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Its Not a Matter of Who is Right

"People here may belittle sports arts...."


Almost EVERY "combatives" man of any note CAME from a combative sports background. Boxing, wrestling, judo. WEF and O'Neill (SIXTH DAN-Kodokan Judo-personal student of Uchijima Sensei, a NEWAZA LEGEND) are PRIME examples of this.

But HERE'S a BETTER contemporary example:

Damian Ross.

Mention his name in wrestling circles here in Jersey. HE IS A LEGEND! Go to Yonezuka's Dojo(one of the BEST in the WORLD) and watch Damian randori against TOP level competition. Go to ZENSHIN Dojo and "hang" with him for one of his PT workouts(the man does NOT KNOW the meaning of the word QUIT!). AND THEN........ask him to teach "self defense". See what he teaches.

I'll SAY it AGAIN. What a 20 or 25 year old young buck and what a middle aged businessman seek to get out of their training are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

As far as the "effectiveness" of ANY technique, well a FIGHT is a FIGHT. I know a guy who got his head split open from a blow with a lead pipe. Know what? HE STILL beat the sh## out of the TWO a-holes. SO WHAT?

You FIGHT like hell until either YOU'RE DONE or HE'S DONE.

AND why is it so hard to "get" that "close combat" is far MORE than "ax hands" and "tiger's claws". It's ANYTHING THAT WORKS. Cracking someones "egg" with a blackjack is close combat. "Kneecapping" some guy with a bat or ax-handle is close combat. Working some street punk over with "knucks" or "sap" gloves is close combat. Using a shiv, push dagger, or a friggin' ball point pen is close combat. A steaming hot cup of coffee right in the mug is CLOSE COMBAT.

I "know" guys who have DECADES of training in sporting combatives. YEARS of competitive experience and TONS of knowledge. KNOW WHAT? Screw with them and the LAST thing they are gonna think about is ANY "unarmed" mano a mano response.

As far as "building" attributes? OF COURSE! Athletics in GENERAL build many fine and useful attributes. BUT....I know of MANY instances were individulas with NO athletic background AT ALL have overcome TREMENDOUS odds. I have also witnessed "champions" who were hell on wheels in the ring, and on the mat FOLD like the proverbial "cheap suit" when the rubber met the road for real. SO WHAT?

But here's the REAL issue at the bottom of this ongoing debate.

Someone who has spent years training in "karate" has invested time, money, and maybe blood sweat and tears in his pursuit. He WANTS to believe that what he has invested so much in will WORK. Same for Kung Fu. Same for Aikido. Same for BJJ. Same for Boxing. Same for Wrestling. Same for Judo. Same for Savate. Same for FMA. SAME FOR ANY ENDEAVOR.

But that ONLY makes sense in the PARAMETERS of that SPECIFIC endeavor. Competitive Judoka expect to compete within the well defined "rules" of THAT endeavor. They DO NOT expect to enter a shiai and be knifed in the guts by the other competitor. A boxer enters the ring and expects to fight under the agreed rules of the boxing commission. He DOES NOT expect to be shot dead from across the ring by his opponent.

Let's say you're a top level collegiate wrestler. By circumstances beyond your control(real life does that) you have to face several desperate well armed foes. You're given a "choice". Attempt to use your wrestling skills at which you are VERY GOOD, or grab a 12gauge riot shotgun.

Now let's say you're at a relatives wedding. The booze is flowing pretty good and Uncle Vinny gets a little out of control. Same choice as above. Use your wrestling skills to restrain old Uncle Vinny or grab the riot gun?

I DON'T GIVE A RAT'S A## about "style", "system", or any of that CRAP. WHY? Because ALL I AM INTERESTED IN is what will SAVE MY BUTT in the real world, when it's for all the marbles. I have spent YEARS in Judo, I get attacked for REAL and I grab a brick and pound the skel into mush. DAMN! I didn't get to use my Judo! OR....I get grabbed from behind and manage to toss the skel to the ground with O-Goshi, THEN I finish him with the brick. SO WHAT?

If a "tiger's claw" works GREAT! If "hadaka jime" works GREAT! If a kick to the balls works GREAT! If a takedown works GREAT! If running the bastards down with my car works GREAT!

Anyone out there "getting" this! IT AIN'T ABOUT what is or isn't "BETTER" or more "EFFECTIVE". ANYTHING THAT SAVES YOUR BUTT IS GOOD!

It's NOT a matter of who is "right", only of who is "left"!


Copyright 2003

Carl Cestari began his study of the martial arts with judo at the age of 7 under the direction of Yoshisada Yonezuka. During the past forty plus years Carl has dedicated his life to studying the martial arts, hand to hand combat systems, history and religion. What makes Carl unique is his combination of martial arts, law enforcement and military and real world experience. Carl has been exposed to a multitude of people with a wide variety experience. The following is a list of some of Carl's ranks and honors:

Shinan (Founder) Tekkenryu jujutsu
Ryokudan (6th degree) Koshinkai Karate under John Burrelle
Godan (5th degree) Jujutsu under Clarke of the World Jujutsu Fedaration (now defunct)
Sandan (3rd degree) Nippon Kempo under Narabu Sada
Nidan (2nd degree) Judo under Masafumi Suzuki
Shodan (1st degree) Judo under Yoshisada Yonezuka
Shodan (1st degree) Shukokai Karate under Kimura, Kadachi and Yonezuka
Shodan (1st degree) Daitoryu Aikijujutsu
Instructors Certificate- Charles Nelson System of Self Defense under Charlie Nelson


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