Link: Interview with Forrest Morgan

Matt over at the Ikagi blog has posted an interesting interview with Forrest Morgan, author of the book “Living the Martial Way.”

Among the topics that Mr. Morgan addresses, this particular statement caught my attention:

“Would you want the U.S. Army trying to defend the nation with swords and spears? What would you think if the U.S. Navy refused to equip itself with state-of-the-art warships because wooden sailing vessels are more “traditional”?  Even the less archaic, non-classical, traditionally-oriented martial arts, such as karate-do, aikido, jujutsu, etc., systems that strive to maintain their customs, training methods, and techniques unchanged from the late 19th or early 20th century, are usually not directly applicable to most 21st century threats without some amount of modification… “

Read the entire interview here.


One response to “Link: Interview with Forrest Morgan

  1. Martial arts today should be like the training of fighter pilots and updating their aircraft. The martial arts are the way they are because the masters adopted and made changes to it, based on their own experience.

    As I said before:
    A WWI Fokker Triplane with machine guns like the one the Red Baron used follows the same principles of combat as a F-15 fighter plane. But in combat it would lose to the F-15 due to its age (due to its not being equipped to handle the stress that modern aerobatical combat and also against new attacks like missiles).

    ( – on principles of aerial combat)

    The age of the triplane does not make it intrinsically better. It was appropriate for the combat in its own day, against other propeller planes and zeppelins with similar technology.

    The F-15 is equipped to handle the threats of today- other fighter planes that are equipped to turn and fly as fast as it is, not biplanes.

    The aircraft engineers took advantage of better technology and understanding of the enemy’s technology and how opposing forces will attack to build on the fundamental principles of aeronautics to improve the ability of the pilot to respond to these new technological threats.

    Pilots still practice basic flight training (Kihon), aerobatics (Kata- the Immelmann maneuver is a modern aerobatic move derived from WWI combat still taught today), and “Top Gun” and simulated mission training (Kumite and Reality Based Scenario Training, with RedMan suits, etc. etc.)

    What is different here? The adaptation of fundamental aeronautics and also to the circumstances of modern day aviation combat.

    Modern fighter pilots today study the specs and armament of the aircraft, missiles, and other hazards like electric jamming that they are most likely to encounter on a mission.

    Likewise, we have to study and understand the methods and ways of the enemy we face today in a wholistic manner, learning his or her mode of operation, psychology, methods of attack, and social dynamics involved in this, just like the koryu arts have done for their day.

    The former head of the Shindo Muso Ryu in fact adapted his jo techniques for the Tokyo riot police and designed a system for them.

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