In most martial arts systems, there are many, many techniques that are introduced during the training regimen for one reason or another.  Some techniques or requirements are included because of the historical relevance to the martial arts in general and these are necessary to help in the bonding of yesterday to today.  Other techniques are mandated because of the relevance to system of which they are utilized.  These are the "meat and potatoes" of which make the individual system work to it's fullest.  Then you have techniques of which have no relevance to the system or the past.  They are just movements that have been "thrown in" to fill up space and time.  If these "space fillers" have relevant movement that imitate, lead or follow the general system, then they can be a great asset.  If they introduce no "flowing" support, then they have the potential to cause harm to the martial artist, if the need arises for a natural defense.  If your defenses are not natural, these techniques either won't be used at all or they will be so animated, if and when they are executed, that harm could come to the user.


There are three "trains of thought" among martial arts instructors when it comes to the numbers of techniques within a training system.  Some say that the fewer the techniques the better.  The problem with very few techniques is that most of the "bases" are not covered.  These systems leave "holes" that leaves the practitioner with no defense when a certain situation arises.   Successful martial artist's must be introduced to and trained in as many situations as possible.  At least in this way they will have a better chance of survival.  Others are animate in the fact that they have thousands of techniques of which all are necessary.  If these techniques flow from one to another and/or the students have photographic memories of which their void is able to work from, maybe!  Then you have systems of which they are probably a few hundred that work as a family unit and are necessary in it's unique functionality.  Most instructors in this business of self-defense truly believe that what they are introducing is necessary and functional.  But, from time to time all instructors should take a "step back" and look at what they are promoting as feasible and workable.  The students should be looked at in an unbiased view and see if they are just stumbling around in a false sense of accomplishment or could actually be "worth their salt" when put up against the unknown.  If they ever are confronted with an "unknown" and end up seriously injured because their flashy or "over-kill" technique failed, it is the instructors fault and not the trusting and innocent student.  A martial arts instructor has a tremendous responsibility of which should never be forgot in the day to day activities within in the dojo, dojang or whatever.  A life could hang in the balance when ego blinds common sense.  Techniques must flow from one to the other and work within themselves, so that these  repetitious actions will work from the void in harmony.  Whatever the number, if they "truly" work and flow with the individual, their worth is immeasurable, but if the techniques are choppy and nearly unworkable (or workable only to a specific build or type of individual) or in so many numbers that none can be proficiently performed, they are worthless.

An Abundance of Useable Tools

or

An Over-Flowing Trash Can?