There Are NO Superior Martial Arts, Styles, or Techniques, There Are Only Superior Martial Artists
Now before all of you Jujitsu/grappling fans get your panties all in a bunch let me say that I have also experienced this attitude from individuals in Tae Kwon Do, wrestling, boxing, Jeet Kune Do, and some so called "self-defense" styles. All of which have occurred in the past several months.
Now I know that no matter what I say, there are going to be those of you out there that absolutely will not open your minds and listen to someone whose viewpoint just so happens to differ from yours. Attempting to talk to those types of individuals is akin to beating your head against a brick wall. Sure you can hit the wall as hard as you want and as many times as you want, but you still won't move the wall. Therefore, if you are one of these people, do yourself a favor and stop reading this article and go on to something else, because you are just going to be wasting your time.
Okay if you've continued reading I hope that you can set aside any particular style prejudice that you may have and can finish reading the rest of this article with an open mind.
Now as you may or may not know, my particular background in the martial arts is primarily based in the martial arts of Karate and Tae Kwon Do. This is not the Olympic style tae kwon do, but the traditional based martial art. In addition to Karate and Tae Kwon Do, I also have some experience in the arts of Judo, Hapkido and Aikido. Throughout my earlier years of training, I was very fortunate to have an instructor who taught me both the traditional and practical ways of executing the techniques that I was being taught. One major point that was always stressed was this, "There are NO superior martial arts, styles, or techniques. There are only superior martial artists."
Now having said that, how can anyone in their right mind think that one style is superior to another? I mean if you wanted to put restrictions on it by saying that Jujitsu was a better grappling and ground fighting style than Tae Kwon Do, I would tend to agree with you. Or if you were to say that boxers in general had better hand skills than Jujitsu and Tae Kwon Do fighters I would also tend to agree with you.
Or, how about if you put rules on the terms of engagement such as in boxing, where you are only allowed to strike certain areas of the body with a closed fist, then I would have to say that in that particular situation a boxer would have the advantage. However, if you put the boxer in the same situation with a Tae Kwon Do or Muay Thai fighter and only allowed kicks, then the advantage would definitely not be on the side of the boxer. The same comparison could also be used if you put a Jujitsu practitioner in the ring with either a boxer or Tae Kwon Do fighter and then only allowed grappling. Who would have the advantage then? Of course the Jujitsu fighter would.
Let's take a moment here and take a look at the art of boxing. Now what are the four primary punches in boxing? Okay there is the jab, cross, hook, and the uppercut. Now I am going to be conservative on my numbers here and say that there are approximately 1,000,000 people here in the United States that have learned how to box. Are all of those individuals' superior boxers? No! Even though they all know the same punches, do they all punch the same? Again the answer would be, No!
Now out of all of those people, how many Mike Tyson's, Evander Holyfield's, and George Foreman's do we have? Not that many. Now at their time, there is little room to argue that all three of these men were superior boxers with those four punches.
Now let's say that there are approximately 1,000,000 people here in the United States that are actively practicing Jujitsu. Now obviously there are more than four primary moves in Jujitsu, but for arguments sake and ease of understanding let's say that there are only four. Is every practitioner of Jujitsu a superior Jujitsu practitioner? No! Even though they all know the same four techniques, do they all execute them exactly the same? Again the answer would be, No!
Now out of all of those people, how many of them are from the legendary Gracie family? I don't know the exact number for sure, but I know they have a fairly large family so let's say twenty. Now you would be hard press to say that these individuals weren't superior Jujitsu practitioners.
In order to finish this comparison let's once again say that there are approximately 1,000,000 people here in the United States that practice Tae Kwon Do. Once again it is obvious that there are more than four primary kicks in Tae Kwon Do, but for arguments sake and ease of understanding we are going to say that there are only four. Is every practitioner of Tae Kwon Do a superior kicker? No! Even though all of them learn the same four kicks, do they all execute them exactly the same? Once again the answer would be, No!
Now out of all of those people, how many of them are Chuck Norris's, Herb Perez's, or Bill Wallace's? Not that many. There is no doubt that these three individuals are superior kickers. Please note for all of you Chuck Norris purists out there that Chuck studied Tang Soo Do, not Tae Kwon Do.
This is a perfect example of the non-superiority of any particular martial art or style.
If you look at all of the martial arts from an intelligent and mature standpoint, you would have to agree that every art has its various strengths and weaknesses. Tae Kwon Do is an excellent kicking art, but does tend to lack a bit in the grappling area. Did you notice that I didn't mention anything about punching? That is because most good Tae Kwon Do schools do teach their students how to punch. Although I personally feel that boxing is a much better art form to learn the basic punches, but that is just my opinion. Jujitsu is an outstanding art form when it comes to grappling and joint techniques, but it does lack in the kicking and punching area. Anyone would be hard pressed to say that Judo is anything other than perhaps the best art there is for throwing. However, be advised that Judo was derived from the art of Jujitsu in the late 1800's by its founder, Dr. Jigoro Kano.
Now what about good old fashioned boxing? This is without a doubt the best, easiest, and most effective system of self-defense with your hands that a person can learn. However, boxers are not known much for their kicking and grappling skills. Although a lot of them can clinch really well.
So what does that mean to the individual person, well and this is just my opinion, I strongly believe that you should pick one art form to be your core art. This decision should be made by you, and factoring in what style best suits your body type and disposition. Then after you have gained a significant understanding of your chosen core art, you should strengthen your knowledge by also learning the other styles so that you can further add to your arsenal of available techniques. For example, even if you didn't particularly care for grappling, wouldn't it behoove you to know what to expect if and when you were confronted by someone that was good at grappling?
Remember, the foolish man thinks he knows everything and refuses to learn more, when in reality he knows nothing. While the intelligent man knows that the more he learns, he realizes just how much he doesn't know and keeps on learning.
Related Tags: artists, styles, boxing, martial, arts, karate, superior, jujitsu, tae, kwon, do, techniques, judo
Shawn Kovacich has been practicing the martial arts for over 25 years and currently holds the rank of 4th degree (Yodan) black belt in both Karate and Tae Kwon Do. Shawn has also competed in such prestigious full-contact bare knuckle karate competitions as the Shidokan Open and the Sabaki Challenge, among others. In addition to his many accomplishments, Shawn is also a two time world record holder for endurance high kicking as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Shawn is the author of the highly acclaimed Achieving Kicking Excellence™ series and can be reached via his web site at: http://www.kickingbooks.com
Marc can be reached via his web site at: Kyokushin Karate
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