Martial Arts Magazine, Combat and Self Defense Budo International
UNITY. THE MARTIAL ARTS ON A COMMON FRONT
"When we make the adversary our objective we ourselves become the enemy."
All is One and manifests itself differentiated, so reads the first law of the Universe. The principle of unity isn't separate from the martial philosophies and their culture, however, its practical application in our collective is still a dream today. The Martial Arts form a group of titanic proportions if taken together. Separately, even the biggest organizations poorly compete with any other mass activity. On the other hand, the differentiation generates an unquestionable wealth in form and content. Now that the singular way of thinking and the globalization rolling pin put everything under their crushing politics on equal terms (to equate by the minimums), discoving that in our profession no year passes in which styles (new or traditional) of great interest flower never ceases to be magnificent news. The MA are alive, they regenerate themselves, interact, combine, stimulate, and contrast. Even the competition between styles hasn't stopped being a healthy stimulus, while we won't forget that we all navigate on a common ship, and that it isn't at the cost of our neighbor that our style will grow and attain greater diffusion, but for the adequate display and demonstration of its virtues, for work well done, honest and generous. But when we make the adversary our objective, we ourselves become the enemy. Fortunately, they are less and less, but there are still dinosaurs that practice the old politics of attacking other styles, of looking down on them, of making their lives as impossible as they are able to. This is a stupid attitude, like that of throwing stones at one's own house, but they, in their small-time mentality, or in their exclusive fundamentalism, shield themselves in old prerogatives empty of any real value in order to undertake their misdeeds. Of course, these pathetic individuals no longer train, taking cover behind their institutionalized armchairs, sitting on their fat butts to put all their energy at the service of no other interest except that of Alfredo Tucci 119 staying at the front of their little kingdom of factions, controlling, for the most part, money that is not theirs. For the society, the MA are a big unknown. There is no culture to this respect beyond the films of Bruce Lee and the Kung Fu series. Not even the martial sports have yet achieved the preeminence that they deserve in the spor ts media, both newspaper and television. All kinds of combat, whether considered Art or not, form an amorphous and undifferentiated whole in the heads of the majority of the citizens, be they Korean, Japanese, Chinese, or Malaysian.
This is admirable activity for the power that it bestows on its practitioners compared to the laymen in the matter, but also a matter capable of immediately generating an easy joke. For the society in general, we martial artists are all curious and exotic individuals, when not dangerous, since our prime material is violence, and that is something that disturbs and upsets those who, instead of confronting it and re-channeling it positively as we ourselves do in our practices, deny it like an ostrich hiding its head when facing fear. For that, every time that I hear these myopic good-for-nothings pleased with the problems of the martial neighbor, my blood boils. What these short-sighted boneheads don't know is that sooner or later they might well be on the same list. The saying goes, "those who live by the sword, die by the sword" and though their exclusivisms don't allow them to see it, the problems of their "neighbors" are their problems. In the zoology of the exclusivists, there are all kinds of awful things, but I don't want to leave out that of evoking what simply acts as the truck farmer's dog (which neither eats the cabbage nor lets the master eat it). Jealous of the success of others, they dedicate themselves to conspire from their little spaces of power, instead of trying to look at themselves in order to understand where they are mistaken, and in this way undertake measures to improve and learn from their errors. They have lost all the nobility that the way of the warrior confers to fall into the dark side of the force and they don't deserve to form a part of something so beautiful. Unity confers sense and direction, power and influence; dispersion only brings chaos. For any true martial artist, the "other" styles are at least an object of curiosity. One does what one does because he or she likes it, or because that option and not another simply crosses one's path, but since we only love what we know, we learn to appreciate the virtues of our practice. This has its positive side to the extent that it allows us to go deeply into our own styles and all the styles together comprise a rich gathering of knowledge that require a lot of time and effort in order to be dominated and integrated. However, we can't, with the nobility and respect that we learn on the tatamis, deny the value of the other forms of combat only because they aren't ours. I think that the practitioners, knowing what it takes to learn any style by personal experience, are always much more respectful than the politicians. I am convinced that that sense of unity exists much more at the bases than in the upper echelons, more on the tatamis than in the offices, in the hearts than in the pockets, and sooner or later those who do not follow the right path will pay for it. Integrating is a greater strategy than that of discriminating; it's certain that difference must exist and be carefully cultivated to its extreme, and that is nothing else but individuality, but it's no less important that we can't lose the North. The martial family is one. It drinks from the same roots and these are not in any geographical place, rather in the heart and in the nature of man and the world. While there is a man who gets up, like Prometheus, to try to steal the fire of wisdom from the gods, there will be warriors in the world.
