Stop Calling Traditional Martial Arts Fake • Martial Arts Explored

Stop Calling Traditional Martial Arts Fake • Martial Arts Explored

What Are Fantasy Based Martial Arts
(Let’s Separate Traditional Martial Arts From Fantasy Based Martial Arts) As in many areas of life, there is a big divide
in the martial arts world. Often this division is made between Traditional
Martial Arts and Modern Martial Arts or Combat Sports. I’ve recently made a whole video about how
I personally define Traditional Martial Arts and what problems I witness in the way it
is structured, yet I can not disagree that the term Traditional Martial Arts is still
confusing when debating the world of martial arts. For this reason in this Martial Arts Explored
episode, I decided to make a video getting down to the roots of what creates this division
and why we should stop calling Traditional Martial Arts fake by clarifying the difference
between “Traditional Martial Arts” and “Fantasy Based Martial Arts” – to better
address and articulate the problem in the search for a solution. First of all I wanted to share that the first
time I personally heard the definition Fantasy Based Martial Arts was when I met Matt Thornton,
a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt who has founded a global organization known as Straight Blast
Gym or – SBG. Decades ago Coach Matt Thornton used to be
a practitioner and instructor in Jeet Kun Do, a martial art initially created by Bruce
Lee with the vision to create and efficient martial art that included and combined techniques
from various martial arts. Unfortunately, it seems that over the years,
especially after the passing of Bruce Lee, the community of Jeet Kun Do started to focus
less on functionality and more on simply incorporating various martial arts techniques, without testing
it in live sparring to see whether it is functional. Coach Matt was able to perceive this flaw
and he coined a few terms which explained the existing issue very well. First of all he introduced the concept of
Aliveness in martial arts, referring to the fact, that if the techniques are practiced
in prearranged patterns with a cooperating partner who does not offer “alive” resistance,
trying to counter the technique by various means – then the martial art is following
quote on quote “dead patterns”, which do not develop absolutely necessary abilities
when dealing with an attacker who is really aiming to harm or defeat you. With no live resistance, AKA Aliveness – there
is no way to really distinguish techniques which are functional, while martial arts who
pressure test their techniques constantly, such as in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu when grappling
or Muay Thai when sparring – end up mastering and polishing techniques and approaches which
are highly effective – thus making them as Matt Thornton would call them: “Functional
Martial Arts”. Meanwhile the martial arts which follow the
so called “dead patterns” tend to believe that their techniques work just because it
“looks” effective or because their instructors told their students that it works, which eventually
leads this belief to become a fantasy, thus creating the final term coined by coach Thornton,
which is – “Fantasy Based Martial Arts”. When looking into online debates on Martial
Arts forums, Traditional Martial Arts often get criticized and looked down upon as unrealistic
or sometimes are simply called fake, and I have to admit that I have been guilty of making
this claim as well. While I have defined in a number of my videos
that my definition of “Traditional Martial Arts” is that of martial arts which rely
heavily on tradition, still this term does not necessarily fully address the issues which
people are actually trying to point out when criticizing Traditional Martial Arts. That issue is when certain martial arts claim
to be effective in actual fighting, while many times the reality is quite far from it. It is common that the martial arts which make
this unrealistic claim without actually pressure testing – fall into the category of Traditional
Martial Arts, thus many martial artists or combat sports practitioners tend to call Traditional
Martial Arts fake – yet to be fair – not all Traditional Martial Arts lack pressure testing
as in for example Judo, while also some modern martial arts systems such as the Russian Systema
or some so called “reality based self defense systems” suffer from the same condition. This is why I would like to encourage all
viewers watching this video in these debates to consider the term “Fantasy Based Martial
Arts” or “FBMA” to better define and point out the problem instead. In order to fully employ it to use, I would
like to further explore it in detail on what it exactly is. As most of you know my main martial arts experience
for many years consisted of Aikido, which is by many categorized as both a traditional
martial art and also a “fake martial arts”, and I personally believe it is done for good
reasons. While Aikido online is heavily criticized
for being ineffective, as I explained in one of my videos called: “Why Aikido is Disliked
by BJJ and MMA Practitioners”, the criticism is actually not because Aikido is a traditional
martial art and not even primarily because it is not effective as a means of fighting
or self defense, but mainly because most Aikido people believe and fondly claim that it is
effective. And I personally know how that works very
well. For many years I also believed that it does
work, until I eventually tried to test it under actual, live pressure of sparring and
grappling, where a decade of my Aikido training did not work at all. In this case it would be easy, and I believe,
correct to say that for years I was living in a fantasy, believing that my Aikido was
functional, yet what made it mostly a fantasy, was the fact that I was believing that I would
be able to manage myself in a fight or a self defense situation, believing in it only based
on hearsay and stories, without any actual evidence or pressure testing. I find this phenomenon to be best explained
by what is known as the “Dunning and Kruger Effect”. This phenomenon was defined by social psychologists
David Dunning and Justin Kruger initially by a study called “Unskilled and Unaware of
It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments”,
which explored the criminal case of McArthur Wheeler, who robbed banks while his face was
covered with lemon juice, which he believed would make it invisible to the surveillance
cameras. This belief was based on his misunderstanding
of the chemical properties of lemon juice as an invisible ink. To further understand how this phenomenon
works, Dunning and Kruger later released another study called “Why People Fail to Recognize
Their Own Incompetence”, which pointed out that this phenomenon derives from the person’s
ignorance of a given activity’s standards of performance. To put it more simply, if I have no education
in singing and no understanding in what criteria of singing exists, I may as well come to conclusion
