brain science, and the phrase "let me sleep on it" turns out to actually have a basis in truth. A student who stays up all night cramming for a big test won't do nearly as well as one who crammed two nights before and then just spent the last day doing something completely different. And it's not only because of the good night's sleep the first student missed out on - it's because the brain literally needs unconscious time to chew through new material to really learn it.

    I believe it can work similarly with taking some time off from something you've been studying (I mean more than a night off - like a few days or a week). The best strides in learning new things (including new skills) seem to come when you push hard for a while, then take a few days or a week off from it before getting back to it. The unconscious mind plays a huge role in learning. I liken it to trying to drive up an icy hill - if you stall out partway up and just keep spinning your tires you'll only slide back down. At a certain point you're actually better off to give up the constant forward grind, back down, and get a fresh run at it with new momentum.

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  12. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit View Post
    Now in terms of martial arts, you're right in that there ARE techniques that are drilled and performed with intention but (and I gotta ask if you have done any martial arts yourself) - there are lots of times where there isn't any intention. You don't know what the hell you're doing! For instance I did white crane kung fu for about 5 years and we learned these patterns which are just a series of movements, and you just repeat them again and again. I must have done some patterns over a thousand times - and you're not really told what you're doing, you just do - BUT it's not just bad teaching!!!! Slowly, over the years when you spar etc... little bits of the movements that you have been drilling start to come into play. Understanding begins to seep in mysteriously...
    Martial arts are a good example where exercises often have a deep hidden meaning that is only found through hard and long training. A popular example is Karate Kid with its car waxing training and, more recently, the jacket hanging drill. However, there are many examples where the hidden meaning is lost throughout the centuries, and exercises have degenerated into meaningless gymnastics. Many traditional Chinese and Japanese arts went downhill this way. When the meaning of exercise is hidden, you need exceptional teachers to guide you.

    In art, some of the more serious schools are hiding behind Spartan regimes like Nicolaides: "We are a good school: our students have sleepless nights!" Going through Nicolaides with an incompetent teacher is a waste of time...

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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  13. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneseeker View Post
    I started climbing more with friends who were climbing harder than me. Like learning from a painting master, you absorb the way they climb, and begin to apply it to your own.
    Oh absolutely!! It makes a tremendous difference to put yourself into an environment where you're surrounded by other artists, some who are better than you or more advanced, and some who are less advanced. Seeing what the good ones do makes you realize you really need to step it up a few notches, and provides motivation to do so.

    It's funny how that works - once people know something can be done they find they can do it, even if they thought it was impossible before. Like when the first runner broke the 3 minute mile - that had always stood as 'the impossible goal' and nobody ever broke it, until one day somebody did, and shortly after that it became almost routine for any runner work their salt.

    When you're immersed in a group you develop what I call 'competition/camaraderie' - it's a friendly competition (though let's admit it - it can get a lot darker under the surface sometimes, and that drives you harder). Sometimes you do better than that guy over in the corner that you've talked to a few times, but then one day he brings in a piece that blows you away and you grit your teeth and try to outdo him next time. It's amazingly motivational.

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  15. #43
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    Ack - I'd climb more for sure. The achilles is better now and I didn't do it climbing anyways - but I've found it hard to get hold of decent climbing partners. I'm kind of in the middle of nowhere at the moment in a little ski village. Last time I climbed with some french dude it was a near disaster. We have different grades here in Europe - not sure what the equivalent is in North America. You have like 5.somethings... I think that's the same as a 6a French Sports grade. Anyhow we were going up this 5c - nothing that should be too stressful - the first few moves to the first clip are like the hardest and so my french climbing buddy goes off - he hits the belay point and shouts for me to start. And I'm just into my rehabilitation right now so my right calf is like the size of my forearm and pretty weak. I just can't get up the first few moves. It's a mixture of fear and lack of strength. I'm not really trusting my right leg.

    This is when you want your climbing buddy to be on the ball. You're 15 ft up trying to get over this boulder and there's no one spotting you and no mat so you want a tight rope because otherwise you'll fall and twist an ankle or worse, but no matter how hard I shout the rope just doesn't get any tighter.

