First Principles

Elon Musk, savior of Earth Humans, explains in this short video what it means to reason from first principles, and why it’s important.

This distinction is incredibly important in the martial arts world, and here’s why.

Tiger Style

Think about kung fu. For thousands of years the knowledge and skills have been passed down as analogies.

“We fight with the strength of a tiger, the swiftness of a crane, and the deadly accuracy of a snake.”

Makes sense to reason from metaphor because it’s the way humans have made sense of the world since before history.

Physics

But the instant people started looking at fighting, self defense, and strategy as what it is instead of what it is like, they started getting superior results. Immediately.

That’s why the UFC has been such an incredible proving ground for a variety of martial arts; you see what works, and what doesn’t right away.

The Problem

We have to be mindful, however, that we can wind up making the same errors when we take lessons learned from the UFC and apply them to violent encounters on the street or in bars.

They’re two different creatures!

“Take What Works, Discard The Rest”

These words from Bruce Lee are great, and they echo the idea we’re talking about.

What works, usually, is called “physics.” It’s what governs the world of reality, and as an entity living in the universe of cause & effect, it will do you more good to study how physics applies to the human body than it will to spend decades practicing to be fierce like a tiger.