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Thread: Which Martial Art Do You Favour?

  1. #31
    Senior Member Phill's Avatar
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    Post Re: Which martial-art do yOU favour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skadi Ju87
    I dislike any kind of Asian fighting styles. Same goes for Asian food.
    I pretty much agree. It's not that I'm anti-Asian or whatever... But I'm seriously starting to get sick of EVERYONE in the TV world knowing hardcore kung-fu. Yeah, it's impressive the first couple times through... but afterwards it starts to get just like... blah.

    Just watch a movie called "The Five Fingers of Death" and it alone should explain things out perfectly. Everyone can jump twenty feet up in the air, punch through thick wooden pillars, or break through a solid tree with their forehead. It gets so boring and repeatitive it's not even funny - you only know who's kung-fu is better by when they jump in the air the victor will kick the other guy down then kick the shit out of him... and even then afterwards it could go the other way.

    It's almost like basketball... if you're not tall, don't even bother playing. It's pretty much boiled down to who's the tallest, then who can learn to play basketball better and faster. It would be so much more interesting if they didn't allow anyone over 5'6" to play!

  2. #32
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    Post Re: Which martial-art do yOU favour?

    Judo, throwing people around looks fun.

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    Post Re: Which martial-art do yOU favour?

    I have done Kung-Fu and boxing. After awhile this all boiled down to two things. The first was physical culture or the value of the workout. The second was practical self-defense. The Chinese systems offer a great deal of body building value although it is not bodybuilding in the Western sense. The self-defense value is somewhat mixed. Boxing (western boxing) offers less in the way of changing the physical body although perhaps more in terms of getting ready for a particular fight. Boxing has a greater practical value but it is still not a one to one relationship because boxing is a sport. Boxing's value is also that it is done for real. In a "real" situation, Homo sapiens possesses much greater coordination with his hands than feet and this clearly shows in real world fighting. Also, simple, straight, direct moves are always better than complicated, "flowery" moves.

    It seems to me that manytimes an actual fight or attack ends up on the ground in a mix of punching, wrestling, kicking, gouging and biting. Learing to cold-cock (knockout) the opponent with one punch lessens this possibility but it is always there and always an option if you chose it. Therefore, learing boxing as well as some sort of grappling art seems to me to be the ultimate in self-defense.

  4. #34
    Member Gil's Avatar
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    Post Re: Which martial-art do yOU favour?

    Muay Thai, Kendo (I still practice it) and the portuguese Jogo do Pau or Varapau (which is a kind of "kendo" of portuguese origin).
    That people breed with those they find attractive within their own ethnic population is all the eugenics I think is necessary. - Milesian

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    Post Re: Which martial-art do yOU favour?

    Asian martial arts are highly overrated these days. The problem is that they've become too ritualized to have any significant effect in real-life fighting.

    People seem to forget that Europe has its own traditions of martial arts, and I just purchased an interesting magazine about unarmed combat methods of the Middle Ages. Just as effective(if not more) than anything the Shaolin monks practiced.

  6. #36
    You are not wrong, who deem / That my days have been a dream Johannes de León's Avatar
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    Post Re: Which martial-art do yOU favour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taras Bulba
    Asian martial arts are highly overrated these days. The problem is that they've become too ritualized to have any significant effect in real-life fighting.

    People seem to forget that Europe has its own traditions of martial arts, and I just purchased an interesting magazine about unarmed combat methods of the Middle Ages. Just as effective(if not more) than anything the Shaolin monks practiced.
    Recently I have read a book in the library about Savate, I become quite interested in that, however I doubt I can find a good teacher outside France.

    Can you please give more information on those Medieval unarmed combat methods?
    .

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    Post Re: Which martial-art do yOU favour?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johannes de León
    Can you please give more information on those Medieval unarmed combat methods?
    Sure, Ive been meaning to post the article and the pictures anyways for some time. Hopefully it will be soon.

    Well heres some links for you:
    http://alliancemartialarts.com/medievallinks.htm
    http://www.aemma.org/
    http://www.ejmas.com/jwma/
    http://www.the-exiles.org/

    Heres a good site showing some of the techniques of medieval unarmed combat:
    http://alliancemartialarts.com/techniques4.html

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    Post AW: Which martial-art do yOU favour?

