Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What does your martial art style offer you?

There are so many fighting styles, people argue about which style will win in the fight against other styles over and over. It really comes down to the individual fighter because the style only gives you certain abilities and it's up to you to do something with it. 

All styles offer common characteristics and qualities to our self growth, they help us build disciplines, confidence and physical strength. However, different styles, due to its unique approach to combat, often employs different training regimen, which will inevitably brings you something very specific. After training that styles for a while, it almost feels as if you have gain an unique superpower that only this style can bring. So what are these superpowers in the styles that I have trained or known so far?

Muay Thai ----- There are a lot of unique techniques Muay Thai offers, such as striking combinations, clinch fighting, elbows and knees. However, the most valuable asset that Muay Thai can offer is the sheer physical toughness of all your limbs. Before I learned Muay Thai, i was always afraid of throwing kicks or punches at someone, after learning Muay Thai, I will throw the hardest kicks at whoever regardless if his guard is already up or not. You almost don't feel pain anymore.

Brazilian Jiujitsu/Judo ----- Ground fighting and throwing are the core techniques of this style. However, what really stays with you after years of training isn't the techniques, it's your ability to master your weight. You will be much harder to be thrown, to be swept, to be pinned down. On the other hand when you are on top, it feels as if you are 500 lbs. All these are the abilities that grapplings like BJJ and Judo has to offer, you learn to use gravity rather than muscles to fight.

Boxing ---- Boxing is all about hands, its get impressive punching combinations. But the most impressive thing boxers can do is slipping punches without moving much at all. If you ever learn boxing, you can forget about all of the combinations but at least master the art of bob and weave, it makes you so hard to get hit even if you are cornered, yet makes it so easy for you to come back with counter strikes.

Folk style wrestling ---- This includes Mongolian wrestling, Chinese Shuaijiao, European wrestling and so on. Besides all the great throws and take downs, folk wrestling gets you superhuman grip power and finger strength. You will feel it when you meet a wrestler and shakes his hand. 

Chinese traditional martial arts ---- We aren't talking about wushu or lion dance, those are more like gymnastics. Chinese kung fu refers to traditional systems from the north and the south. A real good practitioner is able to main his body frame at all time and move with his cores to generate powers. This power has a distinct flavor that it is hard to block or neutralized because it doesn't come from sheer muscles. You learn to open the door with your core, lifting boxes with your core, walking with your core, pushing things with your core and living your daily life with your core. The older you get, the stronger you become.

Integrating these styles into your own becomes much easier afterwards when you no longer focus on the techniques and moves, but rather just the abilities and attributes that you gain through the training of these styles. 

So what styles have you practiced and what does it offer to you?   
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