Monday, February 23, 2009

Defending The Masters

Recently I was on YouTube watching some vintage videos of some matches fought by Joe Lewis, Bill "Superfoot" Wallace and Chuck Norris. Anyone that's followed martial arts for even a week knows that these 3 guys are amongst the most revered and respected people to ever put on a gi. I observed a kickboxing match between Lewis and Wallace, which was interesting because they were 2 of the greatest fighters that ever lived in the same ring (think Ali vs Frazier), and also because they were both in their 40's and in EXCELLENT condition, giving us normal people something to look forward to if we are as diligent in our training as they were.

What surprised me is some of the comments that were left by viewers on a video of a Joe Lewis point fighting match. To paraphrase, a few viewers were highly criticizing the "sloppy" techniques of these "so-called masters," and that they were basically overhyped by Black Belt Magazine and other martial arts media. One viewer in particular felt disgusted because Lewis wasn't doing anything particularly fancy and just "slapping around."

Well, I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no matter how "right" or "wrong" they may be, but this "new school" martial artist is about to defend the "old school" guys. In fact, I can do so in one sentence:

Fights (real fights, point fights, boxing matches, etc.) weren't meant to be pretty.

Granted, the match that the viewers left their negative comments on had some ugly techniques performed by both combatants, the last time I checked there aren't any points given for a pretty round kick to the head or a picture-perfect Ali-type jab--of course, unless you're in a kata competition, and katas weren't originally designed to be pretty (That's another topic for a future post I guess). Watch any fight--in or out the ring--and see how ugly they get. To quote Iain Abernathy (check my "Recommended Reading" link for some great titles by him), "Real fights are sloppy affairs." Anyone with sparring experience knows this applies to any type of fighting.

Meanwhile, I'd like to the effectiveness of those "pretty" techniques apparently possessed by those viewers.

1 comment:

Rev. Wind said...

niiiice, White Tiger!!!