Having a discussion with my wife during breakfast this morning, we came across a topic that is somewhat touchy. There are people that are enthusiastic with learning, and works hard training, only to find out that they were taught with a watered-down version. Not to say that it was their “mentor’s” fault, but somehow the teachings were suppressed in a lot of ways.
My SiFu has also taught me that there are people who rushed to judgement thinking that the Master has taught everything hence the teaching is capped out, only to find out that it was just the “tip of the iceberg” and the student’s learning isn’t complete, the practitioner has less knowledge to share with their fellow practitioner or future understudy.
Martial Arts regardless of its discipline, should be viewed as an evolving entity. There will be purists who would want to keep their techniques intact, and there are the forward thinkers, by whom are more on the other end of the spectrum that views the purists views are archaic and the techniques are no longer viable or relevant. Then.. there’s us who represents the centrists.
My view of the purists why I agree- Our body has not changed, meaning we have our limbs and extensions that we we utilize for combats that are the same for thousands of years, and the technique that were developed before today’s timeline is still relevant (Punches, Kicks and Scratches to name a few). The forward thinkers are right in the philosophy that the rules of combat has become bold and are not defined but you really have to prepare to the unexpected hits (head-butts, eye gouge, biting, joint locks a.k.a. to name a few). A certain movie actor/ Chinese boxing practitioner back in the 70’s (not to be named but you know who!!!) had that vision and knew that not only one should evolve, but keep the original philosophy intact as both if combined is effective. I cannot speak for him of course as I am not related to him, but looking at his works speaks volumes. I base my statement as I am a big fan of Sun Tzu’s philosophical work.
All I have is – Respect to all the practitioner that practices their art form, the craft. Respect to all who are unable but still do the mind training and express their opinion as to how their respective art must evolve. Respect to those who criticize as to their unknowingly helping the practitioner to be better.
Who really knows? Find your own enlightenment in your own way, regardless of the craft, then only you can really know what will work for you or the path you take, whether on a superficial basis or philosophical standpoint. Nonetheless, Train! and Best of Luck!