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MMA Fighter compare TT to wrestling

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    Posted: 08/01/2019 at 5:29pm
Not sure if you guy have seen this video, but I think it's interesting regarding anticipation in TT and Wrestling or Martial Art in general.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/01/2019 at 5:35pm
my take away from the story / video is that my reaction time is as fast as ML's 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dual700 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/01/2019 at 5:59pm
That's ironic considering his anticipation on the last fight vs Gamebred..Cry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/01/2019 at 9:03pm
Hi,

Just trying to make that point one more time, table tennis is a martial art. Apologies to those who heard it before and they still can roll their eyes at me.

What does not help me much is that besides judo (fencing too but it’s like tt in the context) in my teens, I have no clues about martial arts. My table tennis clues are as valuable and no matter what...

Of course, table tennis is a martial art because like a martial art:

- it’s based on repetition, discipline, abnegation.
- in a match, we don’t have time to think, we apply training and unexpected stuff only makes us go outside our game (to enlarge it maybe?)
- we perform best when we control our emotions in all disciplines but it’s more a determining factor in tt and martial arts because less time to react.
- modesty is necessary so we don’t think of ourselves, we rely on our training for that, taking care of the opponent is more efficient re. achieving the goal. There is so much to say about why modesty is a weapon becoming false modesty when used as such, elevating the level of the match to unknown territories when applied right, focusing time on the essential, the other person.
- the spiritual side of tt helps like in martial arts connecting the practice with anything else, making the sport some kind of dashboard of the soul, or a button on it.
- they reveal character, it’s impossible to hide who we are playing the game seriously because body language, one on one, short distance between players; we can hardly hide anything.

-...

Any other input to sustain the idea that tt is a martial art?




Edited by stiltt - 08/01/2019 at 10:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Basquests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 5:12am
Ben funky askren is a great guy, watched a fair amount of interviews with him. Funny, smart and took the loss really well, even after his rival punched him in the head 3x after he was already out.

That was his first loss too, 19 and  0 to 19 and 1. And it was in a 5 second fight. 

Thats the great thing about table tennis, you can't lose just cause you lost the first point. You can't get knocked out. If you start playing better or change the gameplan, you can arrest a 2 or 3 set deficit in a b05 or b07. 

In fighting you can get knocked out cause you lost 1 exchange.

He's bang on. Reaction time is the same or at least similar, but moving earlier because you have a good idea where to be in tt, makes your shot much higher % and quality. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doraemon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 5:52am
Yeah, you can get knocked out also in TT.    Your opponent took a big swing but lost his grip on his blade.  It flew and banged your forehead so hard, it knocked you out.

Wink

But kidding aside, I actually saw a friend playing double and he accidently hit his partner on his head.  It did not knock out his partner, but sure he was in a lot of pain.


Edited by doraemon - 08/02/2019 at 5:55am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TT newbie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 6:37am
No ball in TT would have the impact of a flying knee, he knows that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote heavyspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 9:36am
After some searching, I'm fairly sure I figured out the table tennis player in Ben's story - Mohammad Sarmadi. Maintained a rating in the 1400's. Player history shows 2006 to 2013 in Missouri based tournaments. I also found a U of Missouri publication with his name and title Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering.

Edited by heavyspin - 08/02/2019 at 9:47am
I couldn't find my backhand loop last tournament so I went to the lost and found.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dual700 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 10:11am
Originally posted by heavyspin heavyspin wrote:

After some searching, I'm fairly sure I figured out the table tennis player in Ben's story - Mohammad Sarmadi. Maintained a rating in the 1400's. Player history shows 2006 to 2013 in Missouri based tournaments. I also found a U of Missouri publication with his name and title Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering.
That is an impressive detective work!! Clap
BTW, you and my (late) coworker looked like brothers LOL same built and all but he is no way in the same health shape like you
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dual700 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 10:14am
Originally posted by doraemon doraemon wrote:

Yeah, you can get knocked out also in TT.    Your opponent took a big swing but lost his grip on his blade.  It flew and banged your forehead so hard, it knocked you out.

