Monday, November 14, 2011

What constitutes being a “martial” art

  With the multitude of defensive system's that are being taught to the general public, how many are justified in using the title of martial art? As it has been used over the prior 40 years, it has (IMO) mislead the general public and the majority of those student's who have been training in those various disciplines. I believe first, one has to define the term martial art, and how/why it's being used to define what's being taught.
  Examining the first word (martial), definitions include being inclined or disposed to war; associated with war or the armed forces; characteristic of or befitting a warrior: of, relating to, or characteristic of war, soldiers, or the military life. Not exactly what any self-defense school or system that I'm aware of focuses upon.
The second word “art”, can be defined as any of the following,
1 the creation of works of beauty or other special significance
2 imaginative skill as applied to representations of the natural world
   or figments of the imagination
3 the products of man's creative activities; works of art collectively,
   esp of the visual arts, sometimes also music, drama, dance, and 
4 excellence or aesthetic merit of conception or execution as    
   exemplified by such works
5 any branch of the visual arts, esp painting
6 (modifier) intended to be artistic or decorative
7 any field using the techniques of art to display artistic qualities
8 journalism photographs or other illustrations in a newspaper, etc
9 artfulness; cunning
10 method, facility, or knack
11 the system of rules or principles governing a particular human 
12 the exercise of human skill (as distinguished from nature)
13 to become highly proficient at something through practice
  It's only those few descriptions (towards the end) that would fit into an applicable category for what's being practiced in the majority of these (so-called) martial arts schools. When examined, the weakest word being utilized in relation to what's being taught (between the two) would appear to be martial.
  Art (being more diverse), can represent numerous meanings, martial on the other hand, is pretty limited in it's definition. There have been various systems that have made claim to being practiced and taught by several armies throughout the world. But the truth still remains, that the military forces of the world, focuses their training upon defeating armies, not soldiers. The amount of time/effort spent on hand to hand combat, is extremely limited (when compared to more practical forms of combat). The various forms of self-defense being taught, are designed to defeat individual aggressors. One of the most exaggerated (at least beyond any practical value) is the MMA (manor) of self-defense.
  These two totally different subjects (which they are) have nothing in common, nor of any benefit to either. MMA, is a Miss-Mash of Nonsense (MMN?) designed to be utilized in a sport environment. The rules which it is conducted under, are such that any relation to reality is eliminated (and thus make the techniques being utilized inapplicable/impractical in a real life-protection situation). MMA has nothing to do with, or even relate to either martial or art (thus, at the very least, making it the most inaccurately named sport being followed today). The Mixed-up part is the only accuracy contained in the name/description.
  I believe that the art portion of any form of self-protection instruction is the more relevant part of one's training. The word/term of art, tends to make one think of beauty and/or perfection (which is what we all attempt to attain with our training). As with any art form, beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder. Every system/style has it's own look (to it's execution). When that execution is performed correctly, then the beauty (of that system) becomes more evident.
  What is practiced in dojo's throughout the U.S. (or anywhere else for that manor) Is in only a very small way, any form of what might be considered to be a martial art. The average system/style teaches the student to escape and run away (which, I have no problem with). RyuTe teaches students to disable only after having first caused pain (when that would have been established to be applicable). Any methodology being studied, requires time to be spent practicing doing so. The vast majority of student's have real lives. Because of that fact, we can't spend the majority of our free time on training.
  The nonsense that is MMA, amounts to it being neither a martial pursuit, or an art. The fact that it is a mixed up collection of nonsense is the only part of it's name that makes sense. As a sport, I can see how some may be drawn to it, but that's as far as it goes. When ever I see someone writing about it, I view it like I would anyone writing about any other sport (baseball, football, rugby). It consists of zero interest from myself.
     On another note, I've received several inquiries about some of RyuTe's (version of) techniques. Over the next few month's I thought I'd attempt to put them into a (understandable) written format (to then be posted here). If there are any technique's that someone would like to have explained, just ask, I'll see what I can do.


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