What do I mean by that?
I mean there is a lot, a LOT of bad karate out there.
Karate, and Taekwondo, and Krav and BJJ.
Basically, if you’re a martial arts instructor, you’re the one I’m talking to right now.
Okay, do I have your attention now?
Listen, there’s a lot of good out there too. And I’m not going to say who’s good or bad right now.
What we’re going to talk about are martial arts teachers who say they teach “practical self-defense”.
I just want you to honestly ask yourself a couple things.
How much do you believe in what you teach?
And how do you practice what you’re teaching?
The problem I’m addressing today is the huge lie prevalent in martial arts today, a lie that is both stupid and dangerous.
I’ve seen it in karate, I’ve also seen it in every other martial arts school I’ve EVER been to. Mind you, that list is quite varied. Karate, Taekwondo, Hapkido, Jiujitsu, Aikido, and it goes on.
I’m going to get down to the point. If your school doesn’t practice hitting people, your self defense is only theoretical. And theory won’t save your ass if your in a physical confrontation.
There are a ton of really LAME excuses people use to justify their lack of practice in physical violence.
1. Some say their techniques are “too dangerous” to practice.
To that, I call BS. There is always a way. You can’t get more dangerous than fucking guns, and guess what? They’ve got ways to practice those. Get yourself some good gear and go out and practice hitting.
2. Some say their martial arts about “character development” or “creating harmony.”
To this I say, fine, those are great goals. BUT. DO not fucking say that you teach self defense if you don’t practice in a way that your martial arts can’t be practiced in full force. Looking at you Aikido. And don’t get me wrong, I did Aikido for 2 years and loved it for the wisdom that the art imparts. But the method of delivery in practice needs to be centered on FORCE if you’re going to call it an art for self-defense.
3. Some say that you don’t need to train with full contact because “Your instinct will kick in and all you’ll need is the fighting spirit”.
This one, this one really pisses me off. Okay, for some people, maybe, just MAYBE that could be true. Adrenaline does some weird stuff to people. But guess what, those people aren’t the ones that need martial arts. Ya, You’ll have some dudes who are badass and go fist to cuffs right away. Most people, however, are not going to be that way. When that Fight or Flight instinct kicks in, if you’ve never been in a fight, and haven’t trained to take a hit. That instinct could just put you into a flat panic. And anyone who’s done even a small bit of contact martial arts knows, that panic will set you up for failure. If you don’t train your mind to focus on the really important matters, that panic could get you hurt. Worse, you could unnecessarily hurt someone else beyond what was really called for and now you have a big legal problem on your hands.
4. Gun Fu This goes hand in hand with the last problem. The argument goes that learning martial arts for self-defense is a waste, and you should just get a gun or taser.
To an extent, you’d be right to say that a gun beats a fistfight or a knife. But look at the context here. Not everything that I would call self defense calls for use of a weapon. There’s a whole realm of legal and moral problems that come with drawing a weapon on someone. Particularly if that someone is threatening, but also unarmed. Look, If you’re being harassed by a drunk bum down on the corner and your first reaction is to draw your gun and shoot the dude, you’re going to jail. Same thing goes for domestic violence. Look, if you draw a gun or knife, you do it to kill. Even if you don’t mean to, it’s a possibility. Martial arts on the other hand gives you some flexibility in the realm of controlling a situation that’s already gone south. Martial Arts are there at hand when you get surprised, you don’t have to worry about drawing your weapon, making sure the safety is off or that its loaded.
I’m not saying guns are bad. What I AM SAYING is that if you are actually concerned about your safety, it’s probably a good idea to be trained in both.
There’s other lame ass excuses people give, but that’s all I’m going to touch on now.
Please, go out, find a sparring partner, put on some gloves and go to town.