Aikido and Tae Kwon Do
The truth is much of what is taught in most traditional
styles of Self defense training and street fighting techniques
should be much simpler and more direct than what is taught in
most dojos and dojangs. Just my opinion after over 36 years!
Many systems teach high kicking, complicated
wrist maneuvers, hard to hit pressure points and other techniques
that most likely would never work under the stress of a street
attack. All the while giving their students a false sense of security.
I am not against traditional training.
Not at all. But let's look at it for what it really is. Martial
arts such as karate, aikido, kung fu and tae kwon do have a host
of wonderful benefits for both children and adults. Some of these
benefits include getting and staying in shape, developing self
discipline, weight control, improving self confidence and learning
some very important life skills.
I teach full time at my karate dojo
five days a week. I see these benefits developing in my students
every day. But let us not fool ourselves into believing that most
traditional training would be effective on the street in the 21st
Century. Here's why...
Martial arts were developed many years
ago. During the times and in the existing cultures where they
were developed and practiced the needs and civilizations were
quite different than today. In some instances the training needed
to be done in secret as not to allow the powers to be to know.
Weapons were even made illegal in some cultures, necessitating
the development of unarmed skills.
Katas (forms) were developed by karate
masters so that students could practice on their own. These forms
developed excellent focus, balance, speed, power, self discipline
and form (and still do today). While they can help a martial artist
improve their overall ability, they do very little to help their
self defense skills. I know many will disagree with this but I
really don't see much value in kata for the purposes of learning
Additionally karate masters (and masters
of other arts) kept their most effective techniques secret and
only taught them to a select few who were to carry on the system.
Most of these hidden techniques are lost today, especially to
For self defense to be effective, we
must deal with simplicity and directness, considering the effects
of adrenaline stress. Systems must be easy to learn, simple to
execute and easy to remember in order to be effective. Read more
about this kind of self defense training at Street