Carlos

Martial Arts

67 posts in this topic

Oh, I didn't want to brag, but, in BJJ, they won't let you graduate from Orange Belt until you can do a hand-stand with a green troll mounted on your feet while simultaneously stacking asymmetrically shaped rocks and making a droid hover around you; well--if you are in a semi-respectable academy that is.

"A great grappler become you will! hrprmmmahrr!"

I really like your sense of humor.

A stand-up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu comedian! :D

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I invented a martial art, called Dave-Jitsu. Many an opponent has been rendered helpless by laughter after witnessing my "moves." I end every battle with a victory heel-click a la "Singin' in the Rain." :D

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I found the following wikipedia pages to be very helpful in my research:

1. General information on martial arts (click)

2. List of martial arts (click)

I am going to start learning a martial art when I go to college. I found the Russian martials arts system "Systema" (click) to be interesting, but I doubt there is a school in my area. I'm going to be looking for a martial art that doesn't have fixed "kata" since I think unpredictability is important for effective fighting.

I think it's important not to look at this in a vacuum. If you want to use martial arts for health, it might be useful to research weightlifting, cycling, nutrition, stretching/yoga and anything else that might help get you in shape. I have a wonderful 10-15 minute daily exercise "ritual" on video that requires no equipment. Also, you might consider buying the book The Fighter's Body which essentially is a nutrition book geared to martial artists.

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I am going to start learning a martial art when I go to college. [...] I'm going to be looking for a martial art that doesn't have fixed "kata" since I think unpredictability is important for effective fighting.

Some universities offer martial arts, of one sort or another, as a course that fills the PE requirement.

I don't understand the comment about katas. Doing them doesn't make a fighter predictable. If "kata" means the same thing as huangs (aka "forms"), then I was taught to do them in a Tae Kwon Do school for several reasons: a way of using a wide variety of muscles over and over again, to strengthen them and gradually increase their speed of response; to accustom the body and mind to doing a wide variety of combinations, one immediately after the other; and creating poise, a characteristic worth having on the street or other stressful situations. Some arts use forms as one element of training, and other arts don't.

Having sparred a little and having viewed competitions, I have never seen any evidence that predictability arises from having been trained, in part, with katas.

Personally, I do understand the desire to avoid katas. That is one reason why I enjoyed jujitsu so much.

I have a wonderful 10-15 minute daily exercise "ritual" on video that requires no equipment.

What is the difference between this ritual and a kata? Don't they share some common elements: exercise of certain muscles, day after day in a fixed sequence? Of course, the katas are martial arts movements -- punches, blocks, kicks, and step-asides, for example -- in addition to being excellent exercise.

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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.

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I've dabbled in several M-A, but I'm not really proficient in any. I did 2 years of Japanese swordsmanship (batto-jutsu) - I enjoyed it but it's a purely esthetic art which has no practical value, so after a while I got bored. The last 3 - 4 years, I've been doing some highly practical, empty handed MA. What I'm working on now is Wing Chun, which is a form of Gung fu.

For a beginner, I think the most important thing is: do you want something *practical* in a real self-defense situation. There are martial arts that are more practical than others, both because they've not diverged too much from their roots and because they deliver effective techniques quickly. Among those are Wing Chun / Jet Kun Do, Muay Thai (Thai boxing), and probably a few others (Krav Magra maybe, the Russian system, the various Indonesian arts,...).

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Carlos E. Jordan writes:

". . . when you train do you use wooden swords as would be done in Kendo where you just strike each other or do you use the rapiers with the little sensor on the end that buzzes when a hit is landed, or is this just done in competition?"

Wood? WOOD? We use cool steel, my man. For a nice little Flash animation on competitive fencing check here. Electronic scoring is used for competitions, but, is not necessary for training. (Also, there are animations for those other so-called 'sports.')

Jordan also writes:

"Oh, mcvideo, if you are going to be that serious about fencing you need to get one of those canes when you get older that have a sword attached to the handle sheathed hidden-like within the shaft (but I think they are illegal. . . )"

Not a bad idea. If I look around enough, I'm sure I could find one. Anyway, I've been thinking of learning Krav Maga for defensive purposes. I just wonder about any potential difficulties in trying to master two different disciplines.

Finally,

". . . (but the field of plastic surgery is making amazing advances)."

Just what are you trying to say? :D

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... Wood? WOOD? We use cool steel, my man ...

How's this for cold steel, mcvideo?

threeswords.png

Left to right:

Custom Dueling Saber, US Army M1913 Cavalry Saber (reproduction), British M1908 Cavalry Saber (original).

