Martial Arts Research Group
MARG is a collaborative environment where experienced martial artists from various styles and backgrounds can get together as peers to practice and discuss martial techniques, principals, and theories, openly and freely. Currently we are focused on meeting in the greater Boulder area.
This is not a commercial venture but commercial players are welcome to participate. There are plenty of good martial art schools around and this is not an attempt to setup a school, this is a completely different approach to martial arts training and information exchange.
This is a place where a complete newbie can practice/learn techniques without any dogma, and a place where ranked individuals (black belts) can have fun and learn from each other without having to follow each other's "style", without any one person as "the" authority. This is a place where you may meet someone to train with on your own, and a place where you may just be exposed to new ideas and training methods. We encourage/hope you will also seek other learning avenues/places and come share what you have learned with us!
If you are interested in training regularly whether you are a newbie or a 5th Dan, consider joining us!
The Formal Goal
The purpose of the Martial Arts Research Group is to foster a scientific research environment where members are free to formulate, test, exchange and practice martial arts ideas, theories, and applications. Read more about this formal goal.
Spreading The MARG Vision
MARG is an idea that any group of individuals can assemble under. There is no requirement that you join a school, that you pay fees or bow to someone. While this site is currently focused on the Boulder MARG, if you share the MARG vision, setup your own MARG in your area, and maybe even let us know about it so that we can help you spread the word about your local group. You may use this wiki to do so but you should probably get your own mailing list.
The Boulder MARG
The Boulder MARG is small, but we have been meeting fairly steadily lately (March 2008) and we are making efforts to grow the group now. We primarily meet either at someone's house or in a park if the weather is nice. We keep in touch via email and phone, you may join our mailing list http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/MARG-Boulder/join, introduce yourself; or if you want a more personal introduction, you can email me, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. We are mostly a group of experienced practitioners, but we welcome complete newbies too, you may find the environment more conducive to quick learning than a traditional school.
I would like to learn as much as possible about personal combat and defense but I (and others) have found that it is very hard to learn the types of things that we want to learn and practice from a school. Martial arts schools are a means to propagate and practice techniques (amongst other things), but they do not seem to be a very good environment for research and experimentation and they rarely provide opportunities to develop real fighting experts. While many schools are very good and have knowledgeable instructors, their agendas simply do not seem to be conducive to critically and comprehensively studying martial arts techniques. (more on this)
I have been receiving similar questions about the group, so I started an FAQ.
Group Research Formats
Some suggestions to help a group of free minded individuals work together.
The Defunct Virginia MARG
Previously there was a MARG in Northern Virginia. There are still several members in the area who may be interested in reviving the group, if you are interested, let me know, I will put you in touch with them.
While the goal of the group is not necessarily to produce anything, rather simply to perform experience based research, you may use the Martial Arts Research wiki to record and discuss any actual content which the group produces.