Everybody buys into the concept of Deadly Martial Arts Techniques, but most schools don’t deliver. Teaching Little Johnny, training for tournaments, these concepts take from the fighting arts. Interestingly, one need only understand the three stages of technique, or bunkai, and it doesn’t matter whether you do karate or kenpo or taekwondo or whatever, and your art is going to become deadly.
You must come to grips with the basic idea and principle of what you are doing. Often there are a bunch of little tricks that need to be figured out, but they will come together in a single idea. This idea is presented in the kata, and it is why things like Karate kata or taekwondo poomse are actually incredibly vital to learning martial arts.
The form, you see, is a concept that strives to be as perfect as possible. You practice it without distractions and you attempt to make each technique you do as perfect as is possible. You try to do without things as reaction times, and you train your body to move as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The second thing you need to do is apply the individual parts of the forms in bunkai, or applications. You need to make the technique work through controlled distraction, you need to experience resistance. Most important, you need to understand the reality of what happens when bodies collide with bodies.
The idea here is that you need to have somebody try to stop you from achieving perfection. This enables you to deal with problems, and go through the doors that will enable you to make a technique work, and to find all the ‘what ifs’ that will get in the way. This is perfection on a new level; this is learning how to make the art work in spite of anything that might get in the way.
The third thing is to take your skills and make them work in freestyle, or sparring. Here your kenpo techniques may not be so smooth and liquid, in spite of anything Mr. Parker might say, and you are going to have to push through all resistance and make them functional. Ultimately, as you test these applications and find the working parts, you are going to find the perfection of art that can be found in such forms as wankin and seisan and even lowly sanchin.
The thing you have to watch out for, in this process of smoothing out distractions, is getting sold on violence as a solution. You must not come to love the Joy of Combat that is so alluring. You must, in spite of the chaotic nature of the subject, hold to cold, calm logic; you must control yourself until you find yourself.
The martial arts are a project of finding yourself through hard work, and through the seeking and isolating of the perfect concept of each movement you do. Perfection is there, you know, but it comes at a price. Deadly Martial Arts Techniques, you see, are achieved at the price of inner peace.
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