    Eventually after about 15 minutes of maximum attack I'm all busted out and my leg is killing me. Next thing I know he's walking round the side fag in hand going 'what up dude?' I'm like what's up with YOU wtf am I off belay? The French invented the terms Laisse Faire and Blaise with good reason! He just shrugs - 'its easy' 'no danger'... sigh

    Anyhow I completely agree with you. As a kid, that's exactly what I did, spent all my time copying comics and the like, but if you want to take things to the next level you have to improve your understanding of things. Personally I think that's the best way for it to work. It's a bit like sculpture. Nobody jumps right in and tries to do the detailed stuff - you start off roughing out the forms and then get more and more refined until the last 5% is where the magic is. I think that you need to serve an apprenticeship of just drawing stuff. It might not be correct - you might be just drawing anime and manga all day long, but it gets your hands and eyes used to the process of spatial and visual interpretation - i.e. the process of drawing. How you move your hand to create a mark whilst looking at what you're trying to draw - whether that's copying another piece of artwork or real life (the latter being better of course).

    I think theory won't do anything for a beginner... I mean, by all means read up about it - but until you are completely comfortable with pen in hand you probably wouldn't be able to apply it anyway. I HAVE seen some folks here who know all the theory but can't appear to apply it at all - they're still drawing potatoes for faces alas.

    Back to drawing

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  17. #44
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    In martial arts you repeat the same motions over and over but you don't actually know that you are doing the right thing until you put it to use. Without training against other people, and fairly early on, you don't really have any feedback about whether what you're doing is right. You can train yourself in a punching motion for five years but unless you occasionally punch objects you can't be sure whether you are doing it in a way that will sprain your wrist or not. You can train in a blocking motion but unless you're using that to stop or deflect a punch, you have no idea whether it's going to do the job. And you will have to adjust what you are doing when you come in contact with different enemies because if you just mindlessly do the same thing over and over without bothering to test it then you will take a lot of hits.

    Now, I did spend several years training in Wing Chun, which is not a very ornamental style of Kung Fu. We're mostly interested in getting at your throat in the least fussy manner possible. After the first couple of belts you spend plenty of time training against various partners because if something is not working, you want to know that now and not 5 years from now.

    Same thing in art. Without meaningful thought and feedback you could be spinning your wheels for years.

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  18. #45
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    Most traditional martial arts, probably all of them, are obsolete because the culture in which they were created no longer exists i.e. fighting in armor with real weapons, hence no one has the real experience to know how the moves operate in a real context. I consider practitioners of these arts historical preservationists.
    In sports you think with your body, therefore you are thinking the whole time you are doing your drills. And the drills aren't arbitrary because they are guided by a competent instructor who knows the reasons for them, even if you don't, and corrects your mistakes a little at a time as you go. The culture of these sports is real because there are still large groups of people engaging in them, and when you get a real teacher what they know is backed by their own real experience plus their instructors real experience etc. all the way back to the late 19th century or early to mid 20th century.

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  19. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    Most traditional martial arts, probably all of them, are obsolete because the culture in which they were created no longer exists i.e. fighting in armor with real weapons, hence no one has the real experience to know how the moves operate in a real context. I consider practitioners of these arts historical preservationists.
    In sports you think with your body, therefore you are thinking the whole time you are doing your drills. And the drills aren't arbitrary because they are guided by a competent instructor who knows the reasons for them, even if you don't, and corrects your mistakes a little at a time as you go. The culture of these sports is real because there are still large groups of people engaging in them, and when you get a real teacher what they know is backed by their own real experience plus their instructors real experience etc. all the way back to the late 19th century or early to mid 20th century.
    ? Dude you gotta qualify your statements ? i.e. do you practice any martial arts yourself or just watch UFC?

    I don't know any serious MMA practitioner who thinks tradional martial arts are a waste of time as you seem to be suggesting. Sure there's a lot of old bogus stuff - but where do you think the arm bar came from?

    Anyhow, MMA is great in a ring but it's a sport, everybody knows that! The dialogue is way more intelligent than - oh practitioners of these arts are just historical preservationists. Even my instructor who's fucking hard as nails, trained Muay Thai for over 20 years, fought bare knuckle and full contact MMA and pro muay thai fights, has numerous british titles and is a black belt in BJJ and a 3rd dan Judoka wouldn't come up with a statement like that!

    Oh before I paint him out to be a complete knuckle head, he works in a genetics lab in Cambridge...

    So uhm... internet or not, you better know's yer shit is all I'm sayin!

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    Edit: Posted in the wrong thread. Urgh. Sorry guys. My apologies.

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    as someone who has run multiple schools, incubators, workshops etc...and set up the training programs that mb used to churn out industry stars I can say that it is not so much a system or method of learning as much as it is a will to work as much as 18 hours a day at what one does. It is work ethic, persistence, a willingness to be critiqued, access to information or the ability to find it...i.e. the ability to research...that is sort of the stew in the witches cauldron. Those who shine are those who work the hardest. Some take longer than others, but in the end, the turtle is the one who wins the race...slow and steady...relentlessly pushing forward to the end goal...purpose, and intent go a long ways. Some people do learn faster than others. Other people work harder. It is the latter that goes the farthest. The key is in learning how you yourself best learn, and following that path. I think everyone is different that way.

