By Costas Drevenis
This image basically shows what renaissance battle, or modern hand to hand combat, or even a bar fight, degrade to. If the martial art you are practicing is not tactically correct for such circumstances, it is simply put not a martial art. You cannot stick a pair of wings on a barrel and say you’ve made a plane, there is more to making a plane than that. If what you are practicing is a form of dueling competition that requires a lot of space or a level floor to function, then we are not discussing a battlefield art. Make note that I don’t distinguish between historic manuals and modern opinions – I look at historic manuals with the eyes of someone who has successfully proven the US Army wrong over what was written in a manual a decade ago (a few men’s opinions vs. millions and years of military experience but lack of common sense). Many manuals are just the opinions of a particular era or even decade. They may be wrong. They may be right. They have to be addressed realistically or you are not a martial artist.
Any form of combative competition is useful as a training mechanism, but if you confuse it with actual battle, or your military superiors do, then you and others will be injured or killed. History itself tells us this. Euripidis mocked combat sports. Alexander distrusted athletes, though it was an athlete who was also a soldier that proved this opinion wrong. The list is endless. The scene below could be a medieval phalanx or a corridor in Fallujah or an alley in the Bronx, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the tactical considerations shown below are held true. Water boils at 100 degrees Centigrade.
Much more on water boiling at 100 C over the next few months, a bit more formally than what I’ve ranted above, shamelessly taking advantage of Matt Galas‘ post. The martial arts have become a social phenomenon. Screw that. The should not be, it is terrible that they have become a popularity contest open to manipulation by opportunists. War doesn’t care, you see, and has never cared, how many facebook friends you have or how many egos are trod on, or how many people share an opinion for that matter… The only thing that should be of concern to a martial artists is how we defeated the cave bear.