This might sound like a strange question, but it is not and a very common one at that. The modern human have become obsessed with brand names in all spheres of life, and because of this they sometimes blindly believe that if they have or train at brand X it must be good. I had a good chuckle the other day on the range when one of my good old friends introduced me to someone that was with him and he told this guy if he wants some alternative training he should come to me!
First question this guy asked me “what style do you teach” I had to bite my tongue not to give him some very sarcastic name at that moment. Simply put I teach something we call combatives, it is not a style, nor does it lean or favor any specific system out there, it is all concept driven, and people generally do not understand this, they want to put it in a can and label it!
I have lost count on the comments that have been made when I do something, people will say that is a good Krav move, or good interpretation of JJ move and they go on and on, most of the time I have no clue what they are talking about, if I am presented with a problem I try to solve it in the quickest and most effective way that I can figure out, if you want to label it then good for you!
Let us be honest, in fighting there are only so many “good ways” of solving the problem, and hey here is a big surprise a lot of them will look just about the same, so instead of saying that looks like an X move, rather say hey we also use that in X style and it works for us.
People just crave recognition for “creating” tings then giving it names and including them into their systems. Just recently I watched a very good Pistol DVD by Dave Spaulding and I was blown away that certain methods of drawing from concealment had certain peoples names behind it. Come on now, be serious, round about 28 years ago when I started working with pistols (I was 12 at the time) I used to try and practice from concealment, never ever seen anyone drawing from concealment I pretty much figured out all the “branded” draws, so at the age of 12 I should have named them and say that I figured this out and it is mine, ok but what about the guy who was drawing a hundred years before me, maybe he should have named it after himself, or the guy before him, I think you know where I am going with this!
Same thing with fighting systems, I am not saying than nobody has the right to claim a move or technique but seriously how can you say that nobody else have been doing this way before you or your style. As I said many people have made reference to certain things that I do and said that it is a brand X move, while I have almost never seen anything from brand X. My combative foundation is based on the work that Kelly Mccann does http://www.kembativz.com but I have never trained with him, hopefully this will change soon. But he in term makes reference to some pre WW2 training, and so those guys will make reference to something else, and the list goes on.
But there are many exceptions to this, many times in training you will actually create a new “move” although it has been in existence for a long time, what do I mean by this, and I will revert this back to personal experience, many times especially with official training courses I will be confronted with a problem, I stick to my combative concepts and many times solve the problem with something I have never ever done nor seen in my life, that will normally be followed by a comment from a student saying that was a cool brand X move, really I did not know this, but thanks for complicating the matter. Basically in theory and with a lot of training you will create an “old new” move that you have never seen before, although it might have been around for a long time, and maybe it is truly new, who knows?
I believe in giving credit where credit is due, if you learn something from X Y or Z then say so, but this whole infighting and naming things will get us nowhere fast.
This hinders many of us trainers, I would love to go out and try a couple of other things and see what I can learn, but the people will be so quickly to coin it and say “well he is using our stuff” who cares who the stuff belongs to, because it belongs to no one and everyone, I am pretty sure if you lock up two individuals with minimum skills for a couple of months and order them to come up with a fighting style you might just be impressed, as really this is not that difficult.
Not one of us will ever be able to claim that we are the best or our system is the best, purely because we do not have all the answers and it will be close to impossible to prove such a theory no matter what approach you use, we are all just human.
Go out and train, and train hard, but don’t leave your brain at the entrance. Whether you like hearing this or not, there is a science behind a trainer showing something on a student and making it work, as purely you are setting up the student for failure, test what you learn in an “unstructured” training environment, see what you default to and what keeps you alive.
But please you are welcome to send me suggestions on a nice catchy style name : ) There is a lot of good stuff out there, go out and find it. One thing that is really putting a smile on my face is the amount of people that comes on my courses with different styles and we all seem to get along fine. I have hope for the industry as I believe that we can all co-exist and learn from one another, it is just a pity that all of this is mostly business driven and the evil marketing devil awaits us, as so many people have told me, please put up some cool videos you will get more people and for some reason I just can’t get myself to do this!