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The Future of Martial Arts

The future of martial arts in this country, and abroad, seems to be very dismal to say the least, because of the martial art illiteracy that exists among the martial art educators/teachers of the various styles of today. Instead of moving the fighting arts forward we have taken several steps backward. Some are even saying that many of the martial art techniques have no relevance in the modern world; that our modern society has simply outgrown them. But look around the world; see the deep passion with which martial arts follow in some quarter and observing the consequences of the conflict that occurs in their practices. You have high ranking black belts, masters, and teachers that say, and agree, it is not important to know or teach the scientific principles and concepts that support and make possible martial movement and techniques. This doesn’t change the fact that people will remember the astronaut(s) who went up in the rocket, rather than the guy/team who built the rocket. These groups also believe that the vast majority of students would rather not know the scientific explanation because it would leave them feeling like they were in the clouds. I have been told by various martial art educators: 1) “You don’t need to know how an engine works in order to drive a car even though it may make you a slightly more efficient driver” 2) “for many martial art practitioners it is enough to be taught how to just DO the technique rather than understanding exactly how it works”. 3)  “The idea that people will remember the astronaut(s) who went up in the rocket, rather than the guy/team who built the rocket.” It is this type of attitude by the current martial arts educators/teachers that is ruining martial arts. It is these behind the scenes guys (teams) who are without recognition and who have studied long and hard to get a good education that would allow them to excel/specialize in physics, and the various sciences which allowed them to able to think critically and analytically to solve problems which make the space program possible.  The question must be ask who will educate and how prepared will the next generation of martial art teachers/masters be if the current generation of martial art educators are not equipped with the correct information and knowledge to pass along? All we have to do is look at what has happened to the educational system in this country for the vast major of its citizens. There is never a student who can’t learn, only teachers who can’t teach. Students only learn those things that they feel that they need to learn; it is the educator’s job to create this felt need within the student so learning can take place.

It has been said that before one can fight well he/she must first learn to stand well. You must learn how to structurally align the joints and bones and how to distribute your weight between you two platforms’ or over the one platform for balance. You must sink your roots deep into earth to become a part of mother earth. This is the foundation of any and all martial movement.  There will not be many who will talk the talk and walk the walk with true knowledge which will allow them to lead by their example. If you ask one or many to assume a low horse stance you should be the first one to get in it and the last one out of the “valley of pain”.

Martial art is still very important to us all it is a subject that we must look to learn from and most importantly, learn about. A martial artist has to be in command of all the facts in order to make an informed decision on his or her training and must understand martial training just as intimately, far how can one reject what is not understood.