Saturday, 10 January 2015

An elephant walked into a village one day...

Some of you may have heard this story before:

An elephant walked into a village. It attracted a lot of attention from the villagers who all stopped what they were doing to go and look at this unusual animal.

Five of the town's blind were taken to the elephant so that they could touch it and get an idea of what such an animal is. 

The one who had a feel of a tusk got the idea that the elephant was a spear. The one who got to feel its leg thought that an elephant is a tree and so forth...

Now- any one of these blind persons could start at any part of the elephant and get a different first impression, but after working his/her way through all the other parts they could get an idea of what the whole elephant is like.

In martial arts- combat is the elephant. Each system that has been developed to date is the result of a certain perspective on fighting or even a result of the study of a certain aspect or aspects thereof.  

If you have recently taken up study of any martial art I can tell you today that- assuming that you will continue to study for the rest of your life- your style shall most likely not have the answers to all combat situations outside the dojo or tournament arena. The reasons for that are obvious. What it will give you, however, is the starting point from which you can begin to find the techniques for each situation.

Someone who studying unarmed tournament fighting can find techniques with which to overcome an armed assailant. A Judoka can enhance his arsenal of techniques with strikes. A swordsman can learn unarmed combat. The possibilities are endless.  

Wenhsiuquan started from karate. When my understanding of actual fighting improved I realised how much of what we learn in a dojo is the result of tournament rules and teachers' preferences. A body has many more ways to move than what is taught in your school. Your opponent has many more ways in which to attack you than what you will find in the ring.  

Now I really don't waste my time with questions like "Which style is the best?" If you want to know whether a boxer can beat a karateka or whether boxing can work against kungfu you can do what I do-

Play Tekken! :D

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