'The style is only as good as the martial artist' -Revisited

exile

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I have often heard the buzz phrase you mentioned at the beginning of this thread. It is nonsense. I will compare it to auto racing, it is like saying there are no good cars only good drivers. Absurd.

The problem breaks down into three components:
The technical aspects of the system
The training methods used
The individual training the system with the methods.

If the system is technically unsound or if the methods used to train the system are poorly thought out then it does not matter how much talent or drive the individual has, he is not going to have much success. He is driving a station wagon with flat tires in a Grand Prix. The great failing of most (90%) of the traditional Chinese martial arts on this planet is not that the systems are technically bad but rather the training methods are ****.

Take care,
Brian

There seems to be something of disconnection here between your initial statement in red and your concluding illustration in green, Brian. The premise that you find absurd—`The style is only as good as the martial artist'—identifies individual variation in skill as crucial in a violent encounter, rather than the inherent technical content of the art. That's what's at issue, yes? But then, as you say, the problem with the traditional CMA is not their technical content but the way they're trained, which yields practitioners who aren't prepared to apply that content to defense against a street attack. And that's a matter, again, of individual competence in fighting. Take the same individuals, train them to use their art in a British Combat Association-type school with (seriously) `live' training against totally noncompliant `assailants' using unscripted, unpredictable attacks, and after a year of this sort of thing you'd wind up with a very different fighter, even though the art was the same. So your example here seems to be well covered by the position you find absurd, no?

So two of the three factors you identify in MA (in)effectiveness are plainly compatible with the `buzz phrase' that you're objecting to. What's left is the set of MAs that you're comparing to `station wagons'. What would an example be? And how do you know that the arts in question actually are station wagons? What's the evidence? A 140 lb individual trying to use sumo wrestling methods against a pissed-off biker might well be out of luck, but sumo isn't really on the table as a combat MA, is it? Let's look at the various TMAs out there, virtually all of which have histories of use in civilian combat, and in at least one case, Taekwondo, of brutally successful use as battlefield CQ fighting systems in two wars (details here). We have in our archives a post to a video on `Police Shotokan' that depicts the use of the training and use of Shotokan by the Japanese Special Forces that's almost too savage to watch. From what I've seen of various FMAs, with or without weapons, they're primarily geared to the outright destruction of the attacker, up to and including permanent and possibly fatal spinal damage... and so on and on. Just so we have something concrete to talk about—discussions that don't get to specifics tend to never develop much traction, I've noticed—what are the TMAs which you think correspond to the `station wagon' in your analogy?
 
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Giorgio

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Firstly, to Rich Parsons. I am sorry you believe I am acting like a troll, and I'm even more sorry if you think that I'm doing it in a cowardly way, instead of flaming like a good, honest troll. That wasn't my intention at all. You don't seem to have understood much of my post, either that or you have seen some sort of hidden motive behind it, so I'll see if I can rephrase it.

I am not attempting to tell people which martial art is best. I do not have an agenda.I am not going to start screaming that Muay Thai is teh r0xx0rz. My 'agenda', if you must, is simply to have people accept that martial arts can vary in quality given a specific situation.

Although morph4me, you say that we all agree on this, and there is no debate to be had, I have to say I've seen quite a few threads on these boards which have included the post 'the art is only as good as the person who does it', pronounced with a finality that closes the discussion immediately. It is this that I want to change.

Rich, please try to understand, this debate is not about individual martial arts, and I have specifically avoided mentioning any, for reasons I have already given, that I do not want to offend any particular practicioners. I'm sorry you mistake this for a lack of 'original content', but please understand my intentions behind it.

Concerning the first part of your post, if your hypothetical 'my art' is serious, then tell me about it. Why is it best at kicking, punching, disarming, etc.? I'm sure there are elements of your art you can put down on paper and explain to us through writing. We won't get a full vision of your art, sure, but an idea, and enough of an idea to discuss it.

I can see that you very much want me to name a martial art, maybe so you can label me a troll and a flamer and be done with it, and in the spirit of avoiding that, I'm going to name my own. I think Muay Thai has some severe deficiencies when it comes to real life self-defence. The fact that the groin has been disallowed as a striking point in Muay Thai has meant that over time, the guard has opened up, as Kon Muay do not need to worry about attacks specifically targeting their groin, where they have substantial protection anyways. This means that, in a situation without rules, someone trained in the Muay Thai guard will be very vulnerable to groin attacks.

Wing Chun, on the other hand, which I have limited experience with, only having trained for a few months, maintains a closed guard which is specifically designed to protect from attacks to the groin. Wing Chun does not make assumptions about where the opponent will strike, and thus protects the most vulnerable parts of the body, along the centre-line (the eyes, throat, sternum, solar plexus, bladder, and groin) In this way, I think Wing Chun has an advantage over my own martial art of preference, Muay Thai.

This is just one example, please do not start thinking the debate is Muay Thai vs. Wing Chun on the issue of groin attacks. As I said, this is just to prove that you can qualitatively differentiate between martial arts without flaming.

A final few words to morph4me: I take your point about grappling arts being best at grappling, and striking arts being best at striking. Fair enough. I was more interested in criteria like 'Which art is best at disarming a knife?' or 'which art is best defending yourself against a group?' or 'which art is best at self-defence one on one?' It is more difficult to define the 'knife-disarming arts' or the 'group-defence arts' than it is to define 'striking arts' and 'grappling arts'

Also, in your final paragraph, you seem to imply that you think that the person's skill has no bearing on their effectiveness in fighting, only their savagery and cruelty. Is this what you meant? If so, do you think martial arts are entirely useless as a form of self defence? I agree that 'heart' or savagery is an important part of fighting, but is that all there is to it?

Sorry if this post was somewhat rambling, and thank you for your responses.
 

