Katas keep them or chuck them ?

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asoka

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This is thread is to share opinions not to put down or offend anyone,can't handle it then don't stay in here.


I'm a martial artist at heart and have been studying it for 16 yrs.from my experience in different style,I have formed my opinion that katas are nothing more then a waste of time.

Should we keep katas or chuck'em?I would say chuck'em but that's me.

First of all katas are pre-arranged movements done without an opponent simply kicking,punching and blocking nothing but air.

Second how much of the hidden techniques in katas actually work? very few.Those techniques that look like they could work,probably would if practiced against someone instead of in a form.

Some would question that and say it's not the forms it's the instructor teaching it,perhaps,but if the instructor himself doesn't know the application to the forms which most don't then how can you expect to unless you checkout a book or video.Instructors only know what they have been taught and quite often teach it exactly it that way instead of being creative and improving the art.

In Traditional arts one must be ashamed to change the way the masters had taught their style and the masters before them.This theory is wrong,people need to change according to life style.What may have worked then won't work now.Unfortunately many students have been brain washed into believing that if forms were useless they wouldn't still be teaching them after so many years,and often don't realize the main reason forms is because it's the way the arts were originally taught.

Even then does anyone really know if these forms ever really worked even back then,I don't know,perhaps they did,but they definitely won't now.

Katas give a student a false hope of being able to defend themselves if necessary which they don't really teach.Katas are great for focus,co-ordination,balance and not much more,however this can also be learnt in other more realistic ways while learning true self-defense..

The question arises again,should martial arts schools change their way of think and get rid of forms? Well I believe so otherwise go do gymnastic or ballet and get the same thing that most arts teach.Non-traditional arts seem to be more effective as they deal with the times and reality,basing their teaching specifically on street defense as in Pankration, MuayThai, Kickboxing etc.

By the way how do I change belt colour undername to black?
 

Yari

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Originally posted by asoka

This is thread is to share opinions not to put down or offend anyone,can't handle it then don't stay in here.



ok

I'm a martial artist at heart and have been studying it for 16 yrs.from my experience in different style,I have formed my opinion that katas are nothing more then a waste of time.

Should we keep katas or chuck'em?I would say chuck'em but that's me.

Keep 'em

First of all katas are pre-arranged movements done without an opponent simply kicking,punching and blocking nothing but air.

Only true if you beleive it's air. If you've tried iaido kata's you know your not working with air.... and I beleive it's the same for other kata's.

Second how much of the hidden techniques in katas actually work? very few.Those techniques that look like they could work,probably would if practiced against someone instead of in a form.

Some of the best karate fighters I've meat were the best people to do kata's. And most of the students I've had did their best gradings if they practiced kata's.

Some would question that and say it's not the forms it's the instructor teaching it,perhaps,but if the instructor himself doesn't know the application to the forms which most don't then how can you expect to unless you checkout a book or video.Instructors only know what they have been taught and quite often teach it exactly it that way instead of being creative and improving the art.

So now you mean that the kata practice is OK, but it's the instructors fault, and therefor the kata is no good?

In Traditional arts one must be ashamed to change the way the masters had taught their style and the masters before them.

No one is ashamed unless you really don't know what your doing.

This theory is wrong,people need to change according to life style.What may have worked then won't work now.Unfortunately many students have been brain washed into believing that if forms were useless they wouldn't still be teaching them after so many years,and often don't realize the main reason forms is because it's the way the arts were originally taught.

Very modern thinking: I have this now therefor I know best. Forgetting that alot of people before you have tried to live a whole lifetime, and found out alot of good things. And just to emphesize. Kata's are not static, have never been, and if their not static, they are not worth the S*** they come from .



Even then does anyone really know if these forms ever really worked even back then,I don't know,perhaps they did,but they definitely won't now.
Because they wont work for you, doesn't mean they wont work for everbody. You could be doing it wrong.

Katas give a student a false hope of being able to defend themselves if necessary which they don't really teach.Katas are great for focus,co-ordination,balance and not much more,however this can also be learnt in other more realistic ways while learning true self-defense..

The question arises again,should martial arts schools change their way of think and get rid of forms? Well I believe so otherwise go do gymnastic or ballet and get the same thing that most arts teach.Non-traditional arts seem to be more effective as they deal with the times and reality,basing their teaching specifically on street defense as in Pankration, MuayThai, Kickboxing etc.

No they should not dich kata's.

I agree on that kata's should not be the only part of the MA, but it's a part of it that should be their.

The older I get , the more important I see that kata's are. To many students think it's a bore and can't see why. But I can see it on their technique, it becomes 100 % better when they start working on their katas.

