While maturing through the 1980's, I was fascinated by all the mind-blowing martial arts action heros I experienced on television shows and in the movies. Seeing that I was born in 1979, the time of Bruce Lee were gone and the most famous martial artists in movies were Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Steven Seagal. These martial arts action heros were so entertaining to sit back and watch on account of their great explosiveness, agility, and their ability to present us with combat techniques that we had never even thought feasible. It may very well have been the choreography, but there was clearly a mysticism about the manner by which they fought and moved that forced you to imagine they were immortal. Personally, these were the glory years of the martial arts.
I began taking self-defense instructional classes around the middle 80's. Just after experiencing the 1984 great movie "The Karate Kid", my mom and dad signed me up at the local martial art school in town and I instantly fell in love with the classes. While I did discover a great deal about self-defense, the most valuable things that Taekwondo taught me were respect and self-discipline. As I got older and much better at Kung fu, my self esteem increased, but I had learned to be very humble and not street fight unless in self-defense. Even when I saw some of my teenage childhood friends engage in illegal drugs, partying, and alcohol, my loyalty to the martial arts kept me from problems. I am a solid believer that karate is a terrific endeavor to get your children involved in.
Fast forward to Nov 12th, 1993, the day the Ultimate Fighting Championships hit pay per view for the very first time. The Ultimate Fighting Championships was supposed to be a battle of individuals from a variety of martial arts in an attempt to figure out which style or instructor was the toughest. From this competition, something became clear....ground fighting is something not to be sneezed at. Leading up to this competition, the martial arts were characterized by people kicking and karate chopping to win a fight. Right after seeing Royce Gracie win fight after fight by submission or choke, it grew to become very clear that the martial arts could never be the very same.
Since the first Ultimate Fighting Championships, stuff has changed immensely. Even though there are still martial art dojos that primarily train punching and kicking tactics, most karate schools that I check out currently educate you on Jujitsu or floor fighting strategies as well as their normal regimen. Martial arts are all about adapting to your assailant, and I just think it is fantastic how many of the conventional martial arts dojos have adopted these practices. We just need to be vigilant that we never drop the integral values prevelant when studying the martial arts disciplines in a traditional class.
Today at age 31, I've invested a great many years studying in mixed martial arts schools, and even though I like the informal environment a lot of mixed martial arts dojos adopt, I miss some of the past traditions like bowing to your sensei and memorizing the philosophies of the style you are learning. Although the mixed martial arts may appear to be the course everything is shifting to, I will always possess a huge admiration for the conventional martial arts I grew up with.
About Author / Additional Info:
Due to his fascination with martial arts of all variations, author Kyle Keniston presently owns a martial arts equipment corporation where he sells a colossal assortment of MMA gear. Tour his online business at KarateMart.com