Traditional martial disciplines are among the most misunderstood by the modern public. Storefront schools lined full of screaming participants or organizations “testing” dozens simultaneously for black belts are NOT traditional schools. Rather, those are the result of the modern American marketing system, driven particularly towards children and having exceptional success in the 1980’s. In fact, the familiar “belt system” is irrelevant in virtually every true traditional discipline. For example, traditional Chinese martial arts possess only three ranks: Student, Disciple, and Master. In Siam, (Thailand) 16th century warriors were not agonizing over titles, and similarly, the Samurai concerned themselves with survival not belt tests. Thus, traditional martial disciplines are the ones established often centuries ago, by actual warriors. Their “ring” was the battlefield, their “training center” the mountains, and their “coach” the master. Victory was not a matter of points, the judges’ decision, or a TKO.
Victory was simple... survive and prevail. The warrior then returned, unadorned by titles, to the farm or the barracks, back to the family he defended, the ruler he protected, or the creed he vowed to preserve. Virtually every region has a traditional fighting system; however most have been lost to invasion, subjugation, and illiteracy. What remains are the arts generally no older than the Middle Ages, with few exceptions (Kalaripayattu 6th century A.D. India). Popular styles that specialize in preserving traditional warrior concepts include Karate (Okinawan and Goju-ryu), gung fu (Hung-Gar, Choy le fut, 7 Star Mantis, etc.), Lerdrit, Jujutsu, Hapkido, Hwa Rang Do, Iaido, Lua, Silat, Kali, and hundreds of others.
- At UNITED COMBAT ARTS we offer traditional training in the most truly traditional sense: preparation for overcoming violence. Our traditional classes can utilize forms and katas, or certain sections of them, but they will NEVER be the focus. Rather, developing and functionalizing martial skill through drills (which can include two man forms) is ALWAYS the focus. In short, this is NOT a form collecting school; students advance through functional skill.
Recommended Read: Living the Martial Way: A Manual for the Way a Modern Warrior Should Think by Forrest E. Morgan