There is a strain in this art, along with others, where the practioner is obsessed with doing the original style as was done only by the founder or as close to it as possible. This somehow legitimizes the artist as being more authentic or genuine and therefore more effective. If what they do is closest to the source then they are the true mantis god or some such nonsense. In any other practice this is called fundamentalism. I don’t see any sense in this and here’s why. So I’m an army sniper but I want to go back to the original sniper and what he used because it must be best; yeah a musket. I’m a doctor and I want to go back to the original treatments for heart disease or cancer, maybe I’ll let a little blood out of you to cure you. I’m a dentist and I want to go back to the original dentistry, that makes great sense eh. When I was a kid my dentist didn’t use anesthesia so he would kneel on my thigh when he drilled so the screaming pain in my leg would somehow counter the damn drill in my teeth. Nope, didn’t work. Let’s go back to the original football protection or baseballs and bats. You know I think boxing like John L Sullivan is the way to go, not this junk Mike Tyson and Many Pacquiao does, nope let’s do the original because it’s much better.
This train of thought assumes that things have not grown or evolved at all, people don’t learn and the world is static. So let’s go back to a mono culture in China 200 years ago where the majority of men were between 5’2” and 5’9” and weighed as much as 155 lbs and pit them against a poly culture where they might be against a 6’5” 225 lb guy. Something they never saw or trained for but somehow their ‘original’ art is going to be prepared for it. There’s a lot written about different arts and how they were originally developed to fight horsemen or a particular type of armoured soldier and how that training misses the point today. A great kick in the air seven feet high might look really cool and take great skill but is going to get you killed in a street fight…. unless of course your opponent is riding a horse.
So on one level I get the idea why someone wants to do the original but in today’s fighting world it doesn’t make much sense. Oh, I have stop writing now my quill is running dry!
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