My martial art is better than your martial art

Xue Sheng

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I once posted a similar thread in regards to CMA bashing, and some of this comes directly from that post and since I see this old tired argument popping up again I wanted to post this. I am seeing a resurgent of the “my martial art is better than yours” argument again and this generally boils down too the equally as old and tiresome MMA vs. TMA argument and I have to say is enough already, but this may be just me.

My original style was from Japan (Jujitsu), my second was from Korea (TDK) and now all I do is from China. I personally believe all the martial arts are good arts to train whether that is CMA, JMA, FMA, MMA, KMA etc.

To me some of the comments against MMA and TMA show a complete lack of understanding of either beyond minimal experience or it is based on the fact there are forms in some TMA styles the person once saw or heard about, or MMA fights in a ring and has to follow rules. Neither means a thing about the ability of the practitioner to actually be able to fight by the way.

I can sum up my feelings on it in one Chinese metaphor, "duì niú tán qín" this translates to "like playing the lute to a cow." And this basically means that this argument, at least to me, makes about as much sense as playing a lute to a cow and expecting a reaction. It is like two people sitting at a table trying to have a conversation when 1 speaks only Chinese and the other speaks only English.

Comparing styles is one thing, comparing applications or approaches to a given situation are also good, we can learn that way. But coming out and saying my style is better than any one else’s or this style is best is confrontational and just plain arrogant and it shows an incredible lack of understanding. And what some fail to see is it always boils down to the same thing every single time “my style is better than your style”, no it isn't, yes it is, no it isn't, yes it is, no it isn't, yes it is, no it isn't, yes it is, no it isn't, yes it is, repeat several hundred more times.

And just to give some idea of what is actually being said when someone says my martial art is superior, better, best, or all others are inferior I decided to post a partial list of the TMA of China, Japan and Korea If you want a more complete list of World wide martial arts go here and get a better idea of how ludicrous a statement that actually is.

http://www.answers.com/topic/list-of-martial-arts

As I said I am only posting a partial list of Chinese, Japanese and Korean since those seem to be the most compared

Chinese martial arts
Baguazhang (Pa Kua Chang), Bajiquan, Black Tiger Kung Fu, Chaquan, Chin Na, Chou Jiao, Choy Lay Fut, Ditangquan, Dragon Kung Fu, Drunken Boxing, Eagle Claw, Emeiquan, Fanziquan, Five Ancestors, Five Animals, Five Family, Fu Chiao Tiger Claw, Gou Quan,Hsing Yi (Xingyi), Houquan (Monkey Fist), Huaquan, Hung Gar, Hung Fut, Hu Quan, Jing Wu Men (Jing Wu), Jow-Ga, Iron fist or Iron palm, Iron shirt, Lau Gar. Leopard, Liu Shing Ch'uan, Liuhe Bafa, Long fist, Mei Hua Quan, My Jong Law Horn, Northern Praying Mantis, Pak Mei, Paochui, Phoenix, Piguaquan, Choy Gar, Shaolin Quan, Shuai Chiao (Shuaijiao), Shequan, Southern Praying Mantis, Tai Tzu Chang Chuan, Tang Lang Hu Shi, Tantui, Tien Shan Pai, Tompei Quan, Tongbeiquan, Turtle Kung Fu, White Crane, Wing Chun, Wudangquan, Xinyiba, Xin Yi Liu He Quan, Yau Kung Mun, Yiquan, Zuijiuquan

Japanese martial arts
Aikido, Aikijutsu, Atemi, batto jutsu, Bajutsu, Bhakti Negara, Bojutsu, Bujinkan, Genbukan, GKR Karate, Iaido, Iaijutsu, Jujutsu, Chanbara, Jojutsu, hakko ryu, Jinenkan, Judo, Karate, Kenpo, Kendo, Kenjutsu, Kokondo, Kyudo, Naginata-do, Ninjutsu (Ninpo, budo taijutsu), Okinawan kobudo, Ryu no ashi, Samurai bushido, Shintaido, Shintai Do, Shinwa-Taido, Shorinji kempo, Shotokan, Sumo, Taido, Yabusame, Yosekan bajutsu, Zen Kyo Shin

Korean martial arts
Geomdo, Bonguk-Geomdo, Jundo Hapkido, Han Mu Do, Gjogsul, Hapkido, Haidong Gumdo, Hoi Jeon Moo Sool, Hup Kwon Do, Hwa Rang Do, Kuk Sool Won, Kumdo, Kwon Pup, Kyeoktooki, Kyuki Do, Soo Bahk Do, Ssireum (Korean Sumo Wrestling), Taekyon, Taekwondo, Tang Soo Do

Now I personally do not know all of these arts and I doubt anyone does. So tell me without knowing all of them how can anyone say that my art or style or any martial art or style is the best?

To end yet another of my rants my previous Sifu of 12 years (ex-Sifu actually) of Yang/Tung Tai Chi said pretty much the same thing my last weeks at his school. He stated to me that his Martial Art (Yang Style Tai Chi) was superior to all others and that any other style was far inferior and not worth studying.... I didn't agree with him either. It is one thing to be proud of your chosen art it is another to be arrogant about it.

