We have had a few previous articles that have touched on the differences between tradition and modern martial arts approaches – and lo and behold, we’re going to explore that idea more in depth now. That’s why you need to Make Your Martial Art Street Effective!
Now I can hear a resounding chorus of “Why???” bouncing off the walls, but believe me this is a very important discussion – and I’ll tell you why. Many of us that learned traditional martial arts, and especially if we have continued to train loyally and exclusively in that specific system, can often lack of bigger view of what others are learning, and also we learn to successfully practice within the limits of our chosen system, without looking at other techniques, approaches and tactics.
There are a number of excellent books on this subject, and the first that come to mind are “Sudden Violence” and “Predator Training” by Greg Jones (A noteable Master on Kung Fu San Soo), and “Taking It To The Street” by Marc MacYoung (who has written a number of excellent books on the subject).
The main aspect is to look at the mugger or assailant’s point of view – they are not operating within a pre-determined set of rules, nor should you. Another key is that we need to train against fully resisting opponents in fast-paced training exercises. As a beginner, we certainly don’t have to start at that level, but we do have to get there, and in a sense become comfortable with the discomfort and unpredictable nature of this kind of training. Sport-based martial arts (Thai boxing, Western boxing, Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, and Judo) have rules for the practitioners for follow, but offer excellent training in that you can go 100% and not pull your punches. More traditional martial arts (Japanese, Korean, Chinese) also have their benefits, but the importance of faced paced realistic training (even for expert levels from other systems) can’t be over emphasized! The influential Bruce Lee created his Jeet Kune Do based on ranges on combat (kicking, punching, trapping and grappling) utilizing techniques from a myriad of traditional and modern martial arts styles – throwing a huge “Why?” into the face of many traditionalists. We can ask the same questions – and yet we have to be willing to learn something new!