Martial Artist, what does that mean?

Zero

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Does the term artist in any way refer to some kind of creativity? I mean like in other artistic endeavours, some thing, physical or musical or written or acted or whatever is being created yes? Is MA different or do we create some thing with our art also? Or is that not relevant? Jx

As a martial artist, we create forms, actions, movements and bring about reactions with our bodies (and our minds which harness and direct our bodies and push us beings of flesh to new limits).

We use our body as the instrument of our creativity.

On the grander scale of things, martial artists have created epic masterpieces of destruction, the ruin of a single opponent's body, the taking of thousands of lives in full scale battle...
 

Zero

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You're confusing "art" with "beauty" or "appeal" "art", in this sense, denotes "skill". So, how much art does it take to take someone's head off with a sword? Quite a bit. Take it from someone who trains swordsmanship.
Yeah, but back to things of more relevance, are you as pretty as that blonde or Michelle Yeow?
 

Zero

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Good question, and since Brian's post (#38) about "martial practitioner" my views on such things have changed a bit and become a bit more general in nature
Brian is a source of illumination.
 

seasoned

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Does the term artist in any way refer to some kind of creativity? I mean like in other artistic endeavours, some thing, physical or musical or written or acted or whatever is being created yes? Is MA different or do we create some thing with our art also? Or is that not relevant? Jx
As with art the tools do not make the artist.
In martial arts our first mission is to understand and practice. Once you have adhered to the principles of your given art, your body adjusts as your mind settles in to take ownership of that that is foreign to our understanding of movement.
As our mind and body become one it sets the stage for the master, with much patience, to appear. Looking for this to happen is not part of becoming the artist, but allowing it, in time, will produce it. An artist is someone that can transcend any limitations that may be placed on them allowing free thinking to flow.
Answer to the above is yes, very relevant.
 

Touch Of Death

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Does the term artist in any way refer to some kind of creativity? I mean like in other artistic endeavours, some thing, physical or musical or written or acted or whatever is being created yes? Is MA different or do we create some thing with our art also? Or is that not relevant? Jx
Most of the time art, means good job. :)
 

Zero

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I'd describe myself more as "rakishly handsome" than "pretty" but sure.
Particularly in that Saturday night pink ninja costume of yours but I'll stop now as the Op is owed that much, and this could go on and on (and I really do have a phobia of ninjas - you just never know when you are going to look up and find one hanging from the ceiling...)

pink-ninja-uniform-387755.jpg
 

mograph

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I think that adding "-ist" to a person's interest as a label suggests that the interest defines the majority of the person's activities or attitudes.
Attitude: following Buddha -> Buddhist. (primary attitude, spirituality or religion)
Activity: making art -> artist (primary activity).
(The two sometimes blur together.)

By that paradigm, a martial artist would be someone for whom a major activity would be the practice of martial arts. This would definitely be true if it were a person's sole activity outside of work. In other words, this criteria seems to be based on time commitment and primacy of focus. I think that making one's living from that activity would be sufficient, but not necessary for the label to apply.

For me, just possessing a high level of skill wouldn't fit unless the person also committed a lot of time to the practice. Sure, the person would be good at the art, a skilled practitioner, but I see applying the label as requiring the time commitment.

My friend is a physics teacher, but he's a damn good piano player, and has done paying gigs. Is he a musician? Compared to those who teach music or write/play it for a living, he'd say "no," and I'd agree. It's a pastime for him. Would I introduce him as a musician? No, I'd introduce him as a teacher ... if a label were necessary.

I make art on occasion, and also study it at university. Am I an artist? I wouldn't say so, because it's not a primary activity for me, and my skill is up for debate. But ... I make motion graphics for a living so, technically, I'm a motion graphics artist. But I prefer to say "I create motion graphics for corporate clients."

Wrinkle: to me, saying "he's a good musician" is different from saying "he's a musician." To me, the former seems to compliment his musical talents, while the latter suggests that music is a primary activity for him, or that he's a pro.
"He's a good martial artist?"
"He's a martial artist?"

So it's complicated. :D
 

Bill Mattocks

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Don't get hung up on strict definitions. The term 'martial artist' is simply a commonly accepted label. I am a karateka, a student of karate. Most Americans don't know that term, so martial artist will suffice.

As to the 'art' in martial arts, of course it is an art. For those who follow the 'do', the art is in creation and refinement of oneself.
 

ShawnP

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I have been thinking about this and I keep hearing the speech in my head from Han (Kan Shih) from "Enter the Dragon"



And I think of the training regimes of the guys like Chuck Norris, Bill Wallace, Billy Blanks, Bruce Lee, Bob Wall, Benny the jet Urquidez, or people like Masutatsu Oyama, Jigoro Kano, Ueshiba Morihei, Li Luoneng, Sun Lutang, Ip Mann, and coutless others

Is this what it takes to truly call yourself a martial artist, to legitimately be a marital artists



and if so are any of us truly martial artists, or are we simply hobbyists

What are your thoughts on this?
Xue Sheng,
My thoughts: the phrase "Martial Artist" means different things to everyone, to me it means nothing. i am a "Student" of the Martial Arts therefor i am just that. if you think of it in extremes from a child just learning to walk to a Great Grand Master Ubber creator of a system of fighting we all MUST learn to continue to grow as a human surviving on this planet, otherwise what if any is the point of living? i say we are ALL "Students of the Martial Arts".
 

GiYu - Todd

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Possibly a better question, is it ok for just anyone to call themselves a Aikidoka, or a Judoka or a Karateteka, or a Wushu/Kung Fu person, or an Eskrimador, or a lutador?

And/or what does it mean to use those labels, can you refer to yourself as one of those if you train once a week, once a month once every 6 months, or if they train exclusively by watching YouTube Videos...would any of those labels still apply
If you study an art form, you can call yourself ____-oka/-ist/-etc. There's no actual requirement for how good you have to be, or how frequently you train in order to use the title. However, if you were to use the title around someone who has dedicated themselves to pursuing that art, and they call you on it (ie - want to see how good you are) you'll look foolish if you can't back up your claim with at least a bit of skill or knowledge.

I take photos at our dojo for use on our website and facebook pages, mostly with my cell phone. If someone were to ask who the photographer was for a given picture, I'd say it was me... since that's technically accurate. However, I don't have sufficient photography skills to call myself a "photographer" to others. If I chose to brag to a professional or experienced amatuer photographer that I too am a "photographer", they would likely mock my limited skills. However, if I told them I'm just starting out and trying to learn, they'd hopefully respect my humility and give advice... or at least not laugh.
 

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