The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

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The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  rezbi on Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:43 am

I've just posted a new article on the blog.
http://unarmedanddangerous.com/the-best-martial-art-who-cares/

But, so you don't have to expend any energy by using your finger to click your mouse... Smile

here's what it says:


The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Do you know what really gets on my nerves about martial artists?

You don’t?

Okay, I’ll tell you.

It’s the “my art is better than yours” syndrome…

My “master is better than your master”…

“The sun shines out of my master’s …”

You get the message. Right?

Truth is – and I say this from 30+ years of training in various arts – there’s good stuff in all the martial arts.

Yes, there’s a lot of crap, too.

However, unless you can get past that, you’ll never see the gems lying among the manure.

Over the years I’ve done karate, kung fu (wing chun, Shaolin, praying mantis), Muay Thai, boxing, taekwondo, jeet kune do, and various forms of self-defence arts.

And, let me tell you, I’ve found several things I could take away and use from every single one of them.

One of the most useful things I ever learned was from my wing chun teacher…

And that’s how to relax before the strike.

Before that, everyone – and I mean every single teacher and fellow trainee I ever knew – would tell me I was too tense.

And they’d all give me ‘advice’ on how to loosen up.

Some said do stretching. Some said do this… others said do that.

But none could tell me what actually worked.

Until I started doing wing chun.

When my instructor – a fellow compatriot, and a real hard nut – saw me punching, he gave me one piece of advice.

One… simple… piece of advice.

So simple, in fact I’m still surprised no one else knew it.

He said, keep relaxed. Keep your who body loose, including your fist.

And only tighten the fist just before impact.

That was it.

After that, my punches became a whole lot harder.

And I didn’t get tired out from tensing up all the time.

I know this may seem ridiculous, but the fact is, no one – and I mean no one – gave me that advice before that moment.

So, while it may seem obvious in hindsight, it wasn’t so to any of my instructors or fellow trainees before.

Now, I’m not trying to say wing chun is the be-all and end-all. Far from it.

As a complete fighting system, I think wing chun is lacking a lot.

But there are some things in there worth using.

And, anyway, maybe another wing chun instructor may not have seen my problem and sorted it out.

It’s possible that it was only that particular instructor hard the eye to catch on.

My point is, there was something useful I got out of it. And that was just one thing. There were others.

And, like so, I got a lot out of every other art I trained in.

So, keep an open mind. Look out for what is useful, and discard what is useless.

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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  GOVINDA on Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:58 pm

Dito mate, Wing Tsun was my Pandora's box, (well the instructor was more than the art per se) the dude was a physco, best training I ever had, twice a week and got a pasting every time, gloves on and wam bam, anyways his best advice and still the best I've yet to hear was......"if you find yourself in trouble, be it in a club or wherever, lift the heaviest thing near you and go for it"

Whilst not saying this is the best Art, at the time I was training with him I really did feel like I could handle anything or anybody, this dude could make yoga a violent art form Very Happy

As you say, there is good in every Art but it really comes down to the instructor and the robustness of training, if you don't feel uncomfortable or pushed to the limit during classes then change until you find it !
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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  Jagunco on Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:22 pm

ah how true.... its not the art its the artist.. of course you got to fine someone to teach you to paint...
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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  Nick Hughes on Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:04 pm

and here I come to play devil's advocate.... cheers cheers cheers

While there is much truth in the above post there is also much wrong.

Over the years I've done different arts because, due to my environment or my job or other factors (physical limitations etc) one was better than another.

In Australia for example I'd settled for Zen Do Kai because it was a punching and kicking based art (spun off of Goju) and didn't waste time on flashy stuff that wouldn't have worked for me on the doors I fought on.

When I got to the Legion and found myself schlepping around in the desert with 100 plus pounds of kit on a lot of the karate went out the window due to lack of time to devote to the stretching required to be able to do head kicks for example. I found myself practicing more and more an art that resembled military unarmed combat.

In Oz I'd broken an ankle on a motorcycle (you think I'd learn not to ride those things right Wink ) and because I couldn't do any kicking while it was mending I ended up boxing (and fought professionally in the pics I think you guys saw on here)....again, another example of one art being better than another.

In the UK I found myself doing Judo because of my work in security with celebrities (being on the front page of a paper kicking some over zealous fan in the head isn't going to guarantee your gainful employment for long) Keeping on my feet in a crowd surge, being able to discretely foot sweep someone rather than punch them and, due to the European climate, dealing with people wearing heavy clothing which enabled grabbing meant Judo was a better art than say boxing for that line of work.

Over here I got into the FMA stuff due to age and injury preventing me from doing the kicks I used to love and being concerned about knives more so than I've had to be in the past.