KEritano

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When the student is motivated and dedicated, the art they enjoy will help them become a better person both physically and mentally. If they do not enjoy the activity, then what's the point?

Another factor is the quality of the instructor. A poor instructor makes any martial art bad, whereas a good instructor continues to develop both himself and his students. An excellent instructor handles even the most difficult students with respect, honesty and care. He credits the student's success to the student, the parents, the student's support system and finally the instructor. A poor instructor blames others for a student's failures and/or kicks the student out of the school. That's the easy way out.

There is no ONE martial art that is superior in every factor, a mixture is needed to cover all aspects.

And yet, the subject matter begs one to ask ... what is meant by "good"?

Good at developing strong character?
Good at self-defense?
Good at fighting?
Good at jumping?
Good at lock-ups?
Good at ground fighting?
Good at reciting the theory?

"GOOD" meaning .... ????
 

morph4me

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Also, in your final paragraph, you seem to imply that you think that the person's skill has no bearing on their effectiveness in fighting, only their savagery and cruelty. Is this what you meant? If so, do you think martial arts are entirely useless as a form of self defence? I agree that 'heart' or savagery is an important part of fighting, but is that all there is to it?

Sorry if this post was somewhat rambling, and thank you for your responses.

What I meant to say in my final paragraph is that in order for any martial art or any weapon to be useful, the practioner needs not only the technical skill to use it, but the willingness to do so. A person with no traing, but the willingness to defend himself is in a better position to do so than a person having a weapon or skill and not being willing to use it as it was meant to be used, at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way.
 
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Giorgio

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good point, morph, that's very true.

Also, keritano, I was just saying earlier in the thread that what constitutes good is the subject of whatever debate you are having about martial arts, as we agreed there can be no one definition of it. Good, for example, at evading attacks to the groin or eyes, or good at disarming, or all the examples you pointed out. My point with this thread was just to propose that it is possible that some arts are bad at defending against weapons, or low attacks, etc. This would be denied by proponents of the phrase 'the style is only as good as the martial artist'
 

CuongNhuka

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First of all, to Cuong Nhuka ( I hope that's spelled right ), I was not implying that the newer a martial art, the older it is. Sorry if you took it that way, but that wasn't part of my point.

The comment about Tae Kwon Do made me think otherwise since Tae Kwon Do is a little less then 70 years old, and Cuong Nhu is 42. my style is Cuong Nhu. Ka is a Japanese suffixe meaning "student". in Vietnamese thats sinh vi礙n. simply too hard on simple brain... lol.

Also, Rich, I love you man. I liked your little diddy about "my style". That's awesome dude.
 

thardey

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All right, I'll take the bait.

My definition of a "Good" Martial art: one that keeps myself, and those around me from being "preyed" on by others.

My answer? A combination of horse riding, and motorcycle riding.

They are both martial, having been developed and used in war and fighting. (Remember that Harley Davidson got famous in WWII, IIRC, as a troop transport.) And they both give me the skills to keep me out of trouble in the first place!

Horses have taught me how to work in a "herd" oriented society, like humans. How to diffuse situations, how to play, and win "head games", and how to deal with jackasses.

Motorcycles have taught me that fighting doesn't equal winning, and that avoidance is preferable. I have learned awareness, reflexes, and how to play the "what if" game.

The "survival skills" that I use 99% of the time "on the street" are not taught in a dojo. If I have to fight, I have already failed. At that point it is just damage control.

In a "MA vs. MA" argument, my answer is always the same: who is more willing to "cheat"? If it's a hand-to-hand fight, you can bet I'll be using my feet. Who's going to penalize me? If it's a striking-only match, I'm bring a club, etc. etc, ad nauseum. Thus, you end up in your dreaded arms race!

Think about it this way: What does the most dangerous organized army in the world consider the best martial art? Krav Maga? Boxing? Nope. Long range guided missiles.

Anything less than that is going to be labeled as sport, or dueling, because once you include rules of whether weapons are allowed, or which ones, or how many people, etc, you've just balanced the "game" towards one side or the other.

Martial arts are not simply developed as a physics experiment done with the human body. They are designed to fit the most likely scenarios for which a particular culture was likely to find itself. Am I being oppressed by foreign Samurai invaders? Then I would look to Okinawa. Am I being mugged by some guy with a gun? Then my martial art has already failed me. Next best thing? Nike-do.

I think that's what some of the above posts are pointing out: what scenario are you thinking of? Avoidance? Getting out of a situation you should be in the first place? Starting a fight? Dueling? Sport fighting? War? Police work?

Avoidance -- Horses and Motorcyles
Getting out -- my Chevy
Starting a fight -- Deer rifle, with a nice scope
Dueling -- whatever weapons were chosen
Sport fighting -- whatever my opponent doesn't know
War -- long range missiles
Police Work -- Backup policemen

There. Those are my recommendations for the "best" martial art. Oh, and BTW, I study Chun-kuk-do, which at best, is there in case the other options aren't available (usually third or fourth down the list of options).
 

exile

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I'm just doing a bit of thinking aloud here, so the result may not be completely coherent... apologies in advance if that's the case... but I have to say, I'm wondering what possible benefit discussions of this sort can yield.

I train TKD, fairly intensely, and what I find is that there is aways way, way more to the art than I can foresee myself ever mastering. To steal a phrase from Iain Abernethy, the magnitude of TKD, and of the karate-based arts in general, is something that I find endlessly frustrating, and therefore endlessly motivating; what I'm always conscious of is the discrepancy between what true masters of these arts can do with them on the one hand and what I can do with them on the other. The last thing I would ever find myself wondering about, I suspect, is the effectiveness of the art itself, which as I've suggested in my earlier posts is going to be almost impossible to quantify, and which very likely doesn't correspond to some identifiable element of reality. The thing we're all aware of is how difficult it is to become really competent in these arts, how hard we have to train them to make them combat effective, and how far short of our own aspirations we usually find ourselves.

