Use of Martial arts?



Here's a tough question with no one answer.

What is the ultimate indicator of a martial art's effectivness?:confused:
I know I can't answer that easily for myself.. So here is another question....
You are in a bar. A fight breaks out and you're in it. It starts standing he kicks you kick he moves in you clinch after moving around you go to the ground, you're rolling around and suddenly he kicks you off and gets up to grab a beer bottle. he breaks it and is swinging at you , you find a position fianlly where you can get a pool cue and you reattack him.

No outcome described... Just a question. How many different fights were you in ? what if his buddies came in to make it two on one. Again. How many fights were you in ? What KInd.

I believe that the most effective art gives the fighter these skills...
to fight from kicking range and move to boxing, to fight in the trapping/clinching range and go to the ground to be able to fight there. If a weapon comes to understand how it works and be able to fight witrh a weapon. Flow from range to range, adapt to all varribles and not find yourself in unfamilure territory. This at least is my long answer to a short direct question.

The above answer is 6 different fights and 7 with the buddies

...but what the hell:)

Ultimate effectiveness as a martial artist? To be able to defeat any and all opponents in the least amount of time, regardless of environmental conditions, weapons, size, whatever, but never get into a situation where these skills would be needed.

As a parallel, I'll relate a little story, and I'm sure most of you have heard variants on the story's theme. However, it's my nickel, so you sit and listen! :)

A head of a Japanese system was walking along a path with several of his students. He was to pass on the leadership of the system soon, but wasn't sure which of his top two students should be named his successor. As they walked along, those two students walked ahead of the group, where they came upon a slow moving horse.

The elder of the two stepped around the horse and continued on his way, while the younger student slowed his pace and followed the horse from a close distance. Without warning, the horse kicked out at the younger student. With graceful agility, the young man leapt to the side, avoiding the kick. At the same time, he withdrew his sword and cut off the horse's leg, sheathing his sword in the same movement.

The fellow students and other bystanders marveled at the young man's speed and skill. The old master then announced that the elder student would be his successor. Some of the other student's were shocked at the announcement, stating that the skill just demonstrated by the younger student showed that he should be successor. While the master agreed that the younger man showed great skill with his use of the sword, he named the elder student as successor because he was wise enough to recognize the potential for danger and avoided it beforehand.

Okay, I think I've gone off on another tangent. I'm sure you've heard this story or others like it. Gah. Me shut up now.

Great story. I have heard a different version but liked this one. The answer at the beginning was good. My experience has been that the styles I have studied in the past were by themselves very incomplete and in reality did not cover but one kind of opponent and mostly in one range. The other areas like "empty hand defense against a kinfe" still being taught today in these styles, is so unrealistic because they have not been really tested in anything today. Today I see fighters of such sophistication (not all of them in martial arts) that unless the style has evolved it cannot be all those things to the student. blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada. I really have to watch myself here. I can easily insert both feet.

Yeah, it is hard to discuss the weakness of various system without insulting a practitioner of that system who hasn't evolved enough to honestly dissect that system for themselves. Every system has a weakness. There is no one 'complete' martial art. That's like saying there is one perfect car. A truck is great for hauling stuff, but is lousy if you have a large family with lots of babies (think car seats). An economy car is great on the wallet, but offers subpar performance. A sports car has a lot of zip and looks nice, but maintenance and insurance costs are murder. I don't know. I think this is a weak analogy, but maybe the point came across.

I think a 'classical' martial art system works best when used against other practitioners of that system. For that system to work on people with different or no training, the student has to be adept enough to know how to modify what he knows in order to use it 'on the street'.

We then come back to crosstraining. Determining what to crosstrain in requires an honest assessment of one's system to recognize, say, a weakness in defending against a shoot, an overdependence on unrealistic stances, inadequate hand techniques, etc. This can only be done by a person with appreciable experience in that system who is openminded enough to recognize that his/her system is not the be-all-end-all. Then it's a matter of researching other systems and learning how to apply their strengths to eliminate your weaknesses.

It sort of comes down to Lee saying that ultimately, martial arts was "honestly expressing yourself".

babbling again, dammit
I used to think that it was a waste of time to reinvent the wheel. But I now believe that everyone must find their own way. Finding weaknesses is hard when only sparring someoen in yourown system. To find the "truth" (hope not too monkish) you HAVE to go outside. Even in a system like JKD you will only find partial truths. You have to go everywhere to find IT. The Kool thing about certain JKD groups is that they all go different ways and to learn from everyone is extremely ecclectic.

