thanks for your post very intereseting, sometimes formalized training methods can be usefull but should really be combined with other methods to form truly usefull system (imho)Shen Jian wrote: say "to win in a fight you need 3 things: skill, courage and luck; and you need all 3 things in equal measure". Of these only the first is affected by your style. So we are back at the practitioner winning the fight, not the style!.
i have already posted the below in another thread but as it seems relavent to the discussion i will repost it here.
some very interesting points and they shed light on an issue that has been with us since the origins of human conflict and something that touches on both eastern and western systems of defense the "secret" techniques professed by many schools of defense, now some of you may think and justifiably so that any secrets within the arts are just to an extent marketing ploys to get punters in the training hall and to a degree you would be correct but if you look deeper into this area it starts to make sense in the realm of part of a fighting style and within any martial system any offensive action has a defensive counter and as most of you will be aware leading to provoke a counter or leaving an opening to an attack to exploit it with a counter is a core principle of armed and unarmed combat...taking this to its logical conclusion we can deduce that any experienced Practitioner of any established combat art would hold onto certain techniques and knowledge as the pinnacle of there art because within there fighting style knowledge of counters and unexpected movements and attacks or additional training methods would be a very valuable asset to them and there position (and may save there lives)
either in a confrontation with someone from the same style or knowledge of how to exploit weakness in another art this idea reached a zenith (imho) within the arts of china where kungs where used to build skill in a given realm for example the iron hand technique and these activities in themselves proved usefull to inspire almost magical levels of fear and awe among commoners and fellow martial artists. these ideas also produced many of the more esoteric weapons in some chinese systems as one school would develop and refine there weapons to better counter there most frequent opponents.
while i may seem to be covering old ground as far a some of you are concerned i feel its important to realize that even within modern combat systems the element of surprise and the vunerabilty it can engender in even a highly trained and skilled individual should never be underestimated never allow yourselves to be drawn into a clever trap its what some of us old dogs use to compensate for our slightly slower hand speed and physical conditioning etc 8)
in essence then i suppose in whatever your chosen field is always try to think outside the box and imagine what you would do to counter/evade the techniques and forms that are presented to you(assuming you dont already ) because i can practically guarantee that someone will have done it before
(to an extent :-D )