I have a question for you, when did you start to think katas were not worth it? Or have you always done that?

Anoth point ... who's your most critical partner?


/Yari
 
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asoka

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I didn't always think katas were useless like you I always believed that katas were important for any art and helps improve techniques for fighting,but last 3yrs.I have been realizing that I was wrong all these years,and now see that katas are not really that important although they may sometimes be fun to do.

I'm not sure what you mean by critical partner.
 

Yari

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Originally posted by asoka

I didn't always think katas were useless like you I always believed that katas were important for any art and helps improve techniques for fighting,but last 3yrs.I have been realizing that I was wrong all these years,and now see that katas are not really that important although they may sometimes be fun to do.



OK, you think they are fun to do. I think they are essential to the arts I've practiced/practicing

I'm not sure what you mean by critical partner.

If someone should critisize your technique, who would be best to do it?

It's usally yourself. If you blend in somebody else, there's another person in the equasion. And to many times one gets angry or irritated on the other person, because he didn't throw the punch correctly, or moved wrongly. But you see that a uke cant do anthing wrong, but the idea that they can distracts you from the essens: it's up to you to do it correctly. And the hardest way to do it is by your self = kata. If you can follow?

/Yari
 
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fist of fury

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Originally posted by asoka


This theory is wrong,people need to change according to life style.What may have worked then won't work now.

In your opinion excluding guns, how has unarmed combat changed to render a traditional art less effective? Do people punch,kick and grapple different now than they did say 200 years ago?
 

Yari

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Originally posted by fist of fury



In your opinion excluding guns, how has unarmed combat changed to render a traditional art less effective? Do people punch,kick and grapple different now than they did say 200 years ago?

Never though about it like that. It's a good point.

/Yari
 
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kimura

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RE: ASOKA

You are totally right !! Katas suck if you just want to learn how to kick someones *** !!

However, if you want to learn martial arts because of the ethics it offers and the good bi product of self defence, then Katas are perfect.

If you have looked at the katas you have done and thought, 'I did not have to learn this to defend myself', then you are right. However, then I think you have learned nothing at all... You probably should have practised Grabbling or boxing instead of an art that actually have a message of harmony and peace hidden somewhere (Sorry for being so direct)
 
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chufeng

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Asoka,

Point #1...The human body has NOT evolved into something different from what it was even as far back as 5000 years ago...therefore, the techniques used 200 years ago will still work.

Point #2...Katas are a catalog of techniques and series of techniques...you should be taking out segments and drilling those moves WITH a partner.

Point #3...If something doesn't make sense, then you are looking at it wrong...some techniques are put in at the "wrong distance" on purpose...remember how secretive the arts used to be.

Point #4...If you think the hidden techniques won't work, then you've never worked out with people who really KNOW how to use them...or, perhaps they didn't think you were ready to learn them...In Okinawa during Karate's early days (most Okinawan karate is derived from Fukien Shaolin) it was not uncommon to work on ONE kata for MANY years...not because the teacher was trying to test the student's mettle, but because there is just so much stuff packed into the forms...to include "spotting."

Point #5...The entire art and discipline of Karate includes a spiritual path, as well...to discard a part of your training because you don't "get it" may be an act you regret later...I suggest you dig deeper.

:asian:

chufeng
 
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TangSooGuy

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Without getting too far into it, I personally believ that if you think forms are useless than you're not looking deeply enough. Part of training in forms is to see how you can make a technique in the form work in a real situation. You can take one series of movements for from a form and come up with countless applications. What works for one person may not work for another, but they may find another application for the same series. It takes a LONG time to really make application from forms work, but that's one of the reasons they're worth studying.


Do you need them to learn how to defend yourself? No. Do you need them to become a great ighter? No.

Do you need them to be a great martial artist? In my opinion, yes. Great martial artists look beyond the surface to see what else is there, other than the obvious. I'm only just starting to really understand forms, after 17+ years of training.

A second point: when you remove forms from your training, you begin to remove some the 'art' from the martial art....
 
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kimura

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Originally posted by TangSooGuy

Without getting too far into it, I personally believ that if you think forms are useless than you're not looking deeply enough. Part of training in forms is to see how you can make a technique in the form work in a real situation. You can take one series of movements for from a form and come up with countless applications. What works for one person may not work for another, but they may find another application for the same series. It takes a LONG time to really make application from forms work, but that's one of the reasons they're worth studying.


Do you need them to learn how to defend yourself? No. Do you need them to become a great ighter? No.

Do you need them to be a great martial artist? In my opinion, yes. Great martial artists look beyond the surface to see what else is there, other than the obvious. I'm only just starting to really understand forms, after 17+ years of training.

