Can Someone Be A Good Martial Artist Without Being A Good Fighter?

Andrew Green

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 1, 2004
Messages
8,627
Reaction score
449
Location
Winnipeg MB
I'd say they are no longer a great martial artists, at least if fighting was the goal of there art. They might be a great teacher, but no longer a great martial artist. In the same way Joe Fraizer is no longer a great boxer, lots of knowledge yes, still a great boxer - no. Same with any other sport or physical activity. Is Bobby Hull still a great hockey player? No, but he was 30 years ago.

On the other hand I'd say someone like Jackie Chan or Jet Li are great martial artists, even though they never fought, and never claimed to be fighters. What they did was still martial arts, just performance baised, and they where great at it.

There are different aspects to martial arts, fighting is only one path. Performance is another, preserving history another, some are even in it for spiritual reasons. So to each his own.
 

Fu_Bag

Blue Belt
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
257
Reaction score
4
I wonder if people are separating the holistic "Martial Artist" into two separate pieces for the sake of arguement? As a whole, to me at least, a Martial Artist is someone who has the ability to deal with all aspects of war. That includes the intelligence gathering, the negotiations to prevent war, the development of methods for the neutralization of the opposing force, dealing with wounded, supplying troops, dealing with prisoners, managing morale, negotiating cessation of hostilities, negotiating peace, rebuilding of the arena of operations, and working to establish a lasting peace.

If I wanted to find a real martial artist, I'd seek out those retired, injured, battle seasoned generals a lot quicker than I'd seek out someone who really just loves to fight for the sake of fighting. The generals could help me to develop the mindset of a warrior. That mindset will lead to the development of the fighting style of a warrior. The fighter can only make a fighter out of me.

Personally, I am able to respect fighters for their fighting ability but I have much more respect for the generals and the warriors that they train. :)

With much appreciation and respect for the true warriors out there,

Fu Bag :D
 

Kacey

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
16,462
Reaction score
224
Location
Denver, CO
Andrew Green and Fu_Bag have stated much more clearly than I did the concept I was trying to get. Martial arts teach fighting, yes - but a martial artist is more than just a fighter. The broader base of knowledge, experience, and skill that helps a true martial artist know when, and how, to fight - or not fight - are, in my opinion, a much bigger part of being a martial artist than proficiency with fighting techniques alone.
 

Fu_Bag

Blue Belt
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
257
Reaction score
4
Andrew Green and Fu_Bag have stated much more clearly than I did the concept I was trying to get. Martial arts teach fighting, yes - but a martial artist is more than just a fighter. The broader base of knowledge, experience, and skill that helps a true martial artist know when, and how, to fight - or not fight - are, in my opinion, a much bigger part of being a martial artist than proficiency with fighting techniques alone.


Amen to THAT!!!!



p.s. Thanks, Kacey :D
 

charyuop

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
659
Reaction score
14
Location
Ponca City, Oklahoma
In the last few messages I have read something a little different from the original question which finds me agreeing with that.
Now if as someone said we start saying to be a Martial Artist you have to be able to fight is one thing. Yes to be a Martial Artist you have to be able to put into practice your knowledge and thus fight.
But the question was another. The original question was to be a Martial Artist you need to be a GOOD fighter? Well in that case no.
To be able to fight means to be able to use the knowledge. If someone punches me I have the knowledge on hot to stop the punch thus stopping it is putting into practice my knowledge. In that case yes, you need to be a fighter (even tho fighter is not really the word I would use).
But being a good fighter is something beyond being a good Martial Artist (I don't want to repeat my previous answer, so I cut it here).
 

Anti-Theory

White Belt
Joined
Aug 16, 2006
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
But consider what actualy makes one a "Good Fighter" are you a good fighter because somebody told you that you were? Are you a good fighter if you can beat anybody in a fight? I like to think that becoming strong requires personal reflection, you strenghten your weaknesses and you have the courage to stand up to danger and tough and gritty situations.

Martial Arts is exactly that - an art. You could be the best Martial Artist in the known universe, master every form, every stance, every secret and deadly technique and still throw a punch that wouldn't budge a feather. Mastering the art is one thing, but mastering the "good fighting" aspect is something MA can't teach you. it just takes the collective will to become stronger and braver.

So the two are not necessarily unrelated, but neither are they seperate.
 

Drac

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jul 16, 2004
Messages
22,738
Reaction score
143
Location
Ohio
Andrew Green and Fu_Bag have stated much more clearly than I did the concept I was trying to get. Martial arts teach fighting, yes - but a martial artist is more than just a fighter. The broader base of knowledge, experience, and skill that helps a true martial artist know when, and how, to fight - or not fight - are, in my opinion, a much bigger part of being a martial artist than proficiency with fighting techniques alone.

Yes...Good post
 

w.kaer

Green Belt
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
Location
Virginia Beach, VA
I started thinking about this because of Jet Li. I always considered him a good martial artist, but he admits to knowing very little about fighting. This raises the question; can someone be a good martial artist and not know how to fight?



I hope you can be a good martial artist without being a good fighter because I suck at fighting. I lack the experience in fighting. Sparring during class is my only exposure to the application of what we train. Of course, at my level, I wouldn't say I was a good martial artist either. I would like to think though as I do get better and I get to the point where I may be viewed as "good" that I don't gain much more experience in fighting. My life doesn't lend itself to the situations that bring about the frequent fighting. Will it hinder my development as a martial artist? I would like to think not, but I can appreciate the point of the "martial" in martial arts. I guess that is why we train.

--Walt
 
Top