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A fractal is "a rough or fragmented geometric
shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a
reduced-size copy of the whole." (Mandlebrot, 1982). Approximate examples of
fractals are frequently found in nature - for example in some crystals, the self
similar pattern of snowflakes, or even blood vessels in the body. The best known
applications of fractals are as an advanced mathematical concept, where their
self replicating pattern can be used to make predictions of regularity and
structure within chaos.
Bearing in mind the highly complex application of fractals in mathematics and physics, our application of fractals with respect to Fractal Fighting Arts is almost embarrassingly simple. The essence of what we teach is that every movement is made up of the same constituent body structures, movements and shapes. We can only move in so many ways, and if you strip each movement back to its simplest actions, you will find that there is actually very little that seems to be happening. However, the reality is that we don't live in a reductionist world. A neuron firing on its own does not produce thought or consciousness, but millions of them firing does. A single dot of paint is not (often) considered art, but multiple controlled brush strokes have formed the best known paintings of the civilised world. The same concept applies to combat. An individual twist of the waist or placement of a limb seldom produces the means to end a conflict...but these constituent parts combine to form the fighting arts that we teach. The movements are all self similar, and they can be analysed individually at any magnification and at any level of resolution and look the same; but yet they form almost infinitely complex patters in the movement.
True understanding of what we are trying to achieve is not the easiest thing to grasp. It is all too easy to see nothing but techniques, all of which may look different - and if you were to try to "memorise" them all, the system would be a nightmare. However, memory of techniques is not the goal. Deeper understanding of the necessary body structures of you and your opponent, and the underlying principles, concepts and theories is what makes the approach of Fractal Fighting Arts truly unique when compared to the vast majority of other martial arts systems out there.
Logo: Central Triangles: Triangles are
everywhere. Geometrically they are the
strongest available shape, and are self reinforcing. We actively apply triangles in
almost every aspect of combat, from entering, to locking, throwing and footwork
patterns. The structure of the triangle allows for the practitioner who understands how
to apply them combatively to be able to rely on maintaining structural superiority over
their opponent instead of having to resort to superior strength alone. The replication
of the triangles within each other is representative of the concept of self similarity shared
by all fractals, and is similar in form to the Sierpinski Triangle from which this aspect of
the logo draws inspiration.
Conceptually, one can zoom in to infinity and still find each part (and its opposite - for
there is an upward and a downward triangle), yet also have the ability to find entirely
new combinations because of this depth. Finally (and more simply), the three triangles
also represent the three primary syllabus levels within Fractal Fighting Arts.
Logo: Laurel: The meaning of the adapted laurel surrounding the central triangles is two fold. First it is an historical reference to our roots with Crest Martial Arts from which the concept of Fractal Fighting Arts was born. Secondly it represents the academic side of the martial arts. We do not just fight, we try to understand. Though indeed martial arts are inherently an "art form" and a method for self expression, it is of vital importance that we embrace our natural thirst for knowledge and gain the best possible understanding of the relevant principles, concepts and theories. These include academic analysis of phenomena such as human balance (and the evolutionary processes behind it), basic geometry (and its applications in the body), physiology and anatomy (the internal structures of the body and their macro-functions), psychology (at multiple levels, including the function of the amygdala, workings of the adrenal and limbic system, understanding of social processes with respect to physical confrontation etc.). These elements (and many others drawn from our classical Indonesian systems) form the academic basis for what is taught within Fractal Fighting Arts.
Logo: Outer Circle/Aperture: There are several meanings behind the outer circular structure. Circles (as with triangles) are commonplace in combat, and understanding of circular (and spiralling) movement can provide a solid base for several foot work patterns (Lankah) and methods of power generation (such as Gelek and Fa Jing). The circle represents continuation of learning throughout the life cycle, yet it is broken to represent freedom of expression and thought. The breaks in the circle provide both a route from life generally (everything that is outside of the circle) to the teachings of the martial arts (all that is inside the circle), and a route from the martial arts back to life itself.