by Morne Swanepoel
Many a times have I heard Martial Arts instructors & schools state the amount of techniques they know etc. and classify themselves at different levels with these achievements.
I think we can all agree that there is Unlimited amount of techniques to study in any Martial Art system and that we all have limited time or even lifespan to train these techniques in. This is more the reason why we need to be true to ourselves and
identify the reason for training. We live in a time and era where our time is limited. That’s why it is so important to prioritize your training methods.
Saying this Let’s take Sport & Self Defence as an example. There are certain techniques that would score your points in tournaments but would not do the job in the street, and the same applies for the opposite. So if your aim is to learn how to defend yourself against an aggressive opponent it doesn’t make sense training techniques that would not work in the street. Learn as much as possible but you must also be able to distinguish between those techniques that are only good for demonstrations, and those which will give you results in an all out street fight.
How do you know which techniques will do the job?
At JKD Unlimited we make sure we test all our techniques. You have to try it out against a resisting, aggressive opponent who is going to do everything in his might
for you not to be able to apply your techniques. So yes unfortunately when you put on your protective gear and undergo a vigorous sparring session you will quickly find out what works for you and what doesn’t. This is exactly the same concept as what the late Bruce Lee used to refer to as swimming on dry land. You can learn all the strokes to become an excellent swimmer on dry land. But can you apply your strokes if
you get thrown into the ocean where the water is freezing, currents are pushing you all over the show, huge waves and maybe some other factors such as man eating sharks 🙂 Thanks to my personal coach- Founder and President of Jeet Kune Do Unlimited, Burton Richardson, we have two very important guidelines we always refer to:
- Knowledge is not power. The ability to apply your knowledge is true Power.
- If you want to learn how to fight, make sure you train against someone who is fighting back.
Always practice the basic fighting techniques using training methods that are alive first. After you have improved in each range, then you can take the time to play with the other techniques which may improve some attributes, but which are difficult to apply against an aggressive opponent.
The main goal for Martial Artists should be for the individual to develop him or herself towards their Unlimited potential physically and mentally. By training in the Martial Arts we have a guideline for training in any other area of our life, from business to relationships. The concepts learned in your training should be transposed into your whole life experience.
You will never be able to learn each and every technique. Instead learning the Martial Arts should be like learning how to write.
First you learn the alphabet, then learn how to spell words, then learn how to make sentences and paragraphs and you can create as many stories as you wish. You don’t learn how to spell and then spend the rest of your life copying stories written by other people. You get to write what you want to write, your own expression. The same is true in the Martial Arts. Learn the basics well and you are only bound by your imagination. If you imagination is unlimited, then you too are truly unlimited.
President Jeet Kune Do Unlimited – South Africa
President World Taiji Boxing Association – South Africa