that my singing is good, just because it appears good to me, or if for example my best friend
who is also uneducated in singing would also say it is good and I would come to a conclusion
that it is enough information to define my singing as great. As crazy as this sounds, it happens all the
time and there are many recorded cases such as where terrible singers come to qualifications
of singing shows as “American Idol” and misperform horribly, in the end being surprised
that the judges did not like their singing, since they personally believe their singing
is amazing. At first, it seems that these bad singers
are simply crazy, but as Dunning and Kruger explain, it is actually all based on the lack
of that individual to understand the activity’s standards of performance, or to realize where
he or she actually stands in the ability to really perform. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens
in martial arts too. If we take my personal story as an example,
before stepping into the ring with an MMA fighter to spar, I have never really sparred
with an experienced fighter. At best I had a few sparring matches with
my friends, who knew little of fighting themselves and while I barely made my Aikido work against
them, compiled with all the stories my instructors told me of how Aikido would naturally come
into use when I would be really attacked or that it is designed to defend against an untrained
attacker, I believed that I could handle myself at least to some degree. If you know my story, you also know that after
rolling with a BJJ blue belt and eventually sparring with an MMA fighter, I realized that
there is almost nothing that I could apply from my 13 years of training Aikido, when
dealing with actual fighting pressure. In other words I knew nothing about the criteria
which makes a person capable of dealing with an actual, unwilling opponent, or to say it
even more simply – I knew nothing about real fighting or grappling, and having no understanding
of what real fighting and grappling is – it was easy for me to believe that I am good
enough at it, since I had nothing in my mind to compare or assess it with. And trust me, this was not a unique case. This same story happens all over the world,
year after year in fantasy based martial arts. To avoid repeating this story, I sincerely
hope that anyone listening to this video will look at themselves and will ask – how do I
really know what fighting is? Why do I think I am capable of fighting or
defending myself? What is the evidence of my ability in this
particular field? And is it not really limited in only performing
choreographed movements together with a cooperative partner or fighting only under a very limited
set of rules, against a minimum amount of resistance or factors such as for example
punches only to the core area. As I’ve spoken in other episodes – there
is nothing wrong in practicing a martial art which is not effective as long as there is
complete honesty and understanding of it’s limitations. The problem arises when there is a belief,
or in other words a fantasy of unrealistic assessment of practitioner’s abilities in
a desired field, such as fighting or self defense. And if you look closely enough you will see
that this fantasy is not equal in all traditional martial arts, which makes it unfair to flag
them all under the same category. Judo makes a perfect example, as it is usually
considered a traditional martial art, yet it is difficult to deny its effectiveness
in its own field and the level of pressure testing under its given rules. Different Karate and Taekwondo styles also
offer different levels of sparring and pressure. And while it would probably be fair to say
that more traditional martial arts tend to be fantasy based than combat sports, at the
same time, once more it would be unfair to put them all in the same box, while also creating
further confusion and difficulties in expressing and discussing exactly what the critique is
being directed at, while broadly generalizing and calling Traditional Martial Arts fake. With sincere intent and hope to aid people
who have trouble in defining whether their martial art is really delivering what it promises
and with the intent to aid every person who is trying to explain to someone of what actually
the problem with some martial arts is, once more I am suggesting to exchange the term
Traditional Martial Arts to a more specific term – Fantasy Based Martial Arts, or FBMA
when discussing about this specific subject. And with the hopes to do so successfully,
I am offering a list of items that define or show a strong tendency in a martial art
to be an FBMA: The lack of sparring or pressure testing
Sparring or pressure testing under very specific, limites set of rules, with very low levels
of resistance or pressure Heavy reliance on a cooperative partner
Strong investment in constant repetition of choreographed movements
The use of the term self defense without the ability to define what are the essential aspects
of self defense such as detection, avoidance and deterrence. Instead heavy reliance on “what ifs scenarios”
and endless, not pressure tested response techniques
The claim that the martial art would beat a striker or grappler, without ever willing
to actually prove it Reliance on various excuses and justifications
why this martial art is not pressure tested Lack of evidence of the effectiveness of the
martial art on any level, including recorded footage of its success in fighting or self
defense scenarios The claim that this martial art is designed
to work against untrained attackers, without ever pressure testing it against untrained
opponents, even with safety measures such as full contact armor
Mystification of certain aspects of the martial art, using such terms as Ki, Chi or prana
Refusal to test the martial art against martial artists of other schools or styles
Claims that there are secret or special techniques, known only to the school In the end, if you look at the Fantasy Based
Martial Arts list, while some aspects of them do apply in some Traditional Martial Arts,
yet again it shows that a Traditional Martial Art is not necessarily an FBMA. Yet again, I want to admit that I was guilty
of making that claim or being vague enough when using the term Traditional Martial Arts
myself, yet I hope this episode of Martial Arts Explored will bring clarity not only
in my own further explorations, but also in various discussions and the explorations of
each individual martial artist. Let me know in the comments if you feel I’ve
missed valuable points to the definition of Fantasy Based Martial Arts. Also, do you personally think the FBMA term
may be beneficial in discussions relating to this subject? If you liked this Martial Arts Explored episode
make sure to check other episodes by clicking here. And subscribe to the Martial Arts Journey
channel to know when the next episode is out. Until then, I wish you to question the hell
out of yourself.

