10 Statements of Belief

If you want the whole back-story on how I came to write this blog, take a look at the introduction. Here you will find ten statements of belief. Think of these as directives for how I train. I don’t want to offend anyone who disagrees with my ideas but I also don’t want to clutter up my writing with apologies or conditionals. If you read this you will know where I stand. I believe that with an open mind, this blog has something for everyone who trains in martial arts. Thanks for reading.

  1. Martial Arts were originally developed for life-protection; not for combative sport, tournament competition, public demonstrations, health and wellness, or child development. These are all fine aspects and/or benefits of training but one should never lose sight of the intended goal.
  2. Since the need for life protection could come at any point in a person’s lifetime, training must develop skills that do not rely on youth, strength, speed, stamina, and agility.  Anyone can quickly develop simple punches and kicks but learning techniques that will work when you are 80 years old is going to require practice.
  3. Although not universally used, most ancient martial arts have solo movement routines (“kata” in Japanese). Kata tend to be very misunderstood but, in accepting statement #1, you must also accept that these routines are vitally important in teaching life protection skills.  Everything depends on how we interpret and analyze the movements. Kata contain real fighting technique and should be studied with that in mind.
  4. Practice, when done with the correct foundation, will lead you to discover more and more aspects of your chosen martial art. Practice must be regular, serious, and without end. You may have short-term goals but you can never be too ready to defend your life and those of your loved-ones.
  5. A significant amount of practice must be done alone for you to internalize the lessons being taught and make the movements a part of your own body mechanics. Life protection is not a team sport and you cannot rely on anyone but yourself. You are responsible for how fast you learn, how much you know, and how ready you will be should you ever have to use your skills.
  6. A fully realized martial art should contain a full array life protection technique. This was typically the case with the older arts, developed before the 20th Century. Sadly, much of the knowledge has been lost or misinterpreted so that modern versions often specialize in only one aspect of fighting. Students may look to other arts to fill out their arsenal but would be better served exploring there own tradition.
  7. There are no “secret” or “hidden” techniques in martial arts. One human body is much like another and understanding or own mechanics and that of others can open all doors to otherwise unseen techniques.
  8. There is untold value in the ancient ways of learning that is harder and harder to explain in this modern culture full of shortcuts and quick solutions. The process, often slow and deliberate, is important and should be enjoyed.
  9. Martial Arts styles can be divided into martial and civil arts, the first being traditional military training and the second being personal defense training. There are many crossovers between the two however my perspective is that of a civilian and not of a soldier.
  10. The ideas in this blog are not mine alone and are often not new or unique. But they are valid and I believe them completely. Generous teachers, training partners, and students have all helped shape my thinking and although I will surely take credit for too much, I intend to give credit wherever possible.

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