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Why Karate Doesn't Work


There has been an interesting development in the martial
arts in the late 20th Century and into the 21st. Martial
arts have evolved and become much more true to life than
ever. There was a time when the karate man was looked
upon with respect and feared. A time when, if someone
said they were a black belt, it caused others to be
impressed. You can say that karate has become outdated.
But what has really happened is that karate has become
exposed.

If you are one of those people who like to question things
then maybe this thought has gone through your mind.
Why are there so many different martial arts systems in
the world. We all have two arms and two legs donít we? So
why all the different systems of self defense? I know that
systems were usually born out of a need such as one
group of people having to fight another group who were
better armed. So they developed systems to fight those
men who used certain weapons a certain way. But then
these same people showed others their incomplete system
and sold it as unabridged.

So letís look at what we have in the world without going
into a deep history lesson. You basically have karate and
ju-jitsu from Okinawa and Japan. You have a multitude of
kung fu systems from China. You have Tae Kwon Do and a
few others like Tang Soo Do from Korea; boxing and
wrestling from Europe of course. Of these there is every
variation under the sun. You name it and someone has
tried to develop it into a fighting system. But what do we
really have. Remember that all we really have is three men
out there. It all boils down to those three. You have
boxers or people who fight predominantly with their
hands, kickers who like to use kicks as their main weapon
and grapplers who like to take people to the ground and
finish them there. Thatís really it. Just those three. Now
there are people who are good at one, two or even three
of those methods. Those guys are now known as mixed
martial artists.

Someone once asked, what is truth? I think we can ask
that same question here. I mean how can the average guy
deal with someone who is skilled in one or even three of
the main fighting methods? You know, the boxer, the
kicker and the grappler. If the guy is good at all three
methods then do I have to be good at all three methods,
too? Do I have to fight in the same manner? I know karate
wonít do the job. Definitely Tae Kwon Do will not do. How
about adding a self defense class or two. Will that help? I
donít think so. What about kung fu and all the various
animal styles? No. You can pretend to be an animal but
that wonít beat the skilled boxer, kicker, grappler. So how
do we deal with this guy. It canít be using his own
methods. You canít box a boxer and expect to win if heís
really good at what he does. Letís just assume this guy is
a really good mixed martial artist who happens to be a
thug and wants to rob and maybe even kill you. Whatís the
answer if you donít have a weapon at hand?

The answer is simple yet complex. In order to effectively
deal with a skilled thug you must first put away all your
preconceived ideas about what real combat is. Forget the
ring. Forget what you see on TV. How can an older man;
say in his forties, deal with one or more, younger,
stronger and faster opponents? It will not be by speed and
power. If he is to win; and he must, he has to do
something all together different. Yes the older man is a
master of self-defense. But his method is extremely
sophisticated. He relies on a core group of concepts
rather than techniques. Not that he doesnít use
techniques but everything he does is founded in his core
concepts. He also has the amazing ability to fight in a
very apropos manner because he is guided by highly
developed contact reflexes. In other words, if he is
touched by an aggressor, the older man instantly knows
all about him and deals with him in proper time with super
preparatory application. That means he stops the first
attack and all future attacks immediately. He also uses
skeletal alignment to enhance his power. He is able to hit
much harder than his younger counterparts who use
muscle to deliver their blows. The skilled older man
delivers his strikes with his bones which feels like being
hit with the end of an iron rod.

The answer is to become one with the opponent. No
struggling or resisting but moving according to ďthe nowĒ.
To be able to discharge a highly potent ďmotion martial
artĒ. Not static or choppy, muscular movements but
relaxed yet aligned motions that can deal with an attack
as if it were just a crude language. Yes, the answer is to
have a highly developed and fluent martial language as a
complete and elaborate communication. Yes, self defense
can be like this. The only martial art I know that achieves
this elevated dexterity is Wing Chun.

If a person truly dedicates him or herself to only doing
and developing a system that is fit for the 21st Century
real world self defense, then he must use external
defenses guided by internal faculty. A system that
encompasses the most effective techniques a person can
deliver with the most advanced internal concepts one can
make manifest. Now I mentioned Wing Chun earlier but
not every Wing Chun teacher has developed in this
manner or to this level. It is rare to find people who have
this high level skill. But they are out there.

If you really want to get involved with a martial art and
want to find verity, then take a few steps back. Get back
far enough away from what is traditionally known and
taught. Take an honest look around and see if the martial
art before you justifies itself intellectually. Ask the hard
questions. Is it good against the three fighters in the
world? Can it be done effortlessly? What makes the most
sense? Study and do research before you join a school. I
can tell you right now, forget karate and Tae Kwon Do
unless you just want to do a sport. Donít be too reverent
with any martial art system. Be honest with yourself and
hopefully youíll find a good teacher.

I have been involved in martial arts since
1979. My school is highly recognized in the industry as
being one of the top Wing Chun schools in the country.


by: Armando Sainz, http://www.centerlineacademy.com

Article date: April 2008.



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