Saturday, 11 January 2014

A Piece of Fake

I'd like to talk about reality. 

What a croc of wossname! Honestly the phrase 'reality' is overused, over sold and completely abstract. All martial arts/self defense/mma/competition fighting is utterly contextual and bound by rules. So for one to say; "My contrived practise and rule based paradigm is superior to yours because its more like reality" is three fold wrong. 

1. It is unnecessarily rude
2. It presumes more knowledge of the other persons art than they have. There-fore it is arrogant
3. It is a moot point. Unless you are going to fight each-other (to the death) the discussion is pointless. 

That is not to say that martial arts training does not prepare you to defend yourself. But the whole martial arts versus other martial arts argument is usually based  on 'reality' arguments. The problem is when you look at someone else's martial art you should do so with humility. Look at it with a desire to learn what it has to show. Then if you find that what it has is not for you, cast it aside. If not then take it in. This is not a speedy process. I reckon at full pelt and full time training you would need two years to make a fair assessment of Aikido. So I would say probably four to eight years for an average student. For the sake of argument, we should apply a similar period to any style to have a genuine intermediate level of understanding.

I once tried to talk about history with my girlfriend. History has always been an interest of mine, but she found it incredibly frustrating because my lack of formal training meant I could make sweeping (and probably ignorant) statements without feeling the need to even remember where I read it, let alone whether it was primary or secondary source or confirmed elsewhere. I didn't back up what I said with evidence or the opinions of scholars. I merely voiced my ignorant opinion freely and without the restriction or responsibility of proof.

For a formally trained person to respond in a satisfactory manner takes research, objectivity and a lack of opinion. So the ignorant person feels they have won that round. How bat-shit crazy and counter-productive is that?! 

The same happens in 'fightin'' talk. Especially inter-martial arts trash talk. Look at the reams of youtube comments from people who for the most part have never even stepped on a mat and I imagine couldn't punch their way out of a wet paper bag.

As a bouncer, I was mocked all the time for being a "proper martial artist". Most others were MMA practitioners, Krav, just muscle men or Muai Thai. The only thing that stopped the piss taking was when it kicked off. Not against each-other, but next to each-other. 

All the conversation in the world cannot say what can be said by finding a rapport with people from vastly differing backgrounds toward a common goal. You could graph the proportional relationship between the level of the threat (from lone nob head to football riot) and the amount of innately communicated information about the people you are with (on both sides of the ruck).

The ultimate intellectual conversation about the 'reality' of martial arts, then, is a fight to the death! 

So I urge you, all of you old and young, fresh black belts, krav maga, MMA, Karate, Kung fu, jaques doublard, meat-head, skin head, yoga combat, take my doe and american academy black belt super karate double dark black 15th Dan practitioners alike; don't be a dick about it!

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