The Endless Debate...
OK I'm not trying to stir up any hornet's nest here. I'm just here to display my general life-long confusion about martial arts and what is the best way to go. I've been told that it depends on what your goal is: physical fitness, competition, etc.. But that answer does not satisfy. Still, why study any martial art? I guess the answer comes down to "what's in it for me?"
I've run into people who have it all figured out. Just study TKD and that will give you everything you need, they say. Others disagree and say because Bruce Lee began in Wing Chun that is the best way to go. Oh but lest we forget he created Jeet Kune Do so that's better, right? Then we have MMA and Jiu Jitsu. Just watch a style vs. style video and you'll see first hand how it wipes out any other style. Then you have Muay Thai, Pankration, Pentjak Silat and so many others. If you were walking through a strip mall and saw one school for every martial art ever known there which school would you walk into and why?
I think my basic problem is that while I do study TKD I worry that if confronted by someone would I be able to defind myself? Of course, the answer to that is: "it all depends". Well screw that! I want to KNOW I will beat the attacker and come out alive. Maybe the answer I'm seeking is based on asking the wrong questions? I don't know- please help me!
Last edited by knutorious; 10/01/2007 10:33am at .
I have never posted in this forume before, but your question is kind of general and may belong somewhere else. Soooo, here is my answer.
There are no guarantees. No matter what you study you can be beat especially if taken by surprise. So either stop worrying about it and train because you enjoy it, or sink into the black pit of paranoia always watching for the attack that will probably never come.
Unless you naturally a fighter and a scrapper, there is only one way (ultimately) to learn how to fight. And that is by fighting. So your training in any art should revolve heavily around hard contact, full power practice fighting. If you are not doing that, you are not learning to fight. Period.
Even if you are doing that, there are other things you also need to be doing. For one, all kinds of realistic drilling. You also need to be training in such a way that you are getting a workout that gets you into shape (or supplementing such workouts on your own time by strength training and doin cardio). And you need to be learning techniques that are realistic and useful.
If you are doing all of that, you will gain donfidence in your abilities. You will have confindence that you can realistically handle yourself because you will find yourself doing it regularly in the practice fighting you do in the gym.
Wow, good replies. Thanks for your inputs. Hmmm maybe I'll check out a Krav Maga school we have in town.
I would say that it isn't so black and white in learning something. You can learn something about fighting without all those factors you mention. Let's say that there were two guys that were going to play tennis match after a year. First guy would get tennis racket and start practicing powerful and accurate opening strikes. Second guy would do nothing. So, when the day of playing that game would come, which of them would win? I would say that the first guy would have big advantage since he would be used to striking with tennis racket and although he wouldn't have ever played against anyone, his skills still would be superior compared to guy without any experience. So, he had learned something about tennis, although his skills would still be lousy compared to anyone who has played tennis against fully resisting opponent.
Originally Posted by Matt W.
So, you can learn something about fighting even if the system you are training in isn't optimal for realistic fighting. With some time you perhaps become so good in your systems strong areas that it compensates some of that system's weaker links. Perhaps... Or maybe you never encounter any really bad guys or you get stabbed from behind by some 40 kg junkie. Just practice such system that you enjoy and your motivation is higher and you learn faster.
"Learn something about fighting" =/= Learn to fight. They guy in your example might be marginally better than the guy who never even picked up a racket, but he would still suck at tennis.
you can learn something about fighting even if the system you are training in isn't optimal for realistic fighting.
That tennis analogy doesn't work because hitting a ball with a racket is the foundation of any aspect of the tennis game - volleying, serving, forehands, backhands, slices, whatever. You are hitting a ball with a racket. If you are doing that, even against someone who isn't doing **** - granted it's far from playing a tennis champ, it's not totally worthless either.
Originally Posted by Abalam
An analogy for something that isn't "alive training" would be if the same tennis player only swung his racket in the air while sitting down in a chair. He can swing in the air over and over again, practice the form and shape of his swing for years. That's an example that would fit what you are trying to say.
Now when he goes and plays someone who doesn't know how to play tennis, it's a total coin toss who will win.
So what you are saying is illogical. If you want to swim, get in the water. If you want to play tennis, get on the court and hit some balls. If you want to learn how to fight in a systemized manner (martial arts), then YOU FIGHT.
The nature and evolution of martial art training is that you will see more and more MMA gyms. by that I don't mean gyms that just teach MMA, but that have several different disciplines all under one roof (bjj, muay thai, wrestling ...whatever) and some sort of MMA program to put them all together.
To me the answer to the OP's original question is don't look for any one style but a training facility that embraces the MMA philosophy and has several styles.
I tain at 2 places, one traditional and one like I explained. Click the school link to see what I am talking about.
Well, I know very little, but I'm going to risk adding in what I think.
The biggest, strongest man does not necessarily win the fight. I reason that he's probably slower than a smaller guy who gets in quickly with the right moves and takes him down hard and fast. It's speed of hand/leg, speed of mind. Lots of realistic training. No panic when under stress, where your mental faculties fly out the window.
I've seen some pretty amazing things from TKD instructors in Sydney, Australia. They were little guys and they'd jump to enormous heights and kick these things. And they weren't pissy little kicks, they were the kind that'd fracture a skull or break any bone you care to think.
My father trained there for a short while before he started doing overtime to pay the mortgage. His instructor told him, quote, "very strong, but very slow."
I don't think it matters much. Like the covert operative you've got to keep your eyes and ears peeled, pick out the real dangers from the false ones with ease, use your brain, get to a stage where you can stare up at a 200-pound gorilla of a man and not feel any fear or stress, and simply be faster and better than he is. If you've got your mind about you, there are plenty of sweet spots that require little strength to hit that will throw anyone into pain or shock, or startle them enough to get an opening so you can keep moving.
That's what I think anyway. I reckon it would take many years for any martial art to be able to work under any circumtances for self defence, as well as having the wisdom to know when to quickly kick someone in the back of the leg behind the knee to get them down and run for your life or to keep moving and striking.
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