Karate master Joe Mirza executes a foot sweep.
Shown: Joe Mirza, Photo by Robert Reiff

Read Part 1 of “10 Universal Truths of the Martial Arts” here.

Read Part 2 of “10 Universal Truths of the Martial Arts” here.

Universal Truth of the Martial Arts No. 3

All training is specific; the closer your training is to the envisaged application, the more efficient it is.

This notion is widely accepted in sports science. For example, to become a great marathoner, you need to do a lot of long-distance running. The days of a power lifter training by lifting light weights frequently are long gone.

In the martial arts, however, some people still firmly believe — and it is a matter of faith rather than knowledge gained through experience — that years of kata (forms) practice on a wood floor will prepare you for a nightclub brawl against multiple opponents and weapons.

That is incorrect. To prepare for a fight, you need to include some form of fighting in your training.

To be continued.

About the author: Erik Petermann teaches martial arts in Cape Town, South Africa.

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