This weekend, I overheard a local martial arts guru discuss with a kind man the difference between the martial art he studied and the one I study.
I shrugged my shoulders,
"Hmm, yes maybe you're right... How about this then, I propose a go with a weapon of your choice... wood of course."
"Won't happen. Your style is too focused on form and what I do is based on realistic situations of today."
Without eye contact, he went on to explain how he respected the traditional elements of what I teach, but it wasn't a valuable model of self defense in today's world. In attempt to win over his crowd he joked,
"Out there," pointing to a window, "you don't bow to someone who wants to kill you!" Oddly, there was no laugh.
I patiently said, "OK, you use whatever weapon you want. I will have none. We can go at whatever speed you think best. I won't grapple, I won't strike."He was now chuckling in company of straight faces.
"Not today." He walked away with his students in tow.
After a few seconds I told the man who asked the question, "There's the difference."
He thought my response was interesting and asked, "So you're 'that' confident that you could defeat him?"
"No. It's when I saw a man talking about something he knew nothing about, that it would be simple to make him defeat 'himself' and help you to see the difference for 'yourself'."
Director of the Jinenkan Kosei Gogi Dojo, and personal student of Manaka Unsui.