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.
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.
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.
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 westerners.
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