Martial Arts: What Were They Designed For?

GaryR

Green Belt
Joined
May 17, 2012
Messages
161
Reaction score
6
Location
Denver, CO
Full Definition of MARTIAL

1. of, relating to, or suited for war or a warrior


2. relating to an army or to military life


3. experienced in or inclined to war : warlike

The answer is simple, they were designed for combat, of all kinds. Anything else is just an activity. If you can't defend yourself, or you are not on the path to learning, you are not a MARTIAL artist, you are just an artist, a dancer, and a cultural dabbler--which is cool, to each his own.

G
 

Mark Lynn

Master Black Belt
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
183
Location
Roanoke TX USA
I believe most if not all martial arts had their roots in military or self defense training, however many have also developed into martial sports
Judo, Savate, Kendo, Olympic Style TKD, sport karate and TKD, Wushu, fencing, Muay Thai, Silat, to name a few.

However Judo and Olympic style TKD are arts in their own right that are so different with different goals than the original (root) art that I believe they are created for sport. Their training is centered around sport contests, Judo's grading is around sport contests in that you must win matches to grade up if I remember right. Olympic style TKD is centered around TKD sparring and kicking techniques that bear no resemblance to root art of karate or old style TKD. Wushu too was formed out of CMA and created for competition.

Kind of like foil fencing or Kendo.

Aikido is an example of an art that came from a self defense art that became an religious expression.
From Wkipedia "Aikido (Japanese: 合気道 Hepburn: Aikidō[SUP]?[/SUP]) [a.i.ki.doː] is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. ...... Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba's involvement with the Ōmoto-kyō religion. ....(speaking of styles of Aikido) they all share techniques learned from Ueshiba and most have concern for the well-being of the attacker."
 

StudentCarl

3rd Black Belt
Joined
Nov 19, 2009
Messages
935
Reaction score
30
Location
Grand Haven, MI
I think the root of the arts is as old as childhood. Martial arts are a natural and enjoyable expression of ourselves that has been coordinated and structured into an activity. If you watch young children, particularly boys, in unstructured, unsupervised play, their play often becomes combative in some form. They often pretend some type of conflict and from an early age just about anything gets used as a pretend weapon. This is no different from the play fighting of wolf pups and bear cubs except that we humans are tool users and have language (and kids love making rules). The play and skills have practical value and also contribute to defining social hierarchy.

Our 'grown up' martial arts are just a more mature form of the same thing. For some it's about the fighting skills; for some it's about where they fit in the social pecking order (ego); and for some it's about getting physical. Since we're grown up and have more reasoning ability and experience, we've made it both a science and an art...so we test, argue, and theorize about what's better technique or tactic (adults love arguing about rules too). However, in the end, I'm not sure there needs to be an exact grown-up answer. If it's good for the kids, it's okay for us too. It can give you skills, and it should be fun.
 

K-man

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
6,193
Reaction score
1,221
Location
Australia
Aikido is an example of an art that came from a self defense art that became an religious expression.

From Wkipedia "Aikido (Japanese: 合気道 Hepburn: Aikidō[SUP]?[/SUP]) [a.i.ki.doː] is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. ...... Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba's involvement with the Ōmoto-kyō religion. ....(speaking of styles of Aikido) they all share techniques learned from Ueshiba and most have concern for the well-being of the attacker."
That is as silly as saying Goju Ryu is spiritual because Yamagucchi went down that track. Regardless, aikido is still a RBSD art if it is trained that way.
:asian:
 

Balrog

Master of Arts
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
1,709
Reaction score
400
Location
Houston, TX
So, going on that, what are the arts about? For me, while everyone will have their own reasons for training, I've always felt that the main goal, has been SD.

Agreed. The foundation is and has been and will be self defense. Yes, we've added a lot of "sport" aspects, but never lose sight of the fact that all of the training that we do is teaching us the best way to hit/kick/block/lock/choke/whatever another human being.
 

Mark Lynn

Master Black Belt
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
183
Location
Roanoke TX USA
That is as silly as saying Goju Ryu is spiritual because Yamagucchi went down that track. Regardless, aikido is still a RBSD art if it is trained that way.
:asian:

I disagree, as the quote says not all Aikido is like this (it said most, the part of the last sentence that I bolded), however I have read this in more places in print than just Wikipedia, I only quoted it from Wiki because it was handy and I didn't want to search my books that are put up to reference those. As a self defense system or a battlefield art would you design a system with the well being of the aggressor in mind?

