• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

lathomas64

Martial vs. Art

Recommended Posts

I learn what proper Krav Maga looks like from my teacher, and his form becomes the 'beauty' that I try to emulate. By trying to be true to the "beauty" of his proper form, I am practicing an artform, even though it is for the purpose of making the correct techniques for real combat.

Superb combat skills = Beautiful = Art

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find myself in a very unique position within the whole debate of 'traditional' vs 'contemporary' martial arts (self defence in this day and age is an entirely seperate issue and has very little to do with most martial arts, recognisiong then avoiding potential violence coupled with an understanding of how to justify your actions correctly is probably the most iportant thing in this context).

Whilst I have never trained what most would consider a 'traditional' martial art, I train (regularly - as in several times per week) with an amazingly broad cross section of people who have an enormous degree of experience in TMA. Such as a 5th dan former olympic judoka, 4th dan kyokushin grades, wing chun instructors, escrima practioners, muay thai practioners, collegiate wrestlers etc. It is impossible for me to ignore the different skillsets each of these brings to the fight...in their specific domain and ruleset.

On the other hand, I have a purple belt in BJJ which I train almost every day, train with several police 'personal safety' trainers and as a major plus, present live TV commentary for international MMA promotions.

I firmly belive that if you were going to take a typical unrestrained ruleset you need a multitude of skills to win effectively, absolutely no single 'style' stacks up but most have at least a small component that could be built into an overall effective game. Some considerably more so than others.

Were I going to be as prepared as possible, I'd train muay thai, freestyle wrestling and brazilian jiu-jitsu (with an mma context).

Now there's two primary reasons I'd take these 3: Firstly you cover all the ranges a fight can take place: free movement striking, clinch grapple, clinch strike, ground grapple, ground strike. It's no good being able to strike brilliantly if you can't keep the fight standing and it's no good being able to incapacitate someone on the ground if you can't close the distance under duress. Secondly: all are combat styles that are not based on any form of compliant training which for my money is the killer of most traditional martial arts.

If I am sparring 100% against an opponent, and they know exactly what I'm trying to do and are resisting 100%, yet I can still execute the technique then we know that's functional, usefull and applicable - one of the many reasons I love BJJ.

If you cannot train a combat art against progressive resistance and have it still be effective then you need to be training something else (if of course effectiveness is your goal, a lot of modern incarnations of TMA in my opinion are fun and social more than practical).

(NOTE: See Matt Thorntons excellent notes on 'aliveness' http://aliveness101.blogspot.com/2005/07/why-aliveness.html )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I study German folk wrestling, and there's pretty much no "art" aspect, or philosophical background to the training. It's all short, efficient movements tending toward brutal destruction of limbs, eyes, or genitals, designed to stop the enemy from killing you and to kill or disable them in the process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In bujikan, we (or at least many of the people I've trained with) tend to be cheeky bastards that prize pragmatism. We regularly go over that fact that if you get the chance, you should run. Discretion, valor. We also often train where the end of the technique is 'figure it out'. Above all, when I'm helping the new guys, I tell them to just move. I'm not great at it yet, but I know those that are and I have no doubt they could handle themselves. I've heard how a student was promoted to 1st dan (blackbelt) because his sensei heard the story of how, while working as a bouncer at a bar, he stopped a guy without himself or anyone else getting hurt. After hearing about it, his sensei called him on his cell to let him know. We're told in class that a black belt just means that you can use the things you are taught in a real fight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you need to kill people move to Texas and buy a gun... in my mind there's no reason to learn the art of killing people with your bare hands today...

if you think you can go to BJJ or MMA school and fight off raymond daniels "a point fighter" on the street, i got news for you... you can't...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, but martial arts were developed in times and places where defending yourself or actively killing people was more commonplace if not downright necessary. For me, the martial arts I practice are fun and self-defense is a bonus. I don't actually WANT to harm anyone though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I've said before: martial arts nowadays have very little to do with self defense. I seriously doubt anyone (average joe) regularly practices a martial art for the specific purpose of 'killing people with your bare hands' - as poster above said, it's all social activity, personal development, enjoyment etc.

The fact that I could end someone with surprising ease is honestly quite unsettling when you actually think hard about it. Everything I do in training and competing is to me: just part of my art/sport, though when you actually take it to it's logical conclusion, it's abhorrent to most people. If I heel hook you to completion...well that's 6 months of acl/mcl repair and rehab. If I submit you with a choke: it represents that if I didn't choose to let go, you're out in 10 secs, brain damaged in 30 and dead shortly after. If that thought isn't slightly unnerving to a person they should probably have themselves checked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about that last part. I think there's a big difference in accepting that the moves can, and were designed to, do those things when done full force and kinda wanting to try it out.

I'm just starting to learn jiu-jitsu (about 4 months in), but when learning the techniques, we're always told what can happen full force and things are usually presented in scenarios that lend themselves to self-defense. My sensei's thoughts on the matter is that jiu-jitsu is for self defense, and judo is for sport. While I can say that I don't want to harm anyone I'm practicing with, I certainly don't hold reservations about harming someone if I have to use it on the street. In my mind at least, knowing that I have the control to not go full force is enough to where I don't feel uneasy about having the ability to snap someone's arm like a wishbone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on the level. Most of the stuff they teach to recruits and the like is to get them used to fighting at any distance and allowing them to settle stuff relatively safely. I'm not sure what they teach higher up the chain, although I assume it's more practical stuff.

Notanartmajor, I do it mostly for recreation, but I do like what I learn to be practical if it's ever needed. If I was picking one up purely for fun and exercise, I would have gone back to doing TKD; which I might end up doing once I feel like I've got a good baseline in self-defense.

