MMA vs Tradition – Part 4

This is “Part 4” and final article in the series titled, “MMA vs Tradition”, examining the contrast between the recently popular Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) phenomenon and Traditional Martial Arts. I hope this series has been stimulating and enlightening. Please leave a comment giving your feedback, questions, or opinions. I look forward to continued discussions.

Shihan Pascetta - Cover of Banzai Magazine - Italia circa 1978

PERSONAL VALUES

And last, there is always the risk in any martial arts training that the “Master”, “trainer”, or “coach” will develop individuals with functional physical skills but without the value system that must rightly be followed if the practitioner is to “survive” in society after any potential physical confrontation. Remember that in a civilized society, there are legal and social repercussions after a physical confrontation.

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Martial Arts “Masters” – FACT or FANTASY? – Part 3

A new section to this article: “Martial Arts ‘Masters’- FACT or FANTASY?” will be posted every Thursday.  Please leave a comment giving your feedback and/or opinions. I look forward to the discussions.

Shihan Pascetta - Okinawa 1987

 

Significance of Black Belt Levels

Standards for the higher degrees/levels of Black Belt have taken much longer to develop.  Most established systems view the first three levels of Black Belt as levels where the student focuses on perfecting the physical technique and begins to better understand the relationship between the various aspects of the system. The student begins to better understand the principles governing those aspects along with pertinent tactics and strategies for application. It is significant to note that he must also gain greater experience in passing such knowledge and information along to students with less experience.

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MMA vs Tradition – Part 3

This is “Part 3” in the series of articles titled “MMA vs Tradition” examining the contrast between the recently popular Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) phenomenon and Traditional Martial Arts. A new section of this article will be posted every Monday.  Please leave a comment giving your feedback, questions, or opinions. I look forward to the discussions.

Shihan Pascetta - Baltimore, MD circa 1974

TRADITIONAL APPROACH

This term, “martial arts” has been associated more consistently with eastern traditions than with western science. As I have observed and participated in many of these transitions and activities involving martial arts over most of my lifetime, I have come to the conclusion that there is no “fully traditional” form of martial arts. Instead we have varying degrees of one or the other.

To one extreme are practitioners who are dedicated to a method that is practiced as close to its original form as they are aware. At the other extreme are those who believe in the practice of taking any and/or all techniques, methods, or strategies they have access to and mixing it all together to gain a more “realistic” application.

Like I quoted previously; “It’s all good”. However, while stating that I must add a caveat that each of these approaches can also have their drawbacks and failings.

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Martial Arts “Masters” – FACT or FANTASY? – Part 2

A new section to this article: “Martial Arts ‘Masters’- FACT or FANTASY?” will be posted every Thursday.  Please leave a comment giving your feedback and/or opinions. I look forward to the discussions.

COMPARISONS TO OTHER DISCIPLINES

Students of history may well make some parallel comparisons with the evolution of other systems of academic education. At one time in history there were some very famous scholars and “master” teachers whose work has stood the test of time and is still seen as valid today. Aristotle, Plato, Leonardo Da Vinci, Confucius, Lao Tzu, are but a few. These “Masters” taught long before there were universities or diplomas and degrees issued.

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MMA vs Tradition – Part 2

This is “Part 2” in the series of articles titled “MMA vs Tradition” examining the contrast between the recently popular Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) phenomenon and Traditional Martial Arts. A new section of this article will be posted every Monday.  Please leave a comment giving your feedback, questions, or opinions. I look forward to the discussions.

BALANCE FOR THE PRACTITIONER

Many societies and/or philosophical systems have come to a similar conclusion. This conclusion is that humans function most efficiently when they achieve some type of balance and integration between the complex aspects of each individual. Conceptually, we can isolate the physical, the intellectual, the emotional, and the spiritual into separate concepts and areas of development. However, in reality they are never truly separate or isolated and all interact to influence the performance of any individual.

Recognize that even the term “art” denotes a form of personal expression. Any “art” is a type of expression that innately reveals the inner self, its underlying values, and creatively projects to what point that person has arrived relative to his journey in life. Hence, true “martial arts” carries with it a potentially more versatile activity than simple “martial science” or “martial technique”.

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Martial Arts “Masters” – FACT or FANTASY? – Part 1

 

A new section will be posted to this article: “Martial Arts ‘Masters’ – FACT or FANTASY?”, every Thursday.  Please leave a comment giving your feedback and/or opinions. I look forward to the discussions.


Did you ever question what the term, “Black Belt”, or, Martial Arts “Master”, actually represented?

HISTORY and BACKGROUND

Martial Arts in one form or another has steadily become an integral part of the “western experience” over the last 6 or 7 decades. There are few action movies or television dramas worldwide today that don’t display some sort of martial art technique and sometimes even the more subtle, mental and philosophical aspects as well.

Along with this exposure also comes an element that has both added to the credibility of such skills/talents and also detracted. This is the element of “belt ranking”. There are few westerners who haven’t been exposed to the terms “Black Belt” or perhaps “Karate Master”, “Kung fu Master, etc..

The pertinent question here is what, in fact, do the terms, “Black Belt” and/or “Master”  represent in reality, rather than in fantasy. (more…)

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MMA vs Tradition – Part 1

This begins a series of articles titled, MMA vs Tradition”, examining the contrast between the recently popular Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) phenomenon and Traditional Martial Arts. A new section adding to this article will be posted each Monday.

INTRODUCTION

Martial Arts have been in existence before even the earliest written history of human civilization. It may be noted that the first time a human had to ball up his fist to defend himself or his loved ones, or to grab, push or shove another, or to find some way to survive against various predators, animal and/or human, this created a valid need for such activity.

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