Saturday, May 20, 2006

Is it the Style or the Individual?

A RealFighting.com article on the oldest debate in martial arts (since one guy picked up a rock, and the other a stick!), on "Which is more important, the style or the individual?" Well, I have my own opinions on it, having been beaten down by all styles and individuals (just kidding), but let's hear what John Danaher has to say.
Put in its clearest form, the issue is this: "Which is more important to the overall combat effectiveness of a fighter: the attributes and qualities he or she possesses as an individual, or the style of fighting that he or she practices?"

If we claim that style is more important, the obvious implication is that some styles of fighting are more effective than others. Such a statement will obviously not sit well with those whose fighting style is counted among the less effective - nobody enjoys being told that their preferred style, in which they have invested so much time and effort, is less effective than the competition.

The more diplomatic answer appears to be the claim that combat effectiveness is entirely up to the individual. The obvious implication of this statement is that fighting style does not count. If the individual simply trains hard in whatever style they happen to practice, then they shall prevail. This makes it appear that all fighting styles are equally good - a stance that will not offend anybody.

In this short essay I shall argue that in fact the style of combat you choose is crucial to determining your combat effectiveness that some fighting styles are clearly superior to others ...
Read the rest for his answers.

1 comment:

tim boucher said...

Huh, that is a pretty thought-provoking question. I wonder how well that same premise could be applied outside of martial arts, maybe applying it to ideology, philosophy or other types of systems that humans use?