I have repeatedly come across two pervasive fallacies in my martial arts training. They are diametrically opposed to each other, and both, in my honest opinion, are quite inaccurate. Both are generated by narrow-minded viewpoints, and they perpetuate narrow-mindedness in others.

They are both fueled by the ego’s need to feel special and right.

They relate to the adherence of traditional practices in martial arts. One rejects it completely. The other promotes it with absolute and exclusive devotion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Imagine a contest. In one corner, there is a small, middle-aged taichi practitioner who has perhaps never hit, or been hit by, another person. Her practice consists of practicing meditative positions and movements and occasionally push hands. She has perhaps never tested her fighting skills against another person.

In the other corner, there is a muscular, twenty-year-old mixed martial arts competitor. Her training consists of regularly punching, kicking, throwing, joint-locking other people, and having those things done to her. She tests her ability to use these techniques on another person several times a week.

The outcome of the contest can be used as evidence to speak to the effectiveness of each art, right?

Certainly. Do you already have a prediction of who would win the contest? Read the rest of this entry »