Again from Wikipedia
"Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying (with) life energy"[SUP][1][/SUP] or as "the Way of harmonious spirit."[SUP][2][/SUP] Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.[SUP][3][/SUP][SUP][4] [/SUP] Ueshiba envisioned aikido not only as the synthesis of his martial training, but as an expression of his personal philosophy of universal peace and reconciliation. "

The OP asked what martial arts were designed for; Aikido is an expression of Ueshiba sensei's personal philosophy of universal peace and reconciliation. The name even reflects this view point. To deny it or to call my statement silly (I'm not sure which you were calling silly) that Aikido was based on a SD system that became an religious expression, I think is wrong.

Please correct me if I'm wrong here but I know of no other RBSD systems or other TMAs etc. etc. where the well being of the attacker was a primary concern of the defender. Well maybe the act of counting coup by the plains Indians or if you want to stretch it to the Flower Wars of the Aztecs but I believe that is getting outside of the scope of this discussion.

I was not trying to run down the martial art of Aikido nor calling it silly, I was just trying to add to the discussion.
 

punisher73

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Messages
3,579
Reaction score
619
I don't think it is cut and dried at all. What martial art? If you are talking about okinawan karate and their katas then it was developed as a system of civilian self-defense. If you are talking about some other styles, they were developed for use on the battlefield (many of the japanese -jutsu styles come to mind).

Also, are we talking armed martial arts or unarmed martial arts? I can't think of ANY weapon based martial arts that were NOT developed for fighting/war.

To me, "martial arts" is just to nebulous to say "yes/no" as a whole as to the self-defense vs. war argument. You have many different arts, but I would say they were all developed for fighting of somekind.
 

punisher73

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Messages
3,579
Reaction score
619
I don't consider what I do (Survival Training / RBSD) a true martial art. The techniques I employ come from everything under the sun but I wrapped them up into a system that "I feel" will protect me under the most likely scenarios without ME getting into trouble with the law. The large majority of what I do is focused on pre-emptive striking and protecting myself from multiple attacks and common weapons attacks including avoidance and escape. This is what I enjoy doing......

I love TMA but I don't think they prepare people quickly enough to protect themselves because there is too much structure involved. With that being said life isn't always about quick justification. Many people need the structure that TMA provides and they have a strong desire to learn an ancient art form the traditional way which is awesome.

Ummmm, in describing what you do, you just described how most TMA's were originally taught as a civilian self-defense system and also how they developed originally. Someone found something that worked for them in certain situations and they passed it on to others. The katas were a way to cram in multiple applications and information in a small easy to remember practice to pull from and practice.
 

K-man

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
6,193
Reaction score
1,221
Location
Australia
Aikido is an example of an art that came from a self defense art that became an religious expression.

I disagree, as the quote says not all Aikido is like this (it said most, the part of the last sentence that I bolded), however I have read this in more places in print than just Wikipedia, I only quoted it from Wiki because it was handy and I didn't want to search my books that are put up to reference those. As a self defense system or a battlefield art would you design a system with the well being of the aggressor in mind?

No offence taken but the first part of your post refers to Aikido as a whole, not just 'most' as in the later part. :)

But let's look a little closer. Different masters trained with Ueshiba at different times through his journey. Those that trained pre-war generally have a more physical aikido than those who trained post-war. Ueshiba's wartime experience really turned him away from violence. Aikido never was a battlefield MA unlike its parent Daito Ryu. I'm not sure that Wiki is strictly correct when it attributes the changes from Daito Ryu in the early days to Ueshiba's involvement in the Omoto religion. More that Ueshiba was taking the bits that worked well and developing his own style of basically Jujutsu. In its totality, Aikido has strikes and kicks. It also has limb destruction and neck cranks so to say it is designed with the well being of the aggressor in mind is possibly a matter of degree. But it does have the ability to start soft and ratchet up the intensity as required.


