I am often asked by students, friends and family which martial arts form do I regard as being the best. Is it FMA, BJJ, traditional karate, MMA, judo, boxing, kick boxing, muay thai, etc?
This is often a question many a martial artist or any fighting form instructor is faced with. It is often a very sensitive topic that could place one in a situation that you would rather not be in. Sometimes it is a trick question to attract unwanted intentional confrontation to discredit a particular or variety of fighting forms.
The next question is, “Are you the best or are you better than another instructor?”
Both of these questions should be answered with great humility and care so as not too, firstly, discredit any form of fighting, criticise their techniques, negatively compare other techniques to your own, to belittle any of them or their instructors and more importantly the founders and masters.
It is after all common knowledge that no matter what system of fighting art you do that somewhere in the syllabus it has adopted something from some other form. So by discrediting another you are in fact discrediting your own system.
No fighting form can truly say that they are pure and unique to any other. All come from a common birth place and use the same weapons whether it is a foot, hand or toe.
Many may argue and say that this is incorrect but I beg them to prove me wrong.
A true martial artist keeps an open mind, spirit and is in complete harmony with himself and system. There may be shortfalls but these are not unique to one, but to all.
My answers to the above questions are always the same and it would never change.
I always respond in the same way with great enthusiasm.
No two fighting forms or instructors are the same. No fighting form is better than the other.
I am not better than any one else and I regard myself a student of all fighting forms even my own.
It is not whether the one fighting form is better than the other or whether one fighter or instructor is the best.
It all boils down to what fighting form is best for you.
One student may be happier with boxing and the other judo. The individual needs to explore a variety of fighting forms to decide which system best suites him and in essence not just choose a system merely because opinionated individuals nominate one form better than the other.
Go out there and experience a variety of forms and decide which system best suites your character.
There is no one system that is the best.
It is the student who needs to decide what is best for him or her.
May you all enjoy the wanders of martial arts in the true warrior spirit.
Respect, honor, humility, dedication and hard work.