:D:D:D

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I don't understand the comment about katas. Doing them doesn't make a fighter predictable.

Maybe I was wrong about them. I don't remember where I heard that, but for some reason since then it has stuck in my mind almost as a self-evident truth.

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

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If you're making a list of martial art styles, don't leave off Krav Maga.  I enjoyed it quite a lot, but I traded it in for ballroom dance.  I find I prefer dancing with pretty girls to fighting with guys.  :D

There're a lot of differences between KM and traditional styles.  For example, there're no katas.  If you have a scale for martial arts, with the martial component (i.e., how effective it is in a street fight) at one end and the art component (i.e., the degree of focus on the precision of movements, the sporting nature of it, etc.) at the other, KM is almost 100% toward the former end of the spectrum.  It is not a  sporting martial art.

Krav Maga is the ultimate martial art: modern, scientific, and brutally effective. It's the application of Objectivist morality to the realm of personal self-defense: your own life is the ultimate value, and the goal is to save it at all costs. No rules, no katas, no spiritual hogwash - just simple, effective moves.

Krav Maga is Hebrew for Contact Fight; it started as a practical guerilla martial art to fight the Nazis, and developed through 50 years of Israeli conflicts. In the past 20 years or so it had been transformed into a civilian fighting method, and caught like wildfire around the world.

I have 8 years of Krav Maga under my belt, and I highly recommend it.

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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.

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I did Shotokan Karate and Taekwondo. I think martial arts are great for the self-discipline and the physical training.

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Phil,

First, I do not know enough about Martial Arts to know which one is best. I would think it matters to what you want to learn it for. But, to state that there is no "ultimate" would be like stating there is no ultimate philosophy, exercise, learning process. There is an ulitmate in every field, though I or you might not know it yet, does not make it so.

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Phil,

First, I do not know enough about Martial Arts to know which one is best.  I would think it matters to what you want to learn it for.  But, to state that there is no "ultimate" would be like stating there is no ultimate philosophy, exercise, learning process.  There is an ulitmate in every field, though I or you might not know it yet, does not make it so.

I agree.

Phil, if you know KM and have criticisms of it compared to other systems, I'd love to hear them. But, since martial arts are very complex and very different, one of them has to offer better self-defense value to the average civilian. And I believe KM is that system. It is in that sense that I was refering to it as the "ultimate" system.

I was not claiming that KM is ultimate out of context, regardless of goal. Some martial arts are aiming for inner harmony, or beauty of movement. Others are aimed at law enforcement personnel. I believe that KM is the most developed practical civilian martial art out there. If it's not, then some other martial art deserves the title - and I would like to know which one. There are definitely objective standards to evaluate this.

Some of them would be: comprehensiveness, simplicity, effectiveness, structure, basis in scientific theory and research, ongoing improvement and self-correction, etc.

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Let's hold on here a moment before everyone wastes their time in pointless arguments about whether or not KM is the ultimate martial art.

Why don't we first define WHAT exactly an "Ultimate Martial Art" is when you say that.

I don't think you can compare philosophy and martial arts on this issue, saying since there is an ultimate philosophy, there is an ultimate martial art.

Though I do think there are similarities, you can change the applications and extensions of a martial art, but you can't change its principles without calling it a different martial art: for example, Helio Gracie took traditional jiu-jitsu, changed it, now it is called Brazilian jiu-jitsu. You can't say that bjj is modified Japanese jiu-jitsu just like you can't say Objectivism is modified __________ (fill in whatever you want, point should be same).

So let's specify exactly what we mean when we declare "ultimate martial art"(erandror already briefly has, I am speaking to anyone else that jumps into this), THEN let's argue on whether or not there can be an ultimate martial art. I would be disappointed to see this thread dissolve into pointless and mind-numbing debate after I made this opening statement:

"*DISLAIMER*: Let's keep this discussion steered away from arguing about superiority/inferiority of particular martial-arts, not because I'm unwilling to judge the value of one but simply because I have found it to be a waste of time"

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Carlos,

Do you expect people to come with their ideas and not have values. Everybody has values, and that will determine their choice of which Martial Art they choose. Once they have choosen their "MA" do not expect them to not defend it. One will most likely try and explain why they have choosen their "MA". This would be called open discussion.

With that said, I was not attempting to state that one kind was superior to the other, that will have to be choosen by the individual in relation to their value choices. Their is an ultimate and it is in relationship to your values, individually.

So, I agree that it is a waste of time to try and shove your ultimate "MA" down somebody elses throat, because they have their own values. That is they have their own ultimate "MA" and until their values change, if ever, their ultimate can not be changed by anyone else.

