Martial Artist Vs Warrior

Cruentus

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Here are my definitions:

Combat: Active fighting where lives hang in the balance.

Warrior: Someone who is actively preparing to and willing to engage in combat ( or war, be it the homeland or enemy territory) to protect others. This person must also live by the army values (Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, Personal Service) and the Warrior Ethos (1. Always place the mission 1st 2. Never Accept Defeat 3. Never Quit 4. Never leave a fallen comrade). This could be a soldier, a police man, or a citizen who is willing to put their life on the line and fight if necessary.

Being a soldier does not automatically make you a warrior. Some soldiers aren't willing to actually fight, or consistantly don't live by the values. But I would say that they certianly get more training, preparation, and chances to prove "warriorship" in this regard then anyone else.

I don't think that a "salesman" or a "teacher" who "battles" every day at work is a "warrior." Not unless that "salesman" or "teacher" is actively training for combat, and willing to take up arms and do what it takes to defend their society. For most civilians, though, this willingness will never be tested; thus their warriorship never proven. This is fine, and it is up to the individual to be comfortable with their preparation in this regard, and not to be discouraged or looking for a chance to "prove" anything.

The military basically approaches the definition of warrior from the standpoint that you have to be a soldier to be a warrior. Not all soldiers agree with this, but many do. I don't agree with it, but I at least respect that many military men have a different outlook and definition then I do, and I am not upset with those who don't agree with my definition.

Fight: A conflict or contest between two people, usually physical in nature.

Fighter: A person who willingly engages in conflicts or contests; usually physical in nature.

Combatant: Someone who willingly engages in combat (see definition of combat above).

Combatives: The study and methodology of fighting in combat.

Martial Arts: The artistic expression of combat or fighting.

Martial Artist: Someone who practices or trains in the artistic expression of combat or fighting methods.

So, the person who wears the Karate Gi, has a class structure rooted in a tradition, does Kata, etc., is doing the artistic expression of combat/fighting systems. The reasons for this may be for personal development and tradition preservation rather then development of combat skills. Martial Arts schools may have their own set of standards and ethos to follow.

So "martial arts" can range from Karate to Tai Chi to Boxing to Jujitsu. If the reason for the training program and for training is for artistic expression and personal development (which can be done in conjunction with developing fighting/combat skills), then it is a 'martial art.'

'Martial Artist' is a very broad term to me. It encompasses everything from Hard hitting disciplines like MMA to kids TKD or Tai Chi. I don't romanticize this term like many people do, because I know that what it means to be a "martial artist" will vary on per school and per person.

Athlete: A person who is trained in physical skills to perform exercises or sporting activities.

Sport: An athletic contest involving physical skill where one competes with another or others to achieve a goal as defined by the rules.

Sport Fighting: Where one engages in a fight as defined by rules in competition with another to achieve a goal (knockout, submission, points, etc.).

Overlap: That is the way I define these terms. I think that there is overlap between them. You could be a sport fighter, and a martial artist, for example. You could be a warrior, a sport fighter, and a martial artist. You could be a sport fighter without being a martial artist (although I think that would be hard to do). You could be a warrior without being a martial artist. You could be a fighter without being a warrior or martial artist or sport fighter (like a bully who picks fights on the street).

So, it all depends on the individual as to where they fit in to these definitions, and as to how they define things. I think that my definitions are good ones, but are by no means the authority. Opinions will vary. How does one see oneself, and does one see oneself in an honest way fitting with reality? I think that is the most important here...

:)
 

tradrockrat

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My .02? You want a definition of a term that includes the word "Art". good luck. There have been entire schools of philosophy devoted to that very subject with no definitive answer ever given.

In the end, it is a personal belief in what art means to you. Then you can apply that to what "martial" means to you and you can (if you want to) come up with an answer to this question. But your answer will be your own, and it will be different from mine.

I'm close to Cruentus on this one, but I have a rather rigid personal definition of art, thus a narrow view of what martial arts can be and are. The main thing is that I don't hold it as "better" than martial sport or martial combat (also phrases that have a very specific definition in my mind). I hold it as different. Therefore, in the end, all I have done is create a place to hold my personal views - this box holds Martial Arts, this one holds Martial Combat, this one holds Martial Sport...

doesn't actually change anything.
 

Renshi I

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Hey Brad,

It really depends on what you call an artist. Some arts are for other to see else how to promote the art form. Some arts have a personal componant which means it's designed to accomplish a personal purpose such as peace of mind; tempering the attitude; physical fitness ect... I know for a fact that had I not seen an art form being showed off, I probably would have never gotten involved. I soon found my own expression and I allow other to have thiers.
 

Renshi I

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Hey Brad, It's me again.

