and Tae Kwon Do and Other Traditional Arts
The truth is much of what is taught in most traditional
styles of Self defense training and street fighting techniques should
be much simpler and more direct than what is taught in most dojos
and dojangs. This is especially true if the instructor is still
teaching what his instructor has passed down from generation to
Many systems teach high kicking, complicated wrist
maneuvers, hard to hit pressure points and other techniques that
most likely would never work under the stress of a street attack.
Additionally, the number of defenses from the same and similar attacks
are too numerous for the average person to wire in successfully.
I am not against traditional training.
Not at all. But let's look at it for what it really is. Martial
arts such as karate, aikido, kung fu and tae kwon do have a host
of wonderful benefits for both children and adults. Some of these
benefits include getting and staying in shape, developing self discipline,
weight control, improving self confidence and learning some very
important life skills.
I teach full time at my karate dojo five
days a week. I see these benefits developing in my students every
day. But let us not fool ourselves into believing that most traditional
training would be effective on the street in the 21st Century. Here's
Martial arts were developed many years
ago. During the times and in the existing cultures where they were
developed and practiced the needs and civilizations were quite different
than today. In some instances the training needed to be done in
secret as not to allow the powers to be to know. Weapons were even
made illegal in some cultures, necessitating the development of
Katas (forms) were developed by karate
masters so that students could practice on their own. These forms
developed excellent focus, balance, speed, power, self discipline
and form (and still do today). While they can help a martial artist
improve their overall ability, they do very little to help their
self defense skills.
Additionally karate masters (and masters
of other arts) kept their most effective techniques secret and only
taught them to a select few who were to carry on the system. Most
of these hidden techniques are lost today, especially to westerners.
For self defense to be effective, we
must deal with simplicity and directness, considering the effects
of adrenaline stress. Systems must be easy to learn, simple to execute
and easy to remember in order to be effective. Read more about this
kind of self defense training at Street