Friday, June 19, 2015
Does Competiton Weaken Art or Improve It?
I was reading somewhere online that competition/sports application of martial arts waters them down. There is a lot of critics of martial sports like tournament karate, taekwondo, and judo that say that the sports version has weakened the effectiveness of the art. Olympics competition is bad for some of the these arts. I say they are wrong. Competition is how martial arts are popularized. It provides an outlet for those who compete. The critics are ususally those who have never competed on a high level in anything. They will say that the rules won't allow them to do their techniques. Rules in combat sport allow competitors to apply stragies 100% against a non-compliant opponent. They are wearing uniforms, playing on a matted surface, they might bow and shake hands at the start of a match. So, if are not complaints about these things, then why is there problems with some of the rules (taekwondo has not face punching, boxing no kicks, judo no leg grabs, bjj no hitting, etc.). Yes, they are sports and not street fights. But get kicked by Steven Lopez (TKD Olympian), get thrown by Rhonda Rousey (UFC Champion and Judo Oympian), escape the choke of Roger Gracie (BJJ World Champ), and tell me these sports athletes are not dangerous to engage on or off the mat. All of these arts were made popular through competiton. They are practiced worldwide because of sport. Not because they were kept away from the public because of they were to lethal to teach. The self defense experts all use training modalities that come from combat sports (boxing, jiu jitsu, etc.). Then they create simulated scenarios for practice. Competiton provides a challenge of body and mind that one can transfer to their art. Even with the limitation of rules, atheletes are aware of the techniques that can be used in reality. All they have to do is start breaking the rules. Now, the self defense experts and traditionalists are going to say that bad habits are ingrained from rules. But that's because the don't have any experience in competiton.