Kaizen (kai_zen) wrote,

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Martial Artist

I study all martial arts. Right now I am training 7 Star praying mantis and for Sanshou competition. I'd like to do some grappling again soon as well.

There are benefits in the realms of health & vitality, self discipline/personal drive, self-confidence, mental alertness, and the capacity to defend one's self (or others) from attackers. There are definitely many more, and could be said in more detail.

As far as the advantages and disadvantages of both styles, as they pertain to actual real world combat:

The advantages of the 7 star mantis style (that I can say so far) are: The Sifu/Sigung has been around for a long time, and is very well known an respected, so he definitely knows the art in and out; The art does not discount, and puts into use, brutal techniques like eye gouges, groin kicks, straight knee kicks, etc; Praying mantis makes very good use of trapping, hooking, and grabbing hands, as well as elbows. The hand work can easily be translated into grappling or chin-na techniques; the style uses a variety of strikes and is very versatile.

The disadvantages (that I can see so far) are: The style contains some difficult movements and requires leg stability that most people, even many athletes and martial artists do not possess. It takes lots of time to put the techniques into practical use; Though most kung fu styles use some "Chin-na, " they tend to ignore fighting on the ground. most say that it would be easy to gouge an eye or bite or whatever needed to be done at that point, however, I have yet to see it practiced; Containing so many brutal techniques, the style is difficult to test for practical purposes, in a high speed, high intensity situation, without someone getting severely injured, so most practice must be done slowly, progressing to higher speeds after years of practicing slowly... this leaves student unprepared for what they might face in the world of high speed, aggressive fighting, especially in matters of distance and timing.

The advantages of Sanshou (that I can see so far) are: The competition is fierce, and full force, which allows for one to see how strikes work in real time, and practice/get a feel for fighting rhythms, distance, timings, openings, feints, parries, etc; The allowing of throws, sweeps, etc. causes one not to overextend him/herself like in other striking sports like boxing/kickboxing, which is advantageous in actual combat; My Sanshou sifu bases his style off of JKD, which is very effective for throwing common strikes faster and more efficiently than is practiced in some other styles; The style and training is put to the test quickly, and at max ballistic exertion, therefore is able to be used practically in a short period of time.

The disadvantages of Sanshou (that I can see so far) are: The training is specified for Sanshou competition, which is advantageous for fighting in Sanshou matches, but for real world combat, discounts many techniques like hair pulling, eye gouging, throat strikes/grabbing, clawing, biting, groin strikes, knee/arm breaks, etc; The high intensity and hardness of the style increase the chances for injury.

There are others that I have trained in: wing chun, judo, jiu jitsu, wrestling, that have had their advantages and disadvantages. Wing Chun = Very good for hand techniques, not good for kicks and maneuverability/balance. Judo/Jiu Jitsu, great for throws and learning how to take your opponent off their balance; good for chokes, joint locks/breaks; Not good for striking or defending against strikes. Wrestling, great for takedowns and being comfortable on the ground; not good for strikes or defending against them, or for other more brutal techniques on the ground.

For more information on any of them, you can look them up on google, and form your own opinions for yourself.

As we all progress in our practice and studies, it's important to shape your training for what you intend to accomplish out of it.
Do you want to do traditional forms, wushu, win mma, boxing or kickboxing competitions, be able to do crazy flips and kicks, be able to defend yourself from armed/unarmed attackers or groups of attackers with real intent to harm or kill you, something else? or maybe all of it...?

we should continue to specialize our training to fit our goals as martial artists.

As far as a superior art... to believe in, or argue about what art is superior is a not smart. It's a question with no answer, a wild goose chase, a road that goes nowhere.
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