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Making the Probable Lethal

Okay...who of you are fans of martial arts videos on YouTube?

I am. It's amazing what you can find on that venue—if you know where and how to look.

Unfortunately, most (probably about 95%) of the martial arts videos on YouTube are totally ridiculous. Why? Because they "demonstrate" or attempt to teach ineffective techniques or those that could be landed only by a very small number of people and only when their opponents are EXACTLY where they want them to be. And, even then, the success of landing such a trick (while it may be the coolest thing you've ever seen) will be 1 in 5 or 10 or 100. Maybe. Possibly...

Truthfully, I have no use for such techniques. I call them, for lack of a better term, "impossibles." I call them that because the chances of ever being able to use or land one effectively, when and where it counts, is nearly impossible.

An example?

Sure. How'bout the 540 kick? The 540 (or tornado) kick is probably one of the coolest martial arts strikes you'll ever see that's guaranteed (close to 99.99% of the time) to never translate in a life or death situation. Why? Because it's a theatric—an impossible. Can I throw one? I don't know; I've never trained it, so probably not. Given the statistics, training the 540 kick would feel to me a lot like training an impossible to someday (hopefully, maybe, slightly) become a possible. If forms competition or looking cool is all you're interested in, well, have at it. But if you want a well-roundness that translates well in forms, sport fighting, and self-defense, focus on probables. "Probables," like palm strikes to the face or knees to the groin or round kicks to the thigh, are those techniques that will "probably" serve you well in almost any encounter.

Quite honestly, I'm entertained by the impossibles. Yep, entertained. But that's about it.

I'm enamored, though, with probables. Enamored, because I trust them. I trust them because they're probables: techniques that will (probably) save my life (or the life of someone I love) some day.

Sure, I could devote my life to making the impossibles possible, but who wants to train for what might just be possible? I'd rather train in the probables, and train toward making them perfect. Perhaps even lethal.

Making the impossibles possible (showmanship)


Making the probables lethal (warriorship)

The choice is yours.


If you're interested, here's a link to a 540 kick video on YouTube:


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Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline

Fridays: Martial Arts Practice


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