See ya
Kinda like the story of the village that was looking for a samurai. 3 came and applied. They were sent into a hut to wait. As the first went into the hut a man attacked him with a pole. The samurai sliced it in half. The second man parried the blow. The third looked at the door and announced that they man should not attack a seasoned samurai and should come out before he got hurt.

The village hired the 3rd samurai.

In response to the other conversation. I agree that no art has it all for all people. Find what is right for you from wherever you can get it. Don't be convinced one thing will be all to all people.
Illustrated in Akira Kurosawa's classic film, Seven Samurai. If you haven't seen it, rent it! Better yet, buy it! Great movie.

Can one thing (system) be all to any person ????
I don't think one system can be all to any person who is honest about him-/herself and the system studied. Any person truly adept at their chosen system will realize that there is no true 'complete' martial art.

Once this is realized, this person can either recognize the weaknesses and do something to 'fill in the gaps' (crosstrain), or they can simply do nothing, but they will always be aware of the weaknesses and will probably help other advanced students to recognize them as well.

This is being based on classical systems, most of which were created generations ago and their concentrations and biases have been programmed into their practitioners for decades, sometimes centuries. Even now, if someone were to attempt to create a 'complete' system, individual preferences and concentrations would very likely sneak their way in, leading to weaknesses in other areas. There is nothing wrong with this, it's just bound to happen with any art created by an individual, who has his/her own likes and dislikes.

Besides, it's fun to crosstrain anyway.

It is fun. Anyone who doesn't do it misses out on the fun quotient alone!

Most people are too busy trying to save face.
Anything in time will become stale. The newness of doing something different and really being a student is unbeatable. It seems that the ones I have found myself connected to were always students first. I have had many people refuse to ask a question or even train along side other students because they were an INstructor of some kind. These people are really missing the point. It's fun at time though to watch them get a new student with spastic energy give them something other than the clean technique they are used to ....what do you think happens then?????;)
They used to say that the best swordsman in France never feared the 2nd best swordsman. He feared the worst swordsman, because you just never knew what they were going to do! :confused:
The TKD fella that runs the university martial arts class (only 1 credit, but credit for martial arts!) loves to learn new things, often getting students of other styles to teach him forms. He even wants to basically become my Okinawa-te student. Great guy. If I ever wanted to seriously study TKD, it'd be under him. Like all the best martial arts instructors, he's still a student at heart.

That is exactly it. The best teachers are the ones who never stopped being students.

I'll learn anything from anyone. I may not keep it, but I'll sure as hell take a look at it first!
The beautiful thing about MA is that it is never complete. Always wondered what was going through the minds of those who act as if they found all the answers. Even technique we have known for years and functionalized has to be tweeked to use against certain people. It is constant learning.
And here I was wanting that one super-secret-technique that works against anyone!

Heh heh heh:rolleyes:
We always JOKE AROUND with my advanced tudents about closing the doors and covering the windows to teach the "seceret stuff" Wouldn't it be nice. I was training one time at a school (TKD) and this dude told me he had the seceret stuff from hInstructor the past night...He told me "one of the things was when executing a spinning heel kick to first aquire your target visually when you turn and then begin the kick".....I always thought this was simply standard correct form...Guess not.

Oh man, I have secrets. Lots of them! Wooooo...wait till I make my secret video!:eek:
At the risk of sounding like a jerk, Jim, that TKD guy you mentioned is a damn fool. How are you supposed to safely train that kick if you're not looking at the target beforehand? What if he did that kick to a partner holding a kicking shield and missed? That guy (and possibly his TKD teacher) are really lacking in the common sense department.

(rant mode=off)

Sorry about that...just got done with some homework where the solution to one problem took about 4 pages. The horror...the horror.

My system doesn't have secret techniques, per se. At the advanced levels, we simply break forms and techniques down more intensively. We could conceivably do this for the lower ranks, but we'd probably risk confusing the hell out of them. Better they learn the basics of the form first. At any rate, if they're dedicated enough, they'd discover that knowledge on their own, eventually.

I think 'secret techniques' is just an extremely cheap attempt at retaining students.

w/brain goo oozing outta my ears

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