Reality Based: Is It A New Concept (2005)
For those of you who are traditionalist tend to discriminate Reality Based martial arts especially Mr. Wagner who coiled the term that you now hear everywhere, even traditional martial arts are using the term. But what people fail to observe is that Jim’s ideas aren’t knew, in fact the best warriors through time has shared the same feelings of realty based concepts. I will use three man from three different eras of time, race, and art. For reality based I will use Jim Wagner, since he is consider the father of the term.
Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵) the author of the Book of Five Rings was a famed swordsman born in Shinmen Takezo in Harima Province in 1584 Japan. He had killed over sixty men in fights and duels, and this book is his teaching on the art and strategy in combat which he had used. I will compare his thoughts and philosophy with Jim Wagner’s. (I will be using Book of Five Rings, interpreted by Stephen F. Kaufman ©1994)
- Jim: DO NOT BE DEVOTED TO ANY ONE SYSTEM Miyamoto: “…to advance further the student and artist must learn and seek other knowledge. It makes sense to study other arts as well as those strategies”. (pg 5)
- Jim: K.I.S.S. (KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID) …All techniques must rely on gross motor skillssimple techniques or tasks that rely on gross motor skills that can be performed under survival conditions because take into account the reduced circulation and muscle tension of the limbs due to adrenalin excretions and increased blood flow to the organs., and not on fancy, flowery moves that require fine motor skillscomplex techniques or tasks that rely on fine motor skills that can be performed under controlled conditions, but degenerate under survival conditions due to reduced circulation and muscle tension of the limbs due to adrenalin excretions and increased blood flow to the organs.. If a move is complicated, it will fail. Simple techniques that are fast and hit hard will keep you alive. Miyamoto: “Do not be conscious of the particular technique you will use, this causes hesitation” (pg.33)
- Jim: TRAIN HARD, FIGHT EASYmilitary expression which means that a person who trains more intensely than what is likely to be encountered in a real situation will make a real conflicthuman hostilities that range from visual intimidation to killing; replaces the martial arts term "fight" because not all human hostilities end in physical violence. appear easy.: The harder you train and push yourself in training the easier real combat will be. Miyamoto: “You can only fight the way you practice” (pg.13)
- Jim: DRESS AS YOU FIGHT: If you’re more likely to fight in a business suit or in blue jeans than in a karate gi, then that’s what you’d better be training in. Miyamoto: You should practice wearing your full suit of armor in order to learn the true feeling of combat” (pg.56)
- Jim: POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE: Law enforcement and the military in particular, are filled with quotes, mottos, and sayings which inspire their members to win and never give up. Miyamoto: “You must go into combat with the attitude of absolutely destroying the enemy” (pg.39)
- Jim: ADAPTABILITY: When it comes to training or fighting they don’t just do what they want to do, they adapt to the circumstances and the fluidity of battle. Miyamoto: “What you may think is effective may in fact be ineffective because of the way in which the enemy is feeling at that particular moment. Your attitude must be such that you can shift into any other mode of combat without having to make a conscious decision”. (pg.39)
- Jim: Aggressive Defense: Many people think self-defense means waiting for the attacker to throw the first punch. ( in Defensive Tacticsa police term for empty-hand physical conflicthuman hostilities that range from visual intimidation to killing; replaces the martial arts term "fight" because not all human hostilities end in physical violence., and also the name of Jim Wagner's 8 hour empty hand seminar. class, Jim had taught use if we block, block aggressively, make the attacker feel that if you blocks hurt, image what you do when you strikeimpact force generated by the arm, leg, head or impact weapon.) Miyamoto: “Turn the attitude of blocking into one of attacking” (pg43)
- Jim Wagner’s Piston Concept: In Jims Defensive Tacticsa police term for empty-hand physical conflicthuman hostilities that range from visual intimidation to killing; replaces the martial arts term "fight" because not all human hostilities end in physical violence., and also the name of Jim Wagner's 8 hour empty hand seminar. course Jim introduces his piston concept, in which when you strikeimpact force generated by the arm, leg, head or impact weapon. with any body part or weapon, like a piston you must bring it back to were it came and strikeimpact force generated by the arm, leg, head or impact weapon. again. Miyamoto: “Always return your weapon along the same path it traveled out on. In this way you can use it again without having to relocate and rethink your attitude” (pg.35)
- Jim’s definition of Reality Based: Training and survival skills based on modern conflicthuman hostilities that range from visual intimidation to killing; replaces the martial arts term "fight" because not all human hostilities end in physical violence. situations that the practitioner is likely to encounter in their environment (their “reality”). Miyamoto: “The “Way” cannot be learned through frivolous contests in which the outcome is for the name of a school or a large trophy. It can only be realized where physical death is a reality” (pg.4)
I now would like to introduce a man who has a certain connection with both Jim and Miyamoto, this man is known around the world, and too believed in reality based training, the legendary Bruce Lee. It’s no secret that the father of Reality Based Jim Wagner and its development was greatly influenced my Bruce Lee. Bruce had his own version of “reality based” martial arts, who Jim gives credit Bruce for the creation of hybridization which “ultimately paved the way for reality-basedtraining and survival skills based on modern conflict situations that the practitioner is likely to encounter in their environment (their "reality"). martial arts”. Jim was taken under one of Bruce’s number one student Dan Inosanto and not to mention Richard Bustillos. And one of the main things that Jim has taken with him is the philosophy of Bruce Lee who advised martial artists to take from every system what was useful, and disregard what was useless. The reason I have to mention Bruce is because almost every martial artist loves Bruce Lee, but not all understands what he stood for. Wing Chun for instance, they will usually advertise there school with “the art Bruce Lee used” when it’s a known fact that he later denounce the art, “reason for my not sticking to wing chun is because I sincerely felt that my style has more to offer regarding efficiency.” (Bruce Lee Letter to Wing Chun master William Cheung 1969, Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do Magazine 12/97 pg. 25) He like Mr. Wagner believed that “combat is always fresh, alive, and constantly changing.”(pg.27). According to Bruce wife Linda Lee, one of Lee’s favorite books was the Book of Five Rings (pg.11), so we can once see that Miyamoto Musashi influenced in Reality Based Martial Arts.