Tuesday, September 24, 2019

In response to a comment on post questioning when teaching martial arts became not enough

My previous post was regarding the focus, marketing driven, on fitness when teaching martial arts: 'When did teaching martial arts become not enough?' That focus is exemplified for me with the rebranding of my old school by its new principals from Jan de Jong Self Defence School to Jan de Jong Martial Arts Fitness.

I am pleased to say that my post attracted a comment from a knowledgeable and thoughtful student of the martial arts. They referred to Kano's Kodokan Judo, a text that needs to be studied rather than just read. Kano was a man and martial artists far ahead of his times, as I demonstrate in my The Science Behind All Fighting Techniques.

The second chapter of Kodokan Judo is titled: 'Principles and Aims of Kodokan Judo.' The first section is titled: 'Judo as Physical Education.'

What has to be understood is that Kano was on a rescue mission when he developed Kodokan Judo. He studied traditional forms of jujutsu and despaired at the decreasing number of students studying jujutsu. Jujutsu was a Japanese cultural institution that was in danger of being lost to the Japanese people so Kano developed Kodokan Judo to appeal to the Japanese people in order to be a vehicle for them to then become interested in studying the traditional jujutsu.

One of the main marketing strategies that Kano adopted was to turn the traditional fighting art of jujutsu into a sport, and, a form of physical education. These were marketing strategies to generate interest by the current generation of Japanese so that they would then go on to study traditional jujutsu, the traditional cultural icon of the Japanese.

Those martial arts schools today who rebadge, rebrand, or focus on physical education, physical fitness, do not have such noble motives. It is purely a cynical marketing exercise to attract new students who are not necessarily interested in studying martial arts per se.

I will leave you with a comment that I received from a grand child of de Jong regarding this matter: 'I recall someone speaking of a conversation they had with my grand father who had come from another martial arts school and asked “why don’t you condition your fighters” and his response was something to the effect of “why would I condition my students when the intention is for the fight to go for the shortest time possible.”' De Jong to a T.

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