Martial Arts has evolved in the United States over the last five decades at a tremendous rate.
Americans have a tendency to analyse everything; every person, every product, every idea, and every philosophy. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that unlike many Asian martial artists, American martial artists began questioning the application of traditional techniques as they applied to self-defense as it was needed in America, defending oneself against an American "street fighter," as the term which was adopted.
In 1971, I opened my first martial art school in Ft. Collins, Colorado. While I had been involved in traditional Martial Arts Kajukenbo, American Kenpo, T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Kenjitsu for over 11 years at that point I was focused on how the average citizen could defend themselves in real criminal assaults.
My Mission became designing a martial art suitable for Mr. and Mrs. Married with Children, the children, grandparents and a physically challenged family member. I questioned how average citizens with normal jobs, activities and volunteer community work could have a first aid skill for facing violent crime.
The answer lies in context of the problem of violent crime. The problem of surviving violence and violent crime does not lie in the tournament ring, the forms arena or even the MMA ring but in the Context of a Criminal Event. Therefore, I began studying four areas of Criminology. First, the legal definitions of what constitutes a crime not just a testosterone triggered, ego involved fight. I studied the legal aspects of self-defense and the legal definitions of specific types of crimes. Second, I studied criminal behaviors. By understanding certain criminal behaviors associated with specific types of crimes help to understand the nature of the level of violence one might be facing and design strategies that work against such behaviors from avoidance to tactical design in the physical engagement. Thirdly, I studied crime statistics. Statistics with a particular type of crime directs one to choose one action over that of another action. This is especially true if a statistic indicates there is a clear benefit of taking one action over that of the other. Fourth, is the study of specific crime cases. By studying crime cases and discovering what worked and what failed provides tactics (physical skills) for responding in the future to similar attacks. Tactics (skills) come from what worked no matter how crude or spontaneously contrived Vs. what someone tried to do and it failed. Most importantly is not only the tactics but the strategy or plan of actions which contributed to the success of the physical efforts.
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