Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Speaking for myself, and perhaps others, I have tired of hearing the derogatory banter between “Traditional” martial artists and “MMA” fighters and somewhere in between “Reality” practitioners. I challenge any to show what they do is “pure” in that there is nothing that has been changed, added and or removed since conception of whatever style or system they study. If you study the martial arts you will find a general consensus that everything that is done today under the banner of martial arts started with ancient people hitting or throwing something at their enemy in defense or to conquer. While there are many opinions as to what is sport, reality, or traditional, all three have crossed paths with each other in some form or fashion. The real debate seems to be that some people, on all sides, are so closed minded and or arrogant that they can not accept other things for what they actually are by separating sport, reality, and traditional from each other. I say, enjoy watching or doing sport, train for reality, enjoy doing traditional or even do all three; it is your call, but it is also the choice of others to choose their path as well. It is natural to find fault in things that are not done the way you do them but it is not a reason to outwardly attack something different. If you find yourself disagreeing with what you see or if it is contrary to your beliefs don’t do it, don’t teach it, but don’t attack it. Use it as a learning tool to better yourself or just plain ignore it. Remember, as we all know, it really is not all about the style or system but rather the person applying it.
Master Mikeal ‘Bear’ Smith