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*laughs* I literally just got back from doing some Judo and BJJ so I'm fired up, let's discuss :D

Of course I expect people to have values :D it is rather important to one's life. Yes I expected individuals to defend and support their martial art, but that isn’t necessarily the same as arguing that someone else’s is inferior.

When I stated that disclaimer, I did not mean I thought judging value of martial arts to be a waste of time, I meant arguing about who’s martial art is superior or inferior.

When I hear "the ultimate_______" within the context of the statement I think "the ______ to end all _______".

For example: Objectivism is the ultimate philosophy. It is the philosophy to end all philosophies. You can't out-do, modify, improve or best the philosophy's principles, it is the ultimate, period. However, I don’t think martial arts can be treated the same way, I’ll explain further down.

And I don't think MA (let's abbreviate martial arts to this) can be treated BROADLY in the same manner; rather, I agree with you, it is within a field of common value choices that a superior one diverges from the rest.

The best way I could think to explain it would be through an analogy:

Let's say MA=an automobile.

You just can't claim that a certain new car you developed is the ultimate car and the car to end all cars. Sure, it may have a 400hp engine, seats 4 comfortably and gets 30mpg, but Bob over at his company could come out with the same car, but give it a better cup-holder, and now we would have to call it the ultimate car, the car to end all cars. But then I would just come up with one with a better cup-holder AND prettier tires and now I have the ultimate car, the car to end all......ad nauseam.

Nor can we just on general claim one vehicle to be superior to another. For example, you can't say a Lexus sports car is superior to a Ford work truck because they are in different classes. A rancher in Montana has different values he looks for in a vehicle than a rich business-man in New York City; that Lexus would be worth virtually nothing to the rancher and the same goes the other way around.

But yes, we clearly can have superior cars within classes corresponding to what people buy them for: the best work truck amongst other work trucks, so on.

If we didn't discern between these things you could argue that Kendo was superior to all of the unarmed combat fighting styles because it would be almost impossible for a Jeet Kun Do or BJJ practitioner to beat someone carrying a Kitana. But then you could say a MA involving firearms was better than that, then you could say….

Nor can we claim that so and so has developed the ultimate martial art, because all one has to do is modify it for the better and now we have a new and better martial art(give it a better cup-holder).

But yes, I do think there are martial arts that are clearly superior within a class based on needs and values: unarmed fighting, knife-fighting, disarming someone carrying firearms, restraining without injury, killing as quickly as possible…I’m just tossing things in the air but the point should be clear.

So yes, your art can be superior within a class, but its superiority is not necessarily permanent. A MA is a method and strategy of self-defense and fighting, but there is no method, technique or strategy to end all strategies. Someone can always eventually have the ambition to refine the knowledge and come up with a better technique, strategy, method, or martial art in general.

I’ll use an example from BJJ: you will never find “the golden move” or “ultimate technique”. Sure, your particular form of the leg-triangle choke may currently be unbeatable, but I bet there is some random master down in Rio de Janeiro that is formulating and refining a counter to that move. That is how a MA grows, and on a larger scale I think, how all MA on earth have and will continue to develop, strengthen and be born: it’s a beautiful process :D

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"Krav Maga is the ultimate martial art: modern, scientific, and brutally effective. It's the application of Objectivist morality to the realm of personal self-defense: your own life is the ultimate value, and the goal is to save it at all costs. No rules, no katas, no spiritual hogwash - just simple, effective moves."

There are other MAs that one could say the same thing about. I think it was in Mastering JuJitsu by Renzo Gracie and John Donaher there was a quote in there that was praising BJJ because "dubious metaphysical theories" are not inherent or part of the martial art. It is just a MA, end of story. Here are the principles, our reasoning behind the principles, and the techniques developed from them....but no Chakras, Chi, energy fields, gods, whatever :D (coincidentally an Oist friend of mine claimed they had to bow to sword-deities before starting their Kendo class! I don't know if this is common practice or not)

Though BJJ may be a grappling art, chiefly on the ground, we are taught to use elbows for strikes in self-defense situations, so we are taught not to have rules applied to us in self-defense. Rather, we are taught to be able to rationally make decisions on how to end the fight properly within the context of what is happening.

And once again, I think you could argue that many if not most MA could be based on Oist morality: "Jiu-jitsu was developed as a self-defense art--not as an attacking method. the main emphasis of the art's structure is to protect and preserve the student's physical integrity. Jiu-Jitsu is a defensive art in nature."

