Here’s why the BEST MARTIAL ARTS are HYPOCRITICAL!
When we think of the “best” we think of TRUTH… STERNESS… STABILITY… DEPENDABILITY! And many of us define “dependable” in our minds as something that WE CAN COUNT ON to BE A CERTAIN WAY whenever we engage with it. WE EXPECT it to look the same, sound the same, and operate the same as we remembered when WE INITIALLY ACCEPTED IT as correct. And through this ideology, when it changes into something that we are not familiar with, or worse, becomes opposite of the way that we remember it, it no longer holds a status that we feel we can trust. We feel that we can no longer DEPEND on it because we can no longer predict what it is going to be if and when we engage with it again. This is one of the reasons that some students drop out in the beginning.
I always teach from the start that, “THE GREATEST THING ABOUT THE MARTIAL ARTS IS THAT IT IS HYPOCRITICAL.” When I say this I get looks of awe and sometimes disappointment. This is because most expect the Martial Arts to be strict & disconnected from all other forms of influence or opposites. But the greatest of Martial Artists who use their skill for real combat know that this is not a want, ...it is a NEED!
The Martial Arts hypocrisy that I am revealing is exposed regularly during the intense training and REAL combat moments of Martial Artists who use their skills predominantly in high risk live hand to hand combat situations against other high skilled foes. It is a modification of structured Martial Arts techniques that is needed to survive during real combat, even though much is an exact opposite of initial lessons, and some are the exact things that are forbidden to do. These skills of hypocrisy are usually passed down from an experienced combat Martial Artist to younger combatants.
Beginner students of mine are drilled strictly about 4 critical rules that they should never break or it can lead to their immediate loss during combat. These 4 rules are:
1. KEEP YOUR HANDS UP to protect your head!
a. One cannot block a combination of punches to the head if the hands aren’t up to
meet the threat. Action beats reaction at close distance.
2. STAY IN YOUR STANCE! NEVER switch and try to fight on the opposite side!
a. One cannot defend himself as well when he switches his stance to the opposite
side. Attacks are slower also.
3. DON’T CROSS YOUR FEET when using footwork!
a. When feet are crossed one cannot defend or attack effectively because the base
is compromised & tripping can occur.
4. NEVER TURN YOUR BACK to your opponent!
a. When the back is turned to the opponent you are blind and can be struck in the
back of the head or surprised with an attack when you turn back around.
When the beginner breaks one of these rules in full contact sparring, competition or combat, they receive a PHYSICAL REALITY CHECK that convinces them that those rules exist for a good reason. They eventually learn that they have to drill these rules into their core if they want to simply participate with the lowest skilled amateur combatants. And the ones who get these lessons drilled into their core eventually dominate the ones who don’t. That is, until they run into the highly EXPERIENCED hypocritical combatant who easily dominates the follower of the basic rules by:
1. DROPPING HIS HANDS.
2. SWITCHING HIS STANCE BETWEEN ORHTODOX & SOUTHPAW
3. CROSSING HIS FEET WHEN USING HIS FOOTWORK
4. TURNING THEIR BACK ON THEIR OPPONENT
The experienced combatant can do this because he understands timing, distance, balance, speed, power and the movement of his or her own body while under pressure. And breaking the basic rules makes his tactics alien to the one who follows the rules. This confuses and frustrates the rule following artist throwing him out of timing and off balance. Here is the exact description of what each of the 4 above listed tactics do:
1. DROPPING THE HANDS.
Baits opponent to swing desperately off balance, out of defensive position.
2. SWITCHING THE STANCE.
Confuses the opponent on what type of techniques will come from which side.
3. CROSSING THE FEET DURING FOOTWORK.
Disrupts the pace while causing a distraction that confuses movement.
4. TURNING BACK ON OPPONENT.
Allows the execution of unpredictable, powerful pinning techniques.
When a student trains hard with commitment, his basic skills will elevated to an advanced level. This is when it may be time to implement the hypocrisy that instructs the breaking of rules to form into a more effective combat.