OK- that's a deceptive and controversial title, but it has a point. Please read on.
From When Old Becomes New in the Martial Arts:
One thing that was of particular interest to me from this training experience is the way that old becomes new in the martial arts. Knowledge is cyclical. Things go in and out of vogue over time and what was once old, can be rediscovered and re-popularized, making it 'new' again.Jiu-jitsu Sensei Lori O'Connell mentions examples of techniques and arts that undoubtedly fit this thesis: BJJ and boxing, and their relationship to Judo and bare-knuckle fighting, respectively. She's right on the money. I remember musing (yes, I "muse" - don't make fun) about something along those lines a few years ago. Remember how the first UFC events featured everything but eye gouges and throat strikes? Stomping was OK. Kneeing a downed opponent was fine. Elbows to the back of the head were all in good fun. And... hair grabbing was VERY effective! Watch.
How many UFC fighters today have long Polamalu hair today? How easily did Gracie control the larger, more powerful Kimo with his hair? It became a trademark of "Reality Based" instructors to have a shaven head. And I remember reading a Hock Hochheim post lamenting that hair-grab techniques had fallen by the wayside as a result.
The lessons here?
1) Long hair can be grabbed, and can be used to control you. Make of that what you will.
2) You can use someone else's long hair to control them
3) Long earrings or chest hair can serve the same purpose.
4) On a serious note, don't ever abandon techniques without reason. Don't try to just learn what's in vogue. Discover the meaning behind what was taught before, and determine whether it is still of use. I realize that some Chinese fan techniques are pretty, but are they useful in a military combatives situation? Decide what you're training for, and design your training goals around that.
Any other lessons here?