This blog is centred around the horrible fact that the soul has been torn out of todays Martial Arts. The reason for this, in my opinion, is due to the meteoric rise of Supposed ‘Self Defence’. There is a never ending list of people that try to make a system out of something that has no system. As with anything else, there is a massive potential to tap into revenue. This of course attracts all sorts of vultures to pick at the corpse of Martial Arts in general. Many years ago it was simply a fact that styles did not make fighters. This was common knowledge. Nowadays folks brandish that statement like it is some kind of superior wisdom. It is tiresome. With it comes the superior attitude that in order to be able to defend yourself effectively. You must study some kind of full force, rabid killer dog system of fighting. Forget the Art. The heart of learning to defend yourself. Who needs that when you can summarise everything outside of the physical, in a few bullet points, in a powerpoint presentation, right?
Sorry but wrong. Fair enough there are some individuals and orginisations out there doing good work, making a difference. But they are the ones that do so without stepping on the heads of others. That is something I detest. Call out the bullshit yes. But do not write something off just because you either dont like it, or it gets you attention to do so.
At this point I should say that I havent been a classical stylist for many years. It did not fit me any more. It is something I will return to in time. But life, work etc took me in another direction. Partly due to the discovery of Bruce Lee’s philosophies on the subject. Check out the ‘My JKD’ elswhere in this blog for some more on that.
Back to the topic at hand. I am all in favour of the ‘Pressure test’ mentality. I taught and practiced that way for years. I would hazzard to say that many of those who practice the Rabid Dog systems, dont do much of it. They instead rely on their superior knowledge that what they do is so full on that it cant fail. In the case of sport MA. Yes, a lot of what they practice may not be ‘Practical’ for the street. But there are two things to remember here.
1-That isnt what they train for dickhead
2-At least they are pressure testing what they do.
MMA is the classic example for today. Lets forget the stereo typical ‘Meathead’ mentality that goes along with it these days. The guys that compete are dedicated in their training. A great many of them have a classic Martial mentality that goes with that dedication. But if you challenge the effectiveness of what they do. Be prepared to put your money where your mouth is.
Pressure testing in one enviroment or another is essential. Be it full gear situation drills, competition or just taking it to the trenches when you glove up. All have their merits. But for me, there is no merit in showing hard skills coupled with some pyschology and behavioural education. Then passing it off as some kind of street survival system.
There is book after book after book on the subject of social and asocial violence, buildup, prefight indicator and so on. Yeah thats all well and good but with a little direction and a lot of dedication. You can discover what is relevant to you and your life. Not the life of someone else.
DONT BE A DICK, is always my first rule of thumb for those that wish to learn how to avoid dangerous and violent situations. If they need to be taught how to do that , quick. Then likely they are already too much of a dick. That or they simply need a couple of good pointers or a good club to grow with and learn. Learn the Art. Not just of fighting, or a manual on how to avoid it. But the Art of synergy, everything working in harmony. That there, is what has been crippled by modern life. Not helped in the slightest by the new wave of Self Defence.
Hope you enjoyed these thoughts of mine. This is not intended as an insult. It is a personal and proffessional view. Those of you who are out there doing it right and fighting the good fight, know who you are.
Take care folks. Walk On.