What is Martial Science? Is it a new style or discipline of the Martial Arts? Is it a new form of life or physical sciences? The answer is neither. Martial Science is not a “style” or “system,” not of any specific nationality, not of any location or origin. The truth is that Martial Science can be found embedded within the Martial Arts, or more specifically, it is the true foundation of Martial Arts. The principles of Martial Science are universal and found throughout nature. On a more philosophical level, transcending the specific context of combat and self-defense, Martial Science ultimately is the universal link that integrates mind-body mastery with the attainment of total human peak performance and character leadership.
When a scientist performs his or her work, they utilize a set of tools, methods, and processes to work towards their objective. They may use laboratory equipment, existing research literature, and specialized tools for their inquiry and experimentation. They employ the scientific method—the process of questioning and testing theory through data and evidence—and Martial Science is very much the same. Martial Arts techniques—striking, kicking, blocking, joint manipulation, throwing, grappling, weapon attacks and defenses—are the “tools.” Martial Science is the integrated “method” and “process” of application, testing, analysis, and synthesis of these “tools,” in order to refine, discover, and create further martial knowledge. The method and process of Martial Science include the acquisition and optimization of martial knowledge, skills, abilities, attributes, and techniques that can be applied to any combat scenario, environment, and situation—whether self-defense on the street, police response to criminal incidents, security protection of the workplace, or military conflict on an organized scale.
Martial Science allows practitioners to criticize each detail of a technique in order to attain maximum effectiveness and efficiency in its particular application and tactical execution. For example, how are your feet positioned when executing a punch? How much body weight is distributed on each leg? As the punch is extended, is the arm away from the body, or tucked in close to it? When the punch contacts the target, where is the striking point on the fist? Is the striking point one that will produce the greatest amount of impact or distribution of force? Are you breathing properly in order to transfer the highest amount of internal energy into the punch? Are you shifting your hips in order to maximize the amount of force behind the punch? Is a punch the most effective technique for this application? Would a throw be more effective in this situation rather than a strike? If you throw or are thrown by your opponent, how can you exploit your weight, reach, and body mass differentials in order control the grappling encounter? Would a choking submission be more efficacious than a finishing strike from a mounted position? In a weapon assault, which pressure point applications would work under the intensity of the opponent’s heightened adrenaline and tolerance for pain? Martial Science is the basis of answering the preceding questions.
Each time a Martial Science Practitioner selects, applies, and executes a technique within a given combat encounter or training situation, a complete scientific process takes place in his or her mind. This real-time and instantaneous thought process, refined by countless hours of study, practice and perfection, enables the Martial Science Practitioner to assess and analyze the appropriateness of force, probability of success, targeting and geometric parameters of applying and executing the technique. Importantly, practice and perfection come not simply from repetition, but from the Martial Science Practitioner’s pursuit of holistic concepts rather than individual pre-set techniques. It is said that practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect. To the true Martial Science Practitioner, perfect practice derives from not simply physical mastery of the motions of technique, but from intellectual mastery of the larger concepts—that is, the scientific biomechanical, anatomical, physiological, and psychological principles governing individual techniques.
In essence, concepts define the application of techniques; the true Martial Scientist strives to perfect their knowledge of concepts, which in turn enables them to attain perfection of physical application and execution of techniques within any given situation. Though Martial Science principles are universal, their specific applications are unique to each individual practitioner and each different situation. While a particular technique may produce a similar result for different people, the specific tactical application and execution of that technique will vary between them, as well as the scientific thought processes that took place. The universal principles and the governing concepts of Martial Science are precisely what enable individual practitioners to master, adapt, and tailor their application of specific techniques. Applied Martial Science equals theory and practice in action. Ultimately, the process of Martial Science allows the individual to free himself or herself from the boundaries and limitations of specific styles or systems, and focus wholly on concepts followed by application of techniques. This freedom allows the Martial Science Practitioner to concentrate solely on what is most effective and efficient for their unique individual attributes, applied to any particular situation.
Martial Science is a holistic, big-picture view of the combat arts, free from all set styles and places of origin—yet at the same time, the universal principles and concepts of Martial Science are indeed present and embedded within each style or system. Hapkido and Judo scientifically employ principles of leverage in order to manipulate the opponent’s balance and execute a body throw. In Kuk Sool, Jujitsu and Aikido, the principles of geometry, momentum, and joint anatomy are scientifically applied to project the opponent with economy of effort. Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai and Karate exploit the principles of kinetic force to scientifically generate maximum striking speed and power with economy of motion. Martial Science allows us to interweave the many wonderful and diversified styles, sharing and transferring concepts and techniques within each other, enabling effective integrated solutions to the most complex combat situations.
For example, the integrated application of Martial Science allows us to attack with a Taekwondo kick and counter with a boxer’s hook punch leading into a Judo hip throw or wrestling takedown. Martial Science allows us to employ an Escrima knife disarm flowing into a Kuk Sool joint throw and a military close quarters finishing maneuver. Martial Science allows us to positively compare and contrast the ki and chi power cultivation approaches found within Kung Fu traditions and Hapkido traditions. Martial Science allows us, as individual practitioners, the freedom to be “Martial Artists” in the fullest and truest sense, rather than strictly being “stylists” of a specific “system,” “school,” “kwan,” “ryu,” or “do.” Martial Science enlightens and empowers us to recognize that ultimately, there is a universal “do,” a universal martial way that can harmoniously incorporate the best of individual traditions, while transcending to the level of what all traditions have in common.
Because of what may appear to be observable similarities, comparisons may surface between Martial Science and the trend of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). In some limited sense, the overall concept behind MMA is a manifestation of Martial Science, as MMA involves going outside the boundaries of specific styles and combining techniques from different traditions. However, there are two critical differences in comparing Martial Science versus MMA at a rigorous analytical level. First, it must not be forgotten or ignored that MMA is a sport, whereas Martial Science is not a sport, but rather the pure science of empty hand combat. The sport of MMA includes rules and regulations within the confines of a controlled competitive arena. By contrast, at its raw essence, Martial Science is ultimately designed for pure survival in life-or-death combat and self-defense encounters, in uncontrolled environments, under the most chaotic circumstances. Second, there is a distinct difference between the deep and holistic nature of “Integrated Martial Science” versus the eclectic and piece-by-piece nature of “Mixed Martial Arts.” To be sure, “Integrated” and “Mixed” both involve the combination of martial techniques from multiple sources—but Integrated Martial Science goes infinitely further beyond simply mixing and combining isolated techniques. What defines Integrated Martial Science is the deep, scientifically rigorous, and systematically organized combination of universal martial principles, concepts, and applications—constantly evolved, updated, and optimized through real-world testing, validation, and advanced research and development.