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Attributes of a Modern and Unique Martial Arts System

Aug 15, 2008
The basic and founding principles of some martial arts systems are extremely straightforward, intuitive, and logical, yet, unfortunately, they are almost universally ignored in traditional Martial Arts training. All techniques must have three fundamental components to be effective: power, speed, and focus (a technique that misses the target, is easily avoided, or that is simply brushed aside clearly isn't very effective). In order to develop power, speed and focus it is absolutely essential that there be balance, flexibility, and strength throughout the entire range of motion. These qualities don't mysteriously emerge. They must be systematically and carefully developed.

In most traditional schools, the drills and exercises have been passed from teacher to student and have become part of the tradition. The techniques usually require a very advanced degree of training to do well or even partially well. Unfortunately, doing something partially right is obviously doing it partly wrong. The cumulative stress and damage to joints, tendons and ligaments in this process of learning frequently results in long term and /or permanent degenerative injury. This is especially true after adolescence, when the body has stopped growing.

There is another equally dangerous flaw to this type of rote practice. When techniques are done incorrectly they are simply not effective. Blind repetition won't magically transform this or make them work. I am continually reminding students that practice does not make perfect. Practice makes habit. Only perfect practice makes perfect.

Eventually, the student may approximate something that looks correct, but in actuality, the problem areas and weaknesses have only become much more subtle and difficult to correct. The end result is that the vast majority of students will never progress beyond a very mediocre level. Sadly, more practice will only compound the problem and just increase the chance of injury.

Some martial arts systems were designed, among other things, to address these two fundamental and critical failings in traditional Martial Arts training. As stated above, a good system incorporates a scientific and systematic approach to Martial Arts training and mastery designed to take virtually anyone to their highest potential as a Martial Artist in the shortest time possible without brutality or injury. This is a very strong statement to make, but it has been continually proven again and again with people of all ages (men and women) and in all ranges of physical condition. It is a direct result of how unique and effective a particular martial art system is.

Hopefully, the first is clear from the discussions above. With systematic development and skillful practice virtually anyone can learn the Martial Arts. Many traditional schools feel brutality and/or intimidation is essential to develop the necessary physical and mental qualities and stamina required in the Martial Arts. This is simply not the case. There are many ways to accomplish this - brutality/intimidation being among the least effective. Some schools are run, in the name of discipline, as if they were actually para-military organizations. Again, not only is this unnecessary but ineffective for the vast majority of people. Students who change styles and find a supportive atmosphere of mutual respect a very welcome change and a better environment to hone their skills. I have found over the years that change brought about through fear or intimidation is seldom permanent. Change brought about by cultivating and developing the requisite inner qualities, on the other hand, is not only permanent, but has a transforming effect that touches every aspect of an individual's life.
About the Author
Calasanz is the creator of his own system of martial arts and fitness combining karate, wing chun kung fu, boxing, kickboxing, ground fighting, and a holistic exercise system for all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities. Find martial arts and fitness videos at http://www.interdojo.com
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