Youtube - you've all done it, don't pretend you haven't - you've gone to youtube and typed in ‘fight'....and of course you get a bear fight, or maybe some American teenagers.
After you browse around a bit you get more and more specific, typing in
Martial Arts fight
Shotokan Karate Fight
What you're looking for is of course this something like the below - incontrovertible proof that your martial art is best and by practicing it you will become Chuck Norris or Roice Gracie.
What you find of course is a random set of compilations, some tournament rounds.
The reason I bring this up is recently I saw a live Aikido demonstration, which to be honest, wasn't very good. In fact it bordered on embarrassing. Now I don't really doubt that the practitioners are good at what they do, but it brings up the point of what makes a martial art demonstrably good.
There are some great videos out there for karate for example.
The man who kills bulls with his bare hands is pretty impressive, the karate instructor who beats up a street pimp (with one blow) is always good for a laugh. There are 100 man kumite....(100!!!) clips, Kimbo Slice being beat by a karate practitioner.
The problem is though, when you get right down to it, you can look at that and think ‘that's awsome' but really, I don't see myself killing bulls and fighting 100 people in a row. I relate to the tournaments, the kata and of course, the demonstrations.
Every art will put on a flashy display from time to time, this is where people get inspired to do something and take up an art form. The problem is, when the truly spectacular becomes passé because it's been seen from your living room.....well it's just a lot harder to get into an Akido demo that involves a lot of defence techniques for the open handed over-the-head face chop.
Sorry Aikido fans, I have a defense for this attack which doesn't involve an elaborate and difficult to perform wrist lock and twist and throw.
My defence goes like this.
Stand there, let the chop hit the top of your skull, thus damaging your attackers fingers. Then, if he's still able to fight...you kick him inna fork.....
I am, of course, being facetious - my point is this though and I think it's valid in todays 3 second attention-span world.
If you're going to show off.....you'd better be impressive/practical/attainable or, ideally, all three.
Oh, and don't post to youtube unless you want the armchair experts to rip you to shreads and start a 'UFC >TKD > Karate > Kung Fu' debate on your post....