Was It Really Better in the Old Days?
You always hear the term about ‘the good, old days.’ And, in the martial arts, this is really true. I always hear people thinking back to when men were men, and sheep were…you know.
But it is a legitimate question.
On one hand, you have the great arts coming out of the orient. I was studying back in the sixties and seventies, so the main arts were judo and karate, with a smattering of Kung Fu. We studied in in dirty dojos and did manic drills. We brooked no nonsense, and we were patient with beginners.
On the other hand, you have designer water, contracts and classes in the Y, at the gym, down on the corner, and in every friend’s garage.
So, my personal opinion is that the martial arts were better. I started at a McDojo, then went to a classical korean Karate school (Kang Duk Won).
The McDojo was the state of art to come, with thick mats and air conditioning and tournament freestyle and contracts and good looking chickies.
The Kang Duk Won had a mat that had been ripped and stitched so many times it was like walking across Frankenstein’s face. The bag went to the cobbler’s every week. We packed out own bags for better texture and weight and resistance to our endless kicks. Warn’t no chickies allowed.
The McDojo had shiny trophies, high fives for points, and you pressed your gi before class.
The Kang Duk Won you did hundreds of kicks, you didn’t wash your gi, and you couldn’t press the clutch down because your shins were so badly bruised.
In modern times we have scientific achievements that enable one to get more strength in the muscle.
Of course, modern times has a lot of junk science and internet gimmicks, so…?
Now, it’s pretty obvious which way I am biased. I was there, I don’t think alzheimer’s has obscured my memories of those old work outs, and I have seen modern schools that teach 18 arts on their front sign, but are a jumble of bags and exercise equipment inside.
But, nobody made me God, and if you think otherwise, then go ahead and tear me a new one. Heck, I might even learn something!
And, if you are old school like me, then feel free to leave your memory. Heck, it might just become legend!
If you want to read more about old time martial arts and the Kang Duk Won, try KangDukWon.com!