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Thread: Firearms-Is it Truly a Martial Art?

  1. #16
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    Take a look at handgun CQB and how it needs to be incorporated with H2H techniques and there is little doubt that firearms can be incorporated into what we call "martial arts". As was said upthread, it would be interesting to compare IPSC shooters to "artists" to combat shooters...

  2. #17
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    Default Be the Bullet

    I say that shooting IS a martial arts skill, and a student can achieve and eventually master the mechanics of its discipline or in simpler terms, putting the bullet exactly where you want it. Beyond that, one must combine these shooting mechanics with the zen aspect of a proper mindset.

    It's sort of hard to explain, but when I was shooting competitive "action" pistol, I rose from a beginner class to the higher levels and then reached an impasse... and I remained in this "rut" for an uncomfortably long period of time.

    A GrandMaster shooter broke me out of this "rut" by using a zen style teaching approach and I went beyond the "mechanical" or "muscle" skills and started to use my mind... my inner spirit in conjunction with the skills that I had. It worked... my shooting grew faster in speed of shot placement and remained highly accurate. Everything "flowed"... it felt right.

  3. #18
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    But, is shooting a actual acquired skill that anyone can achieve? It would seem that it requires hand/eye coordination, like someone who can sketch and paint.
    Richard Scardina

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickster View Post
    But, is shooting a actual acquired skill that anyone can achieve? It would seem that it requires hand/eye coordination, like someone who can sketch and paint.
    I would say absolutely.
    Just like anyone can learn to sketch and paint, but not everyone can be a Rembrandt.
    Joe Stitz

    "Black belt and white belt are the same, white belt is the beginning of technique. Black belt is the beginning of understanding. Both are beginner belts."
    - Doug Perry -Hanshi, KuDan -Shorin Ryu ShorinKan

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JS3 View Post
    I would say absolutely.
    Just like anyone can learn to sketch and paint, but not everyone can be a Rembrandt.
    Yes. Just like some of my past martial art classmates and students. Some couldn't do certain methods/moves, whereas others could do. But the beauty of martial arts is within the variety of styles to have one adapt and deveop.
    Richard Scardina

  6. #21
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    Hmm, if I may contribute to the topic at hand with very little knowledge about shooting, firearms, and the like.
    There are japanese arts that made the cumbersome tanegashima and arquebus into martial techniques with a bayonet and like. But that was to overcome the relative slow fire rate (loading one took a while). Or perhaps it was with WW2 style guns...
    Regardless, the martial technique was to overcome a lacking in the weapon, where a sword lacks long distance range, a gun or bow will exceed, but styles of swordsmanship taught getting the most distance out of the sword. Every centimeter counted.
    The sword, though, fares far better in melee than a single-shot rifle. But that doesn't discount the ability to stab with a bayonet or club someone who catches you bulletless.

    How that relates to modern martial techniques is that today we have handguns that can blow big chunks out of you over and over again (at least, that's what Hollywood tells me). The only downside, in the off chance your shooting sucks so badly that someone can get in close, or ninja you, you can only crack them in the head with the grip or the barrel.
    I think, in modern terms, we've forgotten about the fact that the body can universally identify with anything we put in our hands. I'm sure we could very well instill techniques into gunplay that turn an unloaded gun (or if you're not trying to splatter someone's brains) into a viable melee weapon.

    I feel naive in saying so, but a gun could adopt some jutte techniques. Overall though, I feel that nothing is truly martial until it involves the entirety of the mind, body (and soul).

    As Christin said, incorporating a Zen approach to shooting can surpass mechanical technique, but shooting alone isn't enough, I feel. Perhaps add methods of movement that protect a practitioner's vital organs without constraining them to the life of a Yogic Buddhist Monk.

    Only then, I feel, that a gun could reach the same martial artistic heights as the sword has reached.

    But, what do I know? I've only held a loaded hunting rifle (mistakenly thinking it was a toy) pointed it at a friend and wondered why they were freaking out.
    I'm too pretty for jail.
    Respectfully,
    Johnathan Pierson

  7. #22
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    Facing a lethal threat certainly does involve the entirety of mind, body and soul. I think that sometimes gets missed in the martial arts, because by and large what used to be the province of men who actually lived and died by their training are now practiced as martial hobbies, competitive sports, or spiritual pursuits (or some combination of the above) removed from that environment.

    PiersonJ makes a good point, actually. In many ways, especially at close quarters, and particularly in the contact distance encounters he talks about, skill at empty hand, and skill in using a handgun at contact distance (involving all sorts of manipulation, malfunction clearances, and positional shooting issues) is as much an involved martial art as any armed jujutsu system is/was.

    In fact, some of the techniques are the same. Some are almost, but the presence of a (functioning) hand held projectile weapon, versus a bladed weapon, makes a critical difference.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

  8. #23
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    My impression of arquebus and musket is that they did a LOT of damage when they hit; they had rather large ammunition. The problem was that their accuracy and rate of fire were lacking. And every army that had them did intensive drilling to minimize the latter, and used volume of fire to deal with the former. Only the muskets tended to be used clubbed, though. Arquebus were rather delicate, so were rifles. Muskets were pretty sturdy.

    A lot of people talk about the mind-body aspect while aiming, but while loading, I think it might be jutsu more than do, there.
    Trevor Johnson

    Low kicks and low puns a specialty.

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    They need discipline, but not nearly of the same sort.

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    My iaido instructor feels that the best book he has ever read about iaido was Bill Jordan's "No Second Place Winner." It is a small book written by the aforementioned border patrolman. It is nothing short of a treatise on gunfighting and mindset and surviving lethal encounters.

    Another book that I have read that takes a martial approach to gun fighting is "The Armed Option. Zen in the Art of Combat Pistolcraft." Fantastic book!

    I have trained in handguns for over 20 years. I would say with confidence that my shooting of handguns is just as much a martial art as the iaido I practice. I see the two as being similar, in that both require a presentation of a weapon to deliver a cut/shot. The intent being the defeat of an adversary intent on killing me/you.

    Best,

    Dave

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.S. Brown View Post
    My iaido instructor feels that the best book he has ever read about iaido was Bill Jordan's "No Second Place Winner." It is a small book written by the aforementioned border patrolman. It is nothing short of a treatise on gunfighting and mindset and surviving lethal encounters.

    Another book that I have read that takes a martial approach to gun fighting is "The Armed Option. Zen in the Art of Combat Pistolcraft." Fantastic book!

    I have trained in handguns for over 20 years. I would say with confidence that my shooting of handguns is just as much a martial art as the iaido I practice. I see the two as being similar, in that both require a presentation of a weapon to deliver a cut/shot. The intent being the defeat of an adversary intent on killing me/you.

    Best,

    Dave

    Or the "Zen" of staying focused, ease the trigger, and hit the target
    Richard Scardina

  12. #27
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    Thread resurrection:

    I know for myself, training in martial arts has greatly enhanced my shooting skills - especially with handguns. In addition to mindset and targeting elements, there are some technical elements that also crossed over for me:

    1) Creating isometric tension between the body and weapon while not creating unnecessary muscle tension;

    2) Breath control;

    3) Shooting on the move. The systems I study teach bent knee, heel to toe walking that is very smooth and level. When I was taught shooting on the move, I immediately recognized the walking method (groucho walk / duck walk) as being nearly identical to the walking method I already knew. I was immediately able to shoot on the move with very good accuracy due to having a smooth, stable platform for my upper body to pivot on.

    While shoulder fired weapons incorporate similar methods, they seem to be far easier to handle accurately than handguns due to the third point of contact (shoulder).

    FWIW,
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Scott View Post
    Thread resurrection:

    I know for myself, training in martial arts has greatly enhanced my shooting skills - especially with handguns. In addition to mindset and targeting elements, there are some technical elements that also crossed over for me:

    1) Creating isometric tension between the body and weapon while not creating unnecessary muscle tension;

    2) Breath control;

    3) Shooting on the move. The systems I study teach bent knee, heel to toe walking that is very smooth and level. When I was taught shooting on the move, I immediately recognized the walking method (groucho walk / duck walk) as being nearly identical to the walking method I already knew. I was immediately able to shoot on the move with very good accuracy due to having a smooth, stable platform for my upper body to pivot on.

    While shoulder fired weapons incorporate similar methods, they seem to be far easier to handle accurately than handguns due to the third point of contact (shoulder).

    FWIW,
    hmmnn. I know many fine shooters who did not need martial arts to develop same said skills
    Richard Scardina

  14. #29
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    I was simply trying to point out that it wasn't necessary for me to learn these skills again, cutting down on my learning curve when it came to shooting. In fact, the point was that these skills are NOT unique to martial arts.

    Just thought it might be nice to re-invigorate some discussion here and see if anyone else had some cross-pollination experiences between these "arts" they were interested in posting about.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

  15. #30
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    Yes. I agree. But I was also pointing out, that some did not have such a background. It could be said, that since martial arts are a set of acquired skills, such skills are versatile to be applied in other things. What say you?
    Richard Scardina

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