Wink

But kidding aside, I actually saw a friend playing double and he accidently hit his partner on his head.  It did not knock out his partner, but sure he was in a lot of pain.
It happened to me Cry
Good thing my partner's bat already reached the peak power and swing, so it wasn't that bad. He knocked my glasses off my head
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 10:39am
a martial arts background helps initially with form, especially stance, and I'm sure there is some crossover in concepts, but since you don't kill anybody by definition it's not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote heavyspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 10:49am
Originally posted by dual700 dual700 wrote:

Originally posted by heavyspin heavyspin wrote:

After some searching, I'm fairly sure I figured out the table tennis player in Ben's story - Mohammad Sarmadi. Maintained a rating in the 1400's. Player history shows 2006 to 2013 in Missouri based tournaments. I also found a U of Missouri publication with his name and title Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering.
That is an impressive detective work!! Clap
BTW, you and my (late) coworker looked like brothers LOL same built and all but he is no way in the same health shape like you
The biggest clue for me was when Askren called him "Mo"
I couldn't find my backhand loop last tournament so I went to the lost and found.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mhnh007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 3:03pm
I don't think Ben was comparing a world class TT player to a regular TT player regarding the reaction time.  More like reaction time between a good player (say 2000+ player) vs a not so good player (say player who could never seem to reach 2000).  What is interesting is that most players, who wanted to work on their footwork, are sub 2000 players.  They blame their lack of foot work is the cause for not reaching to higher level. On the other hand, I am sure we all personally know a few 2000+ players, who are not that mobile, or even play with a knee problem.  So I think the point that Ben made about anticipation is quite valid.  As for Ben last fight, he got caught stepping over for a FH loop, and the ball goes down the line, LOL.   I am sure ML got caught like this a few times too Smile.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote amateur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 4:08pm
Originally posted by heavyspin heavyspin wrote:

After some searching, I'm fairly sure I figured out the table tennis player in Ben's story - Mohammad Sarmadi. Maintained a rating in the 1400's. Player history shows 2006 to 2013 in Missouri based tournaments. I also found a U of Missouri publication with his name and title Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering.

Nice try - but the Number 7 in the Whole State of Missouri is Austin Preiss, so it must have been him. I didn't know he was Iranian though.

Funny how the wrestler keeps sticking to "table tennis" until finally breaking down and saying "ping pong paddle." 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 6:27pm
Originally posted by amateur amateur wrote:

Originally posted by heavyspin heavyspin wrote:

After some searching, I'm fairly sure I figured out the table tennis player in Ben's story - Mohammad Sarmadi. Maintained a rating in the 1400's. Player history shows 2006 to 2013 in Missouri based tournaments. I also found a U of Missouri publication with his name and title Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering.

Nice try - but the Number 7 in the Whole State of Missouri is Austin Preiss, so it must have been him. I didn't know he was Iranian though.

Funny how the wrestler keeps sticking to "table tennis" until finall breaking down and saying "ping pong paddle." 

I spoke to his mom briefly after losing to him in Co Spr. Thinking back she might be. 

Sorry quoted wrong post 


Edited by cole_ely - 08/02/2019 at 6:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wilkinru Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 6:51pm
It's a good video with a good point.

In many ways I feel like my anticipation does indeed determine my level of play or at least a base level. It takes a lot of practice to really improve it. Practice the robot or low level players cannot really provide.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bard romance Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 7:47pm
Originally posted by heavyspin heavyspin wrote:

After some searching, I'm fairly sure I figured out the table tennis player in Ben's story - Mohammad Sarmadi. Maintained a rating in the 1400's. Player history shows 2006 to 2013 in Missouri based tournaments. I also found a U of Missouri publication with his name and title Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering.


And this is why I don't believe any new person when they talk about how they were a "former champion" or "top ranked player" in this or that category. Always ends up like this. If I had a nickel for every former state or provincial champion who turns out to be 1500...


