Here on martial arts nerd, we pretty much talk on every topic under the sun that somewhat is related to martial arts. Though we have never really discussed what is martial arts before. What is the true meaning behind martial arts? how do we define a martial art? What is martial arts? it’s such a diverse word that could mean so many things. Yet we still use it to group up a whole niche.
Well today’s goal for me is to tell you how I perceive the word martial arts. Than I want to see what you guys think about the subject. Will you agree with my definition of what martial arts is? or will you share with us your understanding of the word martial arts?
What Is Martial Arts
Let’s start to answer this great question by seeing what google defines as a martial art.
‘various sports, which originated chiefly in Japan, Korea, and China as forms of self-defense or attack, such as judo, karate, and kendo.’ (Google might change the answer in the future. Though that’s the current answer google gives, as I’m writing this article)
Bad google, I do not agree to be honest I don’t care what the true meaning of martial arts might be, but this is definitely not it for me.
Well to be honest I almost fully agree with what google said about what martial arts is. My only problem is ‘…which originated chiefly in Japan, korea and china…’ why would this matter, when we’re defining martial arts?
I mean I don’t want to sound all triggered but this makes no sense to me and I was not aware of it previous to starting this article. So if let’s say karate was invented in america it wouldn’t be a martial art why? Anyways as I’m already going of topic on what is martial arts, I’ll define the real definition of what martial arts are.
Martial arts are, any form of activity with the sole purpose of improving your self-defense. Now I’m sure there are going to be some smart guys out there with this follow up question to my definition of what is martial arts. That’s why I’m just going to address it right now so I don’t see it in the comments section.
What Is Martial Arts Definition Counter Argument
When stating ‘improving your self-defense’ where would you draw the line. Would football be considered a martial art since it improves your kicking power?
This is a very interesting question where do we draw the line between what is a martial art and what isn’t a martial art. When we based martial arts just on an activity that improves your self-defens.
Clearly someone who practices football vs someone who doesn’t practice any form of sports would have an advantage over the other in a fight. So does this make football a martial art, is every sport a martial art? since clearly anyone who does any form of physical activity will technically improve his self-defense capabilities,thereby raising the question what is martial arts. There must be more to it than just self defense.
My counter argument for this counter argument would simply be, is walking a sport? do you consider humming as singing? does labor work mean your a bodybuilder?
No, obviously no. Your just playing around with words trying to delude the word self-defense. Obviously Krav Maga improves your self-defense abilities way better than that of football.
And that puts us in the second trap.
Is There Only One Martial Art?
So your saying that if a sport improves your self-defense better than that of another sport it would make the superior sport a martial art, while the less superior martial art would be denounced into a sport?
Firstly I will just say that I don’t think martial arts are better than sports. Just saying this because I might sound as if I’m glorifying martial arts as a superior type of sport which aren’t my intentions, we’re just trying to understand what are martial arts.
Okay back to the question, now unlike the previous argument where the slightest thing was being considered as a way to improve your self-defense. In this argument your saying that if something is superior to the other it makes it irrelevant.
For this half-arsed argument trying to delude that meaning of martial arts, I will simply reply with.
Balance my friend, I’m sure your a smart fellow. We don’t really need to have this argument, there are more important questions that disrupt the meaning of martial arts we should be discussing more that this. I think a fair activity that should be in the activity that will define a sport from a martial art is sparing. Does this sport involve any form of sparring in it, if yes then it’s most likely a martial art. If not, most likely the little bit of improved self defense isn’t really going to be helping you all that much thereby deeming that sport not a martial art.
Are Traditional And Modern Self-Defense Systems Considered Martial Arts
MMA or some other modern martial art, isn’t a martial art because martial arts are intended to only be used in the streets not the ring. Really now, why would you think that if something had a tournament around it, it would be less of a martial art than that of a martial art that has no proof of it’s efficiency.
I really disagree with this, how can you with a straight face say.
That fighting styles that have been changing and improving for thousand of years be considered martial arts. Yet if we upgraded something in the last century it’s suddenly not a martial art. What happened this century that for some reason made fighting styles not martial arts?
Any fighting style created this century has been thanks to all the previous martial arts teachings. Just like any traditional martial art you might practice, the ‘modern martial arts’ have been invented in the same way that your traditional mostly likely less efficient martial art was born. New styles emerge from older styles this is simply the way everything works, it grows it improves. I don’t get why so many people think new martial arts aren’t real martial arts just cos they’ve been created this century.
Do I have to remind you about the fight of the ‘tai chi grandmaster vs MMA coach’ that ended in 10 seconds.
There are many more of these childish arguments trying to either glorify there specific martial art or to dilute the word martial arts. Than again my opinion might not be the correct answer, I’m trying to have a debate with you guys here on the subject. To my knowledge martial arts purpose has always been for self-defense, obviously time changes.
Martial Arts History
Let’s talk a bit about the history of martial arts. For me the first martial art was when, the first human started to teach his animal catching technique. In those times. it was more common to have to fight of other species of animals. Therefore martial arts had to tailor around that.
Nowadays I’m assuming you live in a civilized part of the world, we don’t really have to deal with wildlife. This really changes our interpretation of what is martial arts.
Since martial arts, main purpose is to provide us with self-defense. The meaning of martial arts changes depending on the era that we are living in. Would you not consider throwing a javelin with the proper technique at an animal not a form of martial art? Nowadays I would not consider that a martial art, throwing a javelin at an animal but more of a hunting ‘sport’. Though the proper use of using a javelin I would definitely consider that a martial art.
How Is Martial Arts Doing Right Now?
Sadly not that great fellow martial artists. I’ve recently done a study to find out if martial arts are becoming more popular. The results where only positive for brazilian jiu jitsu lovers. You can see my study here, Top 150 List Of Popular Types Of Martial Arts Styles
Conclusion Of What Is Martial Arts
I don’t really have anything else to add to this, do you guys have something more to say to this? So am I right, do you guys agree with the way I see martial arts. How do you interpret martial arts? Feel free to argue with anything I said.