Tuesday, August 5, 2014

But it works in the movies / on TV!

There are two types of martial arts: 1) useful martial arts, 2) choreographed martial arts. I will be the first to tell you that choreographed martial arts looks SO much better than the useful stuff (most of the time). There are, of course, exceptions to that rule, but unless you have two (or more) masters, it's unlikely you're going to see anything as beautiful as this:

Beautiful, isn't it? 

I love watching stuff like this. In fact, all you have to do is run a search in YouTube, and you can find all kinds of martial arts fighting matches, or instructional videos on how you TOO can master moves like a tornado/hurricane kick, or using pressure points instead of fighting (I'm not endorsing either of those videos, BTW, they're just examples of what I'm talking about).

Here's the problem with choreographed / youtube martial arts: it is—to turn a phrase—hit or miss. For every useful video, you're going to find a bunch of just horrible videos. Also, while choreographed martial arts looks beautiful, it's not not the most efficient way to get out of a sticky situation. Often, it's made more convoluted to look more beautiful.

You want to know what ends MMA matches? a kick to the head. Is it a hurricane kick? not usually, normally it's an axe kick, or maybe a roundhouse (albeit a pretty high roundhouse). SIMPLE KICKS that get the job done. What about hitting? again, roundhouses and front punches to the head. No fancy pressure points, just an old-fashioned punch to the side of the head.*

Which is why I prefer to learn (and teach) styles that are simple and to the point. I'm not going to say that given an opportunity I wouldn't use a well timed spin kick or a good hammer to a pressure point -- but I would be more likely to use a good punch to the throat or kick to the knee. It's not pretty, but it works.

*don't get me started on grappling. You should NOT be on the ground unless you are sitting on top of an unconscious body, waiting for the cops. Seriously. I love watching ground fighting, but that has NO business in street-fighting—you do your best to stay the hell off the ground.

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