Edited by bard romance - 08/02/2019 at 7:48pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/02/2019 at 11:52pm
I've been a martial artist a fair bit longer than I've been a table tennis player and I am probably a better martial artist than I am a table tennis player by a substantial margin, although I suspect that will change as I get older and my physical abilities diminish. 

Ben's point about anticipation is absolutely valid.  It makes a huge difference.

A subsequent post that table tennis is a martial art is ludicrous, unless all you know of martial arts is a run of the mill taekwondo or aikido school in US.  Those have about as much in common with fighting as table tennis does.

In principle, virtually all sports as we know them exist so that we would have an outlet to compete against each other without turning homicidal.  In other words, competitive exist specifically because they are NOT martial arts.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/03/2019 at 9:51pm
thank you koshkin. A usatt 1600 with the head of a street fighter and made of muscles and nerves only told me once around 2005 when I was defending the parallel: "no, tt is a lady game, no punch in the face." In his answer he was disrespectful to women (many bad ass women could kick my ass) but true to the idea that tt is not a martial art. I am still not convinced though, especially since I hardly see a martial art being about to kill? You infer violence and homicide, I thought a martial art was just about NOT being dominated, from that perspective, I still have room; from that perspective you are still at a low level. That's one minus point for you in your relationship with martial arts. I realize you might think I am a coward thinking I would maybe not say that to your face. I believe I would say the same face to face even though I can't fight with fists, knees, elbows, head and feet. Can you think it over again and come back? The idea is a martial art is about NOT getting dominated; it's not about winning, not about dominating, not about being the best, it's all  about nobody can impose their will to me because if I let them do that, I stop being me. I does not take to kill anybody for that. You went too far and the wrong energy was at work as you were progressing, I am not sure you can save the situation you threw yourself into, you might end up as a very strong guy nobody will challenge in a bar full of drunk people.



Edited by stiltt - 08/03/2019 at 10:09pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/03/2019 at 11:46pm
Stiltt, I have to admit that you've got enough hubris for two stiltts and then some, although some measure of intellectual honesty and humility could temper that if you had any.

You are talking about levels and and concepts of something you have never studied and have no personal experience in. All you know about the subject seems to come from some martial arts movies you have seen.  

To draw a table tennis parallel, imagine a guy who comes into a table tennis club, looks at a bunch of 2000ish players practicing and politely explains that he has just watched Forrest Gump three times and immediately headed to a table tennis club firmly convinced that he is a seasoned professional.

How do you explain to that guy that he has no idea what table tennis is and how it works?

That's exactly where we are with your post above.  You know so little about the subject matter that you don't know what you don't know.  

I am sure you are a perfectly decent guy and I do not want to insult you, but everything you said above is either ignorant or stupid or, for the most part, both.  However, I am certain you will not take my word for it (probably because all the movies you watched said something else).  On the other hand, you do not have enough of the grasp of the fundamentals to figure out why what you said is wrong (and why Western martial artists used to get killed when they leave their dojo and venture out into the world).  

MMA changed a lot of that.  It is still a sport, so it is not quite life, but it is closer to what it was supposed to be until martial arts got westernized and excessively civilized.

There is a reason why MMA changed the martial arts landscape so dramatically.

Lastly, you are virtue signaling when you say that you would be willing to say all the same things to my face.  That does not speak well of you.  When you imply that I would kick your ass for saying something profoundly stupid about martial arts, you are projecting your own insecurities and lack of comprehension onto me.  Alternatively, you may simply think so little of me that you think I would that.  Now THAT is insulting.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote obesechopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/04/2019 at 12:34pm
Well, it depends what kind of martial art you study and the particular school.

For MMA, sport BJJ, or even traditional martial arts... the object is to incapacitate your opponent, to the point where they can not or will not continue fighting you. There's nothing nice about hitting someone in the head, breaking their arm, or choking them unconscious!

But for example, if you take the "sport" versions that I do and that are more common (as opposed to the 'deadly' techniques that used to be taught at every corner dojo/school), your goal is to KO/TKO or make the other guy quit in some fashion. You're not actually trying to kill the other person, though the techniques can potentially be lethal! Just look at all the deaths in boxing...