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  23. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit View Post
    ? Dude you gotta qualify your statements ? i.e. do you practice any martial arts yourself or just watch UFC?

    I don't know any serious MMA practitioner who thinks tradional martial arts are a waste of time as you seem to be suggesting. Sure there's a lot of old bogus stuff - but where do you think the arm bar came from?

    Anyhow, MMA is great in a ring but it's a sport, everybody knows that! The dialogue is way more intelligent than - oh practitioners of these arts are just historical preservationists. Even my instructor who's fucking hard as nails, trained Muay Thai for over 20 years, fought bare knuckle and full contact MMA and pro muay thai fights, has numerous british titles and is a black belt in BJJ and a 3rd dan Judoka wouldn't come up with a statement like that!

    Oh before I paint him out to be a complete knuckle head, he works in a genetics lab in Cambridge...

    So uhm... internet or not, you better know's yer shit is all I'm sayin!
    It's just a simple matter of whether or not anyone has recently engaged in ancient hand to hand combat, that is in full body armor and with ancient weapons, but no one has for hundreds of years, therefore the culture in which the art was created no longer exists making the art obsolete.

    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit View Post
    Sure there's a lot of old bogus stuff
    I think we are mostly in agreement.

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    Nicolaides is a good example of repeating wax on wax off exercises. I went to a school where the life drawing was taught Nicolaides style and half the time we had no idea why were were doing anything. 9 hour blind contour? What could that possibly accomplish. It took a few years before everything clicked together and everything made sense.
    I really don't think I could have studied that way independently at all.

    I have nothing to contribute on the climbing or martial arts stuff, unless my childhood tae-kwon-do class counts for anything ^_^

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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit View Post
    ? Dude you gotta qualify your statements ? i.e. do you practice any martial arts yourself or just watch UFC?

    I don't know any serious MMA practitioner who thinks tradional martial arts are a waste of time as you seem to be suggesting. Sure there's a lot of old bogus stuff - but where do you think the arm bar came from?
    I know a lot of sportsman who are just training their sports, and who consider traditional martial arts a waste of time, because the older techniques are not allowed in a match. The arm bar is a sports thing, a relatively nice adaptation from a technique where the elbow joint is broken sideways, because that is the easiest way to destroy it, and takes most time to heal. Try an arm bar in self defence, and you're dead.

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhubix View Post
    Nicolaides is a good example of repeating wax on wax off exercises. I went to a school where the life drawing was taught Nicolaides style and half the time we had no idea why were were doing anything. 9 hour blind contour? What could that possibly accomplish. It took a few years before everything clicked together and everything made sense.
    I went to that same school, most of it never worked for me, and for a good deal the issue is that the teachers were fine artists who are clueless about animation. In year one, my teacher told me to do gestures fasterfasterfaster, without even looking at the paper! It made me develop a rough, messy, inaccurate way of drawing, and I'm still working on ironing the wrinkles out; it definitely hurt me during later years in school. I feel a lot more for the analytic approach of Vilppu, where you take your time to study the what, how and why of a pose; speed will come in time. If you don't understand the pose, it will not come to you magically, blindly and furiously.

    Whoever is thinking I was just a bad student, the bulk of my fellow students didn't get it either, and dropped out sooner or later. Actually, I passed Beginning Life Drawing with Honours, and I feel that was not because of my drawing skills, but because I followed directions so well. To be honest, I still feel betrayed by this school, whose philosophy is mainly "Shut up and do as I say, and you will be a great animator". This works like a charm to keep the students at bay, it is very effective to get rid of those you don't like, but it does not have to do a thing with efficient education. It seems to work for no more than one year, when students cannot draw at all, and still trust the school: once students come to realize it is a big lie, the masses start to drop out.

    Also, I think I could have appreciated if life drawing had been taught Nicolaides style, but only in year one does the school stick to Nicolaides. In later years, Nicolaides is more and more replaced by whatever the teacher prefers to teach, ending in a silly 'Advanced Life Drawing' course, where the head of the school tries to teach what she calls 'contour gesture'. She couldn't explain it, other than "it is the only way to do it, look at the old masters", she couldn't show me any manual that describes it and she couldn't demo it ("I'm afraid I'm not very good at doing demos") Daily compositions, the long pose, the notion of design, it was all dropped. Ironically, I enjoyed one teacher who knew exactly what he was doing, he was from the Vilppu school, and he was replaced after one term...

