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Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's Just Not Always That Complicated

Kris Wilder tells a story that, along the way, makes a point I have often made: despite the scare-mongering by some people--well, let me explain, just briefly:

When you start talking "martial arts," there is almost always some person who will say something like, "Well, yeah, but would it work against this guy?" "This guy" almost always being some hypothetical uber-badbutt--you know, seven feet tall, ex-Navy Seal, on-drugs-so-he-feels-no-pain, allegedly experienced and crafty streetfighter etc. Their idea seems to be that if your martial art won't work against "that guy," it's not worth the time it takes to practice it. Leaving aside the question of whether martial arts really will work on "that guy," I have always objected to this on the grounds that there are just not very many of "those guys" around. Most of the time--unless you have some reason to be perpetually hanging around terrible places--you are far more likely to be faced with some idiot who thinks he's going to prove a point by pounding your face in. Most of the time, they don't suffer from an abundance of superlative technical skills. Most of the time, they are not overwhelmingly bigger than you are (unless you are a woman fighting off rapists--different scenario). Most of the time, being drunk or on drugs works against someone, not for them. Most of the time, "streetfighters" are out picking fights with other idiots, not with you (it ought to tell you something if you are perpetually getting into fights with people). Most of the time, if your martial art will work against what one writer called "the average *******," that's all you need it to do. Simple techniques, executed well and without fear, will usually work.

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