When a person begins to train to fight as a mixed martial artist. They start with one art as a dominant art. You can call a mixed martial artist an artist becuase the art they practice is no holds barred combat.This is no differant that any other artist with the exception that MMA's train only in the proficient and powerfilled use of multiple martial art techniques. Traiditional artists can learn much from the rituals of conditioning and practical application of techniques as well MMA'a can learn from the traiditionalist who concentrates on following a traidition of peace and inner peace that would be needed after times of hard combat.
 
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Brad Dunne

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I'm not intentionally attempting to "bash" MMA'ists, but in my opinion they are not martial artists as most people have come to equate the term to mean. Even though most have a background in some form of a martial art/discipline, they have, for the most part, opted to follow a different path, which I would equate to that of being a gladiator. The reference I made to the UFC was to illustrate how a term can be over used and thusly can loose it's meaning. You wouldn't walk into a karate dojo (generalization) and the only training you have had was in high school wrestling and say to the instructor, I'm a martial artist and I want to train here. He may let you train there, but he will be quick to let you know you are no martial artist. I have a world of respect for those that partake of MMA's, for they are dedicated athlete's, undergoing hardcore training, but for the most part, for a specific purpose and that is to engage in a fight for profit and or glory. I also include those folks who's primary interest is to win tournaments or go to the olympics, for those aspects afford me the distinction that divides martial artist from gladiator. It's like saying, I study Kung Fu but I also do Hapkido techniques, so therefor I'm an Hapkidoist. The Hapkido folks will let you know in a hurry your no such thing. I realize that this has gotten a little winded and it really sounds like MMA's bashing, but I don't mean it to be. I'm trying to establish a distinction between entities, so folks may have a better understanding of what I'm seeking.

To all that have responded, thanks for your input(s).
 

exile

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I'm not intentionally attempting to "bash" MMA'ists, but in my opinion they are not martial artists as most people have come to equate the term to mean. Even though most have a background in some form of a martial art/discipline, they have, for the most part, opted to follow a different path, which I would equate to that of being a gladiator. The reference I made to the UFC was to illustrate how a term can be over used and thusly can loose it's meaning. You wouldn't walk into a karate dojo (generalization) and the only training you have had was in high school wrestling and say to the instructor, I'm a martial artist and I want to train here. He may let you train there, but he will be quick to let you know you are no martial artist. I have a world of respect for those that partake of MMA's, for they are dedicated athlete's, undergoing hardcore training, but for the most part, for a specific purpose and that is to engage in a fight for profit and or glory. I also include those folks who's primary interest is to win tournaments or go to the olympics, for those aspects afford me the distinction that divides martial artist from gladiator. It's like saying, I study Kung Fu but I also do Hapkido techniques, so therefor I'm an Hapkidoist. The Hapkido folks will let you know in a hurry your no such thing. I realize that this has gotten a little winded and it really sounds like MMA's bashing, but I don't mean it to be.
To all that have responded, thanks for your input(s).

The longer this thread goes on, the less clear it is what's at issue. Brad, the whole of the above quote is a statement of how you use certain terms. MMAists are not MAists, they're gladiators. Wrestlers aren't MAists, they're... wrestlers, I guess. `Studying' KF but also `doing' hapkido (as opposed to `studying' hapkido??) means you aren't a hapkidoist... honestly, I've no idea what enterprise you're engaged in here. All that the above post tells me is how you use certain terms as descriptions. I have no clear picture of what, in any given novel situation, the essential criteria are that you would apply to sort the people you describe as `martial artists' from those you would describe as ... not martial artists.

I'm trying to establish a distinction between entities, so folks may have a better understanding of what I'm seeking.

You aren't establishing a distinction between anything(s). What you're doing is stating that there is such a distinction, but you aren't articulating what that distinction consists of; instead, you are supplying labels, the explicit basis for which you never identify, and then repeating the distinction you want to make by using those labels. I'm sure there's some specific idea you have in your mind about what it is that makes the label `martial artist' applicable to one group of people but not to another. But really, you haven't given us even the beginings of a clue as to what your criteria are. All we know is that you think there's a distinction between people who are described as MMAists and other people who are actually MAists, and that the former are distinct from the latter, and can be described as gladiators. You never tell us why a gladiator cannot be a martial artist. I have to say, I'm just not following you at all here...
 
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Brad Dunne

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You aren't establishing a distinction between anything(s). What you're doing is stating that there is such a distinction, but you aren't articulating what that distinction consists of

"for a specific purpose and that is to engage in a fight for profit and or glory. I also include those folks who's primary interest is to win tournaments or go to the olympics, for those aspects afford me the distinction that divides martial artist from gladiator"
I thought this statement articulated the distinction..........

My agenda is to find out what the majority of people feel/think a MA'ist is.