I honestly wish I could say that this was my final word on the subject, but I am sure this argument will just repeat itself over and over like a broken record.
 

SFC JeffJ

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Love the post, and I'm sure it will as well.

Jeff
 

Kensai

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I've said this to you before son. Mine style's better than yours!!..... :0p

I know what you mean XS, there's a lot of these type of threads recently. Seems that everytime we have new joiners there follows the inevitable MMA vs TMA debate, or JMA vs CMA. There are two threads of this nature doing the rounds now. I should know better than to get involved, but it's hard to refrain from doing so. There are closed minds on both sides of any divide, and I find myself tending to be reasonable at first, then, later, when the unreasonable on both sides have posted, I become more militant. I don't know what to add besides that.
 

Kacey

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In my opinion, there is no "best" style overall; however, there are people for whom a particular style is a best fit, and there are people who find it right away, there are people who have to search for that best fit, and some who never find it. There are also people who find a good fit anywhere they go. I agree that see "my art is better than yours" gets old - but I do understand people who have found something they are excited about and want to tell the world, as well as understanding those who are tired of hearing from them.

I have no problem with "this part of my art is better than its representation in other arts" from people who know, from experience, that such a comparison is reasonable - but the blanket statements do get old after a while.
 

Rook

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I think that this arguement is getting tired too, but I feel compelled to carry it on because of the general nonsense floating around about the relationships between arts.

I think that saying that there are lots of arts, so no one could be the best at anything is somewhat missing the point. Can we say that we can't call a race car definitively faster than a horse because there are many breeds of horse? Can we say that a rifle can't fire further than a bow because there are many types of bows?
 

Drac

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I try to NEVER bash anyones discipline or art...Whatever works for them...Aren't martial artists supposed to part of a brotherhood & sister hood??? So why the need for bashing???
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Drac said:
I try to NEVER bash anyones discipline or art...Whatever works for them...Aren't martial artists supposed to part of a brotherhood & sister hood??? So why the need for bashing???

I have enjoyed every art that I have ever studied. They all have something unique and wonderful to offer. I have never met a practitioner from any style that would defeat anyone of any given style or no style at all, any time and at anyplace. To many variables involved there. Bottom line is that you need to find what makes you happy and then train and continue to train.
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Do that and enjoy the journey.

Brian R. VanCise
www.instinctiveresponsetraining.com
 

Cryozombie

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Rook said:
Can we say that we can't call a race car definitively faster than a horse because there are many breeds of horse? Can we say that a rifle can't fire further than a bow because there are many types of bows?

Hey, Rook old pal...

MMA is to Martial Arts as Palamino Horse is to Arabian Horse... Not Horse is to Racecar.

Basic stuff man... any Highschool grad should understand that.
 
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Xue Sheng

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Kacey said:
In my opinion, there is no "best" style overall; however, there are people for whom a particular style is a best fit, and there are people who find it right away, there are people who have to search for that best fit, and some who never find it. There are also people who find a good fit anywhere they go. I agree that see "my art is better than yours" gets old - but I do understand people who have found something they are excited about and want to tell the world, as well as understanding those who are tired of hearing from them.

I have no problem with "this part of my art is better than its representation in other arts" from people who know, from experience, that such a comparison is reasonable - but the blanket statements do get old after a while.

I agree with this completely. I am absolutely thrilled when someone comes to me and tells me about how much they love the art they are in or tells me about a certain application or form. And it may be that the application they are talking about for a given situation is better that the application I would use. This is all good because this is how we learn. This is what I meant by "Being proud of ones art"
 
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Xue Sheng

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Rook said:
I think that this arguement is getting tired too, but I feel compelled to carry it on because of the general nonsense floating around about the relationships between arts.

I think that saying that there are lots of arts, so no one could be the best at anything is somewhat missing the point. Can we say that we can't call a race car definitively faster than a horse because there are many breeds of horse? Can we say that a rifle can't fire further than a bow because there are many types of bows?

I believe you may have missed the point but ok I’ll answer

OK, good point but your categories are way to narrow or too wide.

Using first the horse and car example; they are both modes of transportation. Therefore since we know what a horse is and we know what a car is then can we logically say that a car is by far the best and fastest mode of transportation? No we can't, because we are not taking into account all of the other modes of transportation that we know nothing about that we have not included.

The Bow and Gun example; they are weapons. And we know a gun and we know a bow and we know a gun has a longer range than a bow. Therefore can we say that a gun is better and fires further than all other weapons? Once again no we can't. Because there are other weapons and a battleship is by far a longer range weapon than a gun. So is a Battleship the best weapon? Again no. But of course this also can be dependant on what you need the weapon for. A battleship would be fairly useless in a gun fight in the middle of a desert and a Gun would be fairly useless in a sea battle or for coastal bombardment.

I am using the category of all martial arts world wide not just karate vs. MMA or Judo vs. Sanda or Shaolin verses all types of Karate for that matter. So I guess I am far from convinced by your examples.