    Yes, you are right with your answer, that most martials arts from asia are for our times today to overrated.
    But, the south-east arts like Muay Thai, Muay Boran, Panantukan, Silat, etc. are in my opinion very good, because they are good brutality and not so acrobatik like some shaolin arts.
    Ju Jutsu from Japan, Wing Tsun from China, Hapkido and Taekwondo from Korea are very good to in combination with direct arts like Muay Thai, Kickboxing, etc.

  9. #39
    New Member Flavius Julianus's Avatar
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    Post Re: Which martial-art do yOU favour?

    I am of the same opinion as Doctor Solar Wolff and Taras Bulba. A fight is a combination that starts with blows (and may end with them) but often ends with grappling and groundfighting.

    Do not think that English boxing is at an enormous disadvantage because it does not use kicks. Its firm postures are an asset that is superior in a real brawl to showy acrobatic high kick martial arts (Bruce Lee himself started with a Southern Chinese Yang style which did not use kicks)
    That is not to say that arts that use kicks are useless. Far from it. A few low kicks to the tibias can easily undermine most of an opponent's defensive capacities. A middle kick to the lever or the groin can puts an end to the story, too. A realistic fighter who does not use them should be prepared to receive some.

    As for oriental martial arts, they have indeed been overvalued since a few decades mainly due to modern spectacular martial arts movies and series; so much so that they have become the norm of what we think real fight is all about.
    Not that they are not efficient, provided you can make a difference between reality and fiction. The problem is that they are often too ritualized, as it has been said before, and an oriental martial artist is often unconsciously impregnated by the knightly fairplay habits of the dojo. It might prove fatal in a real fight, which often starts without warning, viciously, and not necessarily face to face at a 2 meter distance, or on the contrary coming after a long process of intimidation that paralyzes you.

    In fact, the efficiency of a fighter lays not so much in the technique (a few simple techniques may be sufficient in most brawls) but in its mental attitude. To put it in a nutshell, you must be prepared to be attacked at any moment anywhere. Sounds paranoid ? Maybe, but real life is not a TV series.
    There is a scene in Kurozawa's 'The seven samurais' which illustrates this. The leader wants to recruit able warriors and puts them to a test: each time one of his would-be mercenaries comes into the recruitment room, an accomplice hiding next to the door strikes him with a club. The leader makes his choice depending on the attitude and reaction of the candidate.
    The best of them is ALWAYS on his guard when passing a door and is never caught by surprise and ready to counter-attack. The attitude of a warrior. The attitude of a survivor.
    What ? It's a movie ? Well, indeed, but the proof that fiction is/was sometimes very well inspired.

    The real problem that impedes many oriental (and western) arts) is not the style (there is not an unlimited variety of blows a human body can deliver) but the way they are taught today. More often than not, they have become sports. Useful in a brawl, but maybe not in a life or death confrontation.

    Another problem, due to historical reasons (I shall talk about that in a future post if some of you are interested) is the mystification which has always accompanied oriental martial arts since their diffusion to the Western world:
    they make you invincible, teach you surnatural secrets, give you quasi-magical powers, the vital points, make a weakling easily vanquish a brute etc, without effort. All that has been amplified by cinema, and according to the Chinese saying, 'a lie repeated thousandfold becomes a truth'.

    Not that some real secrets do not exist, and they are jealously kept in the top inner circles. But 99.99% of lifelong martial artists will never hear of them. It has even led many quasi-top martial artists (7th/8th dan - more about the dan system and what it really represents later if you are interested) to believe "there are no secrets in martial arts but practice, practice, practice". True for most artists, and absolutely necessary before the "top ones" are told about some interesting stuff watched, experienced and analyzed by centuries of practice (= in real life or death situations such as war).

    The last problem, in connection with the first one, is that most 'percussion oriental arts' do not really deliver the blows, such as in modern karate or kung fu (/wu shu), but stop them at a few centimeters of the targets. It might confuse such a martial artist in a real confontation insofar as he has no experience of real blows and how to take them, which can lead to disastrous consequences, physically and psychologically.
    Same thing, to a lesser extent, for the blows if he does not train with a makiwara (punching board). Fortunately, most western styles and dojos have kept this excellent habit, which is superior to the traditional striking bag of boxe.

