Ignorance Blinds Us

miércoles, 1 de junio de 2011

I'm not a great fighter, or a great budoka, or Martial artist. But I know about discrimination, or talking trash... I've been through all that all my life.

Mexico (and I suppose all the world, knowing that people on the internet) is a place where everyone thinks they know best. Example:

Here in Mexico; Most of the people think they know the best football team, think they know how to coach a team, think they could make Mexico a better place.

Over Youtube; everyone think they know about music, everyone think they know about guns, everyone think they know how physics works (yes, yes... wait, I'm getting to the point), AND everyone think they know about martial arts.

People think that because they defeated somebody in a parking lot and see the UFC everyday, that they know about fighting. I'm gonna review some of these close-minded "truths":


1.- (The well known "fact" that) that MMA is the most realistic style to learn self defense.

Nothing against MMA, I love it (even when the fight gets boring when it gets to ground fight), but in streets, if somebody attacks you with a knife and you go straight to a punch, bites you, pop your eyeball or kicks you in the testicles, you are out (and they will if they can). So don't tell me you fight realistically if you get too close and I kick you in the groin because you weren't expecting that, and complain that wasn't fair.

Another thing, don't know about you, but I've been in fights in the streets, and most of the guys that fight with you, do it because they don't come alone. Sometimes they are even hiding in the crowd or watching from a far distance (gang style) so if you defeat him, they'll come to help. So doing ground fight is not that... let's say: safe, because if you manage to get on top and punch him, they will come and kick you in the face, the back or the neck while you are on the floor... And that's not really the best way to fight multiple, potential attackers.

Don't misunderstand me: I still believe it is useful in real situations, you just gotta know how to use the style.

2.-Martial Arts only work on a competitive environment

This is partially true... but I say partially because it's for a very good reason: They only fight other martial artists from the competitive environment.

You might say "that doesn't give you any points", but let me finish. I knew a TaeKwonDo practitioner (one of the most underestimated styles) who could fight multiple attackers in the street. I saw him once, defeating 3 gang guys (one of them with a metal chain) and was just hit once. I thought that was incredible... he did tons of kicks and some punches and defeated those guys. I asked him how could he do it, he said "Oh, that's because the teacher did two kinds of sparring: For tournaments and realistically. He attacked us and the firsts times was hard and we got hit pretty hard... was painful, but the time passed by and we could defend ourselves using TaeKwonDo, with the difference that those sparrings had no rules, so we could use the kicks and punches differently and we learned the hard way".

So, as you can see; the style doesn't create the winner, the winner is made by himself. The training and the goal for what you train is the key. If you train for competition, you will be batter for competition, if you train for self defense you will be unbeatable on the street.

The same thing applies for everything you do... Many martial arts have been stigmatized with the cross of "not-realistic" (TaeKwonDo, Aikido, Judo, Chinese Martial Arts, etc), but I think that every martial art has the potential to be effective on the streets, you just gotta train in a different way (realistic street-based attacks) with that goal in mind and remembering that in the streets there are not rules.

3.- Martial Arts should always be for fighting, combat sports or self-defense.

Do anybody knew that Tai Chi Chuan is a Martial Art?...

Martial arts can be more than just competitive or real fighting. Martial arts can be practiced for harmony to one-self. Can be practiced for physical conditioning. Can be practiced for body strength therapy. Can be practiced as a hobby. Can be practiced as a complementary activity for other sports... The reasons to practice martial arts can be so much more than "learn to fight".


Martial arts are something that cannot be enclosed, something that cannot be judged without practice them with a serious mind.

Many people can put ideas in your head that are not yours. Once a person says a "serious fact" and wants you to learn it as it is without you being able to think about it, you are in danger of stop thinking.

Don take anybody's "facts" as real until you experience it: Not from Jason "Mayhem" Miller (MMA fighter), not from Morihei Ueshiba (founder of Aikido), not from your Martial Arts instructor, not even from Bruce Lee (founder of Jeet Kune Do)... Not even from yourself (and ironically... not from me). Experience is what matters... and each of us, have our own truths: Don't put your truths on other minds and don't let other minds to influence you.

I just wrote this so I can create tolerance between styles... Because I see lots of ignorance, discrimination and hate between different styles, countries and individuals. We must unite.

NOTE: When I say "Don take anybody's 'facts' as real until you experience it", I don't mean that you should be disrespectful. Always respect your elders and instructors...

NOTE 2: I apologize for my bad English.

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