What is Your Training Goal?
Two men train to win fights.
One fights to beat other men and receive glory and treasure. He fights for himself.
The other fights when forced to defend those who are wrongfully endangered. He fights for others.
Both are fighters. Is one more noble than the other?
There is certainly a place in martial arts training for testing yourself one-on-one against others, and I salute such champions. But I am dedicated to taking martial arts to a different place. In my remaining years, I am passionately committed to teaching a method of intelligent personal combat that can be used effectively by a compassionate protector when brutal and cruel aggressors wish to dominate for pleasure or profit.
Some ask, “How can you tell how good you are without trying it out in a ring or cage?”
I ask, “How can you tell how good you are if you only try it out in a ring or cage?”
In my schools, trained instructors in padded armor simulate real-world assaults to let students test their techniques and spirits under high pressure. As a protector school, we train for situations very different from a contest ring. Our goal is not to defeat competitors, but to develop the fighting skills and knowledge to establish peace when others might choose bullying, violence, or murder. We teach the kinds of awareness, attitudes, and techniques you need to end a fight with a larger attacker, or several attackers, or a surprise attacker, or an unfair attacker, or an armed attacker, and then get everyone to safety – very different from skills needed to win a prize in a mutually consented fighting contest. In our dojo, “lop-sided” 2-on-1 scenarios, verbal distractions, and surprise attacks abound. And yes, sometimes we just go one-on-one in contest style with certain reasonable restrictions to see how good we are under pressure.
Since we are teaching techniques for ending fights as quickly as possible, I also feel strongly that it is crucial to teach a code of ethical living as part of an elevated fighting system, and to be able to demonstrate that code of ethical living to my students in every move I make on or off the mat. In my schools, students learn and test out one new piece of our warrior ethics system for every level of every colored belt they earn.
I would not hand a loaded rifle to a child who had not been taught to respect the power of the bullet. I will not teach skills of bone breaking, joint damaging, and organ injuring without teaching wariness for the potentially seductive corruptive power of being able to dominate, “submit”, humiliate, maim, or kill another human being.