The Rules of the Fight and Effective Training

The Rules of Martial Arts There are rules in martial arts. The rules in modern martial arts are many and varied. These arts are often oriented towards sporting applications or may be practiced for fitness or spiritual development rather than as fighting techniques with an application in the real world. Their rules are oriented towards safety and limiting liability. These are not the rules that I am writing about today. I am writing to discuss rules that are derived primarily from historic sources and involve the basic principles of fighting in earnest combat. In my experience the ‘rules’ listed below are as applicable to modern arts as they are to ancient ones. Some of these occurred to me in the course of my own study and then I found that they were well known in one form or another to the medieval and renaissance masters. Others were told to me and personal experience has shown them to be valid. In the work of recreating the techniques shown in Fiore’s texts these rules have provided a valuable yardstick to judge our interpretations and sometimes to understand what we are seeing in the text. We have generally found that keeping these rules in mind when attempting to reproduce a technique has led to more elegant and effective interpretations that we feel are likely to be accurate than some of our earlier...

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