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JLBC: Martial Arts

JLBC: Martial Arts

Martial arts training helps with a warrior's mental discipline and concentration, regardless of how fighting.

Few people have studied martial arts, and fewer have learned more than one. I have seen writers write that character A struck character B with an Aikido strike or Judo master A leaped up and kicked B in the head. I knew instantly that these writers probably did not know the first thing about martial arts. Neither one of these styles employs such methods. Aikido, for instance, is a very passive, non-aggressive (but very effective) martial art. An Aikido artist 'attacks' only when training with another opponent. The core philosophy of Aikido is defense, not offense. Steven Stegall is a student of Aikido, but he is also an arrogant, third-rate movie actor, and the movies tend to overate things, but if you've seen Stegall in 'action,' you will have some idea of how Aikido works.

The Japanese and Chinese are not the only ones to have martial arts. The French have Savat, also called Chausson. In Brazil, there is an art called Capoeira. Wrestling is familiar worldwide, and Boxing (as seen on TV) came from Europe. The former Soviet Union has Sambo. India has Kalaripayit, Burma has Bando (thing), and Banshee. Thailand has kickboxing; the Philippines has Eskrima.

Nearly all localities have their form of wrestling, boxing, or weapons skill. JLBC Cadets It should be noted that it is primarily Asian martial arts that are spiritual as well as physical. Fencing, for instance, does not (usually) try to teach the student right and wrong or respect for elders, etc.

As martial arts spread across the world, some of them lose a bit of their focus. Individual instructors may teach the variations and moves that they have learned elsewhere. Instructors may not stress the spirituality usually associated with the Martial Arts.

Each martial art usually has a distinct history, outlook on combat, and series of moves. Each martial art also usually has its core philosophy and might have a spiritual orientation.

Combat techniques also vary quite a bit among the martial arts. Some teach that the attack is superior to the defense, while others teach the opposite.

To say which Martial Art is best is a job for a fool. The Martial Arts are just that, combat arts. They are an art form that must constantly be practiced and perfected. A high-ranking karate specialist might beat the daylights out of an Aikido novice. If the Karate specialist were to face an Aikido 'master,' it might be an entirely different story. Maybe. It could all depend on how dedicated each one is to his art. If the karate specialist got his 'black belt' in what is sometimes referred to as a 'black belt factory,' then that Aikido novice might defeat him.

I had the dishonor of enrolling in one such 'black belt factory.' I lost all stomach for it after three months. I had acquired three belts, one a month. A Tae Kwon Do black belt from that school would have been destroyed by a green belt from my previous Karate school.

Belts can have meaning to some and no sense whatsoever to others. Straps also vary between different martial arts. The Goju Ryu school where I studied did not have orange or purple belts, for instance, and children could not advance to the black belt.

The style of martial art should be chosen very carefully by a student.

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