Phil Elmore

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About Phil Elmore

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  • Location New York
  • Interests Philosophy (specifically Objectivism), the martial arts, shooting, and writing -- not necessarily in that order.
  1. I did not consider it in those terms before, but yes, I think I would have to agree.
  2. Workplace problems

    I have been treated unfairly or inconsistently at jobs previously, over matters that had nothing to do with the quality of my work -- office politicking, primarily. The last time this happened, I simply decided I would not tolerate it. I found another, better job, and left. I enjoyed the exit interview immensely.
  3. Martial Arts

    So do I. That doesn't make the art one does the "ultimate" martial art; it simply means one has taken responsibility for gaining and keeping that value. Gratuitous Non-Ultimate Photo!
  4. Martial Arts

    Depending on to whom you speak, Wing Chun is an effective, efficient infighting system, or an absurdly stylized art for pansies who get their clocks cleaned so regularly their nicknames are all wristwatch bands. I spent two years training in Wing Chun and consider it a very good system, but it's no more or less effective for "kicking butt" than is the current system in which I train (Silat) or the other styles taught at the Wing Chun School where I studied (JKD and Hung Gar Kung Fu). Everybody who trains in a system they love considers that system "the best [place further descriptors here]" and eveyone who knows an accomplished technician who studies Martial Art X is wowed by the efficacy of Martial Art X. This is again a function of the individual rather than the system. There are some arts I consider more efficient or more realistic than others, but no one of them has cornered the market on posterior percussion.
  5. Martial Arts

    I have no problem with that statement, but it means that the "ultimate" martial art changes from person to person. This renders the statement, "Martial Art X is the ultimate martial art," largely meaningless; it tells us only that the person making the statement has chosen an art that works best for him according to his values. This is why I object to the term "ultimate" in the first place -- because the term connotes some sort of absolute superiority. The more accurate statement would be, "Martial Art X works best for me."
  6. Martial Arts

    I object to the term "ultimate" because I think martial performance depends much more on the individual than on the system. "Ultimate," to me, implies "undefeatable" or somehow superior in technique. There certainly are some systems whose techniques are more realistic and more efficient than others, but a skilled practitioner of one the latter will defeat an unskilled practitioner of one of the former in most cases. I also object to "ultimate" because it implies a single martial art superior (by whatever criteria we choose to use) to others, when in fact there are several arts and systems whose practitioners perform equally well (on average) at any given tier of martial development and according to whatever criteria are used (though the groups will vary with those criteria). Hung Gar and Wing Chun aren't better or worse than each other when used by equally skilled practitioners; they are simply different and accomplish the same goals through different means (though they share many similarities as well). One could easily argue, for example, that WWII Combatives as taught by Carl Cestari, combatives as taught by Kelly McCann, or even Combato, Defendu, or Defendo are as simple and as expedient as Krav Maga but more effective. We could make the same argument about, say, Contemporary Fighting Arts or Senshido -- or even pit these systems against one another. Who would be correct? Even some sort of contrived sporting event pitting practitioners against one another tells us more about the practitioners than about their styles, which does not even touch the previously voiced objections about whether a sporting competition is even an appropriate environment in which to evaluate the performance of a martial art not intended for sport. (By this I mean that one assumes the system is for self-defense, which is not a sport.) There are certain universal principles -- on which no two practitioners of martial styles and systems are likely to agree on any given day -- to which any effective, efficient martial art or system should correspond, and many systems do so to varying degrees. Many people believe the system in which they train is the "ultimate" art, or they wouldn't be training in it. Barring absolutely ridiculous technique, however, any reasonably constructed system can and will work when applied by a determined practitioner. There may indeed be some sort of Platonic Ultimate Martial Art, the Sun Source from which all lesser systems spring (if you're thinking, "Sinanju," we should talk ), but I've not seen it, I don't know how anyone would determine it, and I doubt anyone's likely to prove their case for it anytime soon. There are skilled practitioners and there are systems better suited to some individuals than others. There is no single, perfect, "ultimate" system of which I'm aware, though.
  7. Martial Arts

    Rather than "ultimate" technique, it is probably fair to say that there are superior and inferior training methodologies.
  8. Martial Arts

    That is precisely the problem; there is no single "best choice," because there are many arts, systems, and programs that will accomplish the same goal in the same expedient manner.
  9. Martial Arts

    There are no "ultimate" martial arts. Criticisms can be made of the techniques in the Krav Maga system just as in any system. Certainly KM is to many people's liking; it is no more or less "ultimate" than any other contemporary fighting system, however, such as CFA or Senshido or American Combatives or any of several other non-kata, non-belt, "no-BS" programs.
  10. Martial Arts

    A kata is an exercise used to refine techniques -- not a single technique to be applied as a whole.
  11. Martial Arts

    Also, be extremely careful when using Wikipedia for martial arts research. There are political feuds between several opposed martial groups whose supporters constantly edit and re-edit (sometimes incompetently) each other's entries.
  12. Photography

    Adorable! There was a nest of feral black kittens outside the kung fu school I used to attend. The first picture is the mother; the second is one of the kittens, who let me get fairly close:
  13. Martial Arts
  14. Martial Arts

    Me, too.