Today, there are many fantastic reasons for doing the martial arts but when I first started training in the mid ’70’s, my thinking was (and I speak on behalf of the many others around me at that time), that if you got into a fight your martial arts should get you out of trouble. We now know that is not always true. Most of the blame could be attributed to Hollywood which always showed the good guy using a side kick or a jumping spinning heel kick to beat up his opponents. This is what started all the martial arts craze, everybody wanted to be like Bruce Lee (for those who do not know him, he was a mega martial arts movie star and he was also a super martial artist before his time, in the early 70’s). It took many years before we all realised martial arts alone is not going to get us out of trouble because there’s more to than just perfecting that reverse punch and kata.
In the mid ‘80’s, like Hanshi Tino Ceberano, I started to research and bring reality based Jiu Jitsu into our schools. I also looked at Thai Boxing for good measure just in case things got pretty ugly out there. Finally, the introduction of Reality Based Self Defence and MMA, I can finally say this is what I wish we had in the ‘70’s. Today, our students are extremely lucky to have this type of training available to them. One does not have to learn everything but if you want to defend against a ground fighter you should do a bit of ground fighting, if you want to defend against a kickboxer, then you should do a bit of kickboxing etc. At the end of the day if you are confronted, don’t let the fight start, you must end it before it starts. Our reality based self defence teaches all aspects of handling these type of confrontations should they arise. How you perform will be based on how well trained you are. However, if the fight does start and you end up in the middle of the battlefield, you have your back-up artillery (ie your martial arts skills) to give you the best possible chance of survival.