You begin knowing almost nothing when you start to train. Maybe you have been in a fight, maybe you just love the idea of the martial arts. Either way, you show up to gain something that you don’t have.
If you train in classical martial arts, you will begin to ask yourself, “Does this stuff really work?” after you reach a certain level of proficiency.
The good news is that those two questions can be a fantastic tool for ratcheting up your abilities quickly if you let them.
Having read several books by Rory Miller, and having trained with him in person at BuYu camp last year, I have pushed our training in a direction that emphasizes using what we already know to prevail in a fight. It really cleaned up my knowledge of classical martial arts and weeded out some bad habits that I have picked up over the years. We will pursue this path in the future, but I couldn’t help but notice that I ended up in situations that I handled badly, even though I prevailed. At that point, I began to wonder if there isn’t a better way… You see where this is going, right?
I believe that it is important for any student of conflict to steer away from the extremes of martial art zealotry (blind faith) and brute force combative methods (experience based knowledge). When the balance shifts too far one way or another it is time to re-center yourself between what you already know and what you can be taught.