Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Martial Arts doesn't teach Self-Defense

In response to this article:


Firstly, Martial Arts in this article will be used to reference specific styles like Karate, Taekwondo, Judo, etc.

Martial Arts has been created to have a self-defense focus plus much more: internal peace, physical strength, mental growth, and awareness internally and externally. 

However, generations down Martial Arts has become watered down or have more of a sports perspective.  Let’s analyze this.

Watered Down

Why?  Because there are not enough Instructors who know how to teach beyond the basics or who can teach beyond the basics.  What we forget is that no matter the style, everything before Black Belt is simply memorizing technique.  It is after Black Belt that one learns to teach, apply, be aware, and understand the nuances behind techniques and how they interrelate.  Martial Arts is more about awareness, but if you stop before you can even begin to understand this lesson then the concept of self-defense will not be understood. 

When your teachings come from a student who has yet to achieve a Black Belt then you will always miss a component of your training because that Instructor is still learning to memorize techniques. 

When an Instructor stops his/her learning then what is passed down is cut down further.

End result:  Instructors thinking they know Martial Arts when really there is far greater learning to be achieved.  Students thinking they are learning Martial Arts and can protect themselves when really they are just scratching the surface.

 Sports Martial Arts versus Martial Arts
Sports Martial Arts has become popular through Olympic desire, movies, the desire of competition or by watching UFC/MMA.  However, sports martial arts focuses on simply that-competition.  It is a different caliber of training for the purposes of one end goal to win a match under specific guidelines/rules, etc.  Under that pretense, it is not comparable to a self-defense situation and it should never be promoted to advocate for being a form of self-defense.   

 The article:

Where do I agree and where do I disagree.  I agree that more often than not, I too see a misconception of reality in the Martial Arts arena.  There is something called situational reality and then there is reality.  When we learn just techniques or sport martial arts, post videos of self-defense situations is promoting a false image and a false sense of strength and ability to protect oneself.  Why, because it is situational.   Self-defense involves prevention and immediate techniques to distract and escape.                           

 However Martial Arts, when not watered down, can provide a sense of empowerment and one can learn self-defense when taught and learned correctly.  More importantly, patience is required.

 What can you do as a student?
When learning, ask yourself:  Why are you in specific positions or doing specific techniques?  How would it apply in a self-defense situation? Could it apply in a situation that you can visualize?  Is there something missing in your training-if you are seeking more, then you are probably needing more.

What can you do as an Instructor?
 Have you continued your training?  Can you adapt to every student’s needs?  Do you see the art or the sport as your primarily goal and henceforth how do you promote your style?  Would you use the same techniques in a self-defense situation?

In Summary:

If techniques are the only thing you learn, the concept gained is a false representation that you can defend yourself. Sadly, this is the accepted ideology. Techniques need to be repeated that is how self-defense comes about. Confidence comes in awareness, awareness comes in repetition, repetition comes in years of training.

Learn the truth, teach the truth, and embrace the truth.

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