The “Myth” of the “SUPER Technique”

Martial artists kill me. They remind me of the story of the Fox and the Grapes. Have I ever told you that story? I learned it as a boy:

There was once a fox who came across a gravevine full of delicious-looking grapes. “I sure would like to have some of those grapes,” the fox thought to himself.

He jumped to reach the lowest-hanging grapes, and no matter how high he jumped, the grapes escaped his reach.

After jumping, and jumping, and jumping, and failing… the fox was exhausted.

So he walked away, saying to himself, “who wants those grapes anyway? They are probably sour…”


So, when a martial arts teacher (like me) speaks of secrets and “super” techniques, those with low self esteem and questions about his or her own knowledge will rush to debunk the existence of these things as myths.

  • There are no secrets in the martial arts
  • The secret to skill in the martial arts is practice
  • If you have any secrets in your art, they aren’t worth anything
  • Keep them, I wouldn’t want to learn them

But let some popular martial artist talk of secrets, then people will acknowledge or lend credibility to them, rather than argue. Hopefully Master so-in-so will have these great-sounding techniques available on DVD, right?

I am not going to get into my definitions of martial arts “Secrets” again. I’ve done it thousands of times, and I would like for you to do a little research of my posts and articles and find it. Hopefully you will discover many useful bits of advice and information in my writings.  But I’d like to describe what is called the “super technique”.


When people talk of martial arts secrets, what comes to mind is some technique that will enable the fighter to whip all comers once he learns this technique. Not true. While it may be true that a super technique is often held close to the heart, the two are not the same. The Super technique is a technique that is well-thought through and designed to be a counterless fighting technique, often a counter to an attack. It is not just a hit or kick, but a combination that is designed to counter any possible counters to it. This is not easy to create, but they’re out there. And those teachers who know them did not just pick them up in passing. Often they are the last of a system learned, a teacher’s most valuable techniques or favored techniques. These are essentially trade secrets, and treated as so. But learning them is not enough. A teacher who teaches it will demand thousands and thousands of repetitions of practice. I have encountered some Masters who held such techniques and befriended them, ultimately learning a few. I can tell you, after experiencing such a technique, you develop a sense of awe and respect for them and trust me… you will treat them with the same amount of secrecy yourself.

One of the characteristics of such a technique–although not in all of them–is the amount of damage that can be inflicted upon an opponent with it. There are some techniques that really “too deadly/damaging” to use in sparring or demonstration. Yes, it is a joke in the martial arts, but there are many techniques that cannot be simulated. These are the techniques that you will practice in the air and on targets, and use only when the time calls for it. With this kind of technique, most who know them will not even demonstrate them to prove they exist and you will absorb ridicule for doing so. If you are a teacher of the art, a very small number of your students will ever get to learn them. This is the knowledge that is earned by a student’s dedication and loyalty.

If this post seemed pretty vague, then good. That’s what it was meant to be. Thank you for visiting my blog!



Author: thekuntawman

full time martial arts teacher, full time martial arts philosopher, and full time martial arts critic

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