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Can we add to the FAQ that you can't compare two martial arts or fighting style by watching two people fight - because you're only comparing the skills of the respective fighters (and possibly the wisdom of their coach in preparing them for this particular fight)?

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    Seems like an argument you're not going to win: there's people on both sides of the fence on that issue (right or wrong). – stslavik Jul 18 '12 at 17:33
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I'm not sure that it would be a good fit for the FAQ. Things like this are fodder for debate. While I agree with your stance, I don't think that the FAQ would be a good place to discuss that point.

Perhaps it would make a good question to post, though?

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  • I don't look forward to being the arbiter of that debate... Because it will, unfortunately, be a debate, if @stslavik is right. And if it's a debate, it's not a good fit for the Q&A blah blah blah – Anon Jul 18 '12 at 18:05
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I think the problem would be solved by requiring "context" be included in the question...

Have the FAQ some how guide people to ask about fighting in a clear context: "which art is better in a cage fight?" (commenters would probably pester for specific cage rules/systems) "which art is better for short people defending against people with knives?"

Questions with enough context can be answered objectively.

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  • I agree with your point, though I think the site's requirements for useful, specific questions already provides such a requirement for context. – Dave Liepmann Mar 18 '13 at 17:15
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There are objective answers to some questions.

If fighters of style Y lose to fighters of style Y 99 times out of 100, we can stop saying it's about individuals. Yes, as David Hume argues, past performance is no indicator of future success. Yes, cage fights aren't back alleys. But it's silly to discount the wealth of knowledge we have about inter-style competition, and it's silly to totally discount the results of no-holds-barred competitions. It is often very possible to say that in the general case, style X turns people into fighters better than style Y.

I would be very opposed to such a silly addition to the FAQ, and further, I don't see how it belongs. The only purpose I see would be to use it as a pseudo-authoritative cudgel against people you disagree with. That has nothing to do with quality of posts on MA.SE.

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