Sep 12 2011

Shinken vs Renshuu

Published by at 7:09 pm under Training in Japan

I had an interesting conversation with some fellow Budoka that I count amongst my good friends.  The discussion was concerning the comparison between those who study the martial arts and those who have learned to fight through experience.  A great deal of material was covered over the hour period which we were on the subject.  I will try my best to condense summarize what was said and what my thoughts are on the matter.

Mainly from the “real fighting experience” side you will tend to hear the argument that “person X that I know takes martial arts and they got beat up by person Y who is just a brawler”.  Another argument you will hear often is when you are in a “real fight” you forget 90% of what you learn anyhow.

I can not speak for anyone else who was sitting around the table discussing this but here are my thoughts.

Martial arts is meant for self defence, the goal is to survive and protect yourself and others.  When you first step onto the dojo floor you have a certain level of proficiency and every day you are trying to increase that.  When we forget Jigoro Kano’s talk about “mutual welfare and prosperity” martial arts training becomes a competition to defeat an opponent.  The only one we should be trying to beat is ourselves of the past.

As Budoka we are often expected to active some fantastic results, never lose a fight and be in phenomenal shape.  (Well so far I have the last part of that down.)  The truth is we are students trying to learn and as such we can’t put the expectation that we are going to be invincible.  We must however live up to the expectation that we improve everyday.  It’s not whether or not we can beat someone who never took the martial arts before.  There will always be someone stronger.  Budo gives us a chance to improve upon ourselves and gives us a fighting chance because of slow and constant development.  If we are stronger that we were when we started the martial arts, we stand a better chance of survival and that’s the point.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

No responses yet

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply