“The Case Against Martial Arts Tournaments,” by Chris Pearson

“Once upon a time, this was the standard response to meeting someone with a martial arts interest: yelp a few times, wave your arms around, do a judo/ninja/karate chop, then hold for applause. But times have changed. People no longer believe televised ninja movies are real. Now they believe televised MMA competitions are real, and nobody uses a karate chop in the UFC. (It’s illegal to strike the trachea, in case you were wondering.)”

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  1. “Beverly Hills Ninja,” which was probably one of Farley’s last flicks, is highly entertaining to me. The flick doesn’t even let me get serious for hardly a second.

    I enjoyed your essay, Chris, but I am unsure which martial art you practice. You hint toward ninjutsu early on. That art was created for only one reason: assassination. That’s not to say only good people got murdered back then. But it was an art of total destruction. If I think of ninjutsu sparring, I think of shurikens to the throat, followed by the straight-bladed sword to finish someone permanently.

    An art like Judo, on the other hand, is well suited for competition. It is even an Olympic sport. I hold much merit for this art, even though it is certainly competitive (I like that Aikido is not).

    Anyway, more than anything else, I am curious as to whether you indeed study ninjutsu or another art. I much enjoyed your essay.

  2. I have studied different martial arts over the years, but I do not consider myself a ninja, Beverly Hills or otherwise. It is true that Judo is better suited to competition than most other arts.

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