Friday, September 27, 2013
Are You an Open Minded Martial Artists or a Close Minded One?
As I reflect back on last night’s class regarding the workout, the techniques and the words of wisdom from Master Roberts many things came to mind. I shared with him a few days ago a conversation I had with a brother/friend of mine who has been involved in the martial arts for over thirty years. In that conversation I asked the question “do you all have or apply joint locks in the style that you practice”? His immediate response was no, then he followed with, they will not work in a real altercation or fight. His answer perplexed me, so I continued with the dialogue to gain some insight as to why he totally discounts “joint locks”. So from there he provided me with “his experiences & realm of knowledge” regarding the use of “joint locks”. Before I go any further I would like to share this quote with you that another brother of mine has penned “The space inside this circle represents my realm of knowledge. All that I think I know, about whatever I think I know is depicted right here within this circle. I must keep in mind that there is more to know than what is within the circumference of my awareness.” For me this statement is so profound and there is so much truth in it.
Back to my brother/friend who begin to provide me with his experiences & realm of knowledge. He begin to explain that he has trained in many different art forms and I believe he is 5th degree black belt in Shorei Goju Karate, Integrated Tae Kwon Do Systems and has earned instructor-ships in other arts. His basis for stating that “joint locks” don’t work is his experience with them in training, seminars and MMA tournaments. He went on to state that in the heat of the moment, you don’t have time to remember a joint lock technique and his objective is to strike and short circuit (disrupt his opponent) so he can finish them off and walk away. I was thinking to myself, that’s the same objective that I have. I had to explain to him that I would not disregard any of the techniques that I have learned and I would apply them accordingly to the situation. I wanted him to understand that in our JTMS Hapkido training we are taught the foundational (traditional) way but we are also taught these techniques with modification and with progressive flow. So it’s not like your opponent is standing there waiting for you to apply a joint lock and complete it, that is totally ludicrous to think that if you’re engaged in a real life situation. As we continued our conversation and because he has been involved in the arts much longer than I, I remained humble although it was hard at sometimes. My brother/friend then stated that the only way that I would know if “joint locks” worked if I tried it myself. I’m thinking to myself this is something that we work on every week. Not only do we work on joint locks every week we practice them from the foundational (traditional way) to the modified way with progressive continuous flow. What was also interesting with what he shared is that he does not teach “joint lock” techniques until the blue belt level. I did not say this out loud but I said to myself, hell in JTMS Hapkido we are taught “joint lock” techniques from the very beginning. As our conversation continued my brother/friend laughed and then stated that I see you are loyal to your art and master but you shouldn’t pigeon hole yourself into one art/style. I laughed to myself and thought, I am loyal to my art and my master, not only that I am still learning and evolving in this art but the best has yet to come. I really wanted to say and share more with him but at the time I didn't think I needed to because his mine was made up.
So as I shared this conversation I had with my brother/friend with Master Roberts as always he has a way of summing things up. As we ended our class last night Master Roberts stated “that any martial artists who practice the arts and they totally disregard another art then they are no martial artists at all”. I understood what he meant.