Martial arts are not to be misunderstood as practices of certain styles or fancy movements. In general, 'art' is simply 'the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination' (Oxford Dictionary). In particular, 'martial arts [...] is an unrestricted athletic expression of an individual soul' (Bruce Lee). So by definition, martial arts allow a wide range of interpretations, purposes, practices, and applications. In any way, even the most practical one, expressing oneself is the key to success. In a fighting scenario, it is crucial to be free of default mechanisms. Instead of being mentally bound, one should learn to express oneself spontaneously and adequately to the situational requirements. There is no time for conscious processing, no time for decisions; just do what you feel must be done... just express yourself!
Training and Abilities
So, as you see, it is essential to train this 'feeling' for the situation, through conceptional rather than technical training. The more practical and applicable the martial art aims to be, the more conceptual the training should be. Martial arts practices that focus on specific purposes can be completely technical (and strategical for martial sports), whereas good reality-based training cannot be purely technical but requires also conceptual aspects which are not restricted by styles or traditions. Self defence training, in particular, needs additionally to address strategic and mental aspects. Self defence is much more than having the technical and physical skills to fight through various situations. It must aim at increasing awareness and knowledge of how to navigate through pre-combat phases before the actual physical escalation. Moreover, it requires mental abilities to deal with psychological pressure and the readiness to potentially do harm to another person during the process of self defence, which is for most of us the biggest obstacle. This is because most of us are good people. However, this does not make us survive a self defence situation.
Background and Experience
My practical background in martial arts includes multiple traditional and modern, eastern and western styles (most important: Kickboxing, Systema, Judo, Krav Maga, Modern Urban Combat Tactics). The key systems with the biggest influence on my personal way of fighting are Practical Wing Chun (Chinese boxing) and Senshido (Canadian self defence). I travelled to six different Asian countries for a total of twelve months and was personally trained and certified by grandmaster Wan Kam Leung in Hong Kong, 2013 and 2019. One of my best experiences was in 2010 when I was invited by the head of Chokushin-juku in Japan, after some exchange of skills, to join an Aikido Dan class (black belts only).. without having a single belt in Aikido.
Since 2021, I live in Taipei, a gem in Asia when it comes to internal martial arts. There are plenty of public parks where individuals or training groups practice martial arts, especially various forms of Taiji, Xingyiquan, and Bagua. For more information about my current activities, you may contact me.
Dr. Philip X. Fuchs, PhD No 162, Sec 1, Heping East Rd, Da'an, 106 Taipei, Taiwan firstname.lastname@example.org +886 (0)933 073162