I lost count of the amount of times Jack Parker would shout this at me and the other kids at St Martins Jnr Karate Club. “Without the basics” he would say “you’re advanced techniques would be worthless”
Last weekend Steve Tappin was over in Dublin showcasing his Escrima Concepts system. He advocated the same thing. “Too many styles concentrate on the flash and fancy stuff,” he said “but if you can’t do the simple stuff, you’ll never get to apply it”
Good advice as Steve teaches serious police, military and security operators around the world. People that unlike recreational martial artists and sport fighters, may have to employ this knowledge in the execution of their duties.
Steve’s Escrima Concepts and Wado Ryu Karate as taught by Jack are very different, but yet the two teachers are so similar in their outlook. This is because they’ve both been at the sharp end and know whats important and what will get you hurt.
Too man arts are so heavily influenced by the flash seen on the competition floor or the goggle box in the corner that they’re loosing their practicality, hence the suddn rise of “Reality” based martial arts. Not that I’ve anything against the good Reality systems (eg Mick Coup’s and Geoff Thompsons methods), but there are as many bad instructors in that world as there are in the “Traditional” world.
As a side note for the fitness folks, Craig Ballantyne, another guy I respect, has a new ebook on sale (I got mine free) focusing on the basic lifts any weight trainer should be doing, regardless of their goals. He calls it the Big 5 Workout (look here for more on it it’s about basics.
Whatever you do, be it Martial arts (from whatever stable), fitness training or any other pursuit, take some advice from three great instructors, Jack Parker, Steve Tappin and Craig Ballantyne.
Never forget the basics.