Tradition

Much has been said over the years in favor of traditional martial arts vs eclectic styles. Now when I refer to eclectic I am not referring to today's MMA/UFC. That is ring fighting and I group this with boxing and wrestling and personally do not consider it to be a martial art.

I came from a traditional style. Hapkido was the root art, and we used ITF Taekwondo patterns or Kata. We used Korean terminology in the dojang, as well as the etiquette associated with it. This is all great! So why today do I teach an eclectic, non traditional style in a non traditional way? The main reason was I was told that the teaching contained some kind of truth and therefore could not ever be changed. This goes against the very fabric of existence! So how could be possible be good in a martial art? Now here is a true story of tradition you may find amusing.

A family at Easter is preparing their Sunday dinner. This includes the family favorite, ham. Before putting the ham in the over the wife asks her husband to please "cut off the end of the ham." He does so, as he has done for years. Wondering he asks his wife, why do we cut off the end of the ham? His wife replies, "I don't know, my mother always did this." So they decide to call mom and ask why the end of the ham must be cut off. Upon making the call the wifes mother replies, I don't know why, your grandmother always did this. Call and ask her. So the wife calls her grandmother and asks, "grandmas why do you always cut off the end of the ham?" Grandma replies, "well dear the roasting pan I have is very small. I had to cut the end off to make the ham fit!."

As fuuny as this is, it is true of martial arts. If there is not a reason to do something, a valid reason, then it is wasted. Tradition for traditions sake is non growth. Life is about change, and change is a beautiful thing.