Someone once told me that when they first entered a Karate dojo on their first visit to Japan many years ago and saw everyone sitting in seiza (kneeling position) all lined up in a military fashion without a smile on their faces, he was surprised that he felt through the strict and stillness, a feeling of gentleness.
He believed he had experienced the true spirit of Japan.
People often ask me which martial art I consider to be the best. I think that those who ask this question do not really understand the martial arts world.
Here's why, in the feudal days of Japan, if you met an opponent you knew that he was out to kill you and it was then a case of kill or be killed. Consequently, the Bushi (warrior class), learnt techniques that would now be considered extremely dangerous.
In order not to cause injury to our training partners, modern Budo (Martial Arts) has incorporated special rules banning such techniques. I covered this in my last article Kata or Combative.
Even in Japan there are very few true martial arts schools that teach and practice killing techniques.
The result is that many of the techniques you are taught today are just for sporting competition and therefore not for real world situations and are not the original Budo techniques at all.
Remember, these rules were developed to avoid injury, which is counter to what they were actually intended for. Real Budo has no rules and execution of a technique in a real confrontation that could result in serious injury to the aggressor.
I will leave to your imagination to realize the terrible consequences and the dangers of fighting without rules.
So much of what is taught is nothing but a game. Real combat can never be competitive.
The question which martial art is the best? Well in my opinion no one art is any better than any other, each has its own advantages. No one art has all the answers.
You must understand this one simple fact, the martial arts have a link with the feudal era. So in order to begin to understand the meaning behind any particular martial art you must first learn about traditional Japanese etiquette.
The way of the warrior has been passed down from generation to generation and has survived from those feudal days.
We live in a time of violence, where shootings, and stabbings are commonplace. Budo and sport are different. If it's budo then we disregard our own life but in sport, then we take safety measures, you must differentiate between the two.
Have We Come Full Circle?
What goes around comes around.
In modern day combative training you do not fight for sport. You fight to WIN.
Thus, you must strike first be pre-emptive and resort to any tactics as clearly as possible because that is the best form of self-defense.
But also please realize that if you are aware of what is going on around you then you'll avoid any potential danger areas and will not end up in a difficult situation in the first place.
Attaching the eyes, gouging, smashing a kneecap, head butting are valid in combative training. One of the most important lessons you can learn is that fancy moves and aerobic kicks being taught in some dojos as self defense just do not work in reality.
That's why, combative and experienced martial artists alike are discarding many conventional actions that thought were effective.
What's more, a lot of practitioners do not want to learn just how to do a Kata (form) or a fancy high kick. They want to learn practical self-protection for today's environment.
Street Gutter Tactics.
Literally means the techniques of striking vital parts of the body. You can not burst someone's eardrum and call it sporting tactics.Indeed, if a Karate person used this technique in a contest he would be disqualified on the spot
To be proficient in any martial art takes years of dedicated practice but as I have said before in today's high-pressure society many people have either the time nor the inclining for lengthy training sessions.
As a result, they want a more practical street orientated system, which teaches them to dispose of an assailant as quickly as possible. See my manual: (The Secret Power Of Simple Self Defence Tactics), available on line. They want the best way to zap any attacker.
Some May Even Call It Barbaric!
Mindset and 100% aggression and commitment will win the day. Not sport. When your life is at stack anything goes. All options are viable.
I do not believe in the philosophy of turning the other cheek. It's your duty to defend yourself and I'll definitely retaliate with kind if attacked. If someone tries violently to change my life then I will certainly change their minds that's for sure.
But learning the craft of close combat does not make you invincible I describe it like learning to swim. It might not necessarily save you from drowning if your ship goes down, but your survival odds are a heck of lot higher than a non-swimmer. Get my point?
In summary, the western military arts have a lot to offer someone who wants to learn about self-protection and until recently civilians were excluded from learning a lot of these extreme end techniques.
But not any more, because with a slight adaptation for civil life they are now becoming very popular via combative type training clubs and with some excellent enlightened instructors and specialist fighting men who will tell you what really happens when you have to react under stress.
So if you want to learn what really works you 'de do well to seek them out as they have a wealth of knowledge to impart.
When your backs against the wall you must enter, suffer or triumph.