"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
My Martial Arts Philosophy
Yes, I am back to teaching Martial Arts and this time I believe it is going to be for a long season. I am the Founder and President of Good Fight Taekwondo and Kickboxing Academy. I am operating my business in Gates and Hertford Counties, North Carolina. Currently I have 50 students registered in my program and the list continues to rapidly grow. I am teaching at Gates County Community Canter and at Ahoskie Christian (A Private Christian School) This article may not be for everyone, as it is focus on my personal philosophy and approach of martial arts in general. However, I am sure that for my students, lovers of the arts and people considering making me their teacher, this article could be helpful.
As a Martial Artist I have experienced Boxing, Taekwondo, Kickboxing, some Shotokan and some Wing Chung Kung Fu. In all of these styles I was able to see much non-sense and unpractical traditions in basically all of them, but Boxing and Kickboxing. The Boxer and the Kickboxer trains for full contact competitions, so at least they prepared themselves to hit hard and to receive hard blows. The rules are simple and the expectations become very clear from the very beginning of our training. As a boxer and Kickboxer you will know how hard you can hit and how much you can take. That for me is very important and key in you knowing yourselves as a fighter. However, in the other styles I did see a lot of worthless traditions and drills that were useless in real life situations. It is expected that an advanced Martial Artist be able to fairly defend him/herself under normal circumstances. To see a High rank Martial Artist, even Black belts, in situations where they are unable to even have a balanced fighting stance is ridiculous. It is almost as if today we are literally selling the Black Belt rank and people are walking around thinking that they can fight when in reality they don’t have a clue what true fighting is.
As it refers to Martial Arts, I am so glad for the MMA (Mix Martial Arts). Why? Because Mix Martial Arts have shown us that many of our traditions as Martial Artists are indeed a waste of time and money. When you are in that cage whatever forms you learn, whatever fancy kick you give and crazy stances you properly executed in exhibitions will become useless. If you don’t know how to keep your hands up, if you don’t know how to keep your balance, if you don’t know how to throw punches and effective kicks and if you don’t know how to defend yourself on the ground you are up to a very rude and painful awakening.
One of the greatest problems I see in the Martial Arts world today is the overwhelming emphasis on Point Fighting. This is a light contact competition that pretty much stops every time someone throws a technique to determine by three of four judges if the point will be granted or not. It gives the Martial Artist a delusional sense of their abilities as fighters, especially if they are successful in these kinds of tournaments. In real fight situations, there will not be a person stopping the fight and judges determining if that was a point or not; it will be a continues attack. Things get worst with Taekwondo because they allow kicking to the head, but not punching to the head; this creates a very lazy defense.
A fighter will be as effective as the rules of fighting allow him to be; so you can be the World Champion in Point System, but get knockout in a kickboxing competition within seconds. That same kickboxer that knocked you out might be in a cage with an MMA fighter with extensive ground fighting experience and tap out in the first round as he finds himself on the floor and unable to move as kickboxer. Bruce Lee was ahead of his time as he discovered very quickly that many of the things that he learned as a Wing Chung Kung Fu Student were not applicable with a much taller, larger and stronger opponent. In my opinion, Bruce Lee was the first mix Martial Artist. So you saw Bruce Lee in his movies moving like a boxer, you saw him in the ground and actually, as you listen to the man, he was not into one particular style. Bruce Lee stated: “Be shapeless, formless,like water…” Why? Because every fighting situation is different: Some are big, some are strong, some have great hand power, some can kick very fast, some can take your best punch and look at you like they want some more; you may get hit in the process and have to deal with pain and dizziness, the space may be too small, too large, your opponent may grab a weapon, etc. etc. So we must be like water as Bruce said: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO3sBulXpVw