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Just like with religion and politics, many people honestly believe that what they do is the best thing in the world. One only has to make a cursory study of the psychological principle of cognitive dissonance to see why this is so. So many schools out there claim to be teaching, “the ultimate, deadliest, most secret, guarded system of self defense ever invented by the gods of combat.” To be quite blunt – they are full of crap.
It boils down to key factors that influence peoples beliefs about martial arts and combat training:
1. Faith- Can get you killed. Put your faith in logic not other people. Remember your instructor is a human not a god.
2. Movies– I saw the Matrix once and Keanu Reeves went flipping off wall to wall and dogged bullets but hey we all know that is a movie right. Why is it that people see a martial arts action hero and start perceiving that what he does on screen is a try demonstration of their fighting skill? They are an actor and are there to entertain. Sure they are very skilled athletes but not one of them can perform exactly like that. Not saying they can’t fight just saying that their skill on TV is just like a dance. Choreography. No one can fight like that so don’t aspire too it.
3. Magic– Ever been sold a martial arts system on some amazing feat? You know egg standing, knock out point demonstrations, concrete breaking, board breaking, ice breaking etc? Some of these are great feats of strength. But most are tricks, designed to make you believe in the hidden secrets of martial arts. All of them fail to demonstrate one thing. Why they are useful in any real world combat application. Each one of the ones I listed have a trick behind them and have been used for centuries to build faith and fear in people. It’s no different to David Copperfield making the statue of liberty disappear. Some of them require great amounts of concentration and special breathing. Bit hard to tell a guy about to punch you in the head “ hang on I just need to develop my chi for 5 minutes”.
Judo (meaning “gentle way”) is a modern martial art, combat and Olympic sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano . Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke. Strikes and thrusts by hands and feet as well as weapons defenses are a part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms (kata,) and are not allowed in judo competition or free practice. A judo practitioner is called a judoka.