Monday, July 31, 2017

My Martial Arts Philosophy

The most important thing in my martial arts philosophy is "The Way".

Martial arts training is like an adventure you will go on. This adventure is your very own journey. Your journey and mine won't be the same. Imagine this journey as a path going up a mountain. Everybody wants to get to the top of the mountain. Getting to the top signifies accomplishing your goal.

The philosophy of "The Way" states that how you walk your path is more important than accomplishing your goal.

Take for example someone who gets to the top by cheating, breaking rules, and by being cut throat. This is no good, same with someone who gets to the top by being a bully.

Even if you don't make it to the top, if you helped others along the way, and you made some good friends, then this is great!

I cross train in the martial arts, this simply means that I train in more than one style of martial arts. This is not to be confused with a convert. A convert is someone who trained in one style and then completely switched over to another, abandoning the old usually because of a bad experience. Cross training is different because you train in various styles, with the intention to use all the styles you have trained in.

I cross train because I enjoy variety, I like different cultures, different perspectives, different strategies and techniques. Even though I enjoy cross training, and that's what I do, I still do not think it's the best way to practice martial arts. I believe there are many ways to climb to the top of the mountain and cross training is just one of those ways.

I firmly believe in this after one time I had a challenge match against an Okinawan Karate black belt named Robert. At the time I was cross training in many disciplines and he was mainly a Karate guy. I thought I would destroy him easily but to my surprise we ended in a draw. That's when I realized my method wasn't better than his. Staying in one style for many years and competing in Kata(forms) tournaments works for him, and that day I learned to respect that.

To me a good martial artist is professional. 
A professional upholds certain standards of behavior.
A professional always puts safety as priority. 
A professional always makes sure that the training environment is suitable for learning. 
If there is a bully, a professional will do something about it.
If people are fooling around, a professional will do something about it.
There is a difference between fooling around and having fun. 
There is negative fun and positive fun, we want to have positive fun.
Negative fun interferes with the learning, while positive fun helps with the learning.    

In martial arts it is mighty important to seek out the truth. We don't want to live in a fantasy world. To use martial arts in real life you need to have a realistic view or it's not going to work well. 

The truth can be harsh and not what we want it to be, that's why we must make ourselves into warriors. We must become strong so that we can handle the truth.

Keep in mind that the pursuit of truth must be done professionally. I see so many people online use the pursuit of truth as an excuse to be rude and cruel. They display tyrant like behavior all in the name of truth. This is not right and they don't deserve attention no matter how correct they are. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What's wrong with Aikido?

What's wrong with Aikido?

First let me briefly mention my background so that I don't sound like a total keyboard warrior.
I have about 4 years worth of Aikido training on and off. I also have about 10 years of Muay Thai, BJJ, and MMA training. 

That being said, I don't think there is anything wrong with Aikido. 
You might be thinking, if Wmpyr really has MMA training how could Wmpyr possibly think that Aikido is as good/legit as MMA?

If your a tough guy and can handle MMA training, great, go do it man. However not everyone can handle that. Maybe after a few years of traditional martial arts training they might become strong enough to move up to MMA training. 
However the average person may find combat sports way too rough. 
For the average person Aikido maybe a much better answer. 

Aikido has it's place, and I would rather train in Aikido than go to a BJJ or MMA gym right now. I'm over 40 years old and have nothing to prove. Last thing I need is for some young whipper snapper to make me his nemesis and heel hook my knee to a crippled life. 

The only problem with Aikido are the practitioners who think they can fight when they can't. BUT that is true of any style including MMA. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Martial Arts vs Sport

Based on the comments I get from Youtube, people seem to think that martial art and sport are 2 different things.

In other words these people do not really see Boxing, Kickboxing, Wrestling, or MMA as a martial art. They see it as sport.

What's the difference between sport and martial arts? They will tell you that sports has rules, martial arts does not.

