Friday, August 24, 2007

Its not what's there, it's what's missing

Pat's post title What they take away isn't related to what I want to write about, but it gave me the idea, so credit due to Pat as my muse!

My thought: different arts aren't really defined by what they include, but by "what they take away." To expound on this thought, what is fighting? As Hock stated on his blog, it's everything from ICBMs, tactical/battlefield nukes, B-57s, gunships and artillery, machine guns, rifles, pistols, clubs, knives, then empty hand. Notice how much there is there? You can further take the subset of combat, empty hand, and include:


head butting
shoulder thrusts
open-hand strikes
hip checks
all the various kicks

standing grappling
ground grappling
takedowns, trips, sweeps, etc.

There's more, you're welcome to add to that list via comments, but the idea is the same. What differentiates styles is what they take away from that list.

Judo, for example, started out as what? Jujitsu. So did Aikido. What differentiates them from their ancestors? What they took away - much of the vicious striking and some of the grappling techniques were refined/modified.

The same is true of every other art, including karate (I always use lower-case to denote the generic Okinawan and Japanese striking arts and their derivatives, including TKD). What's taken away, in general, are many of the items on the lower list of grappling. Not all. Stylistically, some will include more or less than others on each list, but the formula is more or less correct.

Just a thought...

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