Monday, March 16, 2009

What if...

Photo courtesy of Jacek Becela
A hypothetical and a handful of questions for my dear readers...  What if the world were to go down the toilet all at once - catastrophic, holocaustic, end of the world as we know it type scenario.  The folks that remain alive congregate into tribes and clans and extended families and you, as the martial arts expert, end up as your tribe's guru.
What part of your art is most rapidly teachable and imminently functional?
What would your art be like if you disposed of everything but this one most useful thing?
Why do you teach/practice all the other stuff now?
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  1. depends on the use needed. Are there traveling bands of mutants and zombies? Is it just my tribe trying to create a peaceful utopia?

    Wing Chun was created as a system of Kung Fu that could be quickly taught to get people fighting fast. Something like that might be step one. Strip whatever you are doing to three moves.

  2. I think the quickest to translate would be the aiki brushoff if i HAD to pick one thing.

    Aikido would be much more evasive without holds or throws or anything that would "end" the encounter but given timing and space an aikidoka could theoretically keep off a single person or group of opponents off them for a long time untill the aikidoka was able to get away.

    The rest of the things i learn at the dojo just help me better accomidate the "what ifs".

  3. 1.Farming
    2. weapons
    3.first aid

  4. If the world falls apart, those few people who believe in the fantasy of "practical unarmed self-defense" will receive a painful reality check.

    The martial arts I have studied are systems of interdependence. No single aspect of them is particularly worth learning in isolation, much less rushing through quickly on the brink of a global holocaust.

    All that aside and to answer your question, I would teach standing meditation--as preventative medicine, and NOT as a martial art.

  5. I know how to hit somebody with a stick!

  6. This is very interesting. After class last week, a student started a discussion about preparing for that type of disaster. He went through the "What if's". The conversation quickly turned to farming and the availability of seeds.

  7. Strange: you know, your response is really interesting in a couple of ways. I've wondered where the preoccupation with mutants and zombies has come from and how it has worked its way into our collective unconscious. Sure, the movies like 28 days later are cool and scary, but how did we get to a point where people consider (even half-seriously and in passing) how to defend themselves agaist waves of undead?

    Andy, I agree that the aiki brushoff is probably the easiest-to-teach and most foundational part of what we do - but the problem with it is it doesn't stop any sort of conflicts. But then, you might reasonably build a real, practical clan-fighting system off of that aiki instinct... interesting.

    DR, Chris, Rick, I didn't necessarily say 'unarmed' I agree with Rick that stick whacking is pretty quick and easy to teach and practical. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of quickly teachable and ultimately practical in such a scenario is the Bram Frank CSSD Modular knife stuff.

    I agree that farming and first aid would be immediate concerns.

    Michele, Regarding seed availability - it's hard to imagine seed availability becoming a problem (at least where I live) but I did read (maybe in National Geo) a while back about some Nordic scientists preserving tons of plant seeds in a lab under the permafrost in case of some terrible global catastrophe. I thought that was cool. I wonder how many growing seasons it would take to propogate corn (for instance) around the world from a lab in Scandinavia.

  8. As it is, I keep my white oak bokken in the closet by the door.

  9. I guess really the question is, what is the threat? Saber tooth tigers? Other people? Armies of other people? Boredom? Laziness?

    What are the conditions? Does the new world dictate carrying weapons? Do people have time to train? Is there a warrior class? Are you training warriors, police or common folk?

    Some fodder for thought.


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