So it would make me feel very odd, I think, to spend much time contemplating the shortcomings of my art, or anyone else's art, while I'm spending many hours a week to develop a respectable slow-motion side kick to use to help my students see how it's done, or to add another board to the stack of boards I can confidently break, or identify the combat applications of a certain subsequence in a form that someone like Iain Abernethy or Simon O'Neil could eyeball for a few minutes and then provide three robust, realistic bunkai for—applications of the kind that make you want to hit yourself in the head and say, why the hell couldn't I think of that??

That's why I find this whole topic very strange and uncongenial; most of the really serious martial artists I know would feel—if you put the question to them—that they couldn't be bothered to revolve vague ideas about the abstract imperfections of this or that MA around in their heads when they're so acutely aware of their own very real, immediate imperfections in the pursuit of their own chosen MA. Art, including martial art, may be long, but life is short, and the most productive MA discussions are probably going to be those which help one advance in one's own art, by allowing you to tap into other people's technical knowledge, or training experience, or familiarity with MA history. But which MAs are weak under which conditions is something that for most of us is going to take second (more like ninth, I'd guess) place to the question of which techs in our own art we're not so hot at, and how we can get better at them, and so on. Those kinds of questions at least probably have meaningful answers. I'm very skeptical that questions about the inherent effectiveness of any given MA (as vs., say, the effectiveness of a practitioner whose training is of such and such a kind) are going to yield any useful, plausible, reliable or interesting conclusions—and that's not just a gut reaction; it's based on the dozen or so such discussions I've seen start up here on MT in the past year that I've been a member of it, none of which came to any conclusions apart from the vagueness of the question and the consensus that there were other, more urgent MA issues to worry about.
 

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good point, morph, that's very true.

Also, keritano, I was just saying earlier in the thread that what constitutes good is the subject of whatever debate you are having about martial arts, as we agreed there can be no one definition of it. Good, for example, at evading attacks to the groin or eyes, or good at disarming, or all the examples you pointed out. My point with this thread was just to propose that it is possible that some arts are bad at defending against weapons, or low attacks, etc. This would be denied by proponents of the phrase 'the style is only as good as the martial artist'

Sure, boxing is bad at defending against low attacks. It's also not so great against weapons. (Have you ever tried a disarm with boxing gloves on?) Does that make it a "bad" martial art? Yet, it's survived for thousands of years, many of them of the streets.
 

Rich Parsons

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Okay, to begin, deLetch, I accept your point about martial arts having come to mean more than just self defence, and has enshrined attributes such as physical skill, flexibility, and co-ordination as valuable things in their own right, despite how their practice was originally intended. This is fine, and although it is not how I wish to practice martial arts that way, I cannot fault those who do. That is why I stressed that before you can quantify martial art is better or worse than another, you have to establish the criteria for 'better' or 'worse'. Ostensibly, TKD will allow you to express more flexibility and fluidity of movement than BJJ or Muay Thai, and Karate and Muay Thai will show greater feats of physical conditioning than Tai Chi or Eskrima. It is important to establish the terms of the debate before having it.


Ummm, I think you are references specific arts above.


Firstly, to Rich Parsons. I am sorry you believe I am acting like a troll, and I'm even more sorry if you think that I'm doing it in a cowardly way, instead of flaming like a good, honest troll. That wasn't my intention at all. You don't seem to have understood much of my post, either that or you have seen some sort of hidden motive behind it, so I'll see if I can rephrase it.

I never once said you were a coward. But nice Troll activity of putting words into someone else's statements. You could have said I called you a troll. That I will agree with. I never stated you were a coward. Nice Red herring though.

I am not attempting to tell people which martial art is best. I do not have an agenda.I am not going to start screaming that Muay Thai is teh r0xx0rz. My 'agenda', if you must, is simply to have people accept that martial arts can vary in quality given a specific situation.

DUDE YOUR SYSTEM MUST RULE! You speak elite. ;)

I also think that martial arts can vary. I think where they are in their training will also dictate what they are capable of doing. But this is ME making a statement here, not you. For you to even makethe littlest of comments you have to be called out. NICE!

Although morph4me, you say that we all agree on this, and there is no debate to be had, I have to say I've seen quite a few threads on these boards which have included the post 'the art is only as good as the person who does it', pronounced with a finality that closes the discussion immediately. It is this that I want to change.

I will give the example, and once again make a point while you add nothing to the discussion. I can train two people in the same fashion. I could train 1000 people in the same fashion. And out of that 1000 people, 1 of them will never be able to defend themselves. At teh other hand, 1 walked in being ableto defend themselves and they learned new methods or gained enlightenment or something else. While the rest all learned to defend themsleves and to practice the art at different levels. Even though they were physically all the same and all trained the same length, but their retention level or their method of learning was not as well as others, so they all vary. (* Even identical twins vary over time even with the same environment *)

So where have you added one single point, other than your statement and now everyone has to prove you wrong. You have added nothing to this arguement. Your contrabution is the null set.

Rich, please try to understand, this debate is not about individual martial arts, and I have specifically avoided mentioning any, for reasons I have already given, that I do not want to offend any particular practicioners. I'm sorry you mistake this for a lack of 'original content', but please understand my intentions behind it.

See my first quote from you above and my comment there.

You do not wish to offend but you want to state that somehting is inferior to something else. Well I do not wish to insult you but your arguements are inferior when I compare them to even some of the trash in the Horror forums.

Concerning the first part of your post, if your hypothetical 'my art' is serious, then tell me about it. Why is it best at kicking, punching, disarming, etc.? I'm sure there are elements of your art you can put down on paper and explain to us through writing. We won't get a full vision of your art, sure, but an idea, and enough of an idea to discuss it.

