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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Building a Foundation

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

Our most powerful weapon for
Many times I have professed that anyone wanting to become proficient in martial arts first should create a foundation from the study of one system or style then branch out. In truth, the foundation in question does not depend solely on one style or system bur rather a foundation involving not only principles of fighting but rather a mind-set and mind-state that comes from either training or experience where experience trumps all forms of training be it martial arts or some other model. 

What I am saying is a person who has spent time gaining experience in real life conflicts and violence will have a better foundation than one who trains and practices in a martial art or other combative/fighting model. If you have that foundation then you can branch out and build on that experience by studying any number of martial arts, etc. and you don’t have to worry about achieving any particular level or rank in any of them. Your foundation will hold a superior support of all the possible applications from any number of systems, i.e., those that will give you more tools or more methodologies applicable to your foundation and applications in fighting, combatives and self-defense. 

When I hear about folks who ask, “I was practicing so-n-so martial art but I moved and cannot find it where I live now, can anyone make a recommendation?” I first would ask, “What is your experience and what are your goals for your choice of martial art?” How they answer will dictate how a recommendation is presented. 

Honestly, those with actual real life experience in conflict and violence more often than not will not ask that question because they more often than not have that instinct that tells them it really doesn’t matter - simply find a place to train and train. It seems, on the surface to me, that one with experience is not going to get caught up in the trappings of rank, levels, status and other such things - especially if they study and practice toward self-defense, fighting and/or combatives (thinks of distinctions in training and practice).

As Alain Burrese states, “Teach the skills to become a complete martial artists and be able to defend yourselves if you ever have to.” What a complete martial artist means to me, as a striking practitioner, is become a martial artists who can draw from a variety of fighting methodologies, i.e., those that take into consideration, “proficiency with applying impacts, drives (pushes), pulls, twists, takedowns, throws and compression to achieve your self-defense goals,” while adhering to fundamental principles of all combatives, fighting, self-defense martial arts disciplines, etc. This will then already encompass your abilities to defend yourself if you ever have to. 

Herein lies the importance of building a foundation, a foundation built on actual experience trumps all others. Regardless, if you don’t have that experience then the training and practice you seek out and use must achieve a certain amount of reality and that reality will be based on the instructor. If that instructor does not have either experience or training from an experienced combatant then seek out reality-based adrenal stress conditioned training from an instructor who has the credentials, experience and abilities necessary. Not an easy goal!

Bibliography (Click the link)

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