    I believe that Max the Mutt is an excellent example of how mindless repetitions of exercises, guided by teachers who don't know what they are doing, is a waste of time.

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque@xs4all.nl View Post
    I know a lot of sportsman who are just training their sports, and who consider traditional martial arts a waste of time, because the older techniques are not allowed in a match. The arm bar is a sports thing, a relatively nice adaptation from a technique where the elbow joint is broken sideways, because that is the easiest way to destroy it, and takes most time to heal. Try an arm bar in self defence, and you're dead.
    OMG - your statement made me laugh so much - genuinely, it was hilarious. You see, this is what I love about the internet - how it can generate people like yourself - so full of balls and bravado because everything is so anonymous. I mean there's not even a hint of modesty or reasonable self doubt in your statement. You weren't like 'well I think an armbar has the possibility of opening you up for danger so probably it's not the best technique to use in a self defence scenario' - which would be reasonable... but it's like 'YOU DO AN ARMBAR ON THE STREET YOU DIE M*THAF*CKER!!!' I LOVE IT! It's like saying 'people who drink coca cola die'... LOVE IT!

    I know you're probably only trying to troll me but I just HAD to reply! Because I mean... it was just so ridiculously emphatic that there could only be 2 possibilities:

    a. you know absolutely nothing about the subject
    b. you are trying to pull my leg (or another part of my anatomy)

    Ooookay time for my WWF comeback!

    If you mean that when surrounded by 2 or 3 assailants in a dark disco hall with broken glass and beer all over the floor YOU decide to jump ONTO the broken glass, try and pull guard and do an armbar while all your opponent's mates kick you to death with their size 13 DMs then YES - YOU LOSE! But this isn't because an armbar is a useless self defence technique that leads to instant death (as your post claims). You DIED because you are a turkey and deserve to be culled from the evolutionary pool.

    If on the other hand, I find myself on my back - with my opponent trying to hammer my teeth out with his fists, I have several options - try to get back onto my feet as quickly as possible - depends... possibly a first option depending on how used to/well versed you are at fighting from your back. HOWEVER, if your opponent has a clear advantage in reach and strength in a stand up fight OR if you CAN'T get back up to your feet - possibly because you are being pinned because you are smaller, weaker - common scenario for say a girl. Then uh... yeah I'm going to consider FIRST controlling his posture with my arms and legs so I can avoid damage, also known as the guard - and then b. when I've set it up correctly, try and go for an armbar or triangle choke or kimura or some form of choke using your opponent's clothing (i.e cross sleeve choke etc...). c. if they don't work - use them to try and scramble out asap and escape.

    If you're saying that in trying to pull off an armbar you'll instantly get slammed and die... (back to your 'try and armbar in self defence, and you're dead statement'), well there IS that danger but really I think it's unlikely you'll experience this in a real self defence scenario because most people will not know what's happening in the first instance. You can put an armbar on VERY quickly. You see slams in competitions because people know an armbar is coming. But in either regard, if I find his hand on my chest and I'm in guard, I'll take my chances because if my only other option is to uh... I dunno pull of my pheonix fist, eye poke.... well.... or b. just sit there and take the beats... And it still wouldn't qualify your statement about instant death via armbar attempt!

    I'd like to know what list of magical self defence moves you envision using which might replace some decent ground fighting skills if you find yourself in this kind of situation. I'm guessing your not a girl because a. generally speaking only men like to shout out about shit they know nothing about b. you don't understand the kind of self defence scenarios women are most likely to find themselves in. Grappling is the only traditional martial art where a weaker, smaller opponent can consistently - through advantage of skill (important caveat), defeat a larger, stronger opponent. In this regard it is a hugely important aspect of self defence. I'm a 240lb guy but even I might find myself on my ass getting the beats from an angry art director...

    Last edited by lovingit; February 6th, 2014 at 09:43 AM.
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    I'd like to know what list of magical self defence moves you envision using which might replace some decent ground fighting skills if you find yourself in this kind of situation
    I'm curious to know this too, I mean... I'd hate to see someone get into a grounded scenario on the street ( which happens all of the time) and NOT know anything about grappling.

    You hear stuff like "Oh, well, that leaves you open to get your head stomped!" when chances are you're probably going to get your head kicked in anyway, if you're completely unfamiliar with how ground fighting works you are in an especially dire situation.