100 thoughts on “Stop Calling Traditional Martial Arts Fake • Martial Arts Explored

  1. With this new Martial Arts Explored episode I invite everyone who would like to translate its subtitles so that more people could benefit from this subject. If you have the time, ability and interest here is the link to the official YouTube translating panel:–o&ref=share
    Thank you in advance to everyone joining this initiative!

  2. I like your message, I train Traditional Goju Ryu, one has to cover sparring and understand applications, well done Sir.

  3. This is something i always knew.. well maybe becouse i am a wushu practicioner and traditional martial arts mocked us too hahaha. I think it's a very good reflexion and i admire that you keep on your traditional martial arts despite its functionality.

  4. I find it interesting that every video that you make when you say fantasy based martial arts or fake martial arts you demonstrate Aikido, that… is total disrespect for the art of Aikido

  5. Bruce Lee's JKD has definitely lost the reality aspect by many of its practitioners, which is a huge shame. Has anyone heard the recent found telephone recording where Bruce is going off on fantasy based martial arts like Tai Chi, calling them cowards and pathetic-looking lol And praises boxers like Joe Frasiser.

  6. The problem is everyone nowadays thinks if you don't know MMA you suck. MMA means Mixed Martial Arts which most of the guys who know it have a traditional a style such as Shotokan. Learn what you want because it's supposed to be there for you to defend yourself when you have no other choice.

  7. It was always taught at my dojo that every style wins under their own rules agains someone comming from a different style. I believe two high level practicioner is visioned in these scenarios. The notion made sense so it was wildly accepted.
    What eye opening was for me that even a beginner at a contact sport can beat a high level martial artist, and I doubt that would be a case across different syles of contact sports (give it's both standing or grapling based).
    Thank you for the video, keep up!

  8. I practice BJJ kickboxing because I find it fun but my attitude goes into overdrive! I practice Aikido in order to deal with how very dangerous my attitude can get I am 42 years old and I also can be a very uncooperative person but it very easy to hide my uncooperative attitude please keep in mind that there are people who benefit from training in more traditional martial arts. Because they want to get way from the pressure!

  9. or maybe the reason combat sports look better than traditional martial arts is so dana white makes shit loads of money from UFC. videos of combat sports losing to traditional styles are removed or blocked from the internet often but videos of combat sports humiliating traditional styles are shown to the world. I'm not saying that traditional martial arts losing is fake I'm saying there is an equal amount of wins/loses but we only get to see the loses. I've seen Wing Chun dominate a fight against an MMA fighter but you can be sure any video footage of that fight won't see the light of day thanks to the budget of the big industries like UFC making sure the general public only see what they want them to see

  10. If the art in question involves unsubstantiated concepts of chi, flow enery, etc etc… then your martial art is FAKE. Period.
    When we call these arts fake, it's not due to the uselessness in the octagon… it's because it either involves or is based on nonsense concepts that have never been demonstrated to be true…

  11. Nice video bro.
    You had a slice of humble pie, thought things through and came to a realization.
    I'm not bashing you, but would like to compliment you on a very well thought out explanation.
    I made a 12 video series on my last channel about using your energy.
    I have been practicing for over 35 yrs now & was called out (in the most politeful way) by a teacher of JKD.
    I made a video for him and he is now teaching his students this 24/7 and scrapped his own teachings.
    The reason JKD is Not as Bruce made it is because most everyone doesn't understand what Bruce was teaching.
    Be like water has confused the masses. They just don't get it.
    Your style could and would be more effective if you used your energy properly.
    And no, I'm not talking about the energy you exert, on the contrary, its your natural energy.

    Again, very informative video and I can tell its from the heart.

    Know GOD ~ Know Truth
    Know GOD ~ No Fear
    Peace & Love to All

  12. I do respect your perspective on modern martial arts in critisicms of traditional martial art style. It doesn't seem effective or it emphasis reality. Like karate, the uses of the forms are useful back then. Now, its a compilation of forms in a craft. Then expanding that concept to Aikido, Judo, Iaido, Kudo (the way of air), Nindou (the way of shinobi), and Kendo. The modern terms, traditional is lost. But the word traditional to me has its values in terms of its defensive and valuable perspective. Using your bare knuckle technique to fight (enemy/enemies) off. Then to the argument of saying training foundational skills of life. Going back to this point in traditional martial art and why its recieveing critisicms is because of their fantasy and fraud opinions from all platforms. I also sought out to wisdom like you in this video.

  13. Hi, I've just watched your movie and despite the main subject, wich I totally agree by the way, I got myself in a Jyu Kumite Karate after watching. This kind of practice is kind a freestyle sparring, despite the competitive sportive karate shiai kumite. Somehow, I got myself thinking about put myself to test during that sparring session. The fear of being knocked out during the fighting show me how irelevant and empty is trying to prove through words if some martial arts is functional ou better than others. In the end, I have to be honest with myself the reason why I'm training and not just convincing the others about what I want them to think. Keep up the good work!!!

  14. I have met Chinese kungfu masters, who you better believe it can fight for real (even in their 70s).
    They always say that any martial art can become bullshit if people stop sparring and forget what the forms mean.

    All martial arts (bar a few truly "fake" arts like taekwondo* ) started out as purely pragmatic, simple, increased in complexity over time with more and more refinement of skills, and eventually decay when students stop showing up/ practicing for various reasons that can include cultural turmoil (industrial revolution) or war (savate almost went extinct after ww1 because the best savateurs died on the front lines).

    My main point being that something that is very complex and refined is not equal to bullshit.
    BJJ was also a lot more simplistic and unrefined not that long ago, in the 80s.
    The BJJ of 2019 is a different, more polished art than the BJJ of "Garage Gracies".

  15. By extension you must shoot someone to prove a gun works. For all your training in Aikido you seem to not understand it very well.

  16. Martial arts is only any good if it actually works in real life situations. Fighting is brutal and unpredictable. Simple techniques which don't take years to learn are the only effective techniques. Everything else is bs and can give a false reality to someone in real life danger.

  17. Theory and practical must be practice when it comes to any form martial arts. Test what you know under pressure see what works and what doesn't.

  18. TMA make the mistake of misunderstanding "Traditional" to mean unchangeable. To me, Traditional means that it comes from a historic line of experience anf change.

    If historic masters hadn't changed stuff, how would there be so many styles and substyles?!

    Even just looking at Fantasy Kung Fu movies, one can see a common theme that the fighter loses against someone stronger and then has to combine styles (eagle, dragon, whatever, hamster?) to defeat the opponent. The lesson from those movies isn't that maybe Wing Chun is invincible but rather that you'll need a wide range of skills and lots of training to win. But I get the feeling that this movie theme hasn't been popular lately. It's always one man with one style who beats up everyone.