Again from Wikipedia
"Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying (with) life energy"[SUP][1][/SUP] or as "the Way of harmonious spirit."[SUP][2][/SUP] Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.[SUP][3][/SUP][SUP][4] [/SUP]Ueshiba envisioned aikido not only as the synthesis of his martial training, but as an expression of his personal philosophy of universal peace and reconciliation. "

With respect, I feel your understanding of Aikido based on Wiki is very superficial. Certainly Aikido means the way of harmony of the spirit, but this spirit is Ki or energy, not a religious connotation. I don't expect you to necessarily understand Ki but it is pretty much the sole reason I began learning Aikido. I joined MT for the same reason to see if there were some like minded people with whom I could compare training notes. To be honest, both have been interesting. The Aikido is amazing and the reaction on MT was incredibly interesting to say the least. There are those that believe in Ki and those who don't. ;)

But I digress. I don't agree that it was Ueshiba's goal to design an art that protected the attacker. That became his philosophy later. And if you think about it, it is not a bad philosophy. Remember, Aikido is for self defence, not warfare. Say my drunken neighbour started beating his wife and I intervened. In the first scenario I use my karate skills and break his nose and rip the ligaments in his shoulder requiring a reconstruction. Now I may or may not have to face charges for assault using unreasonable force and I may be sued in a civil court for damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of income. It is unlikely my neighbour will ever have a relationship with me again and if I'm really unlucky he might even be inclined to hire someone to even the score. Scenario two, I use my Aikido skills to restrain the guy with just a little pain until he settles down and sees the error of his ways. Problem solved, no injury, no recrimination.


The OP asked what martial arts were designed for; Aikido is an expression of Ueshiba sensei's personal philosophy of universal peace and reconciliation.

That is not what it was designed for and it is not the way it is taught or applied. Whatever Ueshiba's religious convictions as he aged had no effect on the practice of Aikido. His students were teaching Aikido the way they had been taught and they continued to teach that way after his death.


The name even reflects this view point. To deny it or to call my statement silly (I'm not sure which you were calling silly) that Aikido was based on a SD system that became an religious expression, I think is wrong.

Aikido is an internal martial art. It is all about utilising Ki. That is what is embodied in the name, nothing less, nothing more. Your statement is in the para above. It is patently wrong and I pointed out that Gogen Yamaguchi was also involved in religion but no one would ever suggest his art of Goju Kai was a self defence art that became a religious expression. I have said before and I will say again, the most effective martial artist I have ever met is an Aikidoka.

Please correct me if I'm wrong here but I know of no other RBSD systems or other TMAs etc. etc. where the well being of the attacker was a primary concern of the defender.

I think that is also not quite correct. The primary concern is for the safety of the practitioner and his friends and family. The well being of the attacker is a secondary concern. If necessary Aikido could cause the total destruction of the attacker but that is not the primary aim.


Well maybe the act of counting coup by the plains Indians or if you want to stretch it to the Flower Wars of the Aztecs but I believe that is getting outside of the scope of this discussion.

I know nothing of these cultures so I won't comment more than to say that the Aztecs were pretty violent at times.

I was not trying to run down the martial art of Aikido nor calling it silly, I was just trying to add to the discussion.
I'm not taking it that you are running down Aikido, just pointing out that you are as far from the truth of Aikido that you could possibly be. :)
 

Zero

Master Black Belt
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
1,284
Reaction score
297
Sounds the same like sowing and sewing.
Reminds me of the first night of my Honey Moon where "my bride bridled at having to wear a bridle while dressed in her bridal gown" It was an odd night but no animals, of equine or other nature, were injured.
 

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,142
Reaction score
992
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Hey Chris,

Sorry for the confusion. I was primarily talking about the comment that I quoted, however, now that you bring it up, I suppose we could disuss both...your comment and what they're currently about.

Cool. Let's see what we can come up with, then. I will quickly say, though, that what they were designed for, and what they're currently about can be quite removed from each other... as can "why people train"...

I'll start this thread with a simple request: Please stay on topic. We have numerous BJJ vs, and TMA vs. threads going on, so again, please stick with the topic.

Ok, that said, in the "Sport and TMA...Again" thread, Chris Parker made a comment here.

