Martial Arts Applications: Garbage In, Garbage Out

Martial Arts Applications: Garbage In, Garbage Out

Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) in the field of martial arts or self-defence training refers to the fact that practitioners will unquestioningly process unintended, even nonsensical, input data (training methods, types of attacks, self-defence situations etc.  – “garbage in”) and produce undesired, often nonsensical, output (self-defence solutions, “garbage out”).

The sentence above is a paraphrase of commonly known GIGO principle from the computer field:

„Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) in the field of computer science or information and communications technology refers to the fact that computers will unquestioningly process unintended, even nonsensical, input data (“garbage in”) and produce undesired, often nonsensical, output (“garbage out”).“

What does it mean the martial arts’ context?

  • Movie-like choreography, „flowery fists, embroidery kicks“: Chinese masters say: „I fit looks good, it does not work good“. Forget the movies – if it does not look as violence you see in TV news, it won‘t work.
  • Unrealistic types of attack, which you will very unlikely meet on the street: double punches, fancy kicks, single straight right to the chest with the other fist at the waist, various nonsense attacks.
  • Pre-determined isolated attacks: You can to basically anything you like. „If he does this, I do this. He does this and I… “. If he „does this“, you are probably fucked up (pardon my language) . How about fast, aggresive, full speed, full power storm in a surprised ambush?
  • Unrealistic nature of attack – boxer’s striking combo, Thaiboxer’s clinch, wrestler’s takedown or BBJ players armbar done by your Chinese martial arts classmate compared to the expert of the respective art are completely different animals. Same goes for a drunk dude going crazy, knife ambush attack or gang assault.
  • Reliance on „self-defence“ mentality, wrong mindset – devoting most of the time of application training to „how to defend [against] …“. You can’t win by training not to lose.
  • Confusing sport match, duel and reality-based self protection. Sparring is a must, but the question is – what type(s) of sparring? Use the tools (protection gear), but differently.
  • No context, no general (and simple!) game plan, no system, no training plan – just bunch of applications here and there.

If the entry data are all wrong, how can you expect good results?

 OK, enough complaining, have some fun now a see the video below. If you have a tip for GOOD Hung Ga/Chinese martial arts applications video, please post it below in the comments.

Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun

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