Now, I'm not denying there isn't good stuff in most systems....that part is true but, you can waste an awful lot of time in a system discovering the rare gems, which could be better spent in a "better" system getting you to your goal a whole hell of a lot faster than the other way.

Someone lives in a society that frowns on mob attacks, likes one on one honorable fists a la the Marquis of Queensbury which is better...boxing or Karate?

Someone lives where they deal with gangs who carry knives and aren't hesitant to stab someone at whim...which is better, Judo or Filipino martial arts?

Someone has had a car crash, is physically severely limited with crushed discs, pinched nerves, arthritis and sky high blood pressure...which is better MMA training, Muy Thai or Tai Chi?

I could go on but I think you get the idea...there are a lot of times when one art is better than another.

Are you seriously suggesting that if someone wants to learn realistic self defense he's going to be equally well served by Systema as he would by Goshinkwai for example just because somewhere in Systema might actually be something that works?

I'm not so sure...

Nick

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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  David Turton on Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:44 am

surely the best art is the one that gives you what you are training for

for example .. if you work in an environment that requires well developed 'reality' skills then many arts wont cut the mustard.

if you are a competitive person then the opposite applies .. you may like grappling skills for competition so pick, Judo, Wrestling, MMA etc

f you like a more dynamic competiton.. Kickboxing , TKD etc..

you would buy a car for differing reasons ... no point buying a mini, then wanting it to pull a lage caravan.

the best art is the one that fits what you want

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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  mickeybluejeans on Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:58 am

is'nt the best art the one that trains down the road and you can get their, i'd love to do Filipino arts and this they would suit my limitations best, but no one teaches it near me so how suited it is to me is irelevent

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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  Ace Ventura on Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:52 am

I have to agree with all of you. Whilst different arts have different goals, different teachers within each art teach it differently.

MAybe less so in more sport orientated arts but more so in 'self protection' ones

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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  combatnige on Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:02 am

I train and have trained in various different arts.

I tend to try and take away the parts that I can make work, and the parts I can't I still try them but they are not part of 'bag of tricks' so to speak.

for instance I like the sweep and trips from judo, but I am not very good at throws, so faced with that sort of situation i go for the trip/sweep etc

same applies for striking, I go with whats my best shot and keep going with it

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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  rezbi on Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:06 pm

I think most of you guys, especially Dave and Nick, have confirmed my point...

I'm not saying what's better than what. What I'm saying is that there is something to take away from everything.

That's not to say we have to do everything in order to find the gems. Not at all.

All I'm saying is that we shouldn't look down on something just because it's not what we do.

Personally, I think the best single fighting system is Goshinkwai.

But I'm not going to look down on someone else's choice of art because of that.

People do different things for different reasons.

I did taekwondo, not because I thought it's a good fighting system, but because it looks good.

But I kept looking for that ultimate single fighting system. Which I did eventually find.

However, I believe it's better to do something than nothing. As long as the instructor is realistic and explains the pros and cons of whatever it is they teach.

If I go to a kung fu class and I'm told it will keep me safe no matter what, then that instructor would be considered irresponsible.

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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  Nick Hughes on Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:45 pm

I was up at Kelly McCann's Crucible last weekend and he made a good point...

He said "the guy who joined the Killer Kung Fu Dim Mak club didn't do so because he thought it was crap." His point was that it's unfair to unload on the poor schmuck who joins something believing the hype or ads and who really doesn't know any better. Shit, I used to think those Chinese guys really could leap over buildings when I was about 14. Some people still believe it. Very Happy

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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  combatnige on Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:22 am

Nick Hughes wrote:I was up at Kelly McCann's Crucible last weekend and he made a good point...

Shit, I used to think those Chinese guys really could leap over buildings when I was about 14. Some people still believe it. Very Happy

Nick

You mean they can't - damn it !! Sad

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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  Chris on Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:44 am

Nick Hughes wrote:I was up at Kelly McCann's Crucible last weekend and he made a good point...

He said "the guy who joined the Killer Kung Fu Dim Mak club didn't do so because he thought it was crap." His point was that it's unfair to unload on the poor schmuck who joins something believing the hype or ads and who really doesn't know any better. Shit, I used to think those Chinese guys really could leap over buildings when I was about 14. Some people still believe it. Very Happy

Nick

Aaaaah... but Nick, that isn't the world we live in. We exist in a time where the misunderstood and ignorant are to be lambasted, ridiculed and marginalised rather than educated and informed. Shame really.
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martial arts

Post  justme on Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:01 pm

ALL shit, martial arts is old stuff now. does not work in street stuff.