A second point: when you remove forms from your training, you begin to remove some the 'art' from the martial art....

Good answer:asian:

Furthermore Kata is about perfecting movements that cannot be perfected if you practise them with others, as the stances are never the same, the blocks hits etc. With a partner you can practice timing and distance or compare muscles (if this is an aspect of the art) however, understanding the ultimate perfect movement with your body and mind requires years and years of doing that movement!

I have practised Iaido for some years now, and the thrill that goes through my body when I make the perfect cut cannot be described in words. I hope that in 40 years or so I will be able to be in that state in every movement. At the moment it unfortunately happens once a month... Sooo I and all you fanatics outthere must practice on !!
 

Kempojujutsu

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I don't teach Kata's till Black Belt. Most people can't get the concept of kata's. When looking at a movement from Okinawan kata, the movementsmay be done in reverse order, upside-down. Take for example the movement of down block- up block. If you think of this as blocking a kick then blocking a punch no wonder you don't like kata's, or fell they don't work. The above movement done for a lapel grab strike down at the elbow then back up toward the head. This is one example of Okinawan Kata and how it works. I believe Chinese forms, from Tai Chi are easier to figure out the self defense from then Okinawan Kata's.
Bob :asian:
 
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asoka

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Originally posted by kimura

RE: ASOKA

You are totally right !! Katas suck if you just want to learn how to kick someones *** !!

However, if you want to learn martial arts because of the ethics it offers and the good bi product of self defence, then Katas are perfect.

If you have looked at the katas you have done and thought, 'I did not have to learn this to defend myself', then you are right. However, then I think you have learned nothing at all... You probably should have practised Grabbling or boxing instead of an art that actually have a message of harmony and peace hidden somewhere (Sorry for being so direct)


I agree that there is a message of harmony or way of expression in the art but not a bi product of self-defense inside the katas.

How do I change the belt colour to black on this thing?
 
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asoka

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Originally posted by Kempojujutsu

I don't teach Kata's till Black Belt. Most people can't get the concept of kata's. When looking at a movement from Okinawan kata, the movementsmay be done in reverse order, upside-down. Take for example the movement of down block- up block. If you think of this as blocking a kick then blocking a punch no wonder you don't like kata's, or fell they don't work. The above movement done for a lapel grab strike down at the elbow then back up toward the head. This is one example of Okinawan Kata and how it works. I believe Chinese forms, from Tai Chi are easier to figure out the self defense from then Okinawan Kata's.
Bob :asian:


I did Meibu-Kan Goju(okinawan style)and Goju Ryu(Japanese) and have a ni dan in both.I see it exactly how I was taught and they seemed fun but now seem very unrealistic to me.
 

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How do I change the belt colour to black on this thing?

Like you do anywhere else, you earn it.


At this time, I don't teach forms. Like asoka I have 16 years experience in the martial arts and during the majority of that time I've been right on the edge of having the same disdain for Katas that he has. Now, as I'm learning from a new instructor, forms are a part of the study and I'm discovering a whole new appreciation for them.

A great many people (myself included) complain about the fact that many instructors don't teach the practical application of Kata. It is true. There are a lot of instructors that just don't know enough about their art to actually be able to teach. So things get watered and dumbed down until you have people (like me) walk onto the scene with half a brain on their shoulders and look at the stuff and laugh. I was laughing but I've been shut up because instead of just laughing and walking away I've been digging deeper into the martial arts to learn more and I now have a glimmer of understanding about what Kata are all about.

On a different note, why should instructors teach the practical application of Kata? As someone mentioned before, people would practice one form for years and years. Can you imagine practicing one of the basic "I" pattern forms for 3 years?

This morning my father and I had a discussion about human nature. I was asking for his advice on whether a new school would survive in my town and the topic naturally went to 'what was I looking to accomplish as an instructor.' Of course, I'm looking for people that are willing to make a commitment to my art, but in my experience as a martial artist and his experience as a minister we both have seen the inherent difficulty that humans have in making a commitment, especially a life commitment, to something that should be committed to. Whether people realize it consciously or not, many martial artists are 'list makers.' They want to become a black belt and will unconsciously cross the martial arts off the list when they make black belt and they find some excuse to go their merry way, happy in the fact that they are a black belt. Why should an instructor go to such depths on the practicality of a form and its myriad of uses when that information will be wasted on a 'list maker?' It would be a waste of time to teach the majority of martial artists any more than just the motions. They have to see that you are willing to make the commitment and they do that by seeing if you are going to try to look deep enough to find the more intricate details on your own. Kata is for people who are willing to make that life commitment and spend years and years just on one form. Are you someone who wants information (a black belt) in a hurry or are you willing to take the time and study it in depth? 16 years isn't much time at all. Maybe when I have 30 years in the art I will assume that I know enough to judge whether something is good or not.