It is a COMBAT SPORT. Not to be confused with the "self-defense" schools where there is essentially zero live sparring, and only theoretical techniques practiced. 

You might say some of the basic principles are the same between the two sports (practice, muscle memory, reacting etc.). But that goes for any physical sport or activity. Is a gymnast a martial artist? Is a basketball player? 

I think stiltts was speaking more from a philosophical standpoint, and Koshy took him to literally mean TT is a martial art -- and he's thinking, wtf mate, when you ever been punched in the face during a table tennis rally!? LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/04/2019 at 2:23pm
Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Stiltt, I have to admit that you've got enough hubris for two stiltts and then some, although some measure of intellectual honesty and humility could temper that if you had any.

You are talking about levels and and concepts of something you have never studied and have no personal experience in. All you know about the subject seems to come from some martial arts movies you have seen.  

To draw a table tennis parallel, imagine a guy who comes into a table tennis club, looks at a bunch of 2000ish players practicing and politely explains that he has just watched Forrest Gump three times and immediately headed to a table tennis club firmly convinced that he is a seasoned professional.

How do you explain to that guy that he has no idea what table tennis is and how it works?

That's exactly where we are with your post above.  You know so little about the subject matter that you don't know what you don't know.  

I am sure you are a perfectly decent guy and I do not want to insult you, but everything you said above is either ignorant or stupid or, for the most part, both.  However, I am certain you will not take my word for it (probably because all the movies you watched said something else).  On the other hand, you do not have enough of the grasp of the fundamentals to figure out why what you said is wrong (and why Western martial artists used to get killed when they leave their dojo and venture out into the world).  

MMA changed a lot of that.  It is still a sport, so it is not quite life, but it is closer to what it was supposed to be until martial arts got westernized and excessively civilized.

There is a reason why MMA changed the martial arts landscape so dramatically.

Lastly, you are virtue signaling when you say that you would be willing to say all the same things to my face.  That does not speak well of you.  When you imply that I would kick your ass for saying something profoundly stupid about martial arts, you are projecting your own insecurities and lack of comprehension onto me.  Alternatively, you may simply think so little of me that you think I would that.  Now THAT is insulting.  

ILya
since you know both martial arts and tt, I’ll trust your judgement and avoid making that parallel again, at least until I know something about martial arts. Thanks for the clarification.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/05/2019 at 5:51pm
"A subsequent post that table tennis is a martial art is ludicrous, unless all you know of martial arts is a run of the mill taekwondo or aikido school in US.  Those have about as much in common with fighting as table tennis does.

In principle, virtually all sports as we know them exist so that we would have an outlet to compete against each other without turning homicidal.  In other words, competitive exist specifically because they are NOT martial arts."

Koshkin, please elaborate the last sentence a bit - really don't understand what you are saying
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/05/2019 at 7:15pm
Originally posted by tom tom wrote:

"A subsequent post that table tennis is a martial art is ludicrous, unless all you know of martial arts is a run of the mill taekwondo or aikido school in US.  Those have about as much in common with fighting as table tennis does.

In principle, virtually all sports as we know them exist so that we would have an outlet to compete against each other without turning homicidal.  In other words, competitive exist specifically because they are NOT martial arts."

Koshkin, please elaborate the last sentence a bit - really don't understand what you are saying

If we were swordfighters or quick draw artists, there wouldnt be many of us left posting
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fulanodetal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/06/2019 at 12:58am
Yes. I do see something gladiatorial about table tennis.
Especially when it is happening in a public arena like what they did at T2 Diamond.
No one needs to die, but the stakes are high.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/06/2019 at 1:39pm
Originally posted by tom tom wrote:

"A subsequent post that table tennis is a martial art is ludicrous, unless all you know of martial arts is a run of the mill taekwondo or aikido school in US.  Those have about as much in common with fighting as table tennis does.

In principle, virtually all sports as we know them exist so that we would have an outlet to compete against each other without turning homicidal.  In other words, competitive exist specifically because they are NOT martial arts."

