Author Topic: Why Study Martial Arts?  (Read 2268 times)

Offline Alcatraz

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Why Study Martial Arts?
« on: December 01, 2010, 03:35:39 PM »
People are drawn to Martial Arts for a myriad of reasons ranging from keep-fit through to self-protection with about a zillion other reasons between.

I have heard about people studying Martial Arts in a 'non-contact' enviroment.

What must be remembered though is that the etymology of the word Martial is taken from the Latin root Martialis, or, 'From Mars', Mars being the Roman god of war and conflict.

Therefore, the principle guiding force in studying martial arts SHOULD be with a conflict roll in mind.

Now that conflict roll dos not always have to be physical. Visual and verbal indicators should always be taught as well, along with possible avoidance.

However, ultimately, the physical aspect of what we study is to learn to fight.

How one choses to fulfill their preference in that physical aspect is entirely down to the individual.

My personal belief is that if one is studying Martial Arts with a mind to Self-Protection, then (if an adult), that training should take on an element of training in controlled, non-compliant, full contact scenarios.

I hate to sound like a cliche here, but regardless of style, system or training method, you'll only get out of Martial Arts study from what you put in.

As well as teaching Karate, I'm regularly training with a group of guys and gals who come from Krav Maga and JKD backgrounds. The sole aim of this group is self-protection.

There is no organisational hierarchy; no belts, sashes or grades/ranks; only dedicated martial artists of varying backgrounds and abilities.

Belonging to a famous organisation, or having a well known instructor, unfortunatly, doesn't always equate to best practice.

There is only one thing that counts when studying (or considering the study of) Martial Arts, and it's not belts or sashes; titles or ranks; style or system; lineage or history.

The ONLY thing that counts in the study of Martial Arts is dedication of intent.

I would love to hear your opinions.

Sensei John 'Alcatraz' Clark (4th Dan).
Kilmarnock Kempo Dojo
Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland, UK.

Offline Wado

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Re: Why Study Martial Arts?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2010, 05:36:19 PM »
I believe the catch phrase I like to use is "development of practical application".

What is practical for someone really depends on their situation. For example, what is practical for law enforcement might be different than what is practical for a doctor, or for a musician.

Another catch phrase I like to use is "don't change the art, allow the art to change you".

I believe if you train in a completely no contact environment, you are both not developing practical application and you are changing the art. Two bad things. Unfortunately, this isn't how many think. Many think it is okay to change an art to suit your needs and many think it is okay to practice applications in an unrealistic manner.

I like how kajukenbo allows for adaption of the art without having to change it. I also like how kajukenbo has a reputation for training with contact and those that can't take it quit and go find somewhere else to train. Problem solved!

One just has to go to the younger folks to see how life looks through their eyes. I remember teaching one of the classes a week at the University of Washington for my karate instructor. In the Winter quarter we had huge classes. The topic came up why people train. There were different answers, but the ones that summed it up the best was a group of young ladies that said, "we want to get in shape so we can wear a bikini in the spring."

Now a business-minded person could probably sell a nice version of martial arts just to sell to these young ladies. However, this would not be necessary if training already was demanding physically. And training was. Training wasn't good until all the windows were fogged over and sweat drenching everyone.

It just so happened that these students had more than one reason for training. Sure, looking good in a swim suit in the spring was the first goal, but they said that they wanted to learn how to defend themselves as the #3 reason. #2 reason they were training is because their friends wanted to take up martial arts and talked them into joining too.

So the only part of training they were missing with just a good workout was the part about learning to defend themselves. Welcome to martial arts 101. Just takes pushing people a little out of their comfort zone each and every time. Even those that started out afraid to be touched or touch anyone else, eventually found themselves hitting with light contact, and eventually, if they stayed longer, hitting full contact. All with control and fighting spirit!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 05:42:54 PM by Wado »
W. Yamauchi
Mateo Kajukenbo
Seattle, Washington

Offline Pat Regan

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Re: Why Study Martial Arts?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2010, 01:25:43 PM »
I'm only in it for the chicks.   :D
Gung Fu

Offline RizZ

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Re: Why Study Martial Arts?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 02:15:56 PM »
I'm only in it for the chicks.   :D

me too
Scott Goldstein
Kajukenbo Black Belt - 1st Degree
Under Sifu Victor Ballesteros & Sifu Virgilio de Carvalho
Frontyard Fighting Arts - Nyack, NY

Lakan Isa
Pekiti-Tirsia Kali