Monday, October 14, 2013

Badger Johnson - 10 Tips on how to analyze a martial art foreffectiveness

Have you ever wanted to learn a martial art but wondered about its effectiveness? Or perhaps you are currently learning a martial art and was curious on its effectiveness? After all, you don't want to find out that a martial art you have been studying has failed you when you needed it most. Given the multitude of martial arts available to you, finding an effective martial art can be an herculean labor. My friend, Badger Johnson, has 10 tips for anyone that will help you analyze a martial art for effectiveness.

Read on!

10 Tips on how to analyze a martial art for effectiveness by Badger Johnson

  1. Look at the founder.
    Try to understand and research what the founder did that lead to his development of this martial art. For example, Wing Chun was probably developed chiefly to deal with other CMA, namely Choy Li Fut, a long fist style.

  2. Look at the base arts that the originators may have trained in.
    If the regular practice does not incorporate this original base it may be watered-down and thus less than effective.

  3. Look at other martial arts around the world that are doing the same thing, for comparison purposes.
    For example Wrestling, Chinese Wrestling, Turkish, Mongolian, Sport-based.

  4. Look for inherent but possibly 'hidden' rules that the players are bound by.
    Those rules can make a MA less effective as a method of self-defense.

  5. Look to see the degree of openness the art has for other practices.
    If an art prohibits looking outside its practices, and has secret or hidden things only shown to upper belts, then you might be being deceived and limited.

  6. Look at how they train.
    Look for examples of static postures and defenses. Look for examples of restrictions in footwork and alignment.

  7. Look for vulnerabilities, typically found in the application of range.
    Long range arts might be vulnerable to take-downs, infighting, and evasiveness.

  8. Look for 'esoterica', mysticism, master-worship, odd dress or equipment that make it more of a historical MA than a practical one.

  9. Look for the application of the art in all the possible ranges of fighting.
    If it's missing any it's not a "base art" and is wanting.

  10. Look for those that do not have a sporting application. Contrary to belief, sporting aspects mean there is a competitive nature to it, allowing resisting opponents and unrehearsed application. Note Aikido does not really have a sport aspect, while Judo does.


-Badger 2013.


Do you agree? Any tip to add?

My sincerest appreciation for Badger Johnson's permission in allowing me to post to my site a piece he wrote up on Facebook.

Please check out Badger Johnson's other essays:

Please leave a Comment/Feedback for Badger below.


Unknown said...

Patience and focus are the two things that must be expected from the beginner in martial arts.All types of martial arts are designed in a way that beginners can develop their strength, stamina and speed at the early stages.

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Stickgrappler said...

Hello Mr. Huber:

*bows deeply*

I would go a step further, not only does martial arts develop strength, stamina and speed - most sports and other activities would too.

Thank you for your comment.

Very truly yours in the MA,


Anonymous said...

I would disagree. MA can -show- one's speed, stamina and strength, or exhibit it. But those attributes are developed using accessory exercises, typically.

You -can- develop a type of 'S-S&S' fitness in MA like wrestling and bjj, however. But you should also be developing a 'base' through long, steady pacing. Work all 5 of the training zones. A lot of MA consists, typically in TMA, of 'just standing around', especially in MA seminars. Just an FYI

As to patience and focus being expected from a beginner? Most beginners lack those, and have a 'I want it now' attitude. I will say I have seen some very young people working great stuff in BJJ.

Badger Johnson


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