Koshkin, please elaborate the last sentence a bit - really don't understand what you are saying

There is a word missing there, sorry.  It was supposed to say "competitive sports exist specifically because they are not martial arts".

We are, by nature, competitive and aggressive creatures and from a survival of the species standpoint, it is very beneficial to have some means to channel those qualities in some sort of a reasonably non-destructive way.  

We are drawn to fight (men more so than women thank to significant hormonal difference, but that is often situational) and when every fight has a chance to end in death, that is somewhat problematic.  What is even more problematic is mass homicide which is what happens when we drag our buddies into it.  That is one of the key reasons why all the dueling codes emerged at some point.  That was a good way to restrict violence to a small group of people.  In many ways, martial arts practice as we know it evolved so that we could practice and learn from our mistakes without getting killed for making a mistake.  That was tremendously helpful for developing skills.  Before that, you had to be big, strong and fast.  Martial arts and weapons, in many ways, were created so that smaller people could adequately resist bigger people.  

That worked nicely until bigger people started practicing martial arts.  There is a reason why there are weight classes.

Edged weapons added a little more parity since there speed and reach are more important than strength, but that arms race is still going on.  This can go either way.

Bow and arrow was even more helpful, but longer draw means longer range, so there are still some differences there.

Firearms was what made our lethality fairly uniform for people of different size and strength given a little practice.

Non-combat sports was a way to use our natural aggression and competitiveness with the above mentioned lethality taken out of the equation.  The moment a possibility of lethal outcome is not in play, it is really no longer a martial art.  In a weird way, for a lot of martial arts, the way we practice is fairly traditional with the consequences firmly within range.  However, the competitions are structured to make them a lot safer.  That is whey mma fights do not take place on concrete, boxing gloves are there to protect both participants and wrestlers do not drop their opponents onto hard wood floors head first.

When I started martial arts back in Russia, we did not understand a lot of these things.  We had some decent instruction and we watched too many movies where actors would kick banana tress and punch the walls of flimsy wooden huts.  We made do we what we had: we kicked oak trees and punched reinforced concrete walls.  The survivors can hit.  Many years later in the US, there was this older Thai gentleman who would train us at a local Buddhist temple.  The practices were... rigorous.  We had marathon runners come in, vomit before finishing the first round of hitting pads and never return again.  I have a close friend who has been my practice partner for a bit over 25 years now.  He and I went to that temple to practice on weekends for close to a decade.  Other people would come and go, because living in this country you have to be very driven to subject yourself to this.  For us, that was just the way you are supposed to practice.

In some sports size and strength matter a great deal, so they are either the domain of large people or they have weight classes.  I am a big guy, so with martial arts, I take full advantage of that.  A smaller guy has to be much higher skilled to defeat a somewhat skilled big guy.

In others, speed and skill matter the most.  The reason Mao decided to make table tennis Chinese national sport was that he felt that smaller-bodied Chinese would be able to better compete with the larger Europeans in table tennis.  Personally, I am not convinced that there is all that much size difference given similar nutrition, but that is a separate topic altogether.

One of the reasons I like table tennis so much is that it is very challenging and my size and strength do not give any real advantage.  If anything, it may be a slight disadvantage, but at my rather average level of play it makes no real difference.  I'd play better if I was leaner, but that would be the same for any sport outside of sumo.  In general, most of my table tennis problems are between my ears.  After a lifetime of "when in doubt hit harder" changing that for a table tennis match is a little difficult...

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/06/2019 at 3:33pm
Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Originally posted by tom tom wrote:

"A subsequent post that table tennis is a martial art is ludicrous, unless all you know of martial arts is a run of the mill taekwondo or aikido school in US.  Those have about as much in common with fighting as table tennis does.

In principle, virtually all sports as we know them exist so that we would have an outlet to compete against each other without turning homicidal.  In other words, competitive exist specifically because they are NOT martial arts."

Koshkin, please elaborate the last sentence a bit - really don't understand what you are saying

There is a word missing there, sorry.  It was supposed to say "competitive sports exist specifically because they are not martial arts".