I have delinated what I think they are not, in response to those that feel the opposite. Most people have a difinative defination of what they consider a MA'ist to be. As yet, the majority of responses have been to the wording of warrior/soldier/civilian, etc and not to what is a martial artist. Perhaps my anaolgies were somewhat crude or disjointed in their offerings, but I perceive that the point of what is and what one wants something to be have been distingushed.

OK, so lets dispense with everything that has transpired todate. Simple question, with no reserves............"What is a Martial Artist"?
 

Cruentus

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I feel like this conversation has just gotten stupider, but I guess I'll continue.

By your definition, a "martial artist" would not fight for profit or glory, and would not engage in a public display like a competition in a ring/cage, and therefore MMA'ers can't be Martial Artist. I disagree, based on the definition I previously gave in this thread. You think that to be a "Martial Artist" one must obey a certain ethos, and therefore you have idealized "martial artists" in a way that most people don't. A "martial artist" fulfills a certain archetype that you would like to be a part of, and that you would like to exclude others of the competitive persuasion from based on your idealization. So, very much like being a "warrior" represents an archtype that effects the identities of many, being a "martial artist" represents something crucial to your identity.

So I think the real question here is, why is the idealization of the label of "martial artist" important to you? Why is it important for you to make a distinction between "competitive fighters" and "martial artists" where you are a part of one idealized group that the other (by your definition) must be excluded from?
 
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Brad Dunne

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I feel like this conversation has just gotten stupider..................

I concur with your findings...........So lets just put this thread to bed!

In fact, Mods - if you would be so kind, just take this thread and put it in the recycle bin...........................Thanks
 

Rook

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You aren't establishing a distinction between anything(s). What you're doing is stating that there is such a distinction, but you aren't articulating what that distinction consists of

"for a specific purpose and that is to engage in a fight for profit and or glory. I also include those folks who's primary interest is to win tournaments or go to the olympics, for those aspects afford me the distinction that divides martial artist from gladiator"
I thought this statement articulated the distinction..........

Personally, I don't really think your distinction is very clear at all.

Are you dividing people into MA and non-MA based on their motivations in training? For almost anyone out there, its going to change from time to time, and most people have more than one reason for training as they do.

Also, if you are going to exclude people who train at least in part for "profit and glory" you will probably have to exclude either a substantial minority or a majority of all martial arts experts of all time. You would end up throwing out significant Chinese masters like Gau Yunshen, Yin Fu, Ma Gui, Li Xian Wu, Chang Tung-Shen, Li Kun Shan, Huo Yuanjia, and perhaps even Yang Lu Chan. You would end up throwing out major Japanese masters like Musashi, Tsukahara Bokuden and Iizasa Ienao. Also, you would exclude all practitioners of sport arts, which would presumably include the almost entire traditions of Western, Indian, Arabic and Russian martial arts, most of which are in some way competed in sport form, as well as some of the most ancient Asian arts like Shui Chaio and Muay Boran.

Think about the implications of erasing all of these people from the ranks of martial artists. In the case of several of these people, they are system founders, and their non-sport systems would probably not have come into being without their competitive drive.

Strangely enough, some of the people you have left might be part of your "profit and glory" systems but not be interested in such things themselves.


My agenda is to find out what the majority of people feel/think a MA'ist is.

A person who defines themselves in part by their practice of martial arts.

I have delinated what I think they are not, in response to those that feel the opposite. Most people have a difinative defination of what they consider a MA'ist to be. As yet, the majority of responses have been to the wording of warrior/soldier/civilian, etc and not to what is a martial artist.

You conflated warriorship with martial artistry in your initial post. The two are very different and I wanted to know which to respond to.

Perhaps my anaolgies were somewhat crude or disjointed in their offerings, but I perceive that the point of what is and what one wants something to be have been distingushed.

OK, so lets dispense with everything that has transpired todate. Simple question, with no reserves............"What is a Martial Artist"?

A person who defines themselves at least in part by their practice of the martial arts.
 

Cruentus

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I feel like this conversation has just gotten stupider..................

I concur with your findings...........So lets just put this thread to bed!

In fact, Mods - if you would be so kind, just take this thread and put it in the recycle bin...........................Thanks

After all that, I find the fact that you would now like to end the thread very interesting.
 

Shotgun Buddha

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lol... that is pretty funny..

It just seems a tad silly. People who deserve to be called warriors are busy out doing the things that make them deserve that title. They don't play games of semantics where they try to narrow or widen the definition of warrior just so it includes them, thats the job of politicians.
Hell, anyone I know who'd count as a warrior would me give me a good smack for being silly enough to call them that.
 