    Can it be concluded that styles that really deliver blows are superior to 'restrained-blows' arts? Yes, in that they physically and psychologically get you used to receive blows. No, in that a blow delivered with gloves is not a real blow. It gives a good idea of what a blow is/feels like, but can also lead a fighter into dangerous delusion about the consequences of a real life strike, not to speak of the risks of wounding the fists. No, in the sense that closing one's hand into a fist might not be the best way of using it whatever a Westerner accustomed to "realistic" boxing may think.

    The recent devellopment and study of fighting methods worldwide seem to have proven that 'real' blows styles were undoubtedly superior in fight to the former, such as in the K1 competitions, were Kickboxers and Thai Boxers have been reigning for a few years (I simplify).
    However, a couple of months ago, a meeting between two teams of K1 fighters and Kyokushinkai karate fighters have shown the undeniable superioriy of the latter in both rule set confrontings.
    Of course, one meeting does not prove everything, but one might wonder whether the combination of the realistic semi-contact/kick boxing method of Kyokushinkai karate with its more 'traditional' kihon-kata-kumite practice is not ahead on the way to realism and efficiency.

    The sincere study of the real efficiency in a fight has been very seriously studied publicly for roughly 30 years, especially by the Westerners, who wanted to know once for all which method was the best and whether those oriental arts were serious or just fantasies. It seems most have been leaning towards the latter conclusion (which is good for our racial pride) although some bad surprises have happened now and then.

    Now, another illusion had been develloped since the 60's among the martial arts world,

  10. #40
    New Member Flavius Julianus's Avatar
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    Post Re: Which martial-art do yOU favour?

    ... the illusion of the preponderance of "percussion arts" (karate/kickboxing) over the grappling methods (judo/wrestling). After WWII, judo had been the first oriental 'martial art' crowned with the reputation of invincibility brought to the West, still confused with its direct ancestor, jiu-jitsu, modernized into judo by Jigoro Kano. In the 60's, new arrivers seized the crown: karate, and its Chinese forerunner, kung fu/ wushu. Bruce Lee movies greatly magnified that impression.

    (there is a not well-known anecdote about Bruce Lee. As he was on the set of "the Green Hornet", the series that made him famous in the 60's, he took a bashing by Gene Lebell, a tough judo fighter and stuntman)

    Until the 90's, when Ultimate Fighting Championship, stunned the world of martial arts as Brazilian jiu jitsu wrestlers brought helpless kickboxers to the ground and choke or armlocked them. Gracie family's jiu jitsu had entered the field and reigned for a while with their amazing spidery strategy of taking their opponent to the ground where they would vanquish them with their superior groundfighting techniques.

    After a while, traumatized kickboxers started training in various methods including wrestling and, in turn, succeeding in getting the upper hand. The era of Mixed Martial Arts had started.

    In the meantime, kickboxers and the like had learnt to rediscover how to keep grapplers at a distance, forced to get out of the 'I hit you, you hit me only' routine to which they had got accustomed, and of the modern karate myth of 'One punch should be sufficient to neutralize an opponent'. Mental attitude again.

    Today, it seems MMA and cross training is the most efficient thing (until the next revelation).

    Nothing new under the sun. Specialized martial arts (percussion/grappling/weapons) is a very modern trend dating back to Japanese Meiji era (end of the 19th century, roughly speaking).

    Seing the end of inner feuds, martial arts masters feared their arts would fade into oblivion, created dojos and systematically codified their methods into so-called Dos (=ways), replacing the old jutsus (=techniques), themselves a weakened form of the original kakuto bugeis (=techniques of war) tested on the battlefields during centuries.

    Many 'percussion' Chinese arts have kept take-downs and weapons, which may give an impression of confusion at first, a "jack of all trades, master of none" feeling which is quite deceiving.

    Would not it be better to focus on something one is good at, instead of doing everything badly?

    Well, for the modern man training twice a week, maybe. For the warrior of the past fighting on battlefields and ready to be attacked at the corner of the woods, no. On the contrary, it was a bunch of keys to his survival.

