It’s a touchy subject any time we talk about someone’s personal reasons for study the arts. The reasoning is usually packed with emotion.
Have you thought about your personal martial goal?
Which of these various martial arts goals motivates you:
* To defend yourself in a fight at a party
* To enter (win) competitions
* To get/stay in shape
* To better understand the mind-body connection
Is yours a self-defense goal?
Personally, I have no interest in martial-arts competitions (except to study them for the intellectual exercise). I study and practice martial arts for personal self defense. I want to be able to defend myself and my loved ones.
If you are in the arts for self defense, read on….
Your martial goal should preclude you from staying in one martial art or even one “type” of art. In other words, don’t only rely on a hard style or a soft style, or a Chinese art, or just JKD.
Your personal goal will involve understanding the best reactions to any given technique or martial situation. And to be able to evaluate and modify, you can’t stay loyal to any one style. No, not even Jeet Kune Do (but that’s a different article.)
Don’t limit yourself to just Tae Kwon Do, Karate, or Aikido. This is not a criticism of any of those styles. No style offers everything … not even the eclectic styles –progressive systems– claiming to offer everything to all.
Briefly, here’s my logic (faulty though some may think it) — If there are a few million TKD practitioners out there, and you want be able to defend yourself against the majority of people out there, then don’t you think you should avoid doing exactly what they are doing?
Don’t Play Your Opponent’s Game
Personally, I don’t have enough faith or athletic prowess, to believe that my “same set of TKD moves” will be better than a few million other people who do the exact same techniques that I do.
Are you the same?
If you are to have a chance, you need a way that efficiently overcomes whatever set you encounter. If you are going to defend against TKD, then you need something that demolishes that set quickly. (Remember the goal.)
If you stay in the style, then what your opponent does can be overcome by you, and what you do, unfortunately, can be overcome by your opponent.
So, your goal should preclude you from bowing down to one style.
Besides, you have never been one to do the same ol’ – same ol’, right?
Self Defense Isn’t the Only Goal
Please don’t think for one minute that the goal of efficient self defense is the only worthwhile goal.
You may have different goals.
If you wants to compete, for example, then you might want to avoid the styles that claim to teach street self defense only. They would offer a majority of techniques that are illegal in competition.
Conversely, if it’s time to focus more on pure, efficient self defense, then you’d want to avoid classes that emphasize kicking above the waist, flying kicks, and lots of spins. Those moves are perfect for competitions — not so efficient on the street.