That definitely makes martial arts sound cooler.
It sounds like sport is not as effective.

So even if the statement is true, it's misleading.

Why? First of all combat sports is martial arts. At least the way I see it.
So Boxing, Kickboxing, Wrestling, and MMA is martial arts in my point of view.

Why do I say this? Simply because sport to me is nothing more than sparring taken to the extreme.
And most martial arts do sparring or at the very least see the value of sparring.
So even if you insist that combat sports are not a martial art you cannot deny that it's 100% connected to martial arts.

Sport is a form of sparring. It's full contact sparring to the highest degree.

Most people who do not give sports any credit do not understand how high the level of competition is, how difficult it is to compete and do well. They have no clue.

Sport has rules for sure, but rather than looking at that as a limitation, I view it as a way to excel. Because of the rules, Boxers have amazing hands. If they were allowed to kick it would let them have an excuse to do something else and not sharpen their hand skills as much.

Sport makes you work on a specific set of skills and take it to a very high level because of those rules. The skills that you have from sport can be used in real combat.

However it may not come to play, you may not get a chance to use your Boxing skills, because let's say the bad guy took you down to the ground, or he pulled a knife or gun on you. Even though your Boxing skills never came into play, it doesn't mean that they are worthless. They were worthless in that particular moment, but in another situation who knows? If a Grappler beats a Boxer, it doesn't mean that Boxing is useless, the Boxer's punches are still dangerous.

Take a look at an Apache helicopter, it's an awesome combat helicopter, however can one say that it's better than a F-15 or a battle ship, or a tank? In certain situations the Apache shines, in others it was not meant for.

A self-defense situation can mean a lot of things, so the important thing is to understand when and how you can use your skills rather than criticize other styles.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Tai Chi Master vs MMA fighter

For those that do not know, spoiler alert ahead!

The result was quick and brutal.
And in all honesty should not have been a surprise in my opinion.

Why did the Tai Chi master get demolished in a one sided violent fight?
More importantly why were so many people shocked at the outcome?

The answer to the first question is simple.
We had a teacher go up against a fighter. That's why the Tai Chi master lost.
This is what people fail to understand. If you accumulate a ton of knowledge, it doesn't automatically make you a good fighter.

In fact there are many good fighters that do not have a ton of knowledge, because fighting doesn't require knowledge.

The big difference here is knowledge versus applied knowledge.
So the Tai Chi master should have a very thorough and complete knowledge about Tai Chi.
The MMA fighter may not have a ton of knowledge about MMA which is comprised of cross training in a select couple of martial arts such as Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Boxing and Wrestling. However the main thing is can he apply what he knows against a fully resisting opponent, can he fight against another human being to create opportunities to apply his techniques? And the answer is yes, yes he can.

Why were people so shocked at the outcome?
I'm gonna blame cinema. I really think that movies have shown the fantasy side of martial arts and not the reality side. We have become so accustomed to the fantasy side that the public can't understand what is real and what is fake.

I think fantasy is fine, it can entertain and encourage us, but when there is too much of it, and people's minds are clouded in fantasy then this is bad because they are living a lie and they have false expectations. The public expects to see an 80 year old man, who is morally and ethically just, be able to defeat 10 bad guys at once with his Kung Fu skills. If this was real we would be fighting wars with highly trained Kung Fu experts armed with ancient weapons, rather than soldiers with firearms.

I believe that the Tai Chi master thought he was going to do well, why else would he have accepted the challenge match? He starts off confident with his arms raised up high. Sadly he got a dose of reality. This means that he didn't train seeking reality. In martial arts training, you should incorporate the pursuit of truth. If all we did was train martial arts for putting on a show, like a Hollywood fight scene, you can end up becoming very arrogant. And I've met people like that. I've met people who did point fighting and thought it was real fighting. You could even be a world champion Kickboxer and be an excellent fighter, but if you don't have a good sense of reality you can go into a bad neighborhood act tough and then get shot.