  19. You make a good argument and i agree with most of your points, I do have one caveat, the term “fantasy” might be taken as insulting by practitioners. perhaps a term like “performance martial art” or “theatrical martial art” might be more fitting. Now comes the big kerfuffle… which is which…

  20. When I did Hwa Rang Do people would desperately cling to that fantasy. In University at the gym I remember one of my HRD "brothers" challenged a classmate who did boxing and Greco Roman style wrestling(from University class not martial arts class) to a fight. My HRD brother couldn't hold his ground and he kept shouting "your not using propper technique!" and calling time out. Then he got mad at us his friends for filming with our phones and said he wouldn't do the match until we deleted what we recorded and put our phones away first because it made him too distracted. He never got the upper hand and never finished the match even though it was all in good fun. He was still totally convinced that he would have really hurt his classmate if he continued and made excuses for himself saying his classmate had "bad form"/"didn't use propper technique", he had a headache and was feeling queezy because he had a hangover that morning, and our recording with our phones was too distracting etc. He wouldn't shut up about it for weeks. The fantasy part of FBMA can have a terrible strong hold on a person. It's extremely annoying to be around those people when they are so adamant even after their failure and come at you with excuse after excuse.

  21. a few years ago i was doing what is refered to as a street based karate style, and street based it was. The school teaches different styles of martial art, and i asked about Aikido and my teacher said to me that i am better than that. i did not understand at the time. I really believe that Aikido can help bring bring a fluidity in to the body. most of the teachers were not really into the karate but they used it to help get the students to a point of mental clarity through doing katas until you were finished, then you go some more. the katas can never help in the street as a way to learn fighting, except for fitness and pushing yourself mentaly. the school taught how unforgiving the street is,and i was full of shit until i came to this school. the rules were, if you don't move you will get hit; you will get hit anyway, so deal with it; get used to someone trying hard to hit you. and so on. I think that many aspects of martial arts can help to get you there, depending on how you work with it, as long as there are no illusions as to how things work on the street, and if you have illusions then they need to got rid of. a hippy was in my class for a while and was going to south america for a long trip, and my teacher spoke to him about getting familiar with the different types of crimes, and how prevelant violence is, where he was going. the student said that he was protected by the light so my teacher hit him. another student wanted to be a hard man and that is why he wanted to do karate, so my teacher got a couple of more experienced students to help him become a hard man and to remind him where hard men can end up; in hospital. the student stopped trying to be hard. the school was really totally against violence, but i learnt, after 3 years, that every one carries a knife, and how to find the knife. i learnt to make friends with the floor, no mats.i have done martial arts where only mats were used. there are no mats on the street. i could go on, but to finish, 'if you want to shoot, shoot, don't talk'.

  22. Aikido is my base as a martial art and I've started practicing because I wanted self-defense. And for a while, the boost in self-confidence was enough to actually got me through some situations – never fighting ones, though. More recently, I've trained a bit more of Aikido not as a fighting art but as a way to express physically the promise of nonviolence. But that being said, although very beautiful to see, if I can't actually choose to be nonviolent – because choosing to be violent with such training would be a poor choice – then I don't see a point in training Aikido again. Unless, of course, I use it as a means to exercise and connect with people. But not to fight. Your videos have been a huge assistance for me to get to this point in my reflections. Thank you very much!

  23. What do you think kick boxing is. It's full contact karate. Traditional martial arts. Heard of Benny Urquidez. Bill Wallace. Talk to them .I think they might no a little bit more. Have a think of the origins of a lot of what you see. It's traditional martial arts.

  24. Hello there!
    The art of fighting without fighting!
    Run or walk away from a fight.
    Om Mani Pad Me Hum!!
    Amen and Allah knows Yahweh!

  25. How do you know if what you practice(not the style) works for you? Go out and scrap vs people that do other things. That simple.

    You gotta make it work for you, not the art make you work for it.

    You can't pretend you're not gonna be ruthless just to seem virtuous. Fighting arts are ruthless is their history. Throw the notion that you're not going to be violent when needed in the trash, please.

    If you have a problem associating whatever it is you do with violence in martial arts, you're doomed as far as fighting goes.

    You have to understand the real applications of these and by all means, drill them and use them in open sparring.

    Unfortunately, some arts rather restrict themselves to seem too humane for combat or are tainted with the idea that if you are slightly forceful or have intent to hurt when applying, you're not virtuous and therefore evil and unworthy of learning.

    This mentality is thanks to instructors from way back tossing down anything to make them liable to the law. And, the skill set was then affected by this as well as by movies reinforcing legends of this faux notion of virtuosity. Virtue is an attitude innate of a person, but it is a pixel in what is the giant picture of what a martial artist is. MMA doesn't hide its ferocity or willing to be ruthless, and the footage available reinforces that people be willing to do, unlike many traditional martial arts material, entertainment and what not. They keep it real.

  26. in my opinion what you describe in this video pointed into two thing : what the reality in martial arts and definition about martial term.
    maybe you can read some journal about Martial and Combat Sports (MACS) but i suggest a journal from Paul Bowman : Instituting reality in martial art practice and from journal of the philosophy of sport : martial categories : clarification and classification writen by Irena Martinkova & Jim Parry

  27. If it doesnt effectively work in a fight, its pretty close to fake bullshit.
    And since most have been proven ineffective, they are as close to fake as one can get.
    Maybe if they stop with the death punch bullshit, and the chi nonsense they will be taken seriously
    Bottom line: militaries around tje world abandoned traditional martial arts, because : THEY DONT WORK. FAKE OR NOT IT IS COMBAT INEFFECTIVE.

