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Martial Art Style Wars (the truth)

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Posted 1/29/11 , edited 1/30/11
Martial Art Style Wars (the truth)

"My karate is better than your Muay thai!" "No it's not!" "Prove it!"

*they spar* *one guy wins* (cause that tends to be the outcome of a 1 vs 1 fight)

"HA! told you so!"

Oh Yes, the classic "I want to prove my superiority to you to boast my ego" arguement. Funny thing, though, in martial arts it actually has some merit.

Unlike in other studies and pursuits, martial arts is straight forward. If you run a self defense class or a martial art class and some [email protected]#$ wants to claim "This and that doesn't work", then he has the right to show what does work to the instructor. A sparring match ensues and the [email protected]#$ gets a beat down and enlightenment. The challenger either leaves or joins the school to actually learn how to fight.Of course sometimes the instructor loses, but that's another arguement-

No need to show formulas and long drawn out theories that people will want to try and argue against. No need to bring up various religions and conflicting beliefs. I beat you in a fight and there is the evidence.

Hold on, im not babbling, im getting to the point.

For the sake of this arguement i will only be refering to combat sports/ self defense arts. Good luck finding a full contact Tai chi master to go against

For anybody with any knowledge of statistics knows that correalation does not prove causation and their are other variables that determine a fight, not just your knowledge of how to hurt someone-AKA style.

This brings me to the whole style wars thing, for example TKD vs muay thai.

For visual learners- here are some videos-

For those who don't know what Tae kwon do (TKD) and muay thai is-look it up.
lol just getting, a definition will be in blue for those who are curious.

TKD is basically Korean Karate. A copy at its most basic form. Created somewhere around the 1940s, it is Korea's version of Karate, and because a national sport and an Olympic sport in 2000 (i think). There are many different versions of it, associations, and methods of training, but traditionaly it was known for using the entire body as a weapon-heads, elbows, knees, kicks, punches, open hand strikes, whatever. After it became a sport it is now mostly known for kicking.

Muay boran comes from Thailand, originates probably thousands of years in the past. It is notebly known for headbutts, elbows,knees, and kicks with devestating power. It too, eventually became a sport and added western boxing to its arsenal and took out the headbutts- known as muay thai.

These arts, more than others, often clash on youtube to find out which one is superior. More often than not it's always one guy who can't fight vs one who can. Then people (who often times train in no martial art) go off on a tangeant about which one is superior and best for self defense and all this hog wash. Yes, years ago even this site had a few topics addressing this issue. Well i'm here to settle it-

There is no such thing as a superior style. In the words of MacYoung-

"The reason we say that simple question of 'what style is best' is BS is because it assumes there's some kind of Wal-mart Supercenter of self-defense training. A magical system/martial art that addresses all of those elements of self-defense. One that not only will allow you to easily defeat slavering hordes of Uzi carrying ninjas but automatically downloads critical thinking, threat assessment, a legal understanding of use of force laws, social dynamics, human behavior and the nature of violence directly into your brain...
And all of this by studying one system."

Sounds rediculas doesn't it? But im not just going to sit here and quote Bruce Lee all day, i actually have a legit claim here that goes beyond just philosophy- statistics.

In order to prove causation (A causes B), one must prove A comes before B, A is related to B, and there is no other variables that may affect how A relates to B.

Look at my ealier example, or better yet the videos. Some of those fighters are so bad, its evident that they have no experience, defining attributes, and just over all poor conditioning and training.

Can you really prove one art is better than another if one fighter isnt used to the rules of combat, hasnt fought before, doesn't train to fight, is physically weaker, and just plain sucks and one is a heavy wieght champion with 300 fights under his belt, and can adapt to various situations?

Its like a 5 year old child trying to beat a grown man. Well, some contest? Well, some people would argue "Lets put a equal master of this vs a equal master of that to fight and i bet this master will win" :tongue2:

Well whoopy do, when is the last time that has happened?never. As a matter of fact, it could never happen. The theory has no basis for reality as thier are no two human beings who are a perfect copy of each other- to the way they walk, what they think and when, to being able to mirror each other's moves 100% of the time.

It doesn't exist. In a fight between two people (streets or ring), experience, technqiues, strategy, attribtues like strength, speed, stamina, dexterity,intelligence, agility, defense, mobility, range, wieght, size, height, bone structure, bone density, ect. will never be the exact same through out all of them. Somebody will have the advantage in at least one area.

