The World and Elements are Our Arena.

You may have noticed all the “Training Outdoors” on my website! While we all grow accustomed to training indoors, in a safe, secure, and private area, with the luxuries of air conditioning, smooth flooring, and open spaces… Real life arenas are never quite so forgiving or accommodating.

Survival is about adaptation. Traditional martial artists grow dependent on point sparring in open spaces and playing pretend self-defense their partner allows them to perform a dozen and one techniques they’ve rehearsed and memorized for their demonstration. The MMA fighter is convinced all fights end on the ground, and that while he holds his opponent in a choke hold on the floor of the bar, no one will decide to take a beer bottle to his head to get him off their friend.

This next statement may be somewhat extreme… but regardless, it’s my adamant belief… The world of martial arts is a lie. There is no ultimate style, no perfect defense, no unstoppable technique, no perfect situation. If someone claims they know exactly what they’ll do if someone throws a punch, it’s likely they’re an idiot or a liar. There is no way of knowing exactly what you’ll encounter until you’re in the moment. There is only the ability to adapt, respond, react, and overcome. You must have situational awareness and if you can’t adapt, then your style is worthless.

This is why I often take training outdoors. Aside from the inspiration I find training in beautiful locations and brilliant sunsets, it’s important to throw the elements of the world against us. To train on uneven ground, with the sun and heat and wind and rain beating down on us. Are you a TKD guy in a tightly confined space with no room for a spinning head kick??? Are you an MMA grappling holding one man in a headlock while dealing with multiple opponents??? The world doesn’t care about your style or rank, and your memorized form won’t condition you to spontaneously adapt to elements around you.

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You can see my portal site at: Nathan Grey