Here’s a guest post by Kris Wilder, who’s a well known martial artist and has published numerous great books. Enjoy!
Listening to the radio the other day I heard the show host say that one of his professors at Hillsdale College complained to the students that their papers were full of fluff, that the students spent too much effort in just filling the mandated number of pages. For example, if students were told, “Your assignment this week is to write a five-page paper on, their response would be to simply fill up five pages. The professor, in an effort to demonstrate his point that many of the words written by the students were meaningless and didn’t add value, decided to have them write a one-page paper. The show host then went on about how difficult it was to write that paper. Paragraph, phrase and each word had to succinctly convey the core issues of the topic.
The human mind loves complexity, but is it really necessary? Now understand that I make distinction between complexity and diversity. Look at it this way: nature builds diversity from a series of simple commands. In fact, what appears to be complex is really just a compounding of simple commands.
As you may already know from reading other posts, I am not the biggest fan of complexity, and especially in the martial arts, because I am sure that much of it is just machinations designed to titillate the mind like a shiny fishing lure to a trout.
Frankly, simplicity and efficiency go hand-in-hand (see nature once again) and I am not inclined to back off from that position. Complexity breaks down, and I don’t need a fragile martial arts technique, I need a simple, vigorous, dependable, go-to technique.
Now here is a proof point in the world of martial arts. Don’t forget that world-famous judo champion Yasuhiro Yamashita was famous for using osoto gari, one of the first learned and most basic throws of Judo, to win:
• ‘85 All-Japan Championships – Tokyo, Japan
• ‘84 Olympic Games (Open) – Los Angeles, CA, USA
• ‘84 All-Japan Championships – Tokyo, Japan
• ‘83 World Championships (+95kg) – Moscow, Russia
• ‘83 All-Japan Championships – Tokyo, Japan
• ‘82 All-Japan Championships – Tokyo, Japan
• ‘81 World Championships (+95kg & Open) – Maastricht, Holland
• ‘81 All-Japan Championships – Tokyo, Japan
• ‘80 All-Japan Championships – Tokyo, Japan
• ‘79 World Championships (+95kg) – Paris, France
• ‘79 All-Japan Championships – Tokyo, Japan
• ‘78 All-Japan Championships – Tokyo, Japan
• ‘77 All-Japan Championships – Tokyo, Japan
Thanks to Neil Ohlenkamp for the list of championships.
You can reach Kris at his site, right here.