When you think of martial arts and self-defense, do you think of the same thing, or does some other image come to mind? I ask that question for a reason: Everyone comes to train for different reasons. Understanding your perspective on this is a good beginning; one that helps you make a wise decision on which kwoon (school, or learning hall) you’ll invest your “self”.
Today, there are many who believe the UFC and Bellator represent the only true fighting way, and call it “mixed martial arts”. However, I want to clarify something for those of you seeking to learn something more capable of handling the reality of violent crimes that take place outside the sporting arena: The culture outside the sports arena is very different than that inside it. Consider the following:
- A majority of fights outside the sports arena involve a weapon of some sort (FBI statistics have this over 60%); while, in the sporting arena weapons are never allowed (even checked for before the fight).
- The use of drugs are not allowed in sports arenas; while, a large percentage of violent crimes include some sort of drug or alcohol abuse. (This is important for a number of reasons, including but not limited to the condition of the attacker(s) and their ability to feel pain, move, etc.)
- A large percentage of violent crimes are committed by more than one attacker; while, in the sporting arena one only fights one other person.
- Some forms of attack are not allowed in sporting arenas; while, outside the sporting arena anything goes. (By the way, did you know that none of the kicks taught in our Wing Chun class are legal in the UFC or Bellator or in Kickboxing matches? Do you know why? They’re too dangerous!)
(Grandmaster Jim Fung demonstrating a Wing Chun kick.)
- Outside the arena you may be attacked by someone much larger and stronger than you are; while, in the sporting arena you will be matched within a “weight class”, to keep things fair and as safe as possible.
- Inside the sporting arena two people fight within a smooth-based, open-surfaced space, designated for the rules of the sporting event; while, outside the sporting arena the surfaces are often not smooth, un-level, even rough and full of obstacles. Furthermore, there are plenty of other environmental stressors that exist outside the sporting arena that are absent in the sporting arena (e.g., heat stress, cold or freezing temperatures, rain, winds, furniture, animals, etc.).
We can go on and on, but this should make my point: You want to know what you’re getting into and whether or not it will truly meet your goals before you invest your “self” in it; otherwise, you may condition yourself to behave inadequately when it comes time to engage an attacker.
While it’s nice to say, “I’d like to see him do that to an MMA fighter!”, the truth is this: In order to be fluent in the language of fighting, one has to exercise one’s “self” in listening and expressing intentions in relation to others. If you never do anything but spar people within a set of rules (for a sporting event), you will be inadequate against an attacker with a weapon or with friends or both (a majority of the violent crimes that take place outside the sporting arena). If you’re okay with that, then, by all means, go learn something for the arena and have fun. Good luck. If you want to learn martial arts though (by the way, I don’t consider what those people do in the UFC and Bellator “mixed martial arts” but that’s something for another blog, perhaps) invest your “self” in true self-defense (martial arts) training.
There is only one genuine Wing Chun system which is the correct system. Because of the scientific and mathematical basis of Wing Chun’s principles, the way it is practiced can only be right or wrong. There is no in-between.
That quote is one from the late Grandmaster Jim Fung. You can learn more about him here: https://www.wingchun.edu.au/the-academy/the-masters/jim-fung.
We, here at the Yost Wing Chun Kung Fu kwoon, teach real self-defense, martial arts, for tactical fighting purposes, as well as wellness and the maintenance of wellness. The system is complete, including learning the various forms Grandmaster Ip Man taught each of the individual forms, mook yan jong, weapons, etc. Students learn to deal with a variety of fighting systems (e.g., Wing Chun, Praying Mantis, Kickboxing, Boxing, Taekwon Do, MMA systems, Jujitsu, wrestling, and others), so they will be well rounded – empowered.
“I’ve not been around long, but Sifu Yost has started to re-write everything I thought I knew about martial arts. And I can’t wait to learn more.” ~ Riley Jane
Empower yourself to life!™
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If you have a question or subject you’d like to see me address on my blog page, or if you have an interest in learning self-defense in or around Tallahassee, Florida, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.