It is the best. Period. Becuase I can do it. Because I have made it work. Because I know it works from experience.

Have you used your art in a gun fight? Or in just being shot at even ifyou did not have a gun? Have you used with a knife bight or just in being stabbed or cut, and still fighting to whatmost would consider a win? Have you used your art against kickers, and grapplers and street fighters, and vehicles (* as I have bene hit by cars, rolled over the hoods of cars, and even took a ride on the hood of a truck at high speeds, while the person was trying to knock me off. I waited until traffic forced him to go straight, then I hit and broke his windshield. He stopped. I rolled off, and he drove off. *) Have you used your art against multiple opponents?

I have done all of the above. I have used it against all comers who really wanted to hurt me, with multiple situations and no matter how many people or the type of weapon I am alive. So in my opinion and from my experience, the ART I TEACH IS THE BEST.

My problem is that not everyone can do what I do, even if I train them. No matter how hard I train and teach them they cannot do what I have done and be as lucky as I have been and survive.

So, I state based upon my experience if I must follow your statement that mine is the best, and until you prove me wrong it is. But realism and common sense (* I wish common sense was more common *) state that it is not the art I am teching, but the person I am, and the way I personally have handled the situations I have been in. So is this me stating I am the best in the world? NO WAY! I know I can be hit. I know that someday there will be someonewho I meet who is better or luckier or ore conditioned (* not hard to find *) and what have you.

Do I think that teaching methods differ? Yes.

Do I think that some are better than others? Yes.

But once again the variable rasie their ugly head. What are people looking for? Are they looking for some self confidence and or some sweat to work out, or learning to really hurt someone else?

But, given the right teacher with the right student, I contend that any art would lend to them asking the questions of WHAT IF? and then comingup with an answer from their system. ;) :D

Hmmm seems like I have made a point here to me. Did I type too fast for you? But I still do not see any real points from you other than your gut statement.


I can see that you very much want me to name a martial art, maybe so you can label me a troll and a flamer and be done with it, and in the spirit of avoiding that, I'm going to name my own. I think Muay Thai has some severe deficiencies when it comes to real life self-defence. The fact that the groin has been disallowed as a striking point in Muay Thai has meant that over time, the guard has opened up, as Kon Muay do not need to worry about attacks specifically targeting their groin, where they have substantial protection anyways. This means that, in a situation without rules, someone trained in the Muay Thai guard will be very vulnerable to groin attacks.

But you see you have asked the question of WHAT IF in your system. Go back and see what could be done with your system to address the question. Ask if your art, has aspects of sport or competition to it and how would one back those "RULES" out and still use your art. ;)

Wing Chun, on the other hand, which I have limited experience with, only having trained for a few months, maintains a closed guard which is specifically designed to protect from attacks to the groin. Wing Chun does not make assumptions about where the opponent will strike, and thus protects the most vulnerable parts of the body, along the centre-line (the eyes, throat, sternum, solar plexus, bladder, and groin) In this way, I think Wing Chun has an advantage over my own martial art of preference, Muay Thai.

But does WC hav an answer for a full in kick to the knee or the the rib cage? Would it not depend more upon the timing of the individuals involved?



This is just one example, please do not start thinking the debate is Muay Thai vs. Wing Chun on the issue of groin attacks. As I said, this is just to prove that you can qualitatively differentiate between martial arts without flaming.

Oh I believe one can quanitfy without flaming. But until this you have only stated it was possible and not provided any points even for discussion.

A final few words to morph4me: I take your point about grappling arts being best at grappling, and striking arts being best at striking. Fair enough. I was more interested in criteria like 'Which art is best at disarming a knife?' or 'which art is best defending yourself against a group?' or 'which art is best at self-defence one on one?' It is more difficult to define the 'knife-disarming arts' or the 'group-defence arts' than it is to define 'striking arts' and 'grappling arts'

The art of an open mind.

Also, in your final paragraph, you seem to imply that you think that the person's skill has no bearing on their effectiveness in fighting, only their savagery and cruelty. Is this what you meant? If so, do you think martial arts are entirely useless as a form of self defence? I agree that 'heart' or savagery is an important part of fighting, but is that all there is to it?

Savage and cruelity and strength have a big impact. If the person is willing to poke your eye before you even think about just hitting him in a large muscle mass, then you might not be able to defend yourself as your system might have kicked into flight which might include mental flight or passing out.

Sorry if this post was somewhat rambling, and thank you for your responses.




PS:** Edited In ** If there is a technique it has a counter. If there is a counter then it can be beat. If it can be beat it must be bad. This is how I read your arguement. Where as I state that: If there is a technique learn the counter, and learn when the counter is to be executed and then learn the other countersfor the same move that come when you are early or late. WHAT DID HE JUST SAY? You mean there can be even more than one counter? OH MY GOD HOW AM I TO LEARN IT ALL? By studying andasking the questions and going back to your basics and seeing how they apply. ** Note trying to cover the groin, even if left open as a bait, One first must know it is available and then know to recognize when the opponent can take advantage of that situation and then how to react to them to block or counter their move. If you notice it depends upon the "ONE" and their reactions. So, if your teacher does not open your mind and or teach you a counter it could be that they do not know. Is this the fault of the art or the teacher, for not understanding the principals and basics of the system to recognize or "SEE" a counter? Or is it the fault of the system that this individual could not pass on the information to this person?
 

MJS

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Reading these boards, and any other literature on martial arts, you often come into the phrase 'The style is only as good as its practicioner'. I assume that this phrase was used to silence the debate on which martial art was 'best'. I have been trying to get this round my head, but haven't managed yet.

