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  • Writer's pictureJackie Bradbury

4 Things I'd Change About the Martial Arts World (That Will Never Happen)

If I had a magic wand, there's a lot of things I'd change about the world.

You know what I mean.  Things like ending poverty, hunger, and Christmas music being publicly played outside of the month of December.

Here's how I'd take that magic wand and change the martial arts world. It would take a magic wand, because there's no way these things will happen without one.


If I had my way, we'd teach self defense (along with bully prevention) in schools.  Lots of countries have some martial arts program in schools (the Philippines does, for example), but I'm not thinking any given style, just fundamental self defense concepts that are not even mostly based on physical skill.  I would love for every person to have a safe and secure grounding in the law, social customs, de-escalation, and what to do when all that fails.

Why it won't happen:

We don't have enough serious research and evidence to prove what works best, or doesn't.  And we'll never, ever agree on a curriculum that would be taught everywhere.


You may recall I refer to any martial artist who uses our training environment to prey on victims of sexual or emotional abuse as Sensei Scumbag.

"Hate" may be a strong word, but it's the correct one for people who take a community based on trust and helping people defend themselves and pervert it into abusing other people. I literally hate Sensei Scumbag.

If you're reading this and ARE one of those people who sexually and/or emotionally abuse people, just look in the mirror and remind yourself that the Stick Chick literally hates your guts, mmmmkay?

Then turn yourself in and take your punishment, you asshat.

With my magic wand, I would have a consistent way to identify who these people are and get them out of the martial arts before they can victimize anybody (to start, anyway - people who do this aren't fit for society, in my opinion).

Why it won't happen:

Sensei Scumbag is so good at hiding in plain sight that I'd actually HAVE to have that magic wand to make this happen - heck, we can't figure this out in any realm of society, much less our subculture.  We just have to get better at creating a training environment that's more difficult for Sensei Scumbag to take advantage of.


My god, people, stop beating this dead horse. There are MULTIPLE ways to deal with real-life threats and so many variables no one single style or system can possibly account for every single one of them.

Until it's actually tried and succeeds more than once, (as anything could potentially work once, I suppose) there is no way to prove it.  Well, mostly.

Yeah... no.


Why it won't happen:

Because the internet exists, and there is no shortage of people who believe only their system or style is the "one true way", and other people doing it differently threatens them so much that they just can't help themselves.


I see why they exist and I admit they serve a useful function.  But I also think that they're a distraction, become so important in themselves that it overshadows the skill sets you learn, ranks are easily faked or lied about (there are more online belt mills than I can count), and well, I just think they're more trouble than they're worth.

There's so much politics and hoopla around it all, y'know?

Why it won't happen:

Human beings just can't let go of anything that helps us establish our status in groups.  We're sort of built that way, and well, as soon as we get in any groups of any size, we establish a pecking order.  My wish would have to change fundamental human nature.

So what would YOU change about the martial arts world if you could? What do you think of my list? Let me know in the comments!

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