Just my humble opinion.

Doug
 
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Rob_Broad

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Katas have several purposes. Instead of throwing the same punch, block kick over and over a thousand times the kata allows you to keep your focus. A kata teaches us balance, coordination, agility, spatial orientation, and how to do basics while in motion.

People who have a problem with doing katas have a problem with their training, they believe they have learned all there is to learn from that aspect of their martial career.

There are many things you can do to make your katas more interesting, change them up, do them them backwards, do them to the other side. Too many people learn the kata to get their next belt not to learn the lesson that it holds.
 
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chufeng

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Originally posted by asoka




I agree that there is a message of harmony or way of expression in the art but not a bi product of self-defense inside the katas.

How do I change the belt colour to black on this thing?

As many people have said in this forum...you simply aren't looking deep enough into it...

The styles you studied are direct derivations of Shaolin boxing from Fujien...If you can't see the value in forms, then please give them up...(AND THE SECRETS OF CHINESE BOXING WILL REMAIN THE SECRETS OF CHINESE BOXING)...America is the land of the green-belt sensei...although there are many reputable and well qualified instructors, there are many who NEVER looked deeply enough into their own art to really pass it on as it was intended...I suspect you are a product of that phenomenon...too bad.

But don't suggest to the rest of the people here that Kata has no purpose...kata has no value as a meens to pass on REAL self defense techniques...You obviously have not met Seiyu Oyata.


chufeng
 
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asoka

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Originally posted by chufeng



As many people have said in this forum...you simply aren't looking deep enough into it...

The styles you studied are direct derivations of Shaolin boxing from Fujien...If you can't see the value in forms, then please give them up...(AND THE SECRETS OF CHINESE BOXING WILL REMAIN THE SECRETS OF CHINESE BOXING)...America is the land of the green-belt sensei...although there are many reputable and well qualified instructors, there are many who NEVER looked deeply enough into their own art to really pass it on as it was intended...I suspect you are a product of that phenomenon...too bad.

But don't suggest to the rest of the people here that Kata has no purpose...kata has no value as a meens to pass on REAL self defense techniques...You obviously have not met Seiyu Oyata.


chufeng

I have looked deeply into my past martial arts Meibu-Kan Goju and Goju Ryu,I studied them both for 12yrs,read books on them,searched on internet,wrote an essay even on them for my black belt tests and taught it for 5yrs.,but with my more recent experience in M.A experience I have switched to the other side realising the opposite of you guys which is that katas are of no use,but that it is fine to practice if that is what you want to do.

I have compared my past styles to my more current style which is Pankration,which to me seems more realistic,don't get me wrong I'm not saying to switch to my style,I'm just stating an opinion of mine.

The asian people of china,japan etc.not to sound racist or anything,but made a mistake by influencing,brain washing,and insisting that their style not be changed and that katas are the way it must be done.Martial Arts has also been misunderstood by those who feel the way it was taught back then is the way it should keep.

Many martial artists teach it the way it was taught to them and the way the masters before them had taught it.

Life is a ever changing world,just as martial arts should be too.

We change the way we think,the music we listen to as we get older,the style of clothes,the way we eat, and the way we see things, just as the way martial arts should,but many unfortunately don't.
 
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Rob_Broad

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Have the kata's you learnt in the past helped you get as far as you have made it in the martial arts so far? maybe the knowledge you do not realize you picked up from the katas have helped you get to where you are today? Maybe they have helped you get to where you want to be now.
 

arnisador

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Originally posted by asoka

How do I change the belt colour to black on this thing?

It's based on the number of posts you make; see the FAQ. You can go into your member profile and change the text to something else if you wish.
 
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sweeper

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Originally posted by asoka

This is thread is to share opinions not to put down or offend anyone,can't handle it then don't stay in here.


I'm a martial artist at heart and have been studying it for 16 yrs.from my experience in different style,I have formed my opinion that katas are nothing more then a waste of time.

Should we keep katas or chuck'em?I would say chuck'em but that's me.

First of all katas are pre-arranged movements done without an opponent simply kicking,punching and blocking nothing but air.
So ?? what's so bad about that.. any boxer will tell you shadow boxing is very important to ring fighting, there is a deffenate advantage to punching/kicking air.


Second how much of the hidden techniques in katas actually work? very few.Those techniques that look like they could work,probably would if practiced against someone instead of in a form.
You have practiced two styles, two simular styles at that, how can you say this of all kata? do you have anymore evidance than your opinion?