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Brad Dunne

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OK, we'll keep this going. Do I think of myself as a martial artist.......No! I practice martial disciplines. To a large degree, I would think I fall into the MMA's catagory and that has happened long before there was such a thing as MMA's. In all honesty, I don't really think there is such an animal as a "real", "true" martial artist. I don't really know where that label derived from. This whole thread got earthquaked and I'll take the blame for that. It was a half hearted attempt to see what people honestly thought the defination of a martial artist was. The one I copied and used as a springboard, would be IMO, is the wishfull notion that a lot of people would like to think a MA'ist is supposed to be. In 40+ years of being associated with MA's, I have come to find that the only truth's that have emerged is that ego and greed are the definative factors. I have met some really outstanding people, who have taken their discipline(s) and have made it a part of their life, but they have been the exceptions. I realize that this looks like a complete reversal of what I have posted, but it was my position to attempt to be devils advocate. I was not trying to bait anyone or open a trap to ridicule folks, I wanted to see what people honestly though of the subject. I realize the title opened the door for the shotgun effect and again, my fault. I should have restructured things right then, but if I was that sharp, I'd be having brunch with the Donald and Bill Gates and we would be discussing the Rosie issue.......:uhyeah:
 

exile

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OK, we'll keep this going. Do I think of myself as a martial artist.......No! I practice martial disciplines. To a large degree, I would think I fall into the MMA's catagory and that has happened long before there was such a thing as MMA's. In all honesty, I don't really think there is such an animal as a "real", "true" martial artist. I don't really know where that label derived from. This whole thread got earthquaked and I'll take the blame for that. It was a half hearted attempt to see what people honestly thought the defination of a martial artist was. The one I copied and used as a springboard, would be IMO, is the wishfull notion that a lot of people would like to think a MA'ist is supposed to be. In 40+ years of being associated with MA's, I have come to find that the only truth's that have emerged is that ego and greed are the definative factors. I have met some really outstanding people, who have taken their discipline(s) and have made it a part of their life, but they have been the exceptions. I realize that this looks like a complete reversal of what I have posted, but it was my position to attempt to be devils advocate. I was not trying to bait anyone or open a trap to ridicule folks, I wanted to see what people honestly though of the subject. I realize the title opened the door for the shotgun effect and again, my fault. I should have restructured things right then, but if I was that sharp, I'd be having brunch with the Donald and Bill Gates and we would be discussing the Rosie issue.......:uhyeah:

There's something that your comments here reminded me of, a long while back. A couple of years ago I was watching that awful XMA special on Discovery Channel, and at one point, Matt Mullins makes a comment about how martial artists, like other artists, express their creativity by the `details' that they put into their work. And I remember thinking, no, he's parsing that phrase wrong. A high-energy physicist isn't a physicist who is `high energy', but someone who does high-energy physics: [high-energy physics]+ist. And in the same way, a martial artist isn't (necessarily) an artist whose artistry is martial, but rather someone who does martial arts: [martial art(s)]+ ist. The `art' part of the phrase `martial arts' doesn't come from the notion of capital-A Art, as in fine artswhat Michaelangelo or Bach did. It's a more general notion which also shows up in phrases like `Teach the arts of peace', or `Young working class girls in Victorian England learned useful domestic arts' and so onbasically, sets of skills, specialized knowledge or abilities. In my reading, I've encountered animal husbandry, stonemasonry and, in JRR Tolkien's usage, the `art of smoking pipeweed', among many other skills or practices, as instances of this usage.

So `martial artist', at least in terms of where the term comes from, means nothing other than one who practices, at some level of competence, the specialized skills that constitute some degree of knowledge of certain kinds of fighting systems. This is just what several other peple on this thread have been saying. You don't have to be an artist to be an MAist, just a competent craftsperson reasonably adept in the specialized skills of your style. Anything more is... well, extra, and personal.
 

Kacey

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So `martial artist', at least in terms of where the term comes from, means nothing other than one who practices, at some level of competence, the specialized skills that constitute some degree of knowledge of certain kinds of fighting systems. This is just what several other peple on this thread have been saying. You don't have to be an artist to be an MAist, just a competent craftsperson reasonably adept in the specialized skills of your style. Anything more is... well, extra, and personal.

This is very well stated - a great analogy! Thanks very much for posting this.
 

exile

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Thanks very much for posting this.

Thank you for the kind words, Kacey. I think that if people accepted this more realistic, less grandiose understanding of what the term `martial artist' actually was coined to refer to, it would be a lot easier for themthere wouldn't be this sense of some extreme ideal that you had to live up to simply to merit the description `martial artist'. If you wanted to add other attributes to reasonable adeptness at some structured fighting system, you could of coursebut you wouldn't have to feel that unless you were a modern-day Sir Galahad in quest of the Holy Grail, you weren't worthy of the `title'.

A lot of people seem to want some element of heroism, nobility and high purpose in their lives. And some of them, I suspect, project those yearnings onto the idea of what martial arts and martial artists are. It just seems to me to be way too much of a burden...
 
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