We are, by nature, competitive and aggressive creatures and from a survival of the species standpoint, it is very beneficial to have some means to channel those qualities in some sort of a reasonably non-destructive way.  

We are drawn to fight (men more so than women thank to significant hormonal difference, but that is often situational) and when every fight has a chance to end in death, that is somewhat problematic.  What is even more problematic is mass homicide which is what happens when we drag our buddies into it.  That is one of the key reasons why all the dueling codes emerged at some point.  That was a good way to restrict violence to a small group of people.  In many ways, martial arts practice as we know it evolved so that we could practice and learn from our mistakes without getting killed for making a mistake.  That was tremendously helpful for developing skills.  Before that, you had to be big, strong and fast.  Martial arts and weapons, in many ways, were created so that smaller people could adequately resist bigger people.  

That worked nicely until bigger people started practicing martial arts.  There is a reason why there are weight classes.

Edged weapons added a little more parity since there speed and reach are more important than strength, but that arms race is still going on.  This can go either way.

Bow and arrow was even more helpful, but longer draw means longer range, so there are still some differences there.

Firearms was what made our lethality fairly uniform for people of different size and strength given a little practice.

Non-combat sports was a way to use our natural aggression and competitiveness with the above mentioned lethality taken out of the equation.  The moment a possibility of lethal outcome is not in play, it is really no longer a martial art.  In a weird way, for a lot of martial arts, the way we practice is fairly traditional with the consequences firmly within range.  However, the competitions are structured to make them a lot safer.  That is whey mma fights do not take place on concrete, boxing gloves are there to protect both participants and wrestlers do not drop their opponents onto hard wood floors head first.

When I started martial arts back in Russia, we did not understand a lot of these things.  We had some decent instruction and we watched too many movies where actors would kick banana tress and punch the walls of flimsy wooden huts.  We made do we what we had: we kicked oak trees and punched reinforced concrete walls.  The survivors can hit.  Many years later in the US, there was this older Thai gentleman who would train us at a local Buddhist temple.  The practices were... rigorous.  We had marathon runners come in, vomit before finishing the first round of hitting pads and never return again.  I have a close friend who has been my practice partner for a bit over 25 years now.  He and I went to that temple to practice on weekends for close to a decade.  Other people would come and go, because living in this country you have to be very driven to subject yourself to this.  For us, that was just the way you are supposed to practice.

In some sports size and strength matter a great deal, so they are either the domain of large people or they have weight classes.  I am a big guy, so with martial arts, I take full advantage of that.  A smaller guy has to be much higher skilled to defeat a somewhat skilled big guy.

In others, speed and skill matter the most.  The reason Mao decided to make table tennis Chinese national sport was that he felt that smaller-bodied Chinese would be able to better compete with the larger Europeans in table tennis.  Personally, I am not convinced that there is all that much size difference given similar nutrition, but that is a separate topic altogether.

One of the reasons I like table tennis so much is that it is very challenging and my size and strength do not give any real advantage.  If anything, it may be a slight disadvantage, but at my rather average level of play it makes no real difference.  I'd play better if I was leaner, but that would be the same for any sport outside of sumo.  In general, most of my table tennis problems are between my ears.  After a lifetime of "when in doubt hit harder" changing that for a table tennis match is a little difficult...

ILya
thanks for the clarification (and more). I more or less knew what you meant even though a word was missing.  I have the following sentiment but didn't want to continue before your clarification. I wanted to point out something - and this is not related to TT so sorry everyone else.
You had mentioned "run of the mill TKD, Aikido schools" in relationship to martial arts - so you do consider them martial arts.  Then you said they are not close to "fighting" and I agree.  the thing that confused me to the exact clarity of what you are saying is that you used "martial arts" instead of "fighting" in some places where only the later was appropriate. And I think "martial arts" was a term used to initially describe disciplines such as "Karate" and "Judo"  that came to America in the mid 1900s (but I could be wrong), so really the term originally did not describe real fighting.  I do agree in essence of what you are saying, so no problem overall.
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