Sunday, March 12, 2017

Knowing the Difference

Many people, probably most, don't know the difference between the different martial arts. They use Karate or Taekwondo as generic terms for martial arts, but they aren't. Well, about one hundred years ago in Japan they used the term karate for empty hand fighting, ie. no weapons. Today are specific to those styles and often those aren't what people are looking for when they think of martial arts training. They think of this old heritage their school is connected to that connects back to samurai warriors of old. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

I was in this same boat when I was a child and I wanted to learn Karate. I didn't know the differences, I just wanted to learn martial arts, so I went to the nearest Karate school to me. I didn't understand that the school was several generations removed from it's Asian roots. This is too often the case. Students sign up at a school without doing much research into the school's history, they take it for face value that surely it must be connected to some old heritage. This is not always, in fact it's very rarely, the case. Sometimes the very ancient art they think they are practicing was actually created by someone in someplace like Idaho Falls and has not real connection to China or Japan.

Now, if this doesn't bother you, then it really doesn't matter. If there are other factors more important to making your decision in finding a school, stick with those. This is your journey. For me, I wanted something old, like really super old, because I knew the older schools were used in actual combat and had to be proven on the battlefield. That was what I was after. That is why as a teenager I started training in the Bujinkan, because it has that connection to history. It has a martial heritage of an unbroken chain of being passed down from generation to generation, teaching what works and ignoring what doesn't. I can't begin to even just summarize the vitally important things I learned training in this art instead of the other arts I trained in and explored such as Karate, Judo, Jujutsu, Taekwondo, Aikido, and GR Wrestling. Many of my students come to our dojo with black belts in other arts and are dumbfounded by the depth of training they were missing out in before. Some even get a bit angry and felt they were misled by their other style or school. They need not be angry, it was just a part of their path they needed to take to get here.

Come experience the difference first hand. We are located in Meridian, Idaho. Our school is very close to Boise, Idaho. If you are looking for a martial art in Boise or the surrounding areas, if you are thinking about Karate or Taekwondo, consider adding our dojo to your list to explore.