"What sort of guard position should my hands maintain?" "My traditional fighting styles style doesn't have a guard position..." "My traditional style doesn't guard the top..." "Always hold the hands at head level..." Questions and statements born of a confusion common to many young practitioners. Meanwhile inside the traditional martial arts of Baguazhang or Zhaquan we may be thinking it seems sort of funny to fret so much concerning your guard that you simply loose sight with the more important things - i.e. making the opponent worry much more about his guard. Kids Karate
Actually this confusion demonstrates one of many big problems that stems from a typical misunderstanding of recent mma (MMA) together with our desire for instant gratification. An individual learns some boxing, some wrestling, some BJJ, some Muay Thai, Bagua, Zhaquan, or a number of whatever then mixes all of them together. But what they end up with is, as the saying goes, "a dog using a monkey's tail." Put simply, things don't really fit together properly. The situation occurs should you never learn the real "nuts and bolts" of those systems - only a tiny little bit of them. Consequently, you never learn anyone system good enough to identify what type of guard techniques sound right to that style. You never recognize that what might be brilliant in a single style, may concurrently be ludicrous when used inappropriately poor a different style. Although which may be acceptable for those that train just for sport or for entertainment value - it is just plain dangerous in terms of real self defence and longevity.
The truth is, MMA are few things new. In fact most traditional martial arts are derived originally from a variety of borrowed techniques, and also have been thoroughly modified and delicate as time passes. In many traditional styles the job of determining how to cope with the entire scope of fighting techinques is done. Individuals have for many years died, surrendered their, and become crippled in the process of discovering secrets and in weeding out poor training and fighting methods. You don't have to re-experience these systems for yourself. However traditional styles are old. They've been passed on via a lot of people, by the time they reach us you might think that much has been lost and misinterpreted. To believe that even these "complete" arts aren't complete anymore. And when that is true, it makes you wonder about the worth of studying a regular style too! Quite a quandary. Surrey Taekwondo
The quandary is not actually so bad, as those truths which define a regular style are never buried far under the surface. The reason being the forms and training techniques in just a style are usually huge in scope, but always centred around a really succinct set of core principles. In like manner produce a long story short, it is by design very unlikely that anyone can learn the majority of a complete system yet still time never recognizing the main concepts that are central to everything they have done. Although nuance and deep truths can indeed be lost, the core principles that cause they are always present and waiting being rediscovered. It's actually a question of guidance, effort, and diligence to acquire there.
Obviously many effective styles exist with very different core concepts. And extremely, no style is inherently the "best" as that's always decided by proficiency. That being said, some arts are clearly more refined and comprehensive than others. Still is definitely a highly developed pair of core principles that sets the good ones to date in addition to the rest. Adding more disjointed techniques to your practice is rarely the direction to great martial art. Proficiency within the correct core material, regardless of how simple it may appear - is sure to point you in the right direction.
Once core proficiency may be achieved, the traditional way is to fight/spar and experience as numerous different styles as possible in order to understand their methods yet still time learning to utilize the principles of one's style to defeat them. In this way (if you're finding worthy matches) at first you'll lose as frequently as you win but that's normal. Gradually you'll work towards mastery. The truth is, that to excel, you must create a depth of understanding and talent which goes well past core proficiency. That can take much more are employed in terms of coaching, training, and experimenting, to build up.