It is often
wondered, why there should be different styles of fighting. There will always be different martial arts styles, but why should
there be rules applied to “contact fighting”?
The Legendary Lee
has said “As long as an individual has two hand and two legs, he will fight in the same way” Then why do we have
Karate Kumite, taekwondo sparring, Judo randori, and wrestling and boxing bouts?
I think fighting
is divided only for convenience into different ranges.
kicking range, medium distance hand range, intermediate knee & elbow range, close grappling and groundwork ranges.
ethnic groups have developed their own versions of each range, like kicking developed
from China would be termed Shaolin Gung Fu, from Japan as Karate, from Korea as Taekwondo, from France as Savate, etc.
hand attacks are developed in western boxing, eastern karate, and Filipino Kali.
Knee elbow attacks
are predominantly practiced in Filipino Kali, and in Muoy Thai from Thailand.
grapple and do groundwork with Wrestling and easterners with Judo and Dumog.
So we can
conclude that martial arts are divided depending on predominant range and ethnic method of using that range.
But how can
free style contact fighting develop without the combination of all ranges and styles?
learn one style and get stuck to its limitations and start believing in it as the only truth. Then they say that they respect
other styles. You can only respect a style when you derive from it. When you adopt its advantages and discard its limitations,
yes for this you have to first open your mind to learning it. That means starting off as a beginner with the novices after
already being an expert in your own style (which can at times seem demoralizing).
studying all ranges and imbibing the useful and reject the limitations.
So the difficult
to execute high kicks of taekwondo may be replaced by the groin and knee kicks, the high guard of boxig be rejected as it
does not protect below the belt, while the rabbit and kidney fouls be absorbed. In grappling the fouls of head, neck locks
and hammerlocks be absorbed, while the jacket throws be rejected.
Even on the
mat the impact blows of karate be used along with the matwork principles of pinning of judo, along with the locking techniques
of Filipino dumog and western wrestling.
The Legendary Lee
outlined these principles in his Jeet Kune Do and firmly stated that JKD is not a new system. But there are spates of JKD style schools all
over the world. The immature martial artists search for a new style will never end.
contact martial artists must therefore advocate fighting in all ranges as part of their teaching curriculum.