  28. I consider you to be one of the most open-minded guys out there, but some of the things you are implying as having originated with your coach are not exclusive to him and were perceived by others contemporaneously with respect to ideas about modernizing martial arts. Maybe, I misunderstand you and you mean to say that his ideas about fantasy martial arts are just the first time you personally have ever heard someone express this idea. That said, the focus on sparring to become "effective" has been around in "effective" martial arts for longer than any living practitioner and in that I take your point about fantasy martial arts being conflated unfairly with effective traditional martial arts. Muay Thai for example, is a traditional martial art that has always involved regular sparring and has effective for centuries if not longer. I don't know when points fighting became a thing in Karate, but I would hazard a guess that some form of points fighting has been around for a while and has traditional roots that have adapted and continue to adapt in the form of Combat Karate. As a final point about sparring against a resisting partner … Judo became an Olympic sport in 1964. Now, if you want outright fantasy in martial arts that a large group of folks believe is real, then you need look no further than most big-budget Chinese-government endorsed martial arts films. These films are outright fantasy martial arts propaganda and designed to reinforce Chinese nationalism (complete with different versions provided for western releases to make it a little less blatant). Ask most folks in China and they wholeheartedly believe their martial arts are superior to all others. Just ask Xu Xiaodong how much support he is getting when he shows most contemporary Kung Fu practitioners in China to be ineffective in an actual fight.

  29. Calling Traditional martial arts fake is just western chauvinism. A disrespect to Asian culture. Some these styles existed for hundreds or even thousand years. They where created during the pre gun powder era, where most people went to war with swords, spears and clubs. With coming of gun powdered weapons these styles where rendered obsolete and watered down reduced to ceremonial purposes. Regardless of that, it should be respected for its history. In China when some MMA fighter tried to expose traditional chinese martial arts, he had to run for his life because he started to recieve death threats. Lastly I can call MMA fake, because their arm bars & guillotine chokes can't stop me from firing a bullet into their heart & head. Not to mention its gay, spending 5 minutes in missionary position dry humping another man, no thank you.

  30. I think there needs to be more of a distinction made. There is actual combat training, combat sports, and combat/martial "arts". These things are not equivalent.

  31. I think what you are getting at here is potentially very valuable to the conversation around martial arts effectiveness. Instead of discussing how weather or not a martial art fits into the "traditional" category, it is probably more effective to discuss a continuum how how much "fantasy" is in a martial art. Even Muay Thai or BJJ could be said to have some small fraction of fantasy, while other arts that have a lot of fantasy in them have some functionality, and yet other styles are almost pure fantasy.

  32. Traditionnal martial arts just evolved from self-defense or hand to hand combat to body and health conditionning. I don't think that when Aikido was founded it was meant for combat, but rather as a peaceful art, based of jujitsu. It is just Hollywood, and chinese movies that made us believe of the effectiveness of those so called martial arts. Let's not forget that BJJ and else are not martial arts either but combat sports. If they are a better way to learn of to defend yourself with your hands they don't make you invincible either. For me the true question is how to train with the effectiveness of modern combat sports and the wisdom of TMA. Let's be honest, modern combat sports can cause serious injuries to amateur fighters, and we have a long road until we find a good balance between both, for the love of challenge and learning.

  33. Rokas, maybe you are more interested in dance than martial arts? Aikido is kind of at the cross-roads between dance and martial arts?? In dancing, both partners must know the moves of the other, and they must rehearse it ahead of time. Thus, Aikido is a dance-martial art.
    This would make it work in Japan and Asia, but Westerners, up against a drunk guy whose intentions are unknown, are not going to know what to expect. Whereas in Japan where Aikido originated, everyone has a collective mentality, less individual, and thus they assume that the other person will move like they expect them to do.

  34. I remembered when your first videos showed up pressure testing aikido was around the same time I finally got the opportunity to train in martial arts. Following your journey has been similar to mine, from trying out different styles i found in college and travelling, I have been slowly defining what martial arts means and how I want it to define me. Seeing your new videos now has really been inspiring. I love watching how much you have grown and the added benefit of bringing a perspective of traditional martial arts to the modern martial arts. Right now im focusing on BJJ since I finally graduated and can afford a good gym. I look forward to seeing and learning from the rest of your journey.

  35. Great video. I am too busy to watch all your videos, but I do watch them when I have time. I found your perspective interesting since you have seen things from both the traditional perspective and now a more modern one, even training to fight. Your training and testing looked respectable but the derision for the 'fantasy' of traditional martial arts simply because you had not found much application for yours made me cautious of trusting your word. But, in this video, you clarified your viewpoint very well. In my opinion, one's ability to defuse and avoid fights altogether or properly test and then apply in real life situations real world ready techniques (or not even techniques but just what works then) is what matters, not the style or how old the martial art is. I've learned that being aware and/or observant is key. And, if/when confronted, firmly but kindly talking to the other person like they're another worthwhile human being goes a long way, a lot less mess than guns, knives, striking or wrestling etc.

  36. Lol look im come from a traditional back round but if your not sparring with true risitancw if your not syruggling then its theory in street u dontvwant theory just saying

  37. All the modern (mma) and traditional martial arts are effective. The deciding factor is how long has one studied and trained. A black belt in any martial art will defeat a novice with out any difficulty. My opinion is that many people expect to become Bruce Lee after only a short time of training. The original objective of the traditional martial arts was that one would become a "master". That is, to truly master the given martial art. In taekwondo for example that would mean a fourth degree black belt. At that level even the most experienced street fighter would have no chance.

  38. We did sparring in our ving tsun classes, but reflecting now as there are no feints and only pretty straight forward attacks, both people had only a limit amount of possibilities and the opponent pretty much knew what the other is going to do to attack. I wonder if that already means "very specific ruleset" as formerly there were no rules.. it was just both people trained those limit attacks all the time and then normally used them in sparring.
    I wonder if things would be different if normal jabs & cross with feints would have been added

  39. The attacks have changed but the response to those attacks still exist in traditional marital arts.
    Hence the question. Do you understand the problem or are just guessing?

