The Hidden Value of Antiquated Techniques

Many people have heard the phrase, “Throw out what doesn’t work, keep what does.” I have seen many martial artists stop practicing or teaching certain “older” techniques because they think the techniques are antiquated.

However, you never know when you’ll need them. It may not be in your lifetime, but a future generation of masters may benefit from this knowledge. Retaining this knowledge leads to a deeper understanding of your tradition. These techniques can be applied to modern life. You just have to find the right relationship.

This is why weapon training is valuable. Most of the classical weapons are outlawed. However, certain principles can be applied to other implements. This was done in Okinawa. Their weapons are farming tools. The Okinawans utilized weapon-use principles to these devices and formulated defensive weapons.

This is why sari waza is important. In Western cultures, kneeling is not common place. However, techniques can still be uses with sitting, heavy crowds and kneeling. Seiza and siriwaza are great for developmental exercises. They improve leg flexibility and leg strength. It also emphasizes the correct use of the waist.

Learning about armor penetration and such. Early Okinawan Te was developed to defeat the armored Japanese invaders. These early masters synthesized techniques and power to penetrate or destroy the armor of their attackers. That same information can be used against modern armor such as flak jackets. Who knows if a futuristic plastic alloy armor will be developed? Of course, it’ll protect against modern weapons. What if it’s weakness is a simple, powerful fist of karate?

We don’t want to reinvent the wheel when the genius of our ancestral masters has developed the techniques for us already. Such kata a Channan have been lost because too few people knew it to pass on. Maybe, it would be advantageous for teachers to be more liberal with the rare katas. It’s sad how many great kata are lost every year as aging masters die.

Pass on the hidden or advanced material more quickly than prior generations because things will be lost otherwise.