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NMAA History Overview – Part 1

Style Development

Part 1 – The Early Years

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Mr Hutchinson was trained in the traditional and combat methods and on beginning teaching began to introduce innovations into our foundation styles that form the NMAA. Mr Tomlinson and Mr Campbell rose to senior instructor status within the Academy by being the test subjects within the club during this highly innovative period. Without them and those early students who trained with us the Academy would not exist.

This process was begun as a result of Mr Hutchison’s early training years in Combat and Judo. The instructor was a Korean veteran in the Armed Forces and the garage club had a basic set of disciplines, however through his contacts, visitors would always add additional input, teaching the tricks of the trade. Some showed the art of throwing or the art of choking, the art of striking with hands and feet others taught the are of locking, bending, and twisting the joints, all were highly specialized as this was the custom where they had learnt their arts. Although happy to teach they had no interest in learning from each other or combining their tricks as the “Sarge” was doing.

To them combinations of fighting methods were to be discouraged and not traditional. It was also noted that when the ships docked and a influx of visitors all trained in the same style came to teach, that there were sub divisions based on personal preference and subtle differences in performance. Their core movement was essentially the same, but the application and performance were very different, especially where the tricks had been refined in actual combat.

This was the basis behind style development that we see today, my tricks are better than yours, our styles better than any other, etc. many styles rose from within a original style based on the founders preference for certain tricks or the politics of the day as the Academy was formed.

Having no knowledge or appreciation of any other styles they defended their own as much out of ignorance of other techniques as they did from a conviction that is was effective. What they failed to understand was that the original tricks were developed to meet the self defence needs of the region and this was how the style was formulated. There was no thoughts of eliminating techniques that no-longer suited their needs, and no interest in improving the methods of teaching what appeared to be more important was ownership of the trick or secret that would be passed on from teacher to pupil.

What Sarge was doing was seeking the most effective and efficient ways of meeting his and the clubs students needs for self defence. One of his many sayings was “Why recreate the wheel”. Later Bruce Lee would state “Whatever works use it, what ever doesn’t work discard it”.

This became the foundational concepts of the Academy, the importance of solid foundations, evaluation and technique evolution. As the senior instructors would describe, techniques were developed to meet their needs and the acceptance of change was inherent in the Academy’s method. Based on our core material originality was to be appauled and not stifled thus many couldn’t work out what style we taught and were not able to counter our abilities.

Anything is possible through N.M.A.A!

Look out for Part 2…Coming Soon!


Authorized by NMAA, Kwan Jang Nim - Geoff Hutchison, March 2010