I will answer your questions/comments to the best of my knowledge.
I- There is a difference between martial arts and the sports junk that is passed off as martial arts. Judo, Karate, Sumo-kata, et cetera are sports, not martial arts. While they do have elements that are adaptable to personal protection they are designed as sports.
A. I consider all kinds of Martial Arts, like Karate and Judo etc. as for self defense purpose and sport if we will use to compete on top of the MAT at the clubs or for the throphy.
A dedicated martial arts player will embeded his arts to his spiritual life also and in any way or the other wherever is that person be, he do some kind of meditation in his martial arts training for the body health & coordination of body and mind. I studied Martial Arts for self defense not for trophy - that is my own opinion. And I have defeated several opponent in actual fight. Even now, in a true hand to hand fight, I will face any opponent even he is a big guy for I know I can also land a deadly blow to himself, but I am not understimating any opponent capability. Words is different from doing in actual.
2- Any martial arts training should include training with weapons. Knives, firearms, baseball bats, police batons, any weapon that you might encounter today.
A. Yes, I have training in Balisong, other Knives, Chaku, Sword (kendo) and Arnis (Way of the bolo). That is why in my community in my province and in Manila, I am noted for as being a silent man just attending my family affairs, and as karatista but I never been started a trouble but I have kicked several BG's and never fear any street ganster, perhaps if you are a mediocre man like me and live in a 3rd class subdivisions, you may be passing some drunkards making the street as their drinking session, and if you could pass those people without fear and never touched by them, that means they have respect with you not perhaps the personality but think twice because of the knowledge or skill of the person in MA for it has been proven in some instances. But to be frank with any one, I never use the martial arts weaponry (if I am holding one) not unless I know I will be killed and that is another story. My principles in life is, don't touch me nor hit me and I will be harmless guy and never start a fight.
3- Martials arts training that does not include strength and fitness training is hopelessly limited. Why do you think Chuck Noris is busy pimping those fitness machines of his? Most serious martial arts students are also seldom without a set of handgrips of some sort.
A. Yes, we really need strength and fitness training depending that suited of our expertise and can never be the same training with any one, you trained your knuckles so punch a a Makiwara with rope tied on the tip of the 2x4 lumber, if practrice Judo then have a partner to practice with. The Judoist people have their own way of training, so with the karatista and the Arnistador. But not brute force will always prevail that is why we have the so called techniques and tactical as being discussed and interpreted by many. The man from the very beginning of his existence develop a techniques and strategies to defeat his enemies be it a big animals or fellow human beings. Either he resorted to barehands weapon or with the aid of a material weapon of any kind. hard training has always a price. If like Chuck Norris portraying a Texas ranger, he needs a well shaped body to be fitted in his character in the TV or movie.
4- A lot of elements of martial arts are often left out. Do you know how to move silently? Hide effectively? Evade pursuit? These are all important aspects of self defense. If you enemy cannot find you, it is alot harder for them to hurt you.
Oh! yes, I practice all the elements of silence, surprise, evasion, and deception etc. these are all parts of Martial Arts. I escaped the Military Camp during my Marine Basic Training in the Marines, for I found out that soldiering is not for myself but I am ready to serve my country in another way if needed.
There are more things to discussed but I limit myself to that point. What you have mentiened Rosco are all parts of the Martial Arts training.
We should note that many expert who are not famous but are true assassins.
[This message has been edited by stdalire (edited February 13, 2000).]