Edited by cianalas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know about that last part. I think there's a big difference in accepting that the moves can, and were designed to, do those things when done full force and kinda wanting to try it out.

I'm just starting to learn jiu-jitsu (about 4 months in), but when learning the techniques, we're always told what can happen full force and things are usually presented in scenarios that lend themselves to self-defense. My sensei's thoughts on the matter is that jiu-jitsu is for self defense, and judo is for sport. While I can say that I don't want to harm anyone I'm practicing with, I certainly don't hold reservations about harming someone if I have to use it on the street. In my mind at least, knowing that I have the control to not go full force is enough to where I don't feel uneasy about having the ability to snap someone's arm like a wishbone.

Sorry I didn't mean I felt uneasy about it (I've been rolling long enough that I have been party to pretty much every type of injury that can come from the application of submissions and unfortunately I have been responsible for several myself.) - I meant to someone who doesn't train, the idea of learning the application must be very unnerving (apologies if the original remark was a tad ambiguous). But I should also note I was also referring in the first post to the idea of actually killing someone with a choke not just breaking an arm - bones heal.

To me the application of submissions is just part of BJJ/MMA - if you don't tap in competition...well I will just go until something breaks or you go out and I expect the same back from my opponents. I have a nice vid of me dislocating a guys shoulder in competition from an arm-drag/inside shoulder lock variation (think similar to Frank Mir taking out Pete Williams in the UFC).

I'm not so sure about the BJJ for self defense and Judo for sport concept for a couple of reasons. I sparred last night with a Judo Olympian...trust me: that era of Judo is not just for sport - if he threw me on concrete I'd be in a very bad way - but I agree the current rule sets for Judo are developed around spectators not the art. Unfortunately modern gi BJJ is going the same way as modern incarnations of Judo. The IBJJF just banned underhook dela-riva and berimbolo sweeps because they feared it may apply too much pressure to the knee - What a load of bollocks! Reaping the knee meaning a DQ - Also a load of bollocks! Makes me very sad to see the art going too far down the 'sport' rule set.

Just as a side note: breaking a tough and stubborn persons arm is not necessarily that effective if they have a huge amount of adrenalin. I was rolling a couple of months ago with a blue belt at our club - nice guy, bit of a gypsy type, very very stubborn. I arm-barred him from S-mount which he fought like crazy before tapping. Didn't see him for 4 weeks then he showed up with a cast on his arm. I asked where he'd been and he told me that I'd actually fractured his arm that night...barely slowed him down. Lesson from this: choke the guy - everyone goes to sleep if you get on their neck!

It depends on the level. Most of the stuff they teach to recruits and the like is to get them used to fighting at any distance and allowing them to settle stuff relatively safely. I'm not sure what they teach higher up the chain, although I assume it's more practical stuff.

Notanartmajor, I do it mostly for recreation, but I do like what I learn to be practical if it's ever needed. If I was picking one up purely for fun and exercise, I would have gone back to doing TKD; which I might end up doing once I feel like I've got a good baseline in self-defense.

IMO Military is a different ball game from recreational martial arts and the 'average joe'. That being said....

Two of the weekly MMA classes we teach are on a USAFe air base to a huge range of Military personnel. I've sparred with anyone ranging from admin staff to pilots to first responders to grunts to OSI officers to spec ops etc. All the training they've received doesn't really match a decent level of BJJ/MMA. Of course that's the air force, the army may be very different (I have a lot of training partners in the UK military as well and it's a similar scenario). I'm sure it changes if you go right up the food chain anyway but in my current limited experience there really isn't a focus on 'killing people with your bare hands'.

Edited by GoToTheGround

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry I didn't mean I felt uneasy about it (I've been rolling long enough that I have been party to pretty much every type of injury that can come from the application of submissions and unfortunately I have been responsible for several myself.) - I meant to someone who doesn't train, the idea of learning the application must be very unnerving (apologies if the original remark was a tad ambiguous). But I should also note I was also referring in the first post to the idea of actually killing someone with a choke not just breaking an arm - bones heal.

Agreed on the average person being nervous about it. Same thing happens with anything semi-dangerous. There's people uneasy when I pull out a pocket knife to cut open boxes at work.

I'm not so sure about the BJJ for self defense and Judo for sport concept for a couple of reasons. I sparred last night with a Judo Olympian...trust me: that era of Judo is not just for sport - if he threw me on concrete I'd be in a very bad way - but I agree the current rule sets for Judo are developed around spectators not the art. Unfortunately modern gi BJJ is going the same way as modern incarnations of Judo. The IBJJF just banned underhook dela-riva and berimbolo sweeps because they feared it may apply too much pressure to the knee - What a load of bollocks! Reaping the knee meaning a DQ - Also a load of bollocks! Makes me very sad to see the art going too far down the 'sport' rule set.

I should have clarified some. I'm learning Shingitai (traditional) Jiu-Jitsu. Agreed that BJJ is heading more toward sport, but it is kind-of expected when it's most known for it's uses in MMA competitions

IMO Military is a different ball game from recreational martial arts and the 'average joe'. That being said....

Two of the weekly MMA classes we teach are on a USAFe air base to a huge range of Military personnel. I've sparred with anyone ranging from admin staff to pilots to first responders to grunts to OSI officers to spec ops etc. All the training they've received doesn't really match a decent level of BJJ/MMA. Of course that's the air force, the army may be very different (I have a lot of training partners in the UK military as well and it's a similar scenario). I'm sure it changes if you go right up the food chain anyway but in my current limited experience there really isn't a focus on 'killing people with your bare hands'.

I think this also depends on goals. If they are trained in killing people, this doesn't necessarily translate over into being good at friendly matches. I don't know what they teach after basic, but just because they can't apply it in a sport setting doesn't mean it's inferior for their uses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now