  40. dont forget that a martial arts takes longer to perceive until it can be a reflective set of movement that human can perform in a dire situation such as defending for living. People today tend to point a MA as fake jst bcs they didnt put enough time & effort to developed it to the state that it bcame a reflective movement thus while they use it at real life fight, find it hard to use and ended up calling it Fantasy or Fake

  41. Crappy martial artists steal each other’s moves which makes it fake, and tai chi is not a martial art, it is a self repair, Gung Fu is real and the ones you mentioned that were fake are created by the Communist party of China!

  42. I'm done and there's no such thing as fantasy based martial arts only fantasy-based expectations… do you have to practice the technique with a partner that's going to offer live resistance you have to what is and developed the technique into a workable fashion….

  43. It isn't that they are fake…is that they lost a huge part of themselves when they set limits and rules.

    When you could challenge and fight to prove your worth of course they where better at fighting than now… with a simple tap gives a point

  44. very well done, we practice with varying degrees of resistance, white belts start of with zero so they can learn the techniques/movements correctly, and then it gets to little resistance all the way to complete non compliance, but the last one is still done in a somewhat controlled manner to restrict injury, no pads no gloves. There are just a lot of fakes, the general rule if it looks to good to be true then its probably fake should be used.

  45. Martial means war, so Martial Arts means arts of war. I fought for 3 years in Angola war in 1986-1987

    My Premise, "Fantasy Martial Arts" is a derogatory statement, indicative of an unrecognized bias in the video makers assumptions. I here present that all the Martial Arts he mentions are not Martial Arts as they have little to no military training, and that the pressure tests he proposes are also another means of enhancing his own central fantasy that he had during and after Aikido.

    When I was in training I asked the Regimental Sergent Major if we trained in Martial Arts, so he said that is what the army training is, Martial Arts. So I said, I meant like how to punch kick etc.

    He asked me if I was stupid. I was taken back, but in the army I was in the Regimental Sergent Major is not someone you argue with. Also he had a lot or experience in actual war.

    Then he explained to us, that if we heard the enemy (Fapla, N Korea and Cuban soldiers) were practicing so called unarmed combat while we were training to use our rifles, tracking, hand grenade, mortar, land mine detection, moving at night, firearm unit tactics, and a whole lot of other things that we needed to survive and beat the enemy, we would be very happy.

    So I see videos of Soldiers training unarmed combat in many armies, but not the one I was in. Yet the South African Infantry in 1980s was a very effective army tested in over 20 years fighting against larger armies.

    In the time I spent in the war and in patrolling (we would go out for 6 weeks into the bush, no radio contact, only what we carried into enemy territory to gather intel and destroy specific targets, avoid detection, lay mines, destroy logistics and supply) and firefight engagements with the enemy, and in more than one battle where many were killed on both sides, I saw no one killed with a punch, a kick or a strangle.

    Yes, I know, people will say that they learnt "***" in their army and they used it. But lets say that is maybe a good example of fantasy MA.

    Only times I saw so called "Martial Arts" used was in camp and at bar with rivalries between soldiers and other units. However that was in training days. Once we had been in actual war zone you developed a brother hood with your other soldiers, even the ones you hated before. Even if you were not smart, being at war you realize your fellow soldiers are your survival, they are the ones there to cover you. And those who did not develop brotherhood and carried on wanting to fight with the other soldiers were sent back to have a nice stay in Military Prison.

    So, what is Fantasy Martial Arts. Or do we mean fantasy combat sport.

    This whole debate is flawed.

    All things calling themselves Martial Arts we see, such as MMA, Boxing, Wresting, Aikido, are not anything but fantasy Martial Arts. Real Martial Arts is going to war and fighting with weapons. The aim of such Martial Arts is to win at war.

    Now, no army can afford to follow rules once war starts, their politicians may pretend their army is following the "Rules of War". But in reality, the more perilous the war the faster such rules get abandoned, if they were followed at all.

    So none of the modern Martial Arts are really Martial Arts, they are just appropriating the name.

    Some Traditional Martial Arts such as the remaining schools of Ken Jutsu were actual Martial Arts (before modern warfare made such fighting obsolete).

    So what do we then mean by Martial Arts in the context of the way it is used in the video.
    This is unarmed combat under the following assumptions
    1) No surprise attack – its most unrealistic assumption, actually this applies to virtually every "Martial Art". This is also the biggest differentiation from Military Experience. In war, surprise is the best weapon, same as in criminal assault.
    2) No weapons – yes some schools do train against weapons, but I have not seen this is "realistic" schools such as MMA and BJJ.
    3) All fights occur in safe and friendly flat terrain.
    4) It is always 1 on 1.

    The list goes on.

    So the combat sport is also unrealistic.

    As for the tests proposed here, some could engender fantasy, just as Aikido engenders fantasy, so does MMA.
    I would suggest, if you are so keen on testing if what you learn is real, find a way of getting assaulted by professional criminals in their favorite terrain using their favorite 3 -weapons of choice, 2 or more attackers and surprise.

    Many people who do MMA and BJJ here talk about street fighting, what is that, one on one bar fights, I am not sure. A show down with some person you have called out.

    Here is the reality, ALL of these systems will fail most of the time if you are unarmed and become targeted by such crimes. Your best change is to escape, or hit one person hard and try escape.

    So MMA just trades delusions.

    But, what if you want to fight in the ring, and make a living, there is nothing wrong with that. What is you want to "harmonize" and do Tai Chi, again what is wrong with that.

    The modern MMA is just not a Martial Art and if we are talking about self defence as much a fantasy as other systems people claim are so called fantasy Martial Arts. I think the person making this video has made a logical progression from one form of what he calls Fantasy Martial Arts (Aikido) to another form of Fantasy Martial Arts (MMA). They are fantasy Martial Arts for different reasons.

