View Full Version : What's wrong with martial arts today. (aka; my art is better than yours)

July 3, 2002, 03:10 AM
Well, the reason I started this thread is that other one I started (Bad Martial Arts-Teaching as advertised) has turned a bit away from the humorus content I wanted to see. Into either a commentery on "Whats Wrong with Martial Art's Today" or "My Art is better than yours"

In response I now open this thread dedicated to these subjects entirely.

Gentleman start your typing, and if you have any humorus stories that need to be shared, please type on my old thread.

Let the strife and discord begin.

Don Gwinn
July 3, 2002, 09:42 AM
My art is better than yours because it's the one I study! Clearly, a man of my taste and refinement would not have chosen an inferior art. Good day!

July 3, 2002, 10:06 AM
Ignorance and deliberate obfuscation by instructors and brainwashed students.

Well, that and the fact some systems are really laughable in regard to what their promoters claim.


July 3, 2002, 02:50 PM
My Unpronounceable-and-therefore-unresearchable Sensei's techniques can kick YOUR unpronounceable-and-therefore-unresearchable Sensei's BUTT!!!!


On a more serious note, though...I think that a large part of the proliferation of utter tripe, masquerading as Martial Arts, is due to our expectations as students. Very few people really NEED to be able to kill a person with a single, well-placed blow, delivered in a totally dark room, with a rolled up wad of damp newspaper. Or to tear an assailant's arm off and beat them to unconsciousness with it--

But everybody seems to WANT to be able to. Thus, you get every Thom, Chu, and Henri out there advertising that their system is derived from the Ultra Sooper-Secret Squirrel Style of the Hoo-Phuc-Yu Clan of Rambotronic Ninja, or that they've taught the Seals everything they know. Most of the traditional Martial Arts, it seems to me, encompassed more than just training to fight. They were a way of life.

Our instant-gratification seeking society is seldom willing to accept such a path. Instead, we want to be able to pick and choose from a modular smorgasbord of talents. We want to be able to fight like Bruce Lee, drive like AJ Foyt, woo women like James Bond, and earn Ted Turner's salary.

And the market obliges our throwaway wants with throwaway Martial Arts.

"Come on in! In just two years, if you're prepared to throw a couple grand our way, we can make you a stone badass!"

And people buy it. In droves. So, the next time you ask yourself why there are so many idiots and posers teaching Martial Arts, take a long look in your mirror, before you point your new $150 "Traditionally made, just like the Samurai used!" Katana at a sensei and call him a fake.

/rant off



July 3, 2002, 03:57 PM
Don't know if any more can be added to that which has already been posted.

That pretty much sums it up from my perspective as well.

The only thing that I will add is that there are some places that their only goal is to have their students win trophies. If what you want it a workout and eventually compete in tournament, then this should be the way to go for you. If you are looking for self defense and plan to spend years learning to do it right,then that is a completely different school. If you plan on making this your life, then that is yet another school.

Just like a handgun, where you need to select the right gun for the job, you must pick the right martial art for the job you intend to employ it in.

Byron Quick
July 3, 2002, 04:47 PM
Can I point my 400 year old katana and call him a fake?

Don Gwinn
July 3, 2002, 08:59 PM
Can have a 400-year-old katana? I promise not to point it at anyone!

July 3, 2002, 09:26 PM
Good one Don. LMAO

Chuck Dye
July 3, 2002, 11:51 PM
In the early days of SEALs, the teams trained in hand to hand but it was somewhat looked down on-if you found yourself fighting hand to hand, it was because you fouled (they use another word) up and let the bastard get too close.

Indiana Jones had it right.

July 4, 2002, 06:53 AM
I studied Hung Gar a few years while in high school.
I'm in my 40's now, and I want to get back into the arts.
But, which one? I am more interested in learning what works on the street instead of the sparring ring.
So, I live near Seattle. Can anyone suggest anything?
Anyone know anything about a school called Northwest Defensive Arts in Tacoma, WA. ?
Here is the website.

July 5, 2002, 10:17 AM
My wife and I teach taekwondo and have owned our own school for about five years now. We are both 4th degree (dan) blackbelts. My wife is a physical education teacher as well.

We try our very hardest to keep a good program and to teach our students the real reason anyone should be into martial arts.
If a person commits fully to any martial art, they will know that the self-defense aspects are only the tip of the iceberg.

Once a person really begins to understand the "art" of martial arts they (even children) begin to realize the value of not only talking the talk, but walking the walk.

"McDojangs/dogos abound everywhere. They pop up like dandelions in a well groomed yard. The industry is largely unregulated. In Illinois, there is nothing to prevent "Joe Blow" from opening "Joe Blow's school of self-defense".

There is also a lot wrong with the way tournaments are focusing more on profit than supporting charities or making them (the tournaments) more affordable for students. I have been working over the last 5 years to change what I perceive as what is wrong in the businesss and sports aspects of taekwondo.

There are some damn good schools and instructors out there. There are also a lot of bad schools who will over-charge you and teach you things of little value. Shop around.

July 5, 2002, 10:38 AM
Soujorn........Most large cities will have lots of schools of all styles. What type of art you wish to get involved in, (especially if your emphasis is on self-defense) should be whichever comes easier to you. (grappling or striking).

Whichever you are more inclined with and then focus on that. But should you choose a striking art you should augment it with a fair amount of grappling training. The reverse being true should you focus on a grappling art.

Visit several schools. Watch the students more than the instructor. Do they seem motivated? Confident? Respectful? If any school does not allow you to watch a class without a commitment then walk out.

Let your fingers do the walking. Yep! CALL as many schools as you can and inquire about their rates. I freely give mine out over the phone though many school owners don't for fear you are calling for their competition. If they have a very good program, are qualified to teach what they are teaching and charge a fair rate, they should not be concerned about competition.

There are also several schools that will offer adult self-defense courses. As with the schools themselves, these programs can be good or bad, so check them out. Typically though, most people will take a course and learn some effective techniques but then not follow through and go on to practice them. While the course still served them well by giving them good advice they may find that they cannot perform the techniques well or at all since they had not practiced them.

Self-defense should not be a part-time commitment. It should be part of a person's lifestyle. A good course will be rigorous which is why many adults will not commit to it. It's tough to get off work at the end of the day and then go and work your hardest before your day ends. Then there are the inevitable bruises. Family duties most be more organized. The path to fitness and confidence is filled with pointed rocks.

July 5, 2002, 10:56 AM

Years ago I was observing a lady (4th degree) teaching a "supertots" class of 4 year olds. There were about a dozen of the little darlings on the floor.

She had just brought up the concept to them of holding up their guard. She had just gotten into a stance with her fist balled up in guard position when the telephone rang. As she rushed to the office to answer it she hollered over her shoulder to the kids to "keep your hands up!". I could see her in the office with her back to the class busily writing down information from the call.

It took her a few minutes before she sould get off the phone so she could get back to the class. To her surprise, each and every one of the young students had their hands up. Straight up in the air!


I was teaching a class of 5 and 6 year olds. In the other classes I use the Korean terminology but in this class I would use both, saying a command first in Korean, then in English.
When bowing in at the start of class I would say "Keyonye, Bow". just like that.
I noticed one day when the lead student (who was a 5 year old) was bowing in the class and I heard as him as he said "Class Attention! Can you bow?"........I had to laugh.