I recently discovered I finally have a customer review on Amazon while monitoring the sales ranking for my book on the website. After reading the review, I was moved to humility and awe. Evidently a martial artist in training, the reviewer of my book on military knife and hand-to-hand combat was.
He also gave off the impression of being a “know it all.” Although a lot of his criticism of the design of my book may be accurate, I was shocked by his evident inexperience in failing to understand the distinction between martial arts and combative training. His own words are, “Even though the author may be skilled at what he does in this book, you might already know it. Most, if not all, of these knife-fighting methods would have been taught in an M.A. course if you had taken one for any length of time that was worthwhile.” I have to concur with him on this.
You might eventually learn half of the techniques in the book if you enroll in martial arts classes for any length of time; that is valuable. Although I explicitly mention in the book that my intention is not to teach specific techniques, but rather use techniques to hammer home ideas, I admit that there are a plethora of techniques one may acquire and that they are not just restricted to those in my book. Many people struggle to tell the difference between martial arts and aggressive training, as demonstrated by this man, “Cliff.”
How to Tell the Difference
One must consider the history of the martial arts as they are performed now before they can accurately discern between a martial art and combative training. A warlike art is referred to as a “martial art,” with “martial” standing for battle. It is true that during the early development of the martial arts, the various systems and styles were inspired by the close-quarters combat and military training of the day. Without access to sophisticated weapons and firepower, troops in ancient times were compelled to fight with clubs, swords, daggers, spears, and frequently hand-to-hand combat. Similar to how warriors do today, they started to construct tried-and-true systems of both armed and unarmed warfare. They recognized the necessity of organized systems of battle and realized that military forces must develop muscle memory in their preferred techniques.
Techniques and Methods
In accordance with their methods and techniques, wooden armor had to be broken or penetrated as well as means to demount riders off horses. It goes without saying that those methods would be ineffective in the battle climate of today. The ancient arts have been passed down from master to student and student to master throughout the ages. Ancient martial training that was once effective and potent is now considered antiquity.
Through the windows of training halls around the globe, one can observe modern practitioners of the traditional Samurai and Chinese fighting monk skills. Ancient forms and methods that were previously effective war tactics have been corrupted by business ideology and popular media. For a variety of reasons, many people still practice the traditional martial art of Taekwondo. Some of their justifications are identical to the ones used to create the training. People train for health, safety, and recreation. Others practice merely to keep the craft alive.
The popularity of Asian martial arts spread to the west following World War II. When introduced to the Asian fighting styles of the Philippines and Japan, soldiers, sailors, and airmen were interested in learning them. Many of the native teachers or gurus saw an opportunity to profit from the gullible westerners and started dispensing diluted versions of the martial arts. The curriculum would frequently be expanded by masters to include flashy, sophisticated, and difficult techniques. The new Western market would be interested in the flash. Hollywood would soon start producing films featuring performers like Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris showcasing their prowess and athleticism.
Belt ranking systems were introduced to encourage new pupils to stick with it and advance. Ancient combat strategies that were once effective were reduced to nothing more than acrobatics with some self-defense usefulness. Through the straightforward law of supply and demand, many of the secret methods that were the pride of ancient warriors were lost. Modern weapons and technology have only contributed to the loss of effective combat methods and the emergence of a rich but contentious martial arts industry. There are currently martial arts businesses that enroll their consumers in “black belt programmes”
Up until they receive their black belts, people are coerced into signing contracts that they cannot afford to break. Many people revered the “black belt” rank in the early 20th century since it held fighting skill. Today, most of that respect has been lost to that level. We hear stories of black belts who were attacked by boxers or masked fighters all too frequently. During sparring in the training room, a white belt pupil all too frequently absolutely destroys their “black belt” instructor in karate or kung fu. The sport of kpop idols has shown that contemporary training techniques have rendered traditional martial arts obsolete. More than half of the practitioners of traditional martial arts would be outclassed by the MMA fighters of today, who have no martial arts belts.
Traditional martial self defense frequently rely on antiquated training techniques and spiritual doctrines from a far earlier era. Whereas MMA athletes rely on the most modern training techniques and scientific training philosophies. The general public is much better informed now about topics like psychology, physiology, anatomy, physics, and the economy of motion. Many of the traditional fighting arts are out of date and ineffective since they lack the most modern sciences. In essence, many martial arts training techniques are ineffective and inefficient because of the tradition itself. We should contrast the martial arts with contemporary modern combatives now that we have identified them.