Last Friday I was gifted (by my wife, by his wife Paula, and by Danny Inosanto himself) with three precious hours with one of the greatest martial arts instructors in history. Yes, I think that’s true for a number of reasons. His commitment, his length of practice, the number of teaching hours, and the existence of current TECHNOLOGY of printing, communication, video, and travel that have allowed him to access knowledge previous generations could barely have dreamed of. A Monk in a Shaolin Temple could have accessed scrolls from Asia, but what could he have known of African arts? A unique moment in history, and a man at the crossroads of the world, with a totally open mind and heart, who trained with the very best the world could offer and never stopped skimming off the cream. At eighty years old, he is still training in Systema, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Burmese boxing. I mean…what do you even say about someone like that?
Anyway, another tidbit he offered, the “8 S” pattern of qualities a martial artist must have. This is the list, in the order he gave them:
- Sensitivity (to touch)
He then asked me which were the two most important. What do you think his answer was, and why?