Jul 242011

Yeah I know, this kind of thing has been done to death, but every time I turn a round I have someone repeating one of these jewels of martial wisdom. Oddly enough, these myths (normally spawned from an ’80’s martial arts flick) are normally repeated by high ranking black belts!

6. The Gi (Martial arts training uniform) was based on traditional japanese samurai clothing.
Yeah, I wish. At some point all of us non-Japanese Americans need to realize YOU ARE NOT AND CAN NOT BE A SAMURAI. Sorry, I don’t care if Tom Cruse did it in a move. Kano (founder of judo) decided that tearing each other’s clothing apart wasn’t a good idea, so adoped the jackets worn by japanese firefighters called hanten. These tended to be heavy cotton and could be soaked to help deal with heat. Yeah I know, wearing cotton to deal with fires, well, you use what you have. You’ve got an oven mitt don’t you? Naturally they adapted the hanten to fit their needs better, but as you can tell from the picture (view from the back) it looks like a martial arts uniform to me! Now unless the samurai spent a lot of their time being firefighters, and I’m not saying no one did, it’s really not samurai garb.

5. You can kill a man by hitting him in the nose and jambing it up into his brain.
Don’t get me wrong, you very well might die if you managed to shove someone’s nose, or any other body part into their brain. However, there is no angle you can hit to make this happen. You would have to cave their skull in before you had a chance to shift their nose towards the brain, and your opponent is likely already dead, or on his way there.

4. You can stick your fingers into your opponent’s eye and into his brain.
Sorry to be stuck on ugly things like this, but really, has anyone ever seen a human skull? The sockets that the eyes sit in do not connect to the inside of the skull except for a really tiny hole that the optic nerve runs through to the brain.

3. The black belt in martial arts came from ancient times when the blood and dirt of training staining a fighter’s belt until it turned black.
No, Kano (founder of judo again. Thank you sir!) decided if the teacher wore a different color belt then the rest of the class it would be easier to identify him, oh yeah, and this started in 1886, which was six years after the light bulb was invented and the first pay phone was installed (very ancient) . The other colors of rank came from one of his students, Mikonosuke Kawaishi, in 1935. Yes, we had aircraft carriers, submarines and cars were common. Heh
2. Neck breaks are the ultimate killing techniques. If you know a neck break you can easily kill a man.
Well maybe you know one, but as a general rule of thumb, the majority of these methods require a surprise attack from behind Neck breaking techniques are best implemented by a very strong man versus a much weaker adversary who is struggling helplessly, otherwise they are extremely difficult to perform. Neck snaps are typically a “finishing move” used on a fallen opponent who is either unconscious or too exhausted to defend himself, hence, they have no reasonable application to the study of self-defense. In our country, performing a finishing move on a helpless individual is known as “murder,” and carries stiff penalties. And chunking a passed out man with a rock is still easier to do.

1 .The Shaolin Temple is the source of all martial arts.
China had been doing martial arts for some time. It was a cultural thing, but until 1517 A.D., there is no record of martial arts being practiced there, despite there are plenty of people who mentioned the temple in their writings before that point. Now there are plenty of records from the Ming dynasty that tell of Shaolin’s monks doing cool stuff, but Jiu Jitsu and Ken Jitsu among others were already being practiced in Japan at this time. Now all you Kung fu people out there, I am not saying China wasn’t the cultural seat of the area, and most likely most martial arts were flavored by Chinese influence, I am just saying there is no proof that it started everything!

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