• Playing the Percentages…

    I have been lucky enough in my life to study some kind of Martial Arts since seven years of age, most of that time spent doing traditional karate, so I know heaps about Classical Japanese Combat systems and their modern counterparts and there is much to be admired and if you truly understand how these systems are structured they are about making you a better human being and member of society first and being a effective fighter second. There is a hierarchy, syllabus, protocols and discipline, doctrines that need to be followed. Forms are pre-arranged and there is a right way and a wrong way. Now, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to karate because it has in many ways made me who I am, but my first and only goal that I set for myself as a teenager training was to develop real skills in all ranges of one on one fighting. And it was during this time that I first started cross training, with kick boxers, tae-kwon do guys and wing chun guys. We’d stick gloves on and have a crack. Try and figure out what worked and what didn’t. I found that only 10% of the karate I had learnt was useful and 90% was a waste from a fighting point of view. They are not good odds. But when I first discovered BJJ when wrestling with these Wing Chun guys who were doing privates with John Will at the time, the opposite was true. Over 80% of what you learn in BJJ can be plugged straight into real fighting, some parts cant, like open or inverted guard, but most stuff is very effective right from day one. I like those odds much better. So since then I will put a guy who has done 6 months of BJJ against someone who has done 6 months of karate any day of the week and twice on Sunday. This is no reflection on the student or the teacher but on the efficacy of the delivery system and type of training involved. And if the goal is real life skills first then it pays to play the percentages.