I have been involved with the martial arts for over 20 years now. During that time I have practiced many different styles at several schools. Some I just practiced a few months, others for several years. Each style of martial arts has its own unique movements and energy to it. I found it very enjoyable to spar using different styles and seeing how my opponent would react.

My question is, why do so many martial artist spar using an improvised kickboxing style when they spend so much time practicing a traditional martial art? It just amazes me when I go to a points tournament or an MMA competition and all the fighters use indistinguishable technique when they come from different traditions. If someone is going to kick box in the ring, why aren’t they training in it, instead of TKD? I have even sparred with instructors of schools who do this. Do they have no confidence in their own teaching? (Personally I prefer to spar using a Crane style of kungfu. Not only is it effective but most people are unfamiliar with the movements so it give me an advantage. Other times I will use TKD or BJJ etc…just to mix things up.)

This is not an issue of self-defense vs. competition technique. I am referring to fundamentals of stance and attack. The traditional ways of fighting that have been handed down for generations are effective and have proven themselves over the years.