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And the Best Martial Art is?

When I was asked to add something to the forum, Tee's only limits were to not knock other martial arts and say, "Mine is the best". I understand why he would not want the forum to degenerate into a verbal brawl, with attacks being made from all sides. But since I have firm opinions on what makes "the best" martial art, I'll ignore his suggestion and state the following:

THE BEST MARTIAL ART is: Yours. Whichever art you follow, practice diligently, and improve your skill in class and that enables you to have a better life and hold your head high. That is the "best" martial art.

By definition we are all different. Of course, I am perfect and everyone else is different, but that is only my opinion. You may be taller, shorter, older or younger, have faster or slower reflexes or weigh more or less than me. But they are different. And that is just the physical aspect, ignoring for the moment mental and psychological differences.

Each martial art has techniques that favor one body type over another. A 6'6" 160 pounder wouldn't do well in sumo. A short heavy guy would have more difficulty than others doing aerial kicks in Tae Kwon Do.

Consider the mental aspects: Aikido stresses blending with an attacker, with no intent to harm them. Tae Kwon Do, Shotokan and other train to end a conflict quickly thru overwhelming force. How would you feel if you injured or killed an attacker? Me, if they attacked me any injuries that they may earn leaves me with a clear conscience. Others might not be so cavalier.

Given these differences in physical and mental attributes, how can any one martial art be "the best"? Most of us train under arts ending in "do" which translates to "way" or "path". As long as we are all moving along a path to a higher being or a better and more complete person, does it matter who is on a certain path but going in the same direction should be reason to rejoice not a reason to condemn those on a different path.

Martial arts is a journey, not the destination.

Brian Jacobs
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Revised Last 1/109/08