Now I accept that a lot of arguments over which style is better results in a lot of petulance and flared tempers, which is never good. However, I don't see the logic in saying that every martial art is equally good, as long as the practicioners are trained enough. Each style is unique and different, with different rules, assumptions and values. Are we supposed to assume that, despite their infinite variations, they all magically come out to be exactly as good as each other to practicioners with the same experience? I think not.

For example: Muay Thai does not teach groundwork. Thus, it is severely deficient should a fight ever come to the ground. But a practicioner of BJJ or MMA (If you want to consider MMA a style by itself) has no problems on the ground. Now go the other way and consider the statement again 'the style is only as good as its practicioner' That implies that a master of muay thai of 20 years training and a master of tae kwon do of 20 years training, of equall skill and talent, are equally good. But what if the style only uses one hand? What if it has no kicks at all? In fact, any incompetent can invent their own style and start teaching it, and many do. Just because it's called a style, doesn't make it sacred and 'just as good as any other'

No. Styles are different, and some are better or worse. Until we discuss, test and experience, there is no reason for any of us to assume that tae kwon do, karate, or tai chi are just as good as each other, by virtue of being a martial art. Tae kwon do has not been around for more than 70 years, and aikido is equally recent. The same goes for american kenpo, BJJ, and many other martial arts currently found. This is why events such as K-1 or MMA are so fascinating.

I think the statement 'the style is only as good as the martial artist' is intellectually stultifying and kills what could be a very interesting debate.

I also realise that this is a very inflammatory topic, so please, answer with care and politeness, and I'll do the same.


Interesting thread. IMO, I feel that alot of it comes down to the person. Depending on how someone trains, can make all the difference in the world. Look at the early UFCs. You had pretty much one style fighters, however, Royce dominated everyone. Does this mean that every style that he beat is bad? No. It means that the other person needs to further expand on their own training.

IMO, if there really was "the best" style out there, don't you think that everyone else would be training in it? Every other school around would shut down because everyone would be learning the best art.

Mike
 

MJS

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Most importantly, I think that this would allow us to discern which martial arts are inappropriate for given situations, and thus tear away the harmful silence brought by the recitation 'the style is only as good as its practicioner'. I do not want to insult any particular martial art here, but I fully believe that there are certain martial arts which, either by the inexperience of their founder, or by their age and subsequent transformation into a sport-form, have no place being taught as a self-defence method for real life. Opening the debate would let us find out which martial arts are good for what, without descending into flame wars.

Again, don't you think that alot would come down to how the material is being applied?
 
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Giorgio

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First, to MJS. You're right, I think the application of the martial art is an extremely important part of how well you do, either in real life or in sports. However, I do think that there are differences between the styles, and that stylistic differences do influence our performance. In your example, gracie did dominate the early UFC scene, and in fact the MMA 'style' had to evolve to deal with that stimulus, and has since, in my opinion, become a lot better. Thanks for the post!

Secondly, to Rich Parsons. Maybe I caught you in a bad mood today, but you seem to be angry at me.

Why not take the time to truly present a solid argument if you can, or do you wish to throw items out to see the people react, so you can be an internet troll? So what will it be? Will you dazzle me with a great arguement or was all this so you could watch everyone and then in the end say we just could not discuss it like adults.
I took this to imply that you were calling me someone who was too cowardly to be a troll. I am sorry if I misinterpreted you, it was not my intention to put words in your mouth.

I also think that martial arts can vary. I think where they are in their training will also dictate what they are capable of doing. But this is ME making a statement here, not you. For you to even makethe littlest of comments you have to be called out. NICE!

The first part of this sentence I agree with, and is all I wanted to hear. No one wants to hear you whining about not understanding the points I am making. I have tried to make them again and again, and I am truly sorry that I can't get through to you. But your mockery is inappropriate.

I will give the example, and once again make a point while you add nothing to the discussion. I can train two people in the same fashion. I could train 1000 people in the same fashion. And out of that 1000 people, 1 of them will never be able to defend themselves. At teh other hand, 1 walked in being ableto defend themselves and they learned new methods or gained enlightenment or something else. While the rest all learned to defend themsleves and to practice the art at different levels. Even though they were physically all the same and all trained the same length, but their retention level or their method of learning was not as well as others, so they all vary. (* Even identical twins vary over time even with the same environment *)

So where have you added one single point, other than your statement and now everyone has to prove you wrong. You have added nothing to this arguement. Your contrabution is the null set.

I agree, the person's individual retention ability, as well as the training methods, affect how well the person will learn to defend himself, or whatever else he is trying to achieve. However, I believe that what style he chooses is also an influence. Again, your second paragraph was unnecessary and mocking.

See my first quote from you above and my comment there.

You do not wish to offend but you want to state that somehting is inferior to something else. Well I do not wish to insult you but your arguements are inferior when I compare them to even some of the trash in the Horror forums.

You are right, I did mention some martial arts, when some of the other posters on the debate asked me to. The discussion moved on from my initial post, I was asked to present examples, so I did, even though in my first post I said I wasn't intending to. Do you understand how an argument can evolve and move beyond its initial premisses, Rich Parsons? But I am sorry if this offended you. You pointlessly insulting my argumentative skills at the end of this quote is slightly ironic, seeing as it discredits you as a debater and as a person.

It is the best. Period. Becuase I can do it. Because I have made it work. Because I know it works from experience.

Have you used your art in a gun fight? Or in just being shot at even ifyou did not have a gun? Have you used with a knife bight or just in being stabbed or cut, and still fighting to whatmost would consider a win? Have you used your art against kickers, and grapplers and street fighters, and vehicles (* as I have bene hit by cars, rolled over the hoods of cars, and even took a ride on the hood of a truck at high speeds, while the person was trying to knock me off. I waited until traffic forced him to go straight, then I hit and broke his windshield. He stopped. I rolled off, and he drove off. *) Have you used your art against multiple opponents?

