philosophy

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.

Subscribe to Black Belt here. Your support ensures that we can continue to give you free access to articles like this.

Royce Gracie faces Dan Severn in the UFC octagon
Photo by Scott Stallard

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

Universal Truth of the Martial Arts No. 2

Any martial art or martial arts technique will work if you have the element of surprise on your side.

Keep Reading Show less
aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba throws a man in a demo

Morihei Ueshiba

Consider the following: “None of Morihei Ueshiba’s students has reached his level in aikido, and none is likely to.”

“Since the fighters of the Gracie family at times seem virtually unbeatable, their art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu is also unbeatable.”

Keep Reading Show less
meditation

New Clues Into How Meditation May Booth The Immune System

More than once, I remember walking by my teacher's office on my way out, after a night of rigorous training, and hearing him say after me, "Don't leave your training in the school, take it with you!"

Hopefully, everyone, at some point in their martial art career realizes that there is more to the kicking, punching, throwing, choking, etc. than the mere physical act of it all. Perfecting the specific techniques and their applications are important, but there are applications beyond combat. Here are some lessons, often learned in class, that can be used in life.

Keep Reading Show less