Why Martial Arts Changed
That the martial arts have changed is obvious.
They have changed in many ways.
Arts have intermixed,
forms are looked down upon,
people want more reality in their sparring,
and so on.
For me the change is drastic,
and I always focus on a single aspect
or characteristic of the martial arts.
I think it is the real reason
for the decline of martial arts.
When I began training we didn’t know anything.
Nobody knew karate,
or any of the other martial arts,
it was all new,
and nobody knew anything.
We were told stories.
The fellow who could hold onto a horse’s tail
and run as fast as the horse.
The fellow who could catch a samurai sword
and snap it with his palms.
Catching arrows with the bare hand.
Breaking rocks with a single chop.
And so on.
we didn’t know if these stories were true,
we simply believed
because we knew no better.
as time went on,
some of the stories were bogus,
and some…were true.
What I noticed
as time went on
was that less and less
had people heard these stories.
Less and less
they tried to do the tricks in these stories.
More and more they fell to fighting,
and stopped being able to catch an opponent mid technique
and do what they wanted.
people stopped believing.
And stopped striving for those mystical feats,
stopped developing mystical abilities.
Because of the people who trained before,
who had no success in achieving mystical ability
and so denounced it.
I’ve heard people say karate punches are inferior.
And they tout the endless boxing drills
as superior to karate.
Yet I have never seen a boxer
thrust a finger through a board and leave a hole.
I have seen a karate man do that.
I’ve heard people say karate blocks don’t work in a real fight.
Yet I have seen a fellow
break a leg bone,
break it in two places,
with a simple low block.
I’ve had people say chi doesn’t exist,
it is a trick.
Check out the video here…
Or simply google such things as ’chi power.’
Here is the point.
In the beginning we didn’t know better,
so we believed that tales
just like a bunch of goofy kids.
Most couldn’t figure out how to do those cool sounding tricks.
But a few could.
But the kids of today listen to the trash talk
and they never hear of the ‘chi tricks,’
they never hear about people dehorning and killing bulls
with a single chop.
They listen to the fellows who failed,
and don’t seek out the ones who succeeded.
It seems that the fellows who couldn’t succeed,
are happy to shout their failure to the world,
and denounce the arts they failed in,
instead of figuring out the tricks
and practicing until they could succeed.
And the fellows who succeed,
they are self satisfied
and they have no reason to shout to the world.
Humility, you know.
I tell you this:
the most important element
in your success or failure
is going to be your ability to believe.
To believe that you can do.
To believe some of those old fables.
And to train in a manner
so that your belief is made stronger.
Have a great and believable work out!
Here’s that link again…
…you’ve changed the way I approach the arts that I love. 2018 marks my 40th year as a martial artist, and I believe that what you do is so important to us true believers. Please remember that innovation is always going to be violently resisted initially. What you do is absolutely logical, and it’s impossible for any sane man to argue with logic. Press on with pride brother. You ARE making history and a legacy. Best wishes and thanks ~ Sean
“The doubters said, ‘Man can not fly,’
The doers said, ‘Maybe, but we’ll try,’
And finally soared In the morning glow
While non-believers Watched from below.”
– Bruce Lee
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