The Vision of Martial Arts

A great discussion this morning with one of my students about the vision of martial arts. 

Let’s take Krav Maga as an example.  It is arguably the most practiced self defense system in the world.  Its goal (its vision) is to be the best self defense system – period.  Taking people that are beginners and within 6 months to a year providing them with an arsenal of self defense skills is doable in Krav Maga.  With that vision, it clearly spread globally and is practiced all over the world. 

One more example: BJJ.  Clearly BJJ’s goal is to be the best and most formidable grappling art on the planet.  It constantly evolves to be better than the previous version which is why we see gi, no-gi, the addition of leg locks, to today the focus on getting better and better with stand up.  It’s vision is clear!  We strive to be the best grapplers – period. 

What about other martial arts?  Do they still have a vision that makes them relevant today in 2021?  I think all heads of organizations and schools need to answer this simple question to grow their art and keep it alive and relevant to today’s consumers: My art’s vision and purpose is to be the best at (fill in the blank). 

I’ve seen too many arts die, not modernize, stay the same and not evolve, and as a life long martial artist that is sad.  Let’s face it, Ford has been around from the beginning because it adapted and changed as needed.  If it did not adapt, I doubt it would have survived.  Martial arts are no different.

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