I could also approach this form the point of a Car is not a horse therefore you cannot compare them, but you can compare a car with a car. Is a Ferrari better than a Maserati or a Lamborghini? Is a Cadillac better than a Lincoln or a Toyota better than a Nissan? These are all comparisons that for the most part are all based on personal opinion. Same for the Bow and the Gun. They are not the same therefore they are not comparable. But you can compare a Winchester and a Savage which is better? Also a matter of personal opinion.

And I am once using all fighting arts not a slap fight vs. Jeet Kun Do or Sanda
 

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Yeah, but my Xuefu is better than your Xuefue...oh wait a minute, you're the grandmaster, and I'm just Number Two. grrrr......
 
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Xue Sheng

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Drac said:
I try to NEVER bash anyones discipline or art...Whatever works for them...Aren't martial artists supposed to part of a brotherhood & sister hood??? So why the need for bashing???

Agreed and

Yes, yes they are.

And I have no idea.


Brian R. VanCise said:
I have enjoyed every art that I have ever studied. They all have something unique and wonderful to offer. I have never met a practitioner from any style that would defeat anyone of any given style or no style at all, any time and at anyplace. To many variables involved there. Bottom line is that you need to find what makes you happy and then train and continue to train.
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Do that and enjoy the journey.

Brian R. VanCise
www.instinctiveresponsetraining.com

Sounds good to me
 
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Xue Sheng

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Kensai said:
I've said this to you before son. Mine style's better than yours!!..... :0p

I know what you mean XS, there's a lot of these type of threads recently. Seems that everytime we have new joiners there follows the inevitable MMA vs TMA debate, or JMA vs CMA. There are two threads of this nature doing the rounds now. I should know better than to get involved, but it's hard to refrain from doing so. There are closed minds on both sides of any divide, and I find myself tending to be reasonable at first, then, later, when the unreasonable on both sides have posted, I become more militant. I don't know what to add besides that.

Me too
 

Rook

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Xue Sheng said:
I believe you may have missed the point but ok I’ll answer

OK, good point but your categories are way to narrow or too wide.

Using first the horse and car example; they are both modes of transportation. Therefore since we know what a horse is and we know what a car is then can we logically say that a car is by far the best and fastest mode of transportation? No we can't, because we are not taking into account all of the other modes of transportation that we know nothing about that we have not included.

The Bow and Gun example; they are weapons. And we know a gun and we know a bow and we know a gun has a longer range than a bow. Therefore can we say that a gun is better and fires further than all other weapons? Once again no we can't. Because there are other weapons and a battleship is by far a longer range weapon than a gun. So is a Battleship the best weapon? Again no. But of course this also can be dependant on what you need the weapon for. A battleship would be fairly useless in a gun fight in the middle of a desert and a Gun would be fairly useless in a sea battle or for coastal bombardment.

I am using the category of all martial arts world wide not just karate vs. MMA or Judo vs. Sanda or Shaolin verses all types of Karate for that matter. So I guess I am far from convinced by your examples.

I could also approach this form the point of a Car is not a horse therefore you cannot compare them, but you can compare a car with a car. Is a Ferrari better than a Maserati or a Lamborghini? Is a Cadillac better than a Lincoln or a Toyota better than a Nissan? These are all comparisons that for the most part are all based on personal opinion. Same for the Bow and the Gun. They are not the same therefore they are not comparable. But you can compare a Winchester and a Savage which is better? Also a matter of personal opinion.

And I am once using all fighting arts not a slap fight vs. Jeet Kun Do or Sanda

I am being rather general, but I do think that some arts are vastly better than others for different purposes. True, there are certainly reasons to ride horses instead of drive cars or use a bow instead of a gun, and likewise I think there is lots of room, for instance, for using Aikido to restrain an incompetent opponent without injuring him, or riding a horse through a gap too narrow for a car.

The problem is when people assert that they can do something, but then fail to follow it up by providing proof of it being done (like a ninja beating an MMAist, a horse outracing a car, or an arrow outdistancing a rifle).

I don't have a problem with saying that traditional CMA conveys Chinese culture, or that shorinji kenpo is a great way to aquire patience, or that TKD demos are a great way to stay in shape. I don't even have a problem with calling them effective fighting systems any more than I have a problem with calling horses fast or bows long-shooting. I do think it is absurd to say they can beat MMA proponents when it hasn't been done.
 

Cryozombie

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Rook said:
The problem is when people assert that they can do something, but then fail to follow it up by providing proof of it being done (like a ninja beating an MMAist, a horse outracing a car, or an arrow outdistancing a rifle).

Hmm... Funny... I've Never seen an MMAist beat a "Ninja" either... leastways not a "legitimate" one. (and most legitimate ones wont use the term ninja anymore... so Im not talking some TKD Ashida Kim wannabe or Bussey hybrid like the UFC "ninja" who won #3)

Guess you just asserted that MMA can do somthing that hasnt been proven...

Tell ya what... I will bow down and kiss your feet, as soon as you show up in japan and kick someone like Nagato's ***.

Untill then... :bs:
 
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