The “Best” Martial Art or Who is “The Fastest Gun in the West” ?
The Fastest Gun Alive
Who is the Fastet Gun Alive?
In the 1950’s movie “The Fastest Gun Alive”, Broderick Crawford portrayed the outlaw. He claimed to be the fastest gun alive but was taunted by an old man in the saloon who said “no matter how fast ya are, there always someone faster’n you”. In the end the hero, Glen Ford, out draws and dispatches him. The adjacent video trailer provides a few scenes from the movie.
The Fastest Gun Alive
Aikido: "True Vicotry is Victory over one's self"..M Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido
- Learn about an art that is as much about developing the Mental and Spirtual as it is the Physical
Being the "best" in Martial Arts is understanding that you can never "prove it" by fighting. There will always be someone faster than you. A true martial artist resolves conflicts peacefully wherever possible.
BJJ vs Karate
Aikido Techniques: Kokyunage
Virtues and Limitations in Every Art
So part of the answer to the question is that it is dependent on your frame of reference. It involves asking oneself “what is my goal for martial arts training?” Is it so that you can enter a bar, pick a fight and beat someone to a pulp or are you interested in how your training can benefit the lives of others? Even if you could knockout someone in a bar, does that prove you are “better than they are” or does that make you the just fastest gun in the West…that day? In reality most of the popular martial arts have virtues AND limitations. Judo has rules that prevent striking but an accomplished practitioner, such as Karo Parisian, can definitely do substantial damage by throwing a person directly on their head, even if he had to take many strikes to “get inside”. Striking arts such as karate or Jeet Kune Do, can be very effective in self-defense. However, if taken to the ground by a skillful opponent, all of these techniques would be rendered useless. Even MMA has specific rules of competition, which exclude certain strikes and even if they were allowed, how would these techniques hold up against an expert with a knife, not to mention a gun. Many arts focus on one-to-one competition, but how would these arts hold up with multiple attackers?
Martial Arts Supplies
What about pitting one art against another?
Which art is ”superior” is an age-old question that is the topic of much discussion by martial artists who focus on a specific martial art. So many bad martial arts movies show one “school” sending its best guy to another school for a showdown to settle it once and for all. Of course, it only answers the question of who had superior skills on a given day. YouTube is full of clips that pit competitors from different arts against one another in an attempt to address “the big question”. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs. Karate, Aikido vs. BJJ, the permutations are too numerous to count. Regardless of the outcome of an given competion, such match ups can never settle the issue for the same reason that Broderick Crawford’s loss in the gunfight didn’t prove who was the fastest gun alive (you have to keep "proving it"). Even within a seemingly “no holds barred” competition like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the championship is elusive even to competitors at the highest level such as Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell.
BJJ Books on Amazon
Different Arts, Different Goals - Respect is the Key
So, to answer the question “which art is the best” we need to look at ourselves objectively and ask “what are the core beliefs that provide the framework for this comparison?” The answer is that the best martial art is the one that gives you what you are looking for. Under the right circumstatnces and in the hands of the right person, each martial art can be effective in self-defense. For those interested in an intense physical workout, Judo or Jiu Jitsu can give you a real run for your money. If you are not as interested in grappling, an art like Karate, or Tae Kwon Do may be what you are looking for. If you search for an art with a spiritual dimension, Aikido may be worth checking out. Trying to "prove" that one art is better would be the same as saying the heavy weight champ in the UFC would remain so...forever. The answer, then lies in the attitude of respect that many of these arts include in their core principles. Respect means accepting that each person takes martial arts for different reasons and that purpose is valid from their point of view.