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Opinion: Michael Jai White on Traditional Martial Arts

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Martial arts today often emphasizes demonstrations of the most high flying, acrobatic techniques one can display. The martial arts film industry seems to largely favor high flying techniques over the basics. Even martial arts schools themselves often promote learning visually impressive techniques over the basics and philosophy of the art.

Michael Jai White brings the hammer down on that idea, essentially outlining that martial arts is much more than athletic prowess and technique. Traditional martial arts had an element that is not often incorporated into martial arts schools today, and MJW addresses that element below: toughness vs. athleticism.

And I agree; toughness is a critical aspect as a martial artist, as it should be in all aspects of life, because sometimes you simply don't have a choice. Read below and share your thoughts!

"I wish you youngsters knew what Martial Arts were meant for. I wish you knew your history. Traditional Martial Arts were tantamount to a paramilitary force.

In fact, at one time it was about fighting for ones very existence and required the same discipline and determination you might see in the elite forces of today. The training was even harder! It was impossible for most people to even achieve a Black Belt. Imagine now, if you will, a 10yr old Army Captain, a 20yr old General? That's the same as a 10yr old Black Belt and a 20yr old 5th dan. Ridiculous! 

Fighting is not just a measure of skill but a measure of toughness. How to overcome pain and overcome yourself. Imagine these gymnastic tricksters fighting bare knuckle against fighters who've lost teeth? When martial arts became a business it became something else! Look at Chuck Norris, Bill Wallace, Bruce Lee, Mike Stone, Gene Labell. Do you see the elite power, generalship, and fortitude?

It's not you young people's fault when you don't know any better, but you have to know the difference between a Navy Seal and a Security Guard! There's a reason why there are FAR MORE security guards than Seals. You must honestly ask yourselves which one you are more similar to."

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