    Does it mean Europe never develloped martial arts?

    Since the end of WWII, the very term of martial arts has become a synonym of 'oriental -often unarmed- martial arts. Martial arts etymologically means 'the art of Roman god of war Mars', which is not gratuitous. Those very words have nothing oriental in fact.

    As far as swordmanship is concerned, the Western world has a very rich, millenial history which has nothing to be envious of anybody, very far from it.

    http://www.thehaca.com/Manuals

    http://www.thehaca.com/
    As to unarmed combat, the modern Western man has been so brainwashed by the politically correct, incredibly ignorant, or spectacular, pictures industry into believing Europe has nothing to offer except 'out of fashion' English boxing or Greco-roman wrestling (about which there are a lot of things to say) that he thinks the usual TV series with high-kicking stuntmen is a real fight is all about.

    Rather than writing a long paper, I will just put a few links (pictures) I invite you to check:

    http://www.thehaca.com/Manuals/44.jpg

    http://www.thehaca.com/Manuals/39.jpg

    http://www.thehaca.com/Manuals/49.jpg

    http://www.thehaca.com/Manuals/85.jpg

    http://www.thehaca.com/Manuals/202.jpg

    http://www.thehaca.com/pdf/th19.jpg

    http://www.thehaca.com/pdf/th14.jpg


    Do these pictures not evoke names such as tai otoshi, o utsi gari, o soto gari, ippon seoi nage, o goshi or kata guruma?

    Or Mae geri?

    I have not found another of a tomoe nage (spectacular stomach throw), but you get the idea. Same thing with 'karate' kicks and dagger against unarmed fighting. There are plenty of them in our litterature.

    Just dig and you will find...

    These pictures are drawn from two medieval and Renaissance handbooks recapitulating age old techniques used on medieval battlefields which were common knowledge at the period. There exists older manuals depicting or describing such techniques. Older than any equivallent Japanese or Chinese treatise.

    Western masters such as Tallhoffer had their own 'salles d'armes', traditions, schools and students.

    Research is quite recent in this field, and not broadly publicized for obvious reasons

    Scholars have serious grounds to think a good part of them inherited the awesome Greek pancrace (=total fighting; UFC and K1 are childish games compared to what is described by ancient writers, such as that Dramoxenus being denied victory in finals because he had disembowelled his opponent with hardened hands) and pugilat. Pancrace was dating back well before 700 BC. Some experts suspect that Alexander the Great's soldiers who invaded India brought it there, where it was not forgotten and passed to China through legendary high cast (=white) Bodidharma, who according to Indian and Chinese lore, brought martial arts to the first Shaolin temple.

    It would be silly to force an origin of oriental martial arts into Europe out of racial chauvinism since every people has develloped its own methods according to similar needs, but as you can see, according to modern research, this possibility is far from being ridiculous.

    So, what would be my choice for modern self defence?

    For blows: Thai boxing (Muay thai), or one of its brothers kick boxing, full contact or Savate (French boxing). The latter are not allowed elbows, and a few others. I listed them in decreasing order of 'what is permissible'. Keep in mind it is not a question of 'who is the best', but a question of what is allowed by the rules of sport competition. So, you will have to complete your arsenal easily by picking up a few open hand techniques and elbow/knee/tibia strikes in the manuals of other methods. Use your common sense rather than the opinion of a 'master'.

    Kyokushinkai karate, the hard style of karate, is a must, too, and you might discover things not taught in the more modern styles which will make you efficient even at 60, but you will need a lot of time, probably a life.

    http://www.dolph-ultimate.com/

    For take-downs and ground fighting: Jiu jitsu (Brazilian if possible, but do know the Gracie family has just rediscovered efficient techniques and training methods long forgotten or hidden by the Japanese original; a proof that intelligence, common sense and experimentation are THE way), or judo or a form of wrestling. There again, do not hesitate to cross train without a gi/kimono and to pick up techniques of other methods.

    Of course, this choice may be different depending on whether you are a strong man, or a petite woman, young and vigorous, or older.

    Just remember there will always be something for you, but do not nurture illusions of omnipotence.

    A good mental attitude is the best martial art, if you had to choose only one.

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