What to consider



Ok I am going to ramble some. I have been thinking lately about what I would consider a complete martial art. Or what I would consider a complete martial art for me, I know this has been brought up before so please be patient.

One must consider a variety of issues. Both from a practical standpoint and other long term issues. I think a certain amount of legal instruction in the use of force is appropriate. I am fotunate in the regard that I have some police training and they certainly emphasize a use of force ladder. I would think this is most appropriate for training.

Other issues that are often neglected are fitness and awareness issues. I think for an art to be complete it must include training and instruction in awareness. In one of my reserve police officer classes we had a guy come in once. A few minutes later we were asked to describe him. One could certainly do a little work on this in each training session. In addition to awareness a complete art should teach a good mindset.

I like what Forrest Morgan said about fitness in his book the martial way. Often people are lead to believe that if they learn these ancient Asian tricks they don't have to be fit in order to come out victorious. So a complete art should include some instruction on various aspects of fitness. Note I said instruction as fitness need not be part of the martial arts class. It can indeed be an individual activity. Though I think the dojo of a complete art should have some fitness training facilities.

Another issue that martial artists often ignore is firearms. But the opposite is also very true, shooters neglect the hand to hand aspects of combat in a way that is most dangerous. So in my view a complete martial art should include training in various aspects of firearms usage. From simple shooting to weapons disarms and retention techniques. And methods that are proven in the field.

A complete art should include techniqes that are effective from day one. But also more advanced techniqes that will work for more complex situations and considerations. I guess what I am saying is that a complete art should bridge the gap from self defense courses or millitary combatives and traditional martial arts.

Striking, grappling, throws, ground work, and proper fighting ranges for the above techniques should be incorporated.

I guess what I am saying is that a complete art should be holistic. considerign and integrating many aspects of fighting and personal development. I am just beginning my journey toward this art, or maybe I have been on it my whole life and am just now realizing it. But it is what i have been thinking about for the past couple of days. It will take a while to learn what I need to learn, but I would like to eventaully be able to pass on something worth passing on.
Perhaps a complete art should include everything. But is a complete art right for everyone, or should some people specialize in striking, or grappling, or what have you? There's value to both specialists and generalists!
Well, every combat-oriented art is complete. There's striking, stand-up grappling, ground fighting, submission moves, throws, locks and manipulations, etc. in every combat art. It's just how things developed. Now, emphasis is placed on certain things over another, and each have their own unique qualities (such as clinching, throwing, ground fighting, or plain old pounding the guy) and that's up to you.

I believe you need to be well-rounded in all aspects of fighting. You have to be comfortable with all ranges, and be comfortable with all types of people. I personally found big guys (tall and heavy) easier to beat than very unorthodox fighters that are quick who SEEM to not know what they're doing. It's kind of hard to understand, but I think some of you know what I mean by unorthodox. But you have to practice with all body types, and people of certain qualities. You have to train against the smaller, quicker, more agile and flexible guys, the power hitters, the clinchers and grapplers, and people who love the ground. However, you just can't be general. You also have to be specialized in something. Well-rounded doesn't mean say, 33%, 33%, 33% or anything like that. Without specialization, you won't get to the top. And I've never met a person who wasn't better at one aspect of fighting than another. For some people, things come naturally. Some beginners seem equal in all aspects of fighting but slowly, they'll find out what they like to do and what works for them.

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