I have done all of the above. I have used it against all comers who really wanted to hurt me, with multiple situations and no matter how many people or the type of weapon I am alive. So in my opinion and from my experience, the ART I TEACH IS THE BEST.

No one wants to hear your bravado and bragging about how tough you are. Your first statement seems to imply that you don't want to discuss your martial art, and that you simply know it's the best. period. Why are you on these boards? Just to show off that you've been shot or that you got hit by a car? Honestly, Rich, keep to the discussion, and if you have no interest discussing your martial art, or if you think martial arts cannot be discussed in general, then stay off my topic. Both your insults and your bragging insult the intelligence of everyone here. I thought the boards had grown out of the phase where people would come on and invent fictitious lives where they were action heroes and brag about them, especially from an older poster like you.

Even if you had done all these things you claim, it still wouldn't be appropriate to this topic to bring them up.

But you see you have asked the question of WHAT IF in your system. Go back and see what could be done with your system to address the question. Ask if your art, has aspects of sport or competition to it and how would one back those "RULES" out and still use your art

this is exactly the sort of thing I would like to discuss, and the reason I came here to these boards. If you think that there is nothing to discuss, and that I need to 'go back' and think on it myself, I'm sorry I'm wasting your time.

But does WC hav an answer for a full in kick to the knee or the the rib cage? Would it not depend more upon the timing of the individuals involved?

Again, exactly the sort of thing I want to discuss. Yes, it would depend on the timing, but not entirely, Rich. It would also depend on the stance, dictated by the style, and the techniques that the style teaches.

Savage and cruelity and strength have a big impact. If the person is willing to poke your eye before you even think about just hitting him in a large muscle mass, then you might not be able to defend yourself as your system might have kicked into flight which might include mental flight or passing out.

this is exactly what I said, Rich. I agree that savagery and cruelty have a big impact. Read my posts fully before commenting.


If there is a technique it has a counter. If there is a counter then it can be beat. If it can be beat it must be bad. This is how I read your arguement. Where as I state that: If there is a technique learn the counter, and learn when the counter is to be executed and then learn the other countersfor the same move that come when you are early or late. WHAT DID HE JUST SAY? You mean there can be even more than one counter? OH MY GOD HOW AM I TO LEARN IT ALL? By studying andasking the questions and going back to your basics and seeing how they apply. ** Note trying to cover the groin, even if left open as a bait, One first must know it is available and then know to recognize when the opponent can take advantage of that situation and then how to react to them to block or counter their move. If you notice it depends upon the "ONE" and their reactions. So, if your teacher does not open your mind and or teach you a counter it could be that they do not know. Is this the fault of the art or the teacher, for not understanding the principals and basics of the system to recognize or "SEE" a counter? Or is it the fault of the system that this individual could not pass on the information to this person?

This was the most interesting part of your post. Yes, every technique does have a counter. My point is that not every style teaches that counter. The famous groin example. Muay Thai does not teach a counter to a sucker punch to the groin, because that is not allowed in Muay Thai. It does not exist. Sport judo does not factor in the possibility of a knee to the groin in its techniques. This is not the fault of the instructor, who is training you in Muay Thai or Sport Judo, not street defence. It is the fault of the art. If an instructor wishes to take elements from Sambo, JKD, or Wing Chun that allow you to counter such a move, so much the better. But this is not part of muay thai, and is a deficiency in the art. I agree that it is best that we all cross train and find as many arts as possible and take what is best from each of them. That almost goes without saying. But I think a discussion of what a martial art is good at, and what it is not good at, is fruitful for seeing where to go for technique shopping. I would not be advised to go to a boxing school to learn how to disarm a knife, would I?

I know this will sound patronising, but next time you feel the need to put mocking little barbs at the end of your sentences, Rich, please just leave them in the drafts folder and edit them out at the end. You're not humbling me, nor insulting me. I don't really see the point.

thank you for your post.
 

Rich Parsons

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First, to MJS. You're right, I think the application of the martial art is an extremely important part of how well you do, either in real life or in sports. However, I do think that there are differences between the styles, and that stylistic differences do influence our performance. In your example, gracie did dominate the early UFC scene, and in fact the MMA 'style' had to evolve to deal with that stimulus, and has since, in my opinion, become a lot better. Thanks for the post!

Secondly, to Rich Parsons. Maybe I caught you in a bad mood today, but you seem to be angry at me.

Nope not angry at all. Just confused as I stated early, I believe that you expect others to make your debate for you, even after you come in and insult people for having an opinion different then yours. ;)


I took this to imply that you were calling me someone who was too cowardly to be a troll. I am sorry if I misinterpreted you, it was not my intention to put words in your mouth.

You took it to imply. Do not read to deeply. I am straight forward.


The first part of this sentence I agree with, and is all I wanted to hear. No one wants to hear you whining about not understanding the points I am making. I have tried to make them again and again, and I am truly sorry that I can't get through to you. But your mockery is inappropriate.

So, it is only good if I agree with you and if I differ from your point of view the it is Whining. Even though your first post was a whine about how everyone shuts down yours and others arguements with your complaint. Hmmmmm, talk about hypocracy.

Mockery sometimes is a mirror. I will agree that I did approach this with mockery. For I could not see how else you stated your arguement or lack there of. Only that it upset you that you could not seem to argue against that point or statement.

As to making your points, you have not. You restated the same complaint or whine to use your words over and over. You started the BOLDING and or yelling. So I followed in suit. ;) I guess people do not like it when they are questioned. I guess people do not like it when they are replied too in kind.

I agree, the person's individual retention ability, as well as the training methods, affect how well the person will learn to defend himself, or whatever else he is trying to achieve. However, I believe that what style he chooses is also an influence. Again, your second paragraph was unnecessary and mocking.