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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  Chris on Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:05 pm

justme wrote:ALL shit, martial arts is old stuff now. does not work in street stuff.

Thanks for your in depth analysis.
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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  rezbi on Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:13 pm

justme wrote:ALL shit, martial arts is old stuff now. does not work in street stuff.

But interesting enough for you to create a login and put your thoughts in?

No matter worthless those thoughts are.

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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  Jagunco on Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:16 am

To play Devils advocate to you... well devils advocate Nick and Dave, while I completely see your point and agree would you say that if the teacher was good or the student switched on then they would see the holes in the martial arts and work to fill them?

An example was when I was heavily into capoeira but could the myriad of holes it had for practical application and went about gleefully filling them in with other stuff I learned over the years. Did that mean that what I ended up doing was not capoeira?

I actually remember once someone telling me they would do no move that wasn't in Bimba's original system, which I found ridiculous as Bimba was famous for ADDING techniques and exercises to capoeira to fill what he saw were the holes and flaws in that system. I therefore found it staggering that people thought it honoured his memory by not doing this.

So my philosophy was always steal anything you want for an art, so so I suppose I did what Nick did, to a far lesser extent but still was always sniffing about for to add to my style.

The main problem here is that some people would say I then did more than one art but I still look at it as just adding to an art I suppose and i advertised it as capoeira, not capoeira with a bit of boxing and wrestling or whatever.

A lot of the people I've met do the same. My old taekwondo teacher was knowing for adding stuff to his lessons that he felt wasn't covered but at the time I never looked at it as anything other than taekwondo, and I know there are a lot of taekowndo clubs that would not have taught a fraction of what he did.

Another consideration would be that many teachers have different priorities. I was looking about newcastle for a Filipino martial arts club and ended up with one that, after about two months, I left due to what struck me as poor teaching and application of techniques that though he denied it I could tell hadn't been pressure tested. I then went to the next one down the list and found a club who did more or less the same martial art but with such a completely different approach it was harly recognisable. Lots of fitness lots of pressure testing and lots of stuff you could take away with you. They both did the same arts though.....


Anyhoo sorry I hope this isn't too rambling I'm my GF's laptop, tomorrow I'll read through it and edit to me hearts content....
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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  Mr Nobody on Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:56 am

I get you mate. I get you. ^^^
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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  Wayne Harrison on Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:46 pm

justme wrote:ALL shit, martial arts is old stuff now. does not work in street stuff.

That's a generalization that isn't quite true. Combat is combat. Sure, imo, not all combat training/experience is applicable to all combat arenas, but training can be made versatile and diversify in some ways in various arenas.

It depends on what the student feels they need. And what they actually need. Just cos someone prefers to do something a different way does not automatically mean it truly is an ineffective way. To imply and portray reality combat/street fighting is above martial arts, depends on:

1. What combat arena things kick off in
2. What way the training, and experience, has been to date.

If certain variables are in place for sure martial artists would/do hold their own in the street.

i'm not a martial artist btw, but this makes sense to me. No point shutting down one avenue of hype only to replace it with another. By implication...

warmest wishes

Wayne
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Re: The Best Martial Art? Who Cares?

Post  Jagunco on Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:08 am

IMO one of the major problems with martial arts is that people who have never been in a fight in their lives decide that because they have a black belt that they know how to fight....

Of course martial arts are there for a lot more than fighting. There is the sporting and fitness aspects, I know a lot of my old capoeira mob had absolutely no interest in combat applications and what have you

But if we're talking about the fight application then it is a case of knowing what works and what doesn't and often people don't and they end up teaching something wrong.

Old traditional martial arts work fine as we can tell from the examples of the likes of Nick and others who have done them but that's because they have the experience to input into them and aren't afraid to change them to what they need whilst still retaining the traditional arts That's why as I was saying in my last post that I could go to two different intructors do the same art and one be exceptional and the other be rubblish.

I suppose its like cars. Where would we be if we were still driving the cars they invented 100 years ago? They needed to see in the dark so they stuck lights on the front, they wanted to know which way each other was going so they gave them indicators, they've been taking bits off and sticking bits on for years but they're still cars... with 1.1 and 206 and that stuck on the end of the name all be it...

Now suppose they want a car that's going to work in the jungle, the best bet would be call in a guy who's been to the jungle and drove there to tell them what to expect and what they should put on their car, rather than a bunch of blokes who've dirven on roads all their lives but think they know alot about cars so they can build on that'll work in a jungle purely on what they suppose happens there, because we all know what happens in jungles so it can't be that hard to say this'll work and that'll work and we can't take that button out cos its been in there since the first design...
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