IntroIf you have visited different martial arts schools in your area or viewed websites for any of the many different styles of martial arts, you have probably been bombarded with reasons and rationalizations as to why one style is better than all the others. Sometimes practitioners of a style will give some seemingly logical reasons why they believe their style is better or they may give detailed explanations as to why they perform a technique in a certain way.
As you hear or read these reasons and explanations, you should be aware of the faulty logic and fallacies that are used in these explanations. The fallacies are not necessarily attempting to deceive; most times they arise from the use of faulty logic.
An old southern gospel song says, "In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not true, he would have told me so." The reasoning used in this verse is that since God did not say it was false, then it must be true. Some people use this same reasoning when explaining their martial arts. They say that since the master always tells the truth, if the master did not say it was false, then it must be true. This is a conclusion drawn from faulty logic.
LogicLogic is "the science of reasoning, proof, thinking, or inference." By using logic, you may analyze an argument or a piece of reasoning to determine if it is likely to be correct. By understanding more about logic, you will be able to spot invalid arguments. There are many types of logic, but here we are focusing on simple Boolean logic. When people talk about something being "logical," they usually are talking about Boolean logic.
Logical reasoning is not an absolute law that governs the universe. Sometimes, something that is deemed logical using knowledge of the time is later found to be illogical when more knowledge on the subject is discovered. In the early 20th century, one universal law was that nothing could exceed the speed of light. Now we know this is not true.
Logic is not a set of rules that govern human behavior. Humans may have logically conflicting goals. For example, Jim asks to speak to the head referee. The head referee is Mary. Therefore, logic dictates that Jim wants to speak to Mary. However, Jim wants to avoid Mary since he owes her money. In this case, the logical conclusion is not applicable to real life. Sometimes the logical conclusion is not the correct one for the situation.
Logic is based on sound deductive arguments. You should understand how to recognize sound deductive arguments, so you are not misled by the many invalid arguments made by the many so-called "masters" of different martial art styles.
Many of the statements made by these "masters" are fallacies. You should understand some of the common fallacies used by these "masters" when they make statements in explanation or defense of their arts.