People tell me I tend to sound like an old-timer. I tell them to shut up and get off my lawn! Then I explain that a lot can be learned from comparing the way we did things in the past with the way people do them now. Case in point: martial arts training. Back at the tail end of the 1970s when I started, we were told we could get everything we needed from one art and one master. Want to get strong? Eat lots of rice, like your master does. Need to build up your arms? Do more punches. Want to boost your endurance? Spar and do more kata. Worried about taking on an armed assailant or multiple attackers? Spar and do more kata—what’s wrong with you, I just said it! Things are different now. We have access to so much more information thanks to martial arts books, DVDs and the Internet. We can train under people whose job it is to specialize in the various aspects of the martial arts. We no longer believe one sensei has the answer to every question in the universe. Overall, I think it’s a good thing.
Improve your martial arts weapons training with our free guide—Ninja Gear: Master Modern Self-Defense Weapons With Ninjutsu TrainingWe’ve also benefited with respect to the big picture. How? It’s led to the creation of a concept I call the 21st century martial artist. It’s epitomized more and more by people like Dr. Mark Cheng. Here are some of his martial arts training tips.