And on the street, criminals tend to pick victims they beleive will be physically weaker than them. You don't often hear about 300 pound men getting raped outside of prison.

"So why does this style tend to lose all the time?"

Says who? Youtube? Well gee, when did those guys represent every TKD and muay thai fight in the world? Go ahead and throw in personal experience/stories, i have those too.

But the point is you still have to prove it was a style that caused a loss, and not something else (like training). Maybe it's a combination, i don't know, there's still no evidence for a solid answer, but what i do have is a basic understanding of fighting, technqiues, and how to prove something.

Take these points into consideration next time you find yourself in one of these arguements-

1)Styles are not created equaly. Yes, there are some styles that will make a relatively decent fighter within a year, vs ones that will take several years to get good at (most of this deals with purpose of training and technqiues to learn, rather than method).

For example boxers tend to box (punch only), they learn footwork, condition and are off to fight. A karate guy on the other hand has to learn forms, self defense, various technqiues that expand beyond just punching, foot work, condition, and then they are off to fight (if they train for that purpose in the first place).

Boxers can take about 3 months to get really good, karate guys can take years to actually get good.

2) Styles are not trained equaly. Mcdojo is generally a term used to describe a fake martial arts school that teaches people useless technqiues and never teaches them how to fight or spar effectively. These types of schools run rampant in the USA (im sure in other countries as well), because there is no authority to define what consitiutes a martial art. Any hobo with money can open up a school and teach utter crap and get away with it.

For example TKD,karate, and kung fu schools are notorious for this. MMA schools are starting to fall into this trend as well. You can reach black belt within a matter of months starting from a white belt in a Mcdojo. You can see 11 year olds running around with 4th degree black belts. People call them belt factories. It gets kind of silly if you go to a serious school and see the requirement of at least 5 years worth of training before you can even get qualified for a black belt, let alone test. And the difference in skill level between these fighters is astonishing.

3) Situation dictates what will and will not work. You may beleive muay thai is the greatest art in the entire world, but its useless when you are on your back fighting some wreslter. All of a sudden you go from muay thai fighter to a amatuer wreslter.

Example: The Gracy family (USA) tried to prove grappling was superior because of this fact, well the UFC proved with a little grappling training you can stand a fighter back up and KO them in striking. Now you can't participate succesfully in MMA without some grapplng and striking background. Weapons also come into play, a gun will put many masters six feet under as will any knife wielding thug vs an unarmed man. fighting agaisnt a knife is not the same as fighting a man unarmed. Anybody can take a punch, taking a stab to the gut isn't as easy.


I want to hear your thoughts on this. The whole martial art style war debate. It's been raging for 1000s of years, isn't it time for it to end? peace over war
Posted 1/29/11 , edited 1/30/11
the first two fights, both guys acted scared to death of each other..

I saw one good uppercut and some well rounded kicks in the 3rd and 4th fights but for real down home
fights I've seen better on Jerry Springer..
Posted 1/29/11 , edited 1/30/11
Oh wow you must know a hell of a lot about martial arts to post a massive thread and an essay about it and some average videos on an anime website -__-
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26 / M
Posted 1/29/11 , edited 1/30/11
Sorry but "peace over war" when talking about fighting. XD
But yeah no style is inheritly better than another, each has certian things better than another and it also is alot on preference. What works for one person is not right for another.

My martial arts instructor says "Martial arts is like religion; it either works for you or it does not"
In addition, Jun Fan (Bruce Lee) philosophy says that the greatest style is style-less. Create your own, do what fits the situation.

For an example of what I am trying to say, let me say Kenpo is like the Catholic church. (No offence to the Catholic but the church did some pretty bad things and is very strict) You attend classes/church, they tell you what to do and what to think. They do this, this is what you do. But this rarely works in the real world. As you should think for yourself in religion, you must think for yourself in martial arts.
While the greatest fighters modified the styles to create their own, the people who have reached "enlightenment" have learned to think for themselves. Ghandi was born a Budhist, but looked at Christianity and learned things from it.
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34 / M / Iloilo City, PH
Posted 1/29/11 , edited 1/30/11

Kenshin_san wrote:

Ghandi was born a Budhist, but looked at Christianity and learned things from it.

