Monday, July 15, 2013
Do Ya's Wanna Fight About It?
I was recently speaking with someone about how we (as students) used to train (in various manor's). In those days (35 +/- years ago) I/we did a lot of “different” (stupid) things that we (at that time) considered to be “practice”.
I participated in all of the “hand/arm/leg” conditioning farce's that have shared varying amounts of popularity over the years. I've done the (varying) indoor/outdoor/summer/winter training marathons. And I've participated in endless hours of “sparring”.
It is that time spent with sparring that I regret the most. It has taken me years to undo the myriad of bad habits that were acquired from my participation in that fallacy.
When students come to us to train now, they often have questions regarding “sparring”. To the uninformed beginner, the assumption is that they will need to “spar” in order to learn how to defend themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The typical manor of sparring that one see's in 90% of the (supposedly) “self-defense” schools today, are designed for (and utilized as) “confidence building” tools. The arguments that are used to justify the practice are as ridiculous as the practice is itself.
The majority of schools tend to focus on their students sparring for the obvious monetary reasons. It's a “sport” pastime, and it draws students (who pay for their time spent at the school).
Those schools that focus on the sparring aspect for training, rarely offer much else (in regards to defensive training). They often (honestly) believe that by repeatedly sparring, they are learning how to defend themselves (and are gaining experience in doing so).
The “reasons” they give to their students (for it's emphasis), are misleading (at best), if not criminal (in application). As I have stated numerous times, if the true “intent” of training, were to be able to out muscle an opponent, then every class (time) should be spent doing weight training. Women and children should not be allowed to train (no point, they will always be out “muscled”). And kata practice would be waste of class time.
The only reason that this sparring myth is perpetuated, is because the majority of M.A. Students are never involved in a physical altercation. For the one's that go out and start those confrontations, they provide the excuse for why whatever was shown to them, didn't work (because they were the actual aggressor).
Studying a (any) martial art will only raise your odds (of not getting your ass handed to you). That's what it's purpose has always been. It won't make you some “killer-ninja” or an unbeatable warrior. It will only raise the chance of you not getting your ass kicked.
All you have to do is go on “U-Tube” and search out “street fight videos”. You won't see any (actual) martial artists, nor will you see any of the technique's that are commonly practiced in a dojo either. That's because most people don't know how to fight! (and those that do, don't tend to get into fights).
The vast majority of “street fighters”, have/rely on (their) “1” technique (to get by with). It will work for them 98% of the time, and that's sufficient knowledge for them. This has always been the case (throughout time/history).
Possessing a tremendous amount of combative skill/knowledge has never been a priority for any “street thug” and/or “martial artist”. It's always been about the one's who (were smart enough to) keep their own ability's and “tricks” secret (from any potential rivals/threats), that might persevere (against them) during a serious confrontation.
Smart practitioner's learn to avoid the typical “Alpha” confrontation, and only concern themselves with the “Predator/Prey” situations. It's the 2nd that's likely to send someone to prison and/or the hospital (either of which is more serious than “jail”).