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Topic: "Deadliest Art"
Out of all the techniques and all the different styles of martial
arts, such as karate, kung fu, kempo, etc., if you were to pick one, which
of these styles do you consider the deadliest (even though they are deadly
all, if used correctly).
This is an almost impossible question. First, what is the definition
of deadliest? And there are so many contexts, both offensive and defensive.
Both kung fu and karate have very deadly offensive techniques, but if
you are tackled and go to the ground, then judo or Gracie jujutsu would
be helpful. Of course, if you go to the ground you are also vulnerable
to attacks from above (especially if you are fighting more than one person),
so, relying on ground techniques isn't always the answer either. Here,
arts such as aikido work well since the art is well versed in movement
to avoid a single or multi-person attack. Then there is the situation
of weapons. If attacked by a weapon, such as a baseball bat, night stick,
or even a sword (unlikely today), I would prefer to have daito ryu skills
which were honed over centuries to address this type attack. What about
facing a good boxer? They have excellent fist techniques. A karate-ka
or kung fu exponent trained in full contact would have an advantage, and
so would a Thai boxer whose specialty is low leg kicks and elbows. A judo
or Gracie Jujitsu person would also have an advantage. But, if you are
grabbed while standing by one, two, or three attackers, I would prefer
aikido, jujutsu or aikijujtsu skills.
In the end there is no deadliest art per se. Most martial arts have tended
to specialize is certain techniques and methods. So, the question should
perhaps be, what martial arts should I know in order to be more proficient
in the art I study? At a minimum other arts allow you to recognize and
better deal with a variety of techniques with which you might not be familiar.
For example, Gracie Jujutsu demonstrated to many striking arts practitioners
the importance of cross training to be less vulnerable to take downs and
The individual study of arts like karate, jujutsu and aikido is really
a fairly modern phenomena. In Japan during the feudal periods of warfare
the samurai trained in many arts -- the sword, spear, bow and arrow, horsemanship,
strategy and many others. Within the weapon arts were also grappling and
jujutsu skills, and striking techniques using the blunt part of their
weapons. In short, samurai were very well rounded in a great variety of
Many great modern founders of martial arts systems such as judo and aikido
also had a broad experience in the martial arts, experience which they
synthesized into their new arts. To better understand your art, and to
utilize your skills to the maximum, it is thus advisable to broaden your
knowledge with other arts. In part this is what Donn Draeger (the great
martial arts historian and writer) meant, I think, when he once said to
me, "You can't grab budo by a single corner."
All of the above comment, however, avoids one critical point. The effectiveness
of any art is directly related to the practitioner's will, spirit and/or
experience. Thus, a deadly art in one person's hands may not be not so
in another. This further complicates evaluation.
Thus in answer to your question, there is no simple answer.