While there are those who vibrate facing the power of nature and who want to walk through the world with the gallantry and honor of one who fights to possess himself, there will be martial artists. But if we aren't capable of uniting our forces, and of understanding that though more or less separated in the forms, we are all one big family, our enemies, those who look at us with distrust for daring to be warriors, those who to keep us quiet, to castrate and control us in a thousand different ways, will be able to, first, shut us up, and second, dominate us, and finally, end our noble practices. Let such a thing never happen! We begin, then, from today, looking to our martial brothers for what they are, cultivating this camaraderie and respect, this mutual collaboration that the great Jigoro Kano ordered us to do ( i f he raised his head! ) , by maintaining unity of action, the battle will be ours. Let it be this way!
SOCIETY, COMMUNICATION, STYLES, AND MARTIAL ARTS
"The wise man doesn't say everything he knows, but thinks everything that he says."
There are many friends who are kind enough to read this editorial page. There haven't been a few occasions in which they have asked me to increase the typography of my text. Notice that, in their kindness, they didn't say: "Alfredo, you write too much!" Rather: "Why don't you add a page to your editorial and that way we can read you better… Your editorials are already dense enough for forcing the brain without having to force the eyes as well." Sympathizing with them (I, too, have to use glasses to read), I have at last taken the step of carrying out their desires. I take advantage of the situation to thank all those who read these pages, and the friends who make comments through e-mails, or in the meetings here and there around the world on my trips. Thank you for your support and sympathy. After seventeen years editing this magazine in various languages, one of our original desires is having wonderful results: An international community of scholars and lovers of the Martial Arts who maintain a common meeting point, a collective reference, who vibrate together, sharing knowledge, novelties, information, and interest, through this living and changing vehicle that is our magazine, Budo International. This is a fact without precedent as far as the disciplinary Arts are concerned, and in my opinion, it marks a milestone in the globalization of all that makes up our world of common interests. Magazines and their influence in recent Martial history In the seventies and eighties of the past century, the American revolution was seen with the advent of personalities who, questioning the Eastern tradition, and focused on the desire to approach realism more and more, developed syncretic Arts and systems.
It was the Golden Age of the magazines in the U.S., Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Ed Parker, Ninjitsu, Full Contact… the sales were fabulous! The Martial Arts inundated everything! In Europe, some fortunate ones read these magazines and were up to date. Bushido in France established the guideline, and though it was only published in France, it was the European reference in the sector. Other magazines, always in an exclusively national context, informed us of a world of novelties and Masters, always two steps behind that guideline established by the North American revolution. When we published the number 1 edition of Budo International in the Spanish language, we felt something big was about to happen. It didn't take long for us to understand the universal vocation of our project, and not without a lot of effort, and no less errors, we put the first versions in other languages on the market. The Portuguese edition was the first; then came the French edition. The edition in the Italian language was our next step, followed by "Kampfkunst" (Arts of Combat), which is how we called the German edition. This was followed by the edition for Great Britain, "Black Belt UK", and finally the edition for the United States of America and Canada, "Budo International America". And more recently the editions in Chinese and Japanese languages.
During those years, we led many changes in the Martial Arts Magazine´s sector. We were the first magazine in Europe to interview a Gracie and have him on the cover, giving him the due importance that they later had in our world. The Vale-Tudo revolution found us on the front lines when nobody even knew what it was. We were the first in adequately valuing the importance that the field of security and reality-based Martial Arts were going to have in our sector when nobody, absolutely nobody, bet on it. We have saved Kyusho Jitsu from ostracism and revealed some of the biggest values of our times, being informed and discovering ancient and ethnic Martial Arts that were virtually unknown, and we have established an unquestionable reference among professionals from all over the planet. Out of all of that, what most pleases me is having been able to establish a higher standard in terms of quality in our sector.