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There are many different ways of teaching and learning.

The best way to learn a martial art is by doing it – by feeling the techniques. There are some things that cannot be taught visually. Despite the popularity of YouTube and other visual forms of communication and instruction, visual instruction has limitations.

One of my teachers once said that the best martial arts are invisible. In other words, good martial arts are subtle. What is commonly seen in movies (and YouTube) is not always subtle. A small shift of the hips or twist of the wrist can have a large impact on another person. These small details are not always easily seen, but they can be felt. They can be experienced.

That is why we train in a dojo. To experience these things. To learn how to move properly.

I am not talking about “no-touch” throws or another such nonsense. There are a lot of bad martial arts in movies and on YouTube – stuff that looks fake. Huge dramatic break falls look amazing, but most people cannot (and will not) fall in such a dramatic fashion.

It is possible to make someone’s eyes widen in surprise (and pain) with very little effort. One merely needs to know how to move properly, and with as little effort as possible. The essence of good martial arts (and a good martial artist) is conservation of energy and maximization of impact.

And not hurting your training partners.


Dojo Member Spotlight – Frank Moman