I am not trying to take anything away from KM though, because as I have said, if the IDF support something it get's my thumbs up :D

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Can we take another approach: Invite Oakes and Carrie (free spirit) to tell us what benefits they are seeking in a martial art?

For example, do each of you want to be able to defend yourself if attacked on the street -- or do you plan to join a Special Forces group which will, in part, do the attacking? Are you looking for anything in addition to that self-defense goal -- for example, general physical conditioning or some other benefit? If you have several goals, then which is the most important? Please rank them from most important to least (but still required).

With that information, experienced MAs in this thread can offer suggestions based on their own experience. I would suggest that Carrie and Oakes will need several suggestions because many specialized MAs may not be available in their areas.

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I would suggest that one way that one could, with some degree of objectivity, determine a "best" Martial Art in a realistic context would be to have the acknowledged top experts in a given MA square off against each other and see who ends up winning the most matches (according to the criteria set in the context.) Would the top expert in Krav Maga be able to beat the top expert in (name your Asian Martial Art)? Could any of them have beaten Bruce Lee? The context should be something reasonably close to the real world, not a stylized arena.

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I would suggest that one way that one could, with some degree of objectivity, determine  a "best" Martial Art in a realistic context would be to have the acknowledged top experts in a given MA square off against each other and see who ends up winning the most matches (according to the criteria set in the context.)

One problem I see is that some of these arts are designed, in part, to cripple (as in eye gouging) and kill. Once you set rules to limit the crippling and ban the killing, you have neutered those arts. Besides, such contests would not show how any one art is best, but that one individual is more effective under contest rules.

Contest rules don't apply on the street or in special-forces attacks.

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I agree with you Burgess.

When I was in the Marine Corps we would use many different types of warrior training. These types would range from boxing, kicking, sticks, knifes, close quarters combat. When the instructors set rules that do not apply in real world combat, such as one punch to the head and we have a winner, I would sometimes lose. I am not the best boxer, nor did I care to be. I was a warrior though, and when we fought in real life situations, I won every time. I have never taken a specific martial art but by definition I am a Martial Artist.

Martial: of, relating to, or suited for war or a warrior

We were also taught how to take down prisoners for questioning or just kill them. The idea of keeping them alive can sometimes get one killed. One is trying to keep a person alive while they are trying to kill you, this is difficult. This is the equivalent of setting rules; "no punching here or there, don't slash and stab, and most of all make sure you don't kill him". This also can be defined as Martial Arts; of, or relating to war.

I would like to state that I think the ultimate "Martial Artist" by definition are Navy Seals, because they truly are suited for war! They also continually evolve to stay the ultimate artist in there field of WAR.

p.s. Although I do not think this is what most on this post had in mind, martial art, translated means "The Art of War".

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I don't think you are a martial artist, though you certainly are MARTIAL and very successful at doing so. I would not call a soldier a martial artist for the same reason I would not call a writer or author to be a manufacturer of typewriters. They certainly do USE martial arts effectively as a means to an end, but that does not make them martial-ARTISTS.

A soldier learns a martial art to win battles, a civilian to preserve the integrity of their loved ones’ lives (including their own), a police officer learns martial arts to ensure the liberty of those he protects; a Martial-Artist learns martial arts to learn martial arts:

A Martial-Artist is the fountainhead of knowledge pertaining to the science of man-to-man combat; a scientist of fighting. A Martial-Artist dedicates his life to the study of a martial art as an end in itself, for the sheer joy and enlightenment of mastery of a martial art; and, if he desires so, to pass the knowledge down to new students, who inspired by their masters, will do the same in turn.

Martial-Arts do not exist because of police officers, soldiers and civilians-they are but the grateful recipients of the knowledge-martial arts exist because of Martial-Artists; they are periodic links in a long flowing chain of knowledge :D

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artist: 1) one who practices an art, 2) artiste

art: 1) skill acquired by experience or study 2) a branch of learning 3) an occupation requiring knowledge or skill 4) the use of skill and imagination in the production of things of beauty

I would think by the definitions above, specifically under art numbers 1 and 3 and artist number 1 that a warrior does qualify as a Martial Artist. But, I also understand that you might define your understanding of Martial Artist under art, number 2. Which warriors definitely are part of, because no one is born a warrior. To be a martial artist is a skill that requires experience or study in a specific branch of learning, that being Martial/War. Then it is translated into an occupation, that of a warrior. This makes the warrior even more of a Martial Artist than a civilian learning it just to learn it. Although a teacher of Martial Arts also has turned it into an occupation. But, that teacher is still a teacher of Martial/War.

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