ChrisParker said:
As for the second question, well, I suppose that would be both yes and no. To aid in fighting? Yes, that's a part of what some, or many martial arts are about... but, by the same token, even in that it's just not as cut and dried as "martial arts are for fighting". Self defence, though? Nope, not at all. No martial arts are really designed with modern self defence in mind... the closest would be the RBSD systems... but they aren't actually martial arts, more ways that martial arts (and other things) can be approached.

So, going on that, what are the arts about? For me, while everyone will have their own reasons for training, I've always felt that the main goal, has been SD. Sure, what you're defending against has probably changed. I mean, we don't see people walking around with a sword in todays time, and we don't see people wearing body armor, so training to defend a sword probably isn't as practical as training to defend a knife.

If we look at the RBSD systems, we see a lot of what we typically see in the various arts, meaning kicks, punches, blocks, etc., however, the application of these things, the way they're executed, most likely is very different. You're not going to see kata training done in a RBSD system. You'll most likely see the basics (punches, kicks, etc.) trained in a more fluid fashion, more pad work, boxing type footwork, etc.

I may be wrong in my assessment here, but that is what I've always figured. I'm looking forward to hearing the thoughts of others, as well as Chris, since it was his post that caught my eye. :)

Well, the thing is that "reasons for training" and "the reason for the arts design" are not the same thing... but we'll cover aspects of that as we go, using others posts to get to my points (hopefully!).

I will say here, though, that RBSD systems don't actually teach "blocks, kicks, punches" etc... they teach contextual application of such things, which (in many cases) are drawn from the students martial arts experience. RBSD are not martial arts, and no martial arts are RBSD (although they can be trained in a "reality based" method, that doesn't actually make them RBSD systems without completely changing them from being the art they originally are... we'll probably come back to this).

I do believe they were created and practiced for self defense purposes first and foremost. Self defense of a person, defense of one's tribe, city, militia, etc. etc. I believe it started there over time especially during times of peace or forced occupation they morphed into something more spiritual or training of one's mind etc. etc. Later on it grew into sports and character development programs for students. So I believe they have developed in a progressive manner that people see as different things and all call it "martial arts".

Hmm... no, can't say I'd agree with that. For one thing, it's just not that simple. I can name systems that are 600 years old that are centred on personal development and spiritual emphasis, and modern ones that don't care about it at all. Out of all the arts I study, which (when you add them up) is around a dozen, none of them are for self defence, let alone "first and foremost". There are some aspects that are related to self defence, but not in a modern context... the closest are my Iai methods. Some were created, as many of the older Japanese arts were, as a method of instructing in strategic and tactical thinking and application, more than as combative techniques per se.

Gichin Funakoshi wrote in Karate-Do Kyohan pg 3 Introduction What is Karate "It is said that one who masters it's techniques can defend himself readily without resort to weapons and can perform remarkable feats-" Clearly this shows that SD was one aspect of training as well as the development of the person's health and agility (shown in the amazing feats he describes). In the next paragraph he writes "True Karate-do is this: that in daily life, one's mind and body be trained and developed in a spirit of humility; and that in critical times, one be devoted utterly to the cause of justice." Here he is making the connection that it is more than SD but also health, mental and spirit (related to humility but yet justice).

There's a difference between hyperbole describing benefits and accurate description of the purpose of a martial art...

George G. Yoshida wrote in the foreword of Jiu Jitsu complete by Kiyose Nakae 1958 4th printing
"JiJutsu is a method of defense and offense without weapons in personal encounter. For many centuries in Japan it was practiced as a military art, together with fencing, archery and the use of the spear."

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Yoshida was either rather misinformed of the history of Jujutsu, or he was simplifying things to the point of inaccuracy. Personally, I think the latter.

In the publishers foreword of the same book "A working knowledge of Jiu Jutisu offers the average man (or woman) an ability to cope with and triumph over a physical attacker-and to do so with ease. This is whether the opponent is larger, more powerful, or armed with a knife or a gun."

Again, I'd caution against the acceptance of hyperbole as fact... I mean, if we're talking about Japanese Jujutsu (as indicated by the prior quote), then the gun defence would have been non-existant... and the knife defence rather different.

R.H. Sigward writes in his book Modern Self Defense 1958 in the Introduction
"This book is the result of many years of research, practice and experience in self defense techniques. It is based upon the Japanese system of Jui-juitsu, but includes the latest improvements in the science of self defense. I call it Modern Self Defense because I have eliminated all out modeled, impractical and cumbersome modes of protection."

