Flavius Josephus was a Jewish general captured in Galilee in the year 67 by the Romans during the Jewish-Roman War (66-73). The commander in charge of the prisoner's fate got word that Josephus was not only a field general but also a renowned historian who was literate in Latin, the international language of the day. As such, Josephus was given two choices: He could accompany the Roman troops and record their conquest of his country for the history books, or he could be executed immediately by sword. He selected Option A.
Josephus had an opportunity to observe the Roman legionnaires as they trained for combat, and he accompanied them to battle. He recorded the following: "Their training is bloodless combat, and their combat is bloody training." In other words, there was no difference between how they trained and how they fought.
Now, if someone had the opportunity to observe your training and subsequent fighting, would he say that they were one and the same? Or would he conclude that your battles had only a few trace elements from your workouts?
Years ago, I wrote that the modern martial arts had separated into three major branches: traditional, sport-based and reality-based. The reality-based branch includes systems that concentrate on self-defense. Traditions, customs, outdated techniques and old-fashioned training methods have all been eliminated.
Some of you are probably thinking, Wagner is bashing the traditional martial arts again. Most assuredly, I'm not. Let me remind you that this column is written for those who are pursuing the truth of combat. The sport-based people never seem to write negative letters to the editor because they know what
If you're a police officer and don't train in the clothing and gear you wear on the job, you're not a reality-based martial artist, says Jim Wagner (left).
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