Common Misconceptions of Martial Arts
Saturday, 27 March 2010 00:00
1. Belt ranking in Martial Arts
Most people are familiar with the awarding of belts for those that practice the martial arts. What causes some confusion is that martial arts schools do not follow the same color promotion from white belt to black belt.
There are belts that recognize some practitioners as masters. For example, a red belt signifying mastery level. Once someone attains a black belt there are different degrees or levels such as second degree or third degree black belt. Fifth degree or higher normally means the martial artist is considered to be a master in their particular art form.
Testing for belt promotion is based on a series of skills that a student must demonstrate in front of their sensei (teacher) and other class members. All martial arts schools do not use the same testing guidelines. That’s why a good white belt can sometimes be better than a weak black belt. Not very likely, but sometimes it happens.
2. Martial Arts training makes people violent
Some people also believe that martial arts promote fighting and aggressive behavior. This simply isn't true. The longer someone practices martial arts the less likely that they will become involved with fights.
While there are exceptions, the vast majority of martial artists are very peaceful. They have learned that it’s better to resolve differences diplomatically. Dedicated martial artists develop calmness, confidence, discipline, and the ability to avoid unnecessary conflict.
3. Women can't do Martial Arts
Another prevalent misconception is that women trained in the martial arts can't defend themselves against an average man. If a woman has adequate training in any martial art she can certainly prevent an attacker from harming her. A woman that, for example, practices Karate or Aikido surely has the element of surprise in her favor.
Women also have enough strength to discourage an assailant. She would use a focused counterattack and then get away from her stunned attacker. In an attack, a woman trained to defend herself must not hesitate to strike pressure points, bones, or organs of her assailant with focused techniques. There are many female martial artists that have the skill to stop a sustained attack.
There is a popular saying that reminds us, "Never underestimate your opponent or anyone."
4. Those moves aren't real
When someone that hasn't trained martial arts views a movie showing a trained karate expert fighting multiple opponents, they sometimes believe it’s impossible and just for entertainment. Fighting more than one opponent is certainly a higher level of martial arts training.
The highly skilled martial artist is trained to stop the first immediate threat before engaging a second or third attacker. He or she is using timing, speed, and efficient movement. Multiple attackers actually get in the way of each other. The well-trained martial artist takes advantage of such confused attacks, which often include an element of overconfidence on the part of the aggressors.
All blocks and counters used by the single defender against superior numbers must be done crisply or with focused techniques. In this way, an expert martial artist can escape unharmed from multiple attackers.