In my last post, The Science Behind Kiai, I promised to share with the mindset necessary when attempting to use science to explain practice in the martial arts. Here is the extract from my conclusion in The Science Behind Fighting Techniques:
What mindset or attitude should we adopt when attempting to use science to explain techniques? You may be horrified to know that I am about to refer to the Australian Auditing Standards (ASA) to answer that question. ASA 200 requires an auditor to adopt an attitude of ‘professional scepticism.’ Professional scepticism is defined in the Auditing Standards as ‘an attitude that includes a questioning mind, being alert to conditions which may indicate possible misstatement due to error or fraud, and a critical assessment of audit evidence.’ Professional scepticism is fundamentally a mindset. A sceptical mindset drives auditor behaviour to adopt a questioning approach when considering information and in forming conclusions.Scepticism and questioning are not generally encouraged in the martial arts, however, we must adopt that mindset and approach when attempting to use science to explain practice. This is no better explempified then my ‘so what’ questions of the science currently used in martial arts and biomechanical texts to explain punching and kicking techniques (see chapter 10). That questioning led me to injury science which provides the foundation for understanding all punching and kicking techniques taught by all activities associated with preparing a person to engage in a violent encounter (see chapter one) and those used in violence generally. This questioning approach also led me to question the injury science transfer of energy explanation of injury causation (see chapter nine) which in turn led me back to mechanical force (see chapters four and nine). This then enabled me to better understand the science behind breakfalling techniques (see chapter 12). However, there is a risk that adopting a sceptical mindset and questioning approach when considering the science behind fighting techniques and forming conclusions thereon might lead to the heretical adoption of the same mindset and approach to the how-to instruction. Although that scepticism and questioning would be based on a growing body of knowledge associated with why a martial arts technique works, which this book is designed to contribute to.
Any feedback gratefully received.