Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts, this month I want to get something off my chest. There are a number of things that bug the hell out of me about the martial arts, or more specifically- certain groups of martial artists.
The first group is people who watch a clip on YouTube (or similar sites) and go on and tell you that an art or system is a load of rubbish and won’t work in the cage, on the street etc. How can you tell from a clip that can last for anything from 30 seconds up to 10 minutes? You just cannot do it. You can get an understanding of the person(s) skill level performing on the video but you cannot get an in depth knowledge of the art in that time.
Personally I have respect for ALL martial arts. What annoys me is when groups and individuals promote their art(s) as something they are not. For example, competitive arts that claim they are also the ultimate self defence system and then only teach ring based, rules restricted methods without teaching other aspects of self
defence/self protection such as verbal de-escalation, awareness, avoidance etc.
However, if the art is promoted in the context of what they are and what they can teach you, sport, traditional methods, self protection and so on, then they will get my respect. This does not mean that I will want to train for any length of time in that art but I may give it a try, just to see what they are about. When looking at other arts what I am looking for ultimately is the principles and concepts that they teach, rather than just the techniques. It is these principles that I will take away and see if I can integrate them in what I already know and understand.
This kind of leads me on to one of my other bug bears - people that insist that this does not work or that does not work. How many times have you heard people say, “Well you don’t see it being used in cage fighting so it can’t work.” Sorry but complete crap. Yeah this is a great testing ground but not the only one out there.
Quick example, not the best one but it will get the point across: Before UFC 129, if you had asked an MMA fighter if a jumping front kick would work in the cage, I reckon the majority would have answered no. But we saw Machida knock out Randy Couture with it. Let’s look at it from a different perspective, would a jumping front kick work in a street environment, who can say, perhaps, you may not be able to pull it off in a ram packed night club or if you’re wearing slightly restrictive clothing, high heels (you get the point) but you may be able to pull it off if you are just out of the gym, dojo, still slightly pumped from training, warmed up then yeah who can say it can’t be pulled off. These examples are a little extreme but hopefully it is getting my point across.
Ok, that’s me off my soap box. More next month, till then stay safe, train hard and have fun!
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You can e-mail Stuart at: email@example.com