Traditional and modern martial arts

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By Jayson Vicente

The Path

Thursday, January 16, 2014

“Our past is the mirror of our future” –JLV

Common in the martial arts world is the term modern and traditional that creates confusion to its real comparison and difference, readily answering that issue is one of my smart aleck student who said, “Traditional is the way of the aged and modern is the way of the young generation!”

Silly! Although he may unconsciously have a point in that sense, the statement is sometimes offensive that could even stir wrong interpretation from others who might think the two is being assessed better than the other. To shed a little light on the matter let me try to define both in general.


The term traditional and modern is about the approaches, customs and practices being carried out for the art, complexity and simplicity is always in question when the two is compared but circumstances explains their being, existence and development.

Evolution of life has a big factor on the difference of the two in much aspect. Traditional is always a showcase of perfection and long dedicated hours of training while modern is a scientific dissection of the objective being sought after. Many argue the other is better in a sense that one of them promotes better development of character and discipline while the other breaks the barrier of time consuming and elicit more strategic approaches to training and skills development.

Judging the two in context of which is better and more effective is depriving yourself of the greater benefit of the two combined. While we seek answer to which is better, I say let us seek how the two could be extracted of its strong points and mold them into a balanced approach that could have the best of both worlds. It is undeniably each has its advantages and disadvantages that is permitted or allowed by situations and era thus making the martial Artists the medium of adjustment and not the contrasting style that is bound to change as time passes.

As one of my mentor said, “The best martial art is the combination of all.” Martial arts is a lifestyle that has been lived before. Let those who have gone before us teach us how to face the future and let us live our present so others could learn from our existence.

Martial arts are part of evolution, some things must remain and some must change for the better or to concur the current time.

Do not just practice martial arts! Live it!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 17, 2014.


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