Some would question that and say it's not the forms it's the instructor teaching it,perhaps,but if the instructor himself doesn't know the application to the forms which most don't then how can you expect to unless you checkout a book or video.Instructors only know what they have been taught and quite often teach it exactly it that way instead of being creative and improving the art.
There are bad instructors in any field of study, it doesn't mean a specific aspect of the field is bad because a bad instrutor doesn't know how to teach it, if they are incompitant than they shouldn't be teaching (not just not teaching kata).


In Traditional arts one must be ashamed to change the way the masters had taught their style and the masters before them.This theory is wrong,people need to change according to life style.
Why do you say that one must be ashamed? I havn't heard of this. I have heard people say once you change it it isn't the same art anymore, but not that you should be ashamed to do so, additionaly to the best of my knowledge most masters do change aspects of their arts, maybe not a great deal and some moreso than others but it has happened and to the best of my knowledge (someone correct me if I'm wrong) has been fairly common place (among heads of styles/schools).
What may have worked then won't work now.Unfortunately many students have been brain washed into believing that if forms were useless they wouldn't still be teaching them after so many years,and often don't realize the main reason forms is because it's the way the arts were originally taught.
Can you give any evidance that that's the reason? And why would they have been originaly taught that way? Also I don't think all to many martialartists have been brainwashed...


Even then does anyone really know if these forms ever really worked even back then,I don't know,perhaps they did,but they definitely won't now.
Maybe, but one could argue that people genneraly don't do something for absolutly no reason, I would make the arguement that forms were practiced for a good reason, not because everyone did forms for all eterniy


Katas give a student a false hope of being able to defend themselves if necessary which they don't really teach.Katas are great for focus,co-ordination,balance and not much more,however this can also be learnt in other more realistic ways while learning true self-defense..
And I suppose through some fluke of biology when you practice a kata your brain doesn't myelinate dendrites. first define "true self deffence", second how does a kata give some ne a false hope of being able to deffend themselves, further how does "true self defence" avoid this?


The question arises again,should martial arts schools change their way of think and get rid of forms? Well I believe so otherwise go do gymnastic or ballet and get the same thing that most arts teach.Non-traditional arts seem to be more effective as they deal with the times and reality,basing their teaching specifically on street defense as in Pankration, MuayThai, Kickboxing etc.
wait you are equating forms to gymnastics and ballet? how are these the same thing, they are totaly diffrent excercises and have totaly diffrent purposes can you explain how the only benafits you would get from practicing "most arts" you would also get in gymnastics or ballet? And further how do you define "most arts" unless I'm missing soemthing you have only practiced two arts that utalise forms, so where does your information come from on all the others? Also I don't want to get into a debate on your pankration considering I don't practice it and there isn't alot of information on it, but in what way is mauy thai or kickboxing based on self deffence? as far as I can tell they are both ring sports and have always been ring sports...


By the way how do I change belt colour undername to black?
You don't. The belt rank is a measure of how many posts you have made, it isn't a measure of your martial ability.

now fist of fury upi said
In your opinion excluding guns, how has unarmed combat changed to render a traditional art less effective? Do people punch,kick and grapple different now than they did say 200 years ago?

Simply put yes (in my opinion ;-p).

first of all I havn't seen any evidance that any scientific process was used to "build" martial arts, rather an empirical process but having that said it is posable that with information on such subjects as kenisiology(sp) older arts could be made more effective.

But the primary diffrence is environment. Some arts developed for every specific environments. For example, arts are influenced by other arts and tested against them, but 200 years ago it would have been imposable to test the art against every other art in the world, consaquently a style would tend to gravitate twards combating it's most common opponant, wether that is rival schools or criminals or whatever an art is going to be somewhat optimised for a certain type of combat vs a certain opposing style of combat. Today you won't be able to tell how your opponant (ina self deffence situation) will attack you. Simularly many arts were developed with or without certain weapons in mind, both common and exotic. that can mean that a weapon you might run across today may not be figured into the deffences of the art and perhaps something that was figured in is out of date today. Also terrain diffrences can affect the fighting style. deppending where an art developed the way your footwork is utalised could vary due to the terrain of the home environment (as an example (if it's true) I seem to recal Dan inosant in an interview about certain phillipino arts saying something to the affect that there were phillipino arts that you were taught to drop to your knees in combat when posable, reason was they developed in rather swampy areas and if you were fighting you were gona fall, so it was better to have a controlled fall than an uncontrolled fall at a bad time).

I don't know how much value any of that has, just trying to play devils advocate.
 
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