Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Forgotten Art Form

By Matthew Schafer
Copyright 2009, All Rights Reserved

A long time ago the martial arts forgot about something important: violence. Originally, in feudal times, violence was everywhere and you didn’t need to think about using it because it came naturally. However, as time progressed and governments became more stable rampant violence lessened and periods of relative peace emerged. When this happened, martial artists were able to spend less time fighting and more time developing their arts.

It was in these periods of relative peace that martial artists started to systemize their arts and spend lots of time thinking, thinking, and thinking even more. The masters thought so much and progressed their arts to such a degree that the techniques, principles, and ideology of the arts took the forefront and the aspect of violence itself, and its uses, was nearly forgotten. The result of all of this is that today the only ones using violence are the criminals, and nine times out of ten they’re cleaning the floor with seasoned martial artists.

In the martial arts today violence is considered taboo and wrong, and in some styles it is even considered the antithesis of what the martial arts are supposed to be about. Most martial arts take the stand point that violence is bad and you can overcome it with technique. The truth of the matter is that 99% of the time pure uneducated brain-dead violence beats technique. 99% of the time, if pitted against each other in a real fight to the death, a skilled 7th degree black belt would get killed by some untrained street punk. The black belt would be putting his hands up and thinking about what technique to use while the punk would just rush over and violently overwhelm him and try to smash his skull. It happens every day.

Violence isn’t good or bad, it just is. Violence is also the forgotten element that makes martial art techniques work. While 99% of the time violence beats technique hands down, 99% of the time violence AND technique beats violence alone. If you have technique, and you want it to work during a real violent altercation, you need to learn how to add brain-dead violence to it. Don’t just stand there and throw reverse punches like you do during karate class; instead, learn to aggressively charge forward while you are throwing those punches so you run over your attacker, make him back up and put his weight on the back of his heels, overwhelm his defenses, beat his arms down if he tries to block, and then hit him until he is no longer a threat. It doesn’t sound like something a martial artist should do, but it works. It works all day every day and it is why the criminal element, who have little to no training, are so successful.

The techniques of the martial arts are great, but it is the aspect of sheer brain-dead violence and aggression that make them actually work. It’s not pretty, but it works.