Are you a martial artist? Because I am sincerely questioning how many actual martial artists I know. This stems from how quickly I see people who do martial arts glomming onto anything that comes along and promises to make martial arts better because, apparently, martial arts training is deeply flawed...or something.
Examples of this mentality abound.
For instance, as the new year approaches, I see the martial arts community is now back to embracing yoga as a panacea for improving fighting prowess.
Another fad to save us from ourselves.
This happens all the time, too.
Let's see if I can recall this in approximate order:
First, we just did martial arts to get better at martial arts. Crazy, I know. That lasted for a while.
Then we added long slow distance running to supplement our fitness.
Someone said that was stupid, so we all switched to HIIT until Tabata came along; then we did Tabata everything.
But we all got weak, so we started taking advice from powerlifters and CrossFitters about how to get jacked and tanned.
It didn't take long, though, until we all became stiff and robotic from being swole, so we started crawling around on the ground and turned "movement" into a movement.
Which very quickly pointed out how out of shape we all were for anything even remotely challenging to our collective ranges of motion, so yoga for martial artists is now blossoming.
Again, I should add; yoga had a moment in the sun with martial arts not too many years ago. That was mostly because nobody knew how to train properly and everyone was injured, so yoga seemed like a good way to recover...or something.
Every single time one of these other sports or hobbies shows up to make martial arts "better" I just laugh. One more gimmick to exploit an already easy to exploit group of people: martial artists, who will buy anything if it will make them into Bruce Lee without having to do all the Bruce Lee stuff, like studying and training and practicing and sparring their chosen arts.
Can we stop doing that? Because the world needs martial arts and it also needs legitimate martial artists.
Let's make 2018 the Year of the Martial Artist.
Instead of all these asinine attempts at making martial arts better by adding yoga (it won't), powerlifting (not for the reasons you think), and cardio (which your art should already provide), let's remember that martial arts provide almost everything if you train them right.
Reputable arts are already systems of fitness and health; there is more to them than we are giving them credit for and it is opening us all up to market exploitation at the hands of frauds and charlatans.
All those yogis and lifters and runners and whatever else should be begging us to train them, not the other way around.
Martial arts training is a life skill. Stop trying to legitimize it by adding other modalities that offer nothing meaningful to the art.
Ask yourself a question:
Would you rather be a martial artist who powerlifts or a powerlifter who does martial arts?
Would you rather be a martial artists who does yoga or a yogi who does martial arts?
Would you rather be a martial artist who does CrossFit or a CrossFitter who does martial arts?
Would you rather be a martial artist who does running or a runner who does martial arts?
Because everyone knows someone who "did some martial arts" at one time or another, but very few of us know true martial artists. There is definitely a difference.
Personally, I am a martial artist first and foremost; everyone who knows me, trains with me, spars with me or works with me knows this.
Who are you?