POSSIBLE OR PROBABLE?
I've been on The Bushi path for decades. Like the vast majority, I started with a martial art (in my case Wado ryu) and over the years I have been involved in other martial arts, but always maintaining the practice and study of my main style. Like every student in the martial arts, always looking for improvement, always polishing rough edges, always extending my area of self-control and self-knowledge.
A very important aspect for the development and growth of Budoka is the encounter and training with practitioners of other styles and other martial arts. People with the same sincerity in their practice and study, but who do it following a different path and a different perspective.
Such encounters can give us a fresh perspective on our own art and can open doors to new levels of understanding.
I never miss the opportunity to visit other dojos and to study and train with new people.
After many years of exchange, learning and mutual inspiration, I must say that there are endless perspectives and forms of access to this deep and vast sea that is Budo. I must also acknowledge that, unfortunately, the vast majority of fellow travelers I encounter along the way, are not in it wholeheartedly. The vast majority, take the sweet, the rewarding practice and avoid the hard and rough that is an inseparable part of the study of Budo.
In a way, it can be said that the mass of practitioners of the martial arts poses or assumes martial postures, without deepening, or discovering their own technical, physical, spiritual and emotional limits.
This is the same people who adopt martial hierarchies as a means of status, without ever in their career having been exposed to a context of martial study, where a lively and spontaneous practice is required, without choreographies and where the energy exchange with the opponent is free and total.
I think this has several causes.
The primordial is human nature. It seems that most of us go through life without trying to understand the nature of things.
But on a specific plane to Budo, it seems that one of the reasons is the conception of Budo as something technical, separate from the spiritual and the physical. Once, a 7th dan from a well-known martial art in Spain, told me that I was not a real martial artist, since I was in good physical condition ... according to him, I was an athlete and not a martial artist by the mere fact that I was in good physical condition ... That sensei saw a contradiction between a healthy and dynamic body and the study of Budo. It goes without saying that this person has an abdominal region that suffers from hypertrophy and flaccidity due to excessive calorie consumption and a sedentary lifestyle ...
This is an aberration of Budo. Without body there is no technique and there is no spirit. All three are inseparable. If one of the three is missing, it is not Budo. I recommend everyone who is interested in the subject to study the concept of Shin Gi Tai.
This vision of Budo is often found in people who train defenses and attacks, year after year, where the concentration in technique is so absolute, that along the way they have lost the intention in the attack. And therefore, the reality in the defense ...
What do I understand by intention?
By intention I understand to strike I strike to the best of my ability, and I do that with the intention of obtaining the greatest possible effect on the opponent. The same applies to luxations, projections, etc. Sure, I always take responsibility for the safety and health of my training partner. There is no contradiction between intention and power, between responsibility and technical excellence.
As a result of this technicalist vision of Budo, we see Budokas collecting techniques as trophies and knowledge separated from skill. It is a big difference between knowing the technical aspects of a technique, and the ability to carry the technique out in a real situation.
This divorce between study and reality, technique and intention also results in the confusion of the probable with the possible.
To give an example. People train defensive techniques to get free of a wrist grip. Fine tuning and refining the technique until exhaustion different angles of escape, twisting, exiting, etc.
This is a typical case of divorce from reality.
First, because in the context of human conflict, a wrist grip is never an end in itself, but a means of attack. If someone just grabbed your wrist and was content with that, the only defense needed would be to wait until they get tired of holding us.
Second, because the wrist grip is not at all a common attack (especially in male-on-male aggression).
Is it possible to be attacked with a wrist grip? Yes
That possibility and the study of defensive methods against such attacks is correlated with the probability of being attacked with a wrist grip?
I'm not saying that wrist-grip defenses don’t have their place. But I say that the time devoted to its study must be proportional to the probability of an attacker using such techniques.
I also say that a defense (any defense) against an attack (any attack) is at best limited. The only thing that can give us victory in an altercation, the only thing that can give us a chance of survival, is to attack.
Whoever defends himself against an attack will perish.
The one who attacks the attacker will exponentially increase his chances of survival.
This is a basic notion for any modern military. But that has fallen into oblivion among today's martial artists.
That's why I call on all martial artists to read this article.
Examine yourself. Look at your interior with severity and sincerity and see what you find.
If you find there is a palpable difference between your knowledge and your martial skill, then you have the answer. If you are sincere in your study of Budo you must change course and methodology.
There is no alternative.