Most of the time I like to keep my posts practical and useful, but sometimes you have to swing for the fences and ask the big questions. There aren't too many bigger than this:

Who are the most substantial influencers in the martial arts universe; the movers and shakers that, without them, the martial landscape would be much different today?

The big disclaimer for this video is that it is a highly subjective topic. There is no possible way my list could be considered definitive. In fact, in a few years I might even disagree with myself! Nevertheless, it is a fun experiment trying to appreciate the real roots of our collective martial culture.

Is your brain churning already in regards to whom you might include on "The Top Ten Most Influential Martial Artists of ALL TIME"? Well, let's find out if you and I agree or disagree. To the list!

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If the video doesn't pop up when you click it, just visit the youtube page here.


I really hope you enjoyed watching this little romp through history and present day development. If you feel that your style or system was excluded unfairly I do apologize – there were so many to consider and so few slots available. If it makes you feel any better, I didn't even include the founder of my own style. So I at least ATTEMPTED some objectivity.

When you stop for a moment and really consider the lasting impact of individuals like this it makes you appreciate the complexity of martial development. Without the efforts of just a handful of special people what we know and accept today as martial arts could be completely different.

Consider now the seriousness of your training and your value in preserving martial culture for generations to come. Who might bloggers include on a list like this 100 years from now when they sit down to write on their futuristic brain-implant-computers? Will you be on their list? :-).