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Topic: "Deadliest Art"
Out of all the techniques and all the different
styles of martial arts, such as karate, kung fu, kempo,
etc., if you were to pick one, which of these styles
do you consider the deadliest (even though they are
deadly all, if used correctly).
This is an almost impossible question. First, what
is the definition of deadliest? And there are so many
contexts, both offensive and defensive. Both kung
fu and karate have very deadly offensive techniques,
but if you are tackled and go to the ground, then
judo or Gracie jujutsu would be helpful. Of course,
if you go to the ground you are also vulnerable to
attacks from above (especially if you are fighting
more than one person), so, relying on ground techniques
isn't always the answer either. Here, arts such as
aikido work well since the art is well versed in movement
to avoid a single or multi-person attack. Then there
is the situation of weapons. If attacked by a weapon,
such as a baseball bat, night stick, or even a sword
(unlikely today), I would prefer to have daito ryu
skills which were honed over centuries to address
this type attack. What about facing a good boxer?
They have excellent fist techniques. A karate-ka or
kung fu exponent trained in full contact would have
an advantage, and so would a Thai boxer whose specialty
is low leg kicks and elbows. A judo or Gracie Jujitsu
person would also have an advantage. But, if you are
grabbed while standing by one, two, or three attackers,
I would prefer aikido, jujutsu or aikijujtsu skills.
In the end there is no deadliest art per se. Most
martial arts have tended to specialize is certain
techniques and methods. So, the question should perhaps
be, what martial arts should I know in order to be
more proficient in the art I study? At a minimum other
arts allow you to recognize and better deal with a
variety of techniques with which you might not be
familiar. For example, Gracie Jujutsu demonstrated
to many striking arts practitioners the importance
of cross training to be less vulnerable to take downs
and ground fighting.
The individual study of arts like karate, jujutsu
and aikido is really a fairly modern phenomena. In
Japan during the feudal periods of warfare the samurai
trained in many arts -- the sword, spear, bow and
arrow, horsemanship, strategy and many others. Within
the weapon arts were also grappling and jujutsu skills,
and striking techniques using the blunt part of their
weapons. In short, samurai were very well rounded
in a great variety of combat methods.
Many great modern founders of martial arts systems
such as judo and aikido also had a broad experience
in the martial arts, experience which they synthesized
into their new arts. To better understand your art,
and to utilize your skills to the maximum, it is thus
advisable to broaden your knowledge with other arts.
In part this is what Donn Draeger (the great martial
arts historian and writer) meant, I think, when he
once said to me, "You can't grab budo by a single
All of the above comment, however, avoids one critical
point. The effectiveness of any art is directly related
to the practitioner's will, spirit and/or experience.
Thus, a deadly art in one person's hands may not be
not so in another. This further complicates evaluation.
Thus in answer to your question, there is no simple
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