    So realistic tests of your "Martial Arts" and possible ways you can learn actual arts of war.
    Depending on your country
    1) In USA join the Marine Core or Army, forget about whatever unarmed combat they teach you, that is just to make you feel confident and raise your aggression levels, the odds you will use any form of unarmed combat in a war the USA fights is not likely. Then do a tour of duty.
    2) In Israel go join the army, fight your enemies (forget about Krav Maga they may teach, it is just to help you beat up Palestinian civilians, you will use your rifles in fighting real Palestinian Armies)

    3) Join the Police, better yet come join South African police who deal with the realities of an horrific level of crime where criminals have no fear of the law or being caught, and love AK47s and other military equipment.
    4) Join a mercenary group, go to war, survive.
    5) Join any other army that will send you into an actual war.
    6) Become a bouncer at a biker bar or some such example (good for gaining self defense experience, but not really for war experience.)

    In any case.

    If you really want to defend your self, get a gun. For unarmed combat, learn something that teaches you how to escape wrist grabs (so that you can use your gun), sudden assault when you are not in guard, teaches you haw to get hold of your firearm and stop the attacker getting it from you. Realize that if you are surprised even the gun may not help you.

    Final Fantasy Martial Arts check –
    1) Do you feel you are capable of defending yourself using it in a Bank robbery, Hijacking, multi attackers with at least one armed, if you do feel so, stop doing this as you are developing Fantasy Martial Arts mindset.
    2) Do you feel most attacks and crimes occur in a fashion you can train for and are doing so currently. If you confidently answer yes, you are living in fantasy.
    3) Do you feel that your "Martial Art" is the best, more realistic, you are now practicing Fantasy Martial Arts.
    4) Has your current or past "Realistic" Martial Art made you feel more aggressive, more effective that other people from other systems because they are weaker or less effective than what you do.
    5) Do you think that when you learn your present system of unarmed combat that this is an art of war and hence think it is Martial Arts.

    In conclusion, all unarmed combat offers false promises and beliefs in what is "realistic" and very few are actually Martial Arts. Real Martial arts are now called Military training.

  46. It's not that traditional martial arts are fake as much as they no longer have functional application in today's world where 15 yr old teens can learn MMA in less than a year and have the skill to beat the average person in seconds. No one wants to spend most of their life training in a traditional style when the rest of the world is learning to dissect and destroy their opponent's fighting style. To each their own but in the end you want the most effective style that suits your intent.

  47. You sound absolutely stupid because both wrestling and boxing are traditional martial arts .
    Both proven effective and also both key influence in MMA.

  48. Any "traditional" martial art is fake if it's not pressure tested… I found that out right from my early teens with Judo, then amateur boxing during my military service in the Royal Navy, with many a nasty scrap ashore (and the blood, snot, broken limbs, you name it!!) and got into deep trouble discipline wise from my superiors! LOL! Tried out Karate and Wing Chun for a year, found them lacking, then back to Judo for a while, then tried out Tomiki aikido, which at first I thought was a bit naff, until I discovered it had a competition aspect similar to judo which was toshu randori shiai, which is great fun!! The "tanto" (rubber knife, now a sponge dildo) randori shiai stuff I never agreed with, so never did it… I openly said it to the hierarchy who ran the org I was in, with a few saying that I was too outspoken, but there you go!! You will always get the delusional idiots in every system!! One thankfully has a choice in the Tomiki system, as its open in some ways depending on the dojo!!…. On the other hand, it has its kata's based on the old style of Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu which is interesting as you can explore and study all the old forms, which DO work if applied with proper intent and is considered hardstyle compared to modern Aiki kai "aikido" which is really a health system DERIVED from a martial art!! (That was where poor Rokas went wrong, but it's not his fault!!)… After studying this system for 18 years, I went my own way and incorporated full resistance training using all that I learned & found was useful from the other arts by employing protective headgear and did my own version of "toshu randori", which included kicking & punching, joint techniques, both arm and leg, and newaza, (groundwork) with anyone who was willing to practice… I still taught the Tomiki system but added what I felt was necessary… A few people liked what I did, some coming from other martial arts, which was great!! Some stayed, some left, finding it too hard for their "tastes"… It all depends on what you as a person want to do it for, but on the whole, most are only interested in "martial arts" from a health POV……Now "self-defence" in the "deadly street"? …. Be prepared to use anything that goes, because if you don't, you WILL end up a cropper!! ….End of…. I'm now retired, but can still look after myself if needed!!…. THAT takes a certain kind of mindset…. Carry on chaps!!

  49. I know Akido practitioners that successfully use it in street situations. How do they do it, they are doormen. Nearly every night they need to use there skills to defend themselves and restrain people. Very quickly they make there Akido functional. This is true for all MA. Constant pressure testing will force you to make it functional.

  50. Another example of a traditional martial art that isn't fake full contact Shuai Jiao, which is basically Chinese wrestling. Most of the more successful Chinese fighters with CMA background tend to have Shuai Jiao as a their main background, which is because wrestling in general is a very effective martial art.

  51. Do you think krav maga boxing Muay Thai kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu is the only self-defense people should know or do you think karate taekwondo and kung fu cough be used as self-defense

  52. well to be real i have been doing JKD for like 2 years now and they regularly do sparring with each other using these techniques and they seem to work

    no compliant partner just 2 guys with the tools to go at it and some of the guys tend to bring there own spin on it if they've done other martial arts as well

    so i would say look into the places today that are doing it and ask to see a class and dont just assume that it's not viable

  53. Thank you for making this video. It is very enlightening insight on the difference between Modern, Traditional, and fantasy based martial arts.

  54. I'm great at fighting. I've destroyed thousands of opponents in video games therefore I must be really great at it in real life.

