Magazine • the Silk Thread of Gorindo
'Claudio Iedwab's Winter arms’<br />©2012 Photo by Roxanne Standefer

The Silk Thread of Gorindo - Ottawa - Canada

Issue 17

- What is Effective

- Front Kick - Mae-geri

- Knife Hand Strike / Palm Down - Shuto-Uchi

- Pearls of Gorindo...

Photo cover "Claudio Iedwab's Winter hands" by ©2012 Roxanne Standefer


What is Effective?


Claudio Iedwab - What is Effective

Is this Martial Art Effective?

Sometimes this question is asked by a beginner who wishes to learn how to fight “in the street” with a minimum time spent training. A full-contact competitor will look for a winning technique that is the most powerful. The weight training fanatic will want to be bigger and stronger. The showman will want to kick higher and have the loudest kiai. The bully is seeking human heavy bags to punch and kick. A true Martial Artist will look upon this question in an entirely different way.

Martial Art is about good use of energy. Martial Art training will be Effective if it helps you (and others) in every moment of your life, and not just in those rare times when a situation requires the use of force.

A strong fist will not open many doors but a strong heart and mind can open all of them.

In more than four decades years of training and teaching in Martial Art (much of it in the full-contact sphere of Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing and Savate), I have come full circle in my interpretation of Effective and still have much to learn. I now teach an integrated technique from an evolved point of view, and I describe Gorindo as "the Friendly Martial Art". Experience has shown me that superior technique and positive attitude will overcome brute force. The faster more flexible competitor will win over the strong and stiff and will continue to train injury-free the next day. The undisturbed mind will gain more from the Martial Art than the obsessive and aggressive. Martial Art is a lifetime endeavour with continual growth.

If you work from the idea that you must learn to give (and receive) damaging punches or kicks, then why be so worried about what happens outside in the street? You have already invited “the fight” with it’s associated fear, aggression, injury and humiliation right into the dojo. This is not Martial Art. It is not even self-defence. We cannot prevent being destroyed in a fire by placing our hand over an open flame as a training exercise.

It is also clear that there are many styles and techniques of training that require little strength or force to achieve the desired result, but these require much practice and the correct frame of mind. Only then do they become Effective. A student who overreacts in a situation with a killing technique is not being Effective.

It is preferred to kill our ego, fears and insecurities through proper training. We practice Martial Art techniques to achieve heightened awareness, concentration, confidence, respect, humility, love of Nature and tolerance for our fellow human beings.

Self-defence and sport competition can be components of Martial Art but they should not be confused with the much broader whole. The Art of Budo includes ethical, psychological, social and historical aspects as well as the wealth of physical and health benefits that good training can bestow.

In Martial Art we learn to avoid or diffuse a potentially violent situation. We learn to control our anger and fear so that we can respond with trained instincts, at the right moment in the right way. This is Effective technique. If we can learn this while discovering the joy of physical fitness and the discipline and fellowship of “the Way” then this is Effective Martial Art.

A priority of Martial Art training should be mental, physical, and social well-being. What else is there to protect?

A teaching methodology that allows students to damage themselves or others in the dojo, or the artificial arena of the tournament, is not Effective, it is destructive.  

For those who still want that one most Effective technique (i.e., maximum result with the minimum effort) try smiling.

Meditate on this.

This article was written by Claudio A. Iedwab Sensei, published in the Canadian Martial Arts Magazine, Vol. 1, Issue 2, Winter 1993, as a guest column, the Martial Way – Revised 2012.

©2011 Photo by Roxanne Standefer



- What is Effective

- Front Kick - Mae-geri

- Knife Hand Strike / Palm Down - Shuto-Uchi

- Pearls of Gorindo...


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