Everybody’s done a Google search for the “best martial art in the world” and who the best fighters are and what the best thing is. The problem with that is, martial arts systems are only as good as their instructors. If you find a martial system that fits your thought process, whether it be kickboxing, grappling, self defense, krav maga, wing chun, modern Arnis, whatever system you’re looking for that fits all the needs you have whether you’re looking for weapons or grappling or striking, it doesn’t matter what system you pick, it matters who you train with.
Every single system is only as good as the person giving it to you. If the person’s reciting subject matter from a time long ago, you’re not gonna gain anything from that. All you’re going to get is systematic teaching from things that are a hundred years old. They had problems we don’t have today, and we have problems that they didn’t have. Like lights that are on all the time, where people can get to you a lot easier, where cell phones and ear buds and things that exist now; never even happened, weren’t even considered. Firearms, for example. Knife tactics have changed, the way people think and attack are different.
Every single martial arts system out there, whether it be karate, to even ninjutsu, has stuff in it that’s amazing if your coach knows how to apply it to what you’re learning. If you’re learning antiquated techniques to take a horseman off of his horse when he has a halberd, how is that gonna function? I know in my neighborhood very few horses ride through. If you’re looking for something that’s gonna function nowadays, in this realm, you want to find a coach that understands the system so well and can explain to you everything you’re doing.
If what you’re training doesn’t make sense to you, then you’re never ever in a million years going to use it in a fight. Your brain is never going to be convinced you’re learning anything other than dance. You need to understand that every part of your training, there is a purpose to it. But not everybody knows what the purpose is. If you look at a karate kata, for example, it looks like an amazing dance sequence, until you put somebody’s arm in there, then they’re busting you up, grabbing you, throwing you, hitting you. Kung fu makes no sense when you’re hitting a dummy, but if you can move somebody, the footwork starts to make sense as well. If your instructor can’t tell you why you’re doing certain things, then you should not be doing those things until they can tell you why. You’re wasting your training, and then you’re getting bad conditioning. If you’re doing something you hate, you’re never ever gonna really use it, ever, at the proper time.
So again, it doesn’t matter what you train, it’s always how you train it. If your teacher understands the difference between training and conditioning and play, if you understand the difference between modern subject matter, modern self defense and subject matter from the ancients, if they understand what they’re teaching you is not for the realm that you’re talking about, this is a good instructor, this is somebody who’s educated, who knows his system, who knows what’s going on, and that’s the person you should stick with. It doesn’t matter what is available in your area, there are always good instructors and bad instructors.
When I was younger, I had thought processes that certain martial arts were garbage, they were terrible. They weren’t terrible – the way they were taught was terrible. I don’t need to wear pajamas to learn how to throw somebody. I don’t need a bell to go off to learn how to strike somebody. My intent and my thought process was different. I luckily found a bunch of instructors that lined up with what I wanted and I got what I wanted out of it. Hopefully this blog does the same for you.