  55. My point is if you can't apply the Martial arts which you train for years, maybe you don't train it right. Just because you can't use it in real fight, that doesn't mean that the Martial arts you train is wrong. Maybe you haven't found the right metode of training or the right teacher to teach you the right technique, or maybe your teacher sees that you cannot advance to the next level so they didn't teach you the inner technique. In Chinese Wushu it would take years of observation to decide that you are worthy enough to be an inner disciple, based on character and talent. Same goes to Aikido and other traditional Martial arts. There are inner techniques that are to dangerous to be taught to ordinary student, because they could cause harm. So I advice you to look or study under real masters. Masters that you hardly found such as Master Chen Zhonghua from Chen Taichi, Saotome Sensei from Aikido, and many more. Then you can have a much better perspective to traditional Martial arts.

  56. Love your videos! -What are your thoughts on yoga? You showed footage in a previous video and it was mentioned briefly in one of your interviews. Please consider a video on the subject.

  57. I have a question for you rokas, I am a practitioner of judo and aikido and already had unfortunately the chance to use what I know, I will not give details, but it intrigues me to see you disbelieve aikido, I understand your doubts but I think you was very hasty to discredit, especially after his sparring. I do not understand what you expected because it was your first sparring in life, you had not developed reflexes or state under pressure as people who practice judo, you did not know what it was like. fight and and tried straight to face a mma fighter without knowing the basics of a fight, so any martial art would fail try to face a pro without ever having really fought, i believe that unlike many aikido may have served me due to my intense training of judo and being used to strong people struggling with me and due to the reflexes of judo sparring but i don't agree that aikido is not effective and I understood that after trying to hit a punch strong in my sensei's face and he uses an extremely painful kote to subdue me, but I believe that aikido in the hands of those who already have fighting reflexes and is accustomed to seeing blows becomes an effective art as I have already proven

  58. complete non sense to talk about fantasy while the ontological meaning of "martial arts" the arts of war or the arts of the warrior, meaning IT MUST BE MEANINGFUL IN WAR, since there is no FANTASY WAR…except video games
    that been said, there is only now Bullshit so called MA and combat sport or close combat sport or MMA whatever…the meaning of these sport is that they directly related to FIGHTING and HURTING PEOPLE in ORDER to SAVE YOUR OWN SORRY ASS for being at the wrong time in the wrong place,
    that been said, the so called TMA are indeed bullshit now a days why : FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT THEY DO NOT FIGHT !!! they put lots of rules that makes strictly non sense at all, example, no touch or point system in karate, lots of protective gears…no punch in some areas of the body (like the head for example…kyokushin…), at the end it is bullshit while the original art was definitely meant for being efficient in REAL FIGHTING…
    I feel sorry for all the people who are so called learning self defence but never got really punched in the face or really received a middle kick or low kick….all they learn is bullshit
    if people from these so called TMA were more involved into the MMA or stand up fighting competition it would be definitely different, but they make they own competitions full of of shitting rules…doesn't make any freaking sense…

  59. It all came from the west.. they all went to the Greek Olympics/ silk road/ exchange of culture.
    People of all countries came to compete it was HUGE!!

    If you look into what sort of fighting was done in the Olympics you soon get a real idea of why there are so many martial arts…

  60. If it calls itself a "martial" "art" but doesn't prepare you for combat sports let alone a fight let alone a war, it's a fake ""martial" "art""! Stop telling people to not call a spade a spade!

  61. Very nice exploration. I was once told that once the opponent comes inside the range of striking, Karate is no longer useful and the fight turns into a brawl. Isn't kumite supposed to serve the purpose of pressure testing in Karate? May be modern kumite stops short of what it was designed for?

  62. Totally agree 👍
    Fake or bulshido,
    Aikido saved my ass 2 years ago when 3 gypsys tried to rob me.
    I know,that Aikido for all YouTube and keyboard ninjas is fake ,but
    Works ?
    YES !
    AIKIDO DEFINITELY WORKS agaisnt regular street idiots !
    Against superhero mma fighters pumped with roids and another elements from the periodic table ?
    Probably not and here is the deference.
    When somebody say,,ohh,this martial arts sucks because against mma fighters this will never work "
    Ok.idiot,and how often you enter in a fight against experienced mma fighters in a day 🤣🤣🤣
    Me,NEVER !
    That's why all of the traditional martial arts are amazing and they definitely work.

  63. For all these people on the net that believe this or that martial art is real or fake you would think dojo and gyms would be overflowing with students.

    But no, the exact opposite is true…just full time online “fighting experts”.

  64. I guess people should really just practice was they enjoy. The reality is….reality is far different than competition, etc. I think most people get into the martial arts to learn self defense. But is what they learn actually applicable to self defense? Would you teach a 50 year old woman to spar? Is her attacker actually going to spar with her? Or is he going to move in and grab her? Should she respond by trying to punch him? Or should she drive her fingers/thumbs into his eyes? Does anyone spar in low lighting conditions? Or in an elevator? Or stairwell? Does anyone think a senior citizen is going to be effective at sparring an attacker?
    Much of what we see regarding competition/challenge matches is essentially ego based fighting…it's about stepping into a ring to prove yourself, etc. It all stems from our adolescent fear of being beaten up by a "bully". Women aren't concerned with such fears…they fear being raped and beaten/killed.

    And the sad reality is….your skills and ability fade as you age. Take whatever fighter you consider the greatest/best and consider how you think at the age of 60 they would compare with the current champion? The answer is they would be destroyed very quickly.

  65. Excellent video. Forms are good for passing down technique. From there each person must figure out what works for them, alter those techniques according to suit them, and pressure test extensively. Every technique has to be cultivated the way any good athlete practices a skill, against increasing resistance as fitness and readiness increases. Many people want to be fancy, but the basic techniques of any system are almost always the most important. The system should fit your body type, temperament, and your goals.

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