Jeff Sherwin on Efficiency

We hosted Jim King for a seminar in Northern California and one of the things Jim talked about was the difference between art and fighting.

The difference as I understood it was that art tended to value large, impressive and beautiful movements and fighting was sometimes just ugly, simple and quick. An example Jim gave was if someone grabbed your gun hand you could do an elaborate fancy throw or you could just switch the gun to you other hand and shoot the guy. Not impressive to watch but effective.

I remember Vladimir saying at the first summer camp after showing a bunch of impressive work that all that was really necessary was something much simpler but people want to see the impressive looking stuff.

The art is really fascinating and inspiring but I think it is important not to lose sight of the simplicity of survival. As martial artists we sometimes imagine using elaborate and impressive techniques in a hostile situation but maybe it is best not to desire beauty when all we need is to live.

When I think back to the physical confrontations in my life none of them were resolved with aesthetic beauty. Since this is true and since I train partially as a means to enhance my survivability maybe I should concentrate less on art and more about fighting.

-Jeff Sherwin

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