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. - Mahatma Gandhi

Posted 1/31/11 , edited 2/1/11
hmmm.............dont ask me....
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31 / M / Sweden
Posted 2/1/11 , edited 2/1/11
On the first video the tkd guy ain't use to the physical contact's, he looks down to much wich makes him vulnerable.
Second video only shows some highlights I rather see the whole match.
Third video was awesome, idk so much about tkd but on this video it seems that they are bound by there rules (gosh idk how to explain so you can understand, like in boxing you are not alloweded to kick so they don't train there kicks)in tkd it seems that you are not alloweded to leg sweep someone (or whatever it's called) so he kinda seemed vulnerable there since it looks like it was diffrent rules then he was use to fight (correct me if I'm wrong).
I'm not a experinced fighter, I train something called shootfighting so I know alittle, maybe?

But saying what style is better is kinda pointless it's like comparing who's gf is better mine or yours? You love her the way she is and I don't like the way she etc etc bla bla bla something about a flying cow......
Posted 2/3/11 , edited 2/3/11
Anyone who tells you their style is better than yours is not a martial artist, just a twat with issues.

Also why stick to one style? Why not create your very own style of fighting, take little bits from each one you practice and use the ones you deem more effective in certain situations. I'm an Aikido and Ninjutsu expert, and Ninjutsu steals little bits from other styles I've noticed. A bad artist borrows, a good artist steals.

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28 / M
Posted 3/12/11 , edited 3/12/11
yeah right
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78 / M
Posted 3/12/11 , edited 3/12/11

I want to hear your thoughts on this. The whole martial art style war debate. It's been raging for 1000s of years, isn't it time for it to end?

It probably won't happen because they're all in the denial phase with the fact that gunpowder beats them all.
This is how I imagine the next few phases will occur:

2. Anger - "Recent news report indicate that a large number of martial artists have been killed in fights, which they instigated against known firearm handlers."

3. Bargaining - "Okay buddy, if you don't use the hand grenade, I promise I won't kick."

4. Depression - "This freaking sucks... guns are so OP."

5. Acceptance - "How much for this Glock?"
Posted 3/12/11 , edited 3/13/11
Jeet Kune Do.

Posted 4/9/11 , edited 4/10/11
I'd never tell someone their style is worse off compared to mine, because thats like challenging them to a fight which goes against everything I've learned. Yes we fight in tournaments, but that is just sportsmanship and having a good time imo, it doesn't prove anything. Martial Arts is all about conditioning the body and mind, discipline and most of all self-defense. There are SO many styles out there, but most are not available for people to learn. I was lucky enough to find a Kyokushin-Kai karate school in my local area, this is rare and is so much less common than its brethren style Wado-ryu (guaranteed you'd find one of those dojos in any town). Finding a Taekwondo dojo was easy enough too. You try finding a Muay Thai school here though, impossible! Karate (except for Kyokushin) and Taekwondo are mainstream styles. The reason? They're easy to find and plentiful, whereas these styles are not so easy to find being taught:

Krav Maga (I would KILL to have a Krav Maga class locally, always wanted to learn it)
Muay Thai
Kendo (I had to travel for 1 1/2 hours to get to a class in a different city)

Anyone who has the above styles locally, you're not better than a TKD or Karate expert, you're just really lucky.

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M / Hawaii
Posted 4/9/11 , edited 4/10/11
Im studying Muay Thai at the moment, at a fairly well-known dojo in Hawaii. Which im grateful to have here.
Posted 4/9/11 , edited 4/10/11
I don't see where or what your question is, you typed a lot but it's like you are answering your own questions...

The end question though, it will never stop, why? Too many reasons to type, it would be pointless to even try.

I guess I look at martial arts differently, I see it as the individual who is important more than the style. If it was the style, then everyone who practices that style would dominate anyone at any time.
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M / Hawaii
Posted 4/9/11 , edited 4/10/11

Kobashi39 wrote:

I don't see where or what your question is, you typed a lot but it's like you are answering your own questions...

The end question though, it will never stop, why? Too many reasons to type, it would be pointless to even try.

I guess I look at martial arts differently, I see it as the individual who is important more than the style. If it was the style, then everyone who practices that style would dominate anyone at any time.

I suppose in a way the individual is more attracted to a martial art that encompasses what they themselves are looking for in an exercise/martial art.
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