The second was required, as you seem to not wish to really enter this debate until you are called out. A debate or arguement has opposing sides, with a difference of opinions and each sides presents their points, but I have not seen your points. I have seen you agree with me and others, but not make any points of your own, other than repeating your first statement, like that alone is enough. Hmmm, you are using the same tactic your are whining about. People make a comment and close the arguement. Instead you make a comment and want it open and ignore all points in difference to you. Nice.


You are right, I did mention some martial arts, when some of the other posters on the debate asked me to. The discussion moved on from my initial post, I was asked to present examples, so I did, even though in my first post I said I wasn't intending to. Do you understand how an argument can evolve and move beyond its initial premisses, Rich Parsons? But I am sorry if this offended you. You pointlessly insulting my argumentative skills at the end of this quote is slightly ironic, seeing as it discredits you as a debater and as a person.

Yes arguements evolve. But you stated this after you referenced those arts. Hence my quoting you. you do understanding the evolution of an arguement and having it rpesented in a proper order do you? ;) Based upon your comments and actions, I have to doubt that and now ask you.

But to insult is part of the debating process of baiting people into making a reply. I did not think I was insulting, I thought I was making statements. Presenting my opinion in an arguement or debate that you seemed to be ignoring. You may have taken it as insults. I cannot control how you take it. And yes the IMPACT is imporatant of peoples actions. But you were the
one requesting the debate. You were the one who would not accept what was presented. You were the one not presenting points, but only agreeing with what others have presented. This would allow you and or others to then take or misquote and not give any references upon other threads in other forums to make yourself look good. ;)

No one wants to hear your bravado and bragging about how tough you are. Your first statement seems to imply that you don't want to discuss your martial art, and that you simply know it's the best. period. Why are you on these boards? Just to show off that you've been shot or that you got hit by a car? Honestly, Rich, keep to the discussion, and if you have no interest discussing your martial art, or if you think martial arts cannot be discussed in general, then stay off my topic. Both your insults and your bragging insult the intelligence of everyone here. I thought the boards had grown out of the phase where people would come on and invent fictitious lives where they were action heroes and brag about them, especially from an older poster like you.

Ahh, but you do. You specifically ask me why I believed I thought my system was the best. So I took it over the top. I also made a point that no matter how stupid I have been in my life, others have to make their own decisions and their own actions and make the system their own. Not the system's fault, but either the instructor's or the students fault. My opinion. My point on this debate. But you see it differs from your desire or agenda so you wish to ignore and to try to complain or whine that I am insulting you. I was making a point.

I can provide my phone number to you and you can cal me with *67 so I do not know your number, or give me your number and I will call you on my cost. I can explain the situations that you do not believe. Once you hear them you will realize that while some inner strength was involved, it was the word "LUCKY" that makes the most sense. I did not make this up. It is in my past. Do I do this today? Nope. But I share it so others, do not make those same stupid mistakes I made. But once again you explicitly asked for proof. I provided it. Your only response is to assume it is a lie, as it disagrees with your agenda. Now maybe you understand some of my comments to you. ;)

Even if you had done all these things you claim, it still wouldn't be appropriate to this topic to bring them up.

It was appropriate as you asked me why?

It was appropriate because others have done it in recent or past history for their arts or systems. It is how people usually state they know it works. Most point to UFC and PRIDE today or MT fights as well. But these fights have no less validity to the arguement or why I believe somethign I know works then my own experiences.

But I understand that it makes a point against your agenda so you ned to attack it. ;) It is ok. I understand. Which is why I offered to talk.

this is exactly the sort of thing I would like to discuss, and the reason I came here to these boards. If you think that there is nothing to discuss, and that I need to 'go back' and think on it myself, I'm sorry I'm wasting your time.

The only waste of time, is your request for a debate or arguement and not thinking that people will have a point of view different from yours. It is a symptom of a closed mind, in my opinion. Hence I stated go back and look at your basics, and try to figure it out. Instead of trying to answer your own questions you want me and others to spoon feed it to you.


Again, exactly the sort of thing I want to discuss. Yes, it would depend on the timing, but not entirely, Rich. It would also depend on the stance, dictated by the style, and the techniques that the style teaches.

But I believe that I could answer your issue with the open groin within your system. How does one block a low line kick? They move the leg or place the shin in for a block. What happens when you move the leg the distance is changed. If one blocks then the issue one has raised your leg. So would either of these work agianst the sucker shot to the groin. I contend that they would. If you are close enough for him to punch you then you should be in contact with him. In contact you should be listening to your opponent tell you how and where he is moving. When you feel his shoulder and or hips move through his body, then you should be able to rais your leg in the block movement (* knee to the face maybe *) to stop his shot.

Instead of expecting everyone else to GIVE you the answer and looking for the SILVER bullet, I suggested a search into your own system and or with those who train in your system. If you choose to ignore this, I am not sure how I can teach you this over the internet.



this is exactly what I said, Rich. I agree that savagery and cruelty have a big impact. Read my posts fully before commenting.

So, it is ok for you to agree and quote others and or restate what they said, but if I restate something then you take it as a personal affront. I see.

This was the most interesting part of your post. Yes, every technique does have a counter. My point is that not every style teaches that counter. The famous groin example. Muay Thai does not teach a counter to a sucker punch to the groin, because that is not allowed in Muay Thai. It does not exist. Sport judo does not factor in the possibility of a knee to the groin in its techniques. This is not the fault of the instructor, who is training you in Muay Thai or Sport Judo, not street defence. It is the fault of the art. If an instructor wishes to take elements from Sambo, JKD, or Wing Chun that allow you to counter such a move, so much the better. But this is not part of muay thai, and is a deficiency in the art. I agree that it is best that we all cross train and find as many arts as possible and take what is best from each of them. That almost goes without saying. But I think a discussion of what a martial art is good at, and what it is not good at, is fruitful for seeing where to go for technique shopping. I would not be advised to go to a boxing school to learn how to disarm a knife, would I?

