Lately, MMA has been surging through the media and has taken the eyes of the public when the word "Martial Arts" is mentioned. They see blood and glory on TV and think now martial arts is "real" and for those who try to shy away from it most likely have found themselves grappling on a Jiu-Jitsu mat. Now while all martial arts demands respect, "traditional" martial arts seem to be returning back into the mainstream eyes. But the real question is.. Why? Well to answer that, quite simply because it is much easier to turn a traditional practitioner to an MMA fighter than the other way around. Now I do not speak on behalf of all schools but with the surge of MMA and eliminating the legitimacy of belts comes a watered down lineage of RESPECT. Respect for all arts, respect for all martial artists and respect for all forms of practice.. Unless of course you are in the hands of a great instructor. Now with that being said, the same can apply to a traditional martial arts school whereas the instructor fails to teach respect or the morals that a belt system or uniform represent.
So to sum up to this point, if you thought karate was fake or didn't work you joined an MMA school. If you thought MMA was too vicious, you joined a Jiujitsu program. So Jiujitsu seems to be the latest buzz nowadays, right? Absolutely, there is no denying it. However, for years upon years arts like Kali have been practiced for self defense and not a comparison has been made. As an instructor who has trained in both, here is my theory in terms of physical application rather than mental application (since we assume that is the responsibility of the teacher not the art): In Kali, primarily training with weapons, we assume our opponent is armed which adds another layer, with a martial art so vast it allows our mind to be free and build an open foundation. However there is a time and place for all arts, traditional or modern. So to any martial artist that reads this and feels offended or that I have spoken down on your art, please do accept my apology.
It just takes the right environment, the right program and the right instructor to highlight these points and show the world a new-old page in the book of martial arts. The one point I will emphasize if you've read this far is: it's not the art, rather it's the martial artist. As my greatest idol once said, "Be like water".
Now is the day and age where everything can be shared with a click of a mouse and I believe the new wave of martial arts is coming very soon.