There is purity in the street fighter. They react without the “benefit” of organized training. Every punch, every duck, every kick, every block, every action—for better or for worse—is an expression of self, uncluttered by memorized forms and moves. This is precisely why so many seasoned martial artists would not stand a chance against a confident bar brawler. There’s much more to life than the tried and true lessons our teachers attempt to pass on.
Enroll that same street fighter at your local karate school and you will witness a dramatic change. What was once automatic becomes robotic. Too much time and effort is now dedicated to remembering what one is “supposed to do” instead of just “doing.”
Fighting skill comes full circle when someone who is able to maintain the beginner’s mind of a street fighter combines that freedom with the conditioning and skills learned in a more formal setting. The enlightened fighter, the one that instills fear and respect in the heart of their opponent, is the fighter not troubled with labels, titles, credits, or rankings. Their primary concern is results.