To him unconquered.
Lifetime Supporting Member
- Sep 7, 2006
- Reaction score
- Columbus, Ohio
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 ****.
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?