    I'm sorry, but if you plan on using SUPER SECRET SPECIAL PRESSURE POINT TECHNIQUES TAUGHT BY THE INTERNET NINJA MASTERS on someone who has you in an RNC... you're going to sleep.

    You're not going to break his fingers, you're not going to poke his eyes out and make him let go... you're on a one stop train ride to sleepytown.

    Last edited by HarbingerofIllRepute; February 6th, 2014 at 10:30 AM.
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  29. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit View Post
    Grappling is the only traditional martial art where a weaker, smaller opponent can consistently - through advantage of skill (important caveat), defeat a larger, stronger opponent. In this regard it is a hugely important aspect of self defence. I'm a 240lb guy but even I might find myself on my ass getting the beats from an angry art director...
    Self defense is a situation where well-trained sportsmen are consistently trashed by opponents wielding clubs, knives and worse, supported by a gang of friends. When in trouble, don't waste your time on an armbar, but end the conflict and get out asap. I don't want you to end this way.

    Let's stick to art here, and have a drink if we meet.

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit View Post
    Grappling is the only traditional martial art where a weaker, smaller opponent can consistently - through advantage of skill (important caveat), defeat a larger, stronger opponent. In this regard it is a hugely important aspect of self defence. I'm a 240lb guy but even I might find myself on my ass getting the beats from an angry art director...
    Self defense is a situation where well-trained sportsmen are consistently trashed by opponents wielding clubs, knives and worse, supported by a gang of friends. When in trouble, don't waste your time on an armbar, but end the conflict and get out asap. I don't want you to end this way.

    Let's stick to art here, and have a drink if we meet.

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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  32. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque@xs4all.nl View Post
    Self defense is a situation where well-trained sportsmen are consistently trashed by opponents wielding clubs, knives and worse, supported by a gang of friends. When in trouble, don't waste your time on an armbar, but end the conflict and get out asap. I don't want you to end this way.

    Let's stick to art here, and have a drink if we meet.
    Anyone caught off their guard can be overwhelmed regardless of training, and there is more to jiu jitsu and other grappling arts than just armbars. Having knowledge of fundamental escapes or even knowing how to avoid being mounted altogether can be the difference between getting away safely or having someone paint the curb with your face.

    Not my place to chime in, but I couldn't help myself.

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    Will there eventually be some ART discussion in this Art Discussion thread… ?



    Lol sorry, couldn't resist!

    Last edited by Darkstrider; February 6th, 2014 at 12:57 PM.
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    I know! Silly conversation, and it's not like I don't hear it like all the time. Internet warriors are everywhere

    Not sure what kind of fights you've been in eezacque@xs4all.nl - sounds like west side story or gangs of new york to me - glad I've not had to fight people with clubs! Anyhow I'll happily buy you a beer you certainly put a smile on my face this morning!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I know! Silly conversation, and it's not like I don't hear it like all the time. Internet warriors are everywhere

    Not sure what kind of fights you've been in eezacque@xs4all.nl - sounds like west side story or gangs of new york to me - glad I've not had to fight people with clubs! Anyhow I'll happily buy you a beer you certainly put a smile on my face this morning!

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    I originally responded to correct this misinformation about "mindless repetition", which is nonsense whether the person practices chopsocky or badminton.

    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit View Post
    Most of the time you don't think about what you're doing or why you're doing it. You do it to the point that things become internalised and just natural and instinctive, and then one day it comes out and you're like aha! Most sports in fact require this kind of mindless repetition.
    The function of ancient martial arts was to train warriors for wars. Modern wars are fought with super advanced technology which makes everything preceding it obsolete.
    If you want to see what real modern "martial science" looks like, if that's what it would be called, watch a swat team storm a house, watch cops fire tear gas into a crowd, watch a high speed chase.
    There is a myth that hand to hand combat somehow intrinsically confers more honor than fighting with weapons, it makes no rational sense. There is no such thing as "1 on 1 hand to hand combat" in non sport situations, except between dumbasses tussling in the street, because as soon as you say no rules then weapons and numbers become involved. It makes absolutely no sense to fight someone hand to hand when you can shoot them or just walk away.

    This is an example of a real altercation not a tussle between dumbasses, which happened here in sf: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Gong "On August 3, 2003, after a hit and run driver crashed into Gong's parked car in the Fairtex Gym parking lot in San Francisco, Gong pursued the suspect on foot. Gong caught up and confronted the suspect, who was still in his car at a nearby intersection. Witnesses say the suspect then shot Gong at point blank and fled in his vehicle. Gong was pronounced dead at the scene."

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