I say before looking at another art, look at those who you are training with. Ask if they can answer your qustions. See if they have the knowledge you are looking for. If you do not you have not given the common courtesy of asking. If they do not have an answer or cannot work to get an answer then you know it is lacking there.

But I think the real issue is something much deeper. You want to study MT as it has a tough reputation. But, you realize that most who study it study for the sport and do not wish to waste their time not that could not answer nbut waste their time answering your questions. So, id you are looking for a new art, then go shop a new art.

I repeat, it you are not getting what you want from your studies, go get it from someplace else. If the teaching style or the methods or the "Goals" of the system or art or instructors are not what you are looking for then go find it elsewhere. That is fine.

I know this will sound patronising, but next time you feel the need to put mocking little barbs at the end of your sentences, Rich, please just leave them in the drafts folder and edit them out at the end. You're not humbling me, nor insulting me. I don't really see the point.

If the above paragraph is not true, and you are just here to argue without presenting your point(s) and just agreeing with others, then please try again. You do not need to start with how the whole internet has insulted you personally and how this is just people who do not care about your feelings or point of view wish to ignore you.

But I like your statment. If I am not innsulting you, then why the concerns. If I am not humbling you then why did you not reply until there were comments you choose to whine about?

You could just leave off your lack of arguements and actually present a point of view with points and not just it is. So if it is ok for you to tell what to do, then it is ok for me to tell you back? Or would that be a disagreement?

thank you for your post.

Sarcasm? ;) A nice little barb at the end. Similair to


Have a Nice Day :)
 

Tez3

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One small point but a serious one. To learn how to defend yourself from groin strikes..... train (and spar) with children. It becomes second nature.
 

morph4me

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One small point but a serious one. To learn how to defend yourself from groin strikes..... train (and spar) with children. It becomes second nature.

You don't have to train and spar with them, just be around someplace when they're playing and chasing each other :lol:
 

theletch1

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One small point but a serious one. To learn how to defend yourself from groin strikes..... train (and spar) with children. It becomes second nature.
Tez, I literally laughed when I read that...because it's so true. When a kid throws a punch at you there is no "skill" involved. It's an all out attempt to hit anything at all. You don't have to worry about taking much injury but attempting not to injure them during the block will teach hand eye coordination, control and for me a great deal about redirection of energy.
 

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Also, keritano, I was just saying earlier in the thread that what constitutes good is the subject of whatever debate you are having about martial arts, as we agreed there can be no one definition of it. Good, for example, at evading attacks to the groin or eyes, or good at disarming, or all the examples you pointed out. My point with this thread was just to propose that it is possible that some arts are bad at defending against weapons, or low attacks, etc. This would be denied by proponents of the phrase 'the style is only as good as the martial artist'

True, very true. "Good" is in the eye of the beholder and the effectiveness in a given situation.

So, essentially the techniques are only as effective as the effectiveness of the user.
 
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Giorgio

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sorry, I didn't quite understand how the two sentences follow, keritano. could you go into more depth?

Okay Rich, I do not understand why you think I am ignoring your points, or that I am mocking you. I apologise if I ever mocked you, that was not my intention. ('Thank you for your post' was not sarcastic. I genuinely appreciate that you take so much time to answer me). I don't think we're getting through to each other, because I have accused you of not making points, and you have accused me of the same. For the record, here are my points:

-That styles differ in their emphases and specialisations. Some styles are better at some functions than others.
-By corollary, some styles are worse than others at certain functions.
-Here we define functions as situational uses, i.e. sport usage, self-defence one on one, self defense against a group, etc.
-That the style a student uses determines the kind of martial arts he will practice, not entirely, but to an extent that goes beyond just his own effort and his teacher's effort. A boxing student will almost always have better punches than a tkd student.

I actually don't think we've been addressing proper points for a while now, so that's there for simplicity's sake.

Thanks for all your posts.
 

exile

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I actually don't think we've been addressing proper points for a while now, so that's there for simplicity's sake.

Thanks for all your posts.

Giorgio, I'm gonna give it one more shot.

In order to refute the claim that 'The style is only as good as the martial artist', you need to provide at least one pair of MAs X and Y such that no practitioner of X, regardless of how good that person is at X, can defeat a practitioner of Y. One can quibble and qualify this criterion, but basically, that's what it means to disagree with the premise you want to `revisit', and challenge, in the thread.

Let me give you an example from another domain: chemistry. The most brilliant, learned, quick-witted proponent of the phlogiston theory of fire will lose a debate on the phlogiston vs. the oxidation-chemistry based theory of fire every single time. In physics, any moderately competent second-year graduate student in physics will be able to win a debate with the most gifted classical physicist who ever lived about the proposition `Classical physics offers a complete account of our current data on matter and energy'. The point is, there is an inherent superiority in modern chemistry and physics over alchemy and classical physics respectively which will allow the former to deep-six the latter every single time, regardless of the level of academic distinction in the advocates on both sides (assuming that all of them are professionals in the field).

Now in effect you are claiming that the same kind of inherent superiority holds between at least one particular MA and some other particular MA. Fine: what are the MAs that this is true of? All you need to do to make your case, or at least be a participant in an actual debate on the subject you yourself raised, is to tell us: In a fight under some given set of rules, a practitioner of martial art X (for some particular X) will always lose to a practitioner of martial art Y (for some particular Y), regardless of how good the practitioner of martial art X is. OK, your turn: identify X and Y. A very simple question. If you can't answer it, then really, there's nothing to discuss. If you can, then we have something to talk about. Over to you.
 

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