segunda-feira, 17 de outubro de 2016

Traditional martial arts & Effectiveness - Part 1 (of 3)

Characterizing  (empirically) traditional martial arts as to their effectiveness could be, in theory, very easy. Doing so would merely require gathering a large sample of fights, and ascertain which events impacted the outcome (and how). 


Such process is present in every single sportive activity, consisting of: 
  1. Playing the game
  2. Conducting a post game analysis
  3. Implementing adjustments to training 


Starting by the end, what's training & what's it for?


Well, training is nothing more than the organization of practice so as to generate the best possible state of readiness (to handle a given performance setting).

Considering that traditional martial arts original context is that of self-defence, such practice is not child's play and, secondly, practicing with 100% realism is borderline impossible. With the exception of military personnel training with live ammunition, no matter how hard one's approach is to sparring, death is never on the table.

This generates a great incoherence within traditional martial arts: 


The only group of physical activities that cannot fully simulate 
their "game setting" in training, are the only ones that 
have levels meant to mark performance readiness. 
(How can one attest for something that isn't tested?)    


Consequently, in the context of traditional martial arts, one's task is to find the next best thing, so as to get as close as possible to 100% training specificity.

Doing so has generated many different controlled sparring formats, based on the selection of varying types of protective gear and rule sets. Such sparring formats are mainly characterized according to the following traits:

  • Degree of psychological stress (gear)
  • Specific skill set promoted by rules / scoring system 

Now, in handling these variables so as to preserve the identity of each traditional martial art (system), my question is:

What establishes the identity of a martial system? 


a) The specific set of motor skills 

or 

b) The degree of psychological stress performance is subjected to


Think about it. I will too, because, in the words of António Damásio 
"I am, therefore I think".

Talk more Wednesday and, until then, wish you a great start to the week.

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