Cool, except that that's a self defence system (in the form of a book), not a martial art. Additionally, if it's only dealing with techniques, it's the least of all aspects for self defence.

Likewise it is well documented that martial arts of the Philippines were used to defend Filipinos from the various invaders to their country whether it was the Spanish, the Japanese, The Americans etc. etc. or other tribes in the Philippines, coastal pirates etc. etc.

"Were used" and "were designed for" are, again, different. Each art is designed for a specific context, the trick is recognizing what that context is, and how it influences an art (when you can see that, you can see what the art is actually designed for).

I believe history shows that martial arts were practiced for both SD and military reasons. With this in mind they were practiced with current needs in mind as in SD (at the time they were created and modified over time to suit current needs).

Even there, it's not that simple... there are a range of arts that simply aren't designed for combative usage in their construction, at least, not in the basic understanding of it.

I'm actually watching a documentary on Bruce Lee at the moment... and it's striking me just how much I'd argue with a lot of what he said about the reasons for martial arts. If he was around now, and on the forums, I'd be telling him he's missed the point on a lot of things... hmm... but to the point, Bruce's take on martial arts is that they are about personal self expression, pure and simple, above and beyond, well and truly before the idea of self defence.

I agree with your statement here however in the RBSD systems what I don't really think you see is longevity of the practitioners. In the RBSD systems what do you do, like you described you learn some simple kicks, punches, train combinations for pad work etc. etc. once you feel you can defend yourself and your needs for taking a RBSD system are met then later days. Off you go to spend your hard earned money and time off elsewhere.

How many karate-ka stay for 5 years, 10 years, 20 years +, or the aikido practitioner, Judo player, Tae Kwon Do student, or FMAer? I believe the number is a whole lot more than the RBSD systems. Just my opinion and I'm not doing the research to look it up if anyone disagrees fine, I don't care. In the martial arts as I believe general consensus on this MT defines them, the very things that people trash about them are the very things that appeals to the people that stay in the TMAs for long term. While it drives a lot of people away as well, it is what keeps the people there long term.
  • A sense of a connection to the past, tradition.
  • A way to measure ones progress for instance through kata.
  • A way to set and achieve goals through rank advancement for one.
  • For some programs character development (especially for younger students)
  • A sense of belonging to a community all working together for the same goal.
  • Mastering one self; mental and physical.
These are just a few things I came up with.

Most RBSD systems are designed to be methods of approaching training, not methods of techniques etc themselves. As a result, they don't need to be concerned with longevity... they're not martial arts.

They were designed for self defence, which would include fighting, and warfare. Some have been adapted for sport. Perhaps you could list the martial arts that you think were designed for sports. :asian:

A fair few martial arts have been developed specifically for sports. They might have come from other arts that aren't (Kendo, which is designed for competition, came from a range of kenjutsu systems, which are not). The most recent, of course, is MMA.

IMHO (VERY humble), they were primarily defense arts. We have to consider the era in which many were developed. The majority of combat then, just like today, was conducted with the use of weapons. Be they swords, spears, muskets, archery, etc.etc.etc.

The very notion of fighting without a weapon was considered a very dangerous, bad situation. Many of the arts were developed in response to one of two situations.

a.) Provided a way to develop a defensive system for warriors who were either caught without their weapons or were disarmed during combat, allowing them to at least defend themselves.

b.) Provided a way for peasants to develop fighting systems to allow them to defend themselves against oppressive overlords, warriors, or bandits.

Either way, they were defensive in orientation. The very notion of using them as an offensive system would have been considered a very strange notion to people in those eras.

They, excluding the modern systems, were never developed with "sport" in mind. As K-man notes, some have been adapted for sport and competition, but they were never intended for this purpose.

The other thing that developed with them, was a focus on oneself. It allowed people to not only learn how to fight, but also allowed people to focus internally and learn self control, how to calm their mind, and develop spiritually.

That's my 0.02 cents at least. If you think they were developed primarily for offensive combat or for sporting purposes, I think you might have missed the mark.

Peace,

Mike

What makes you think that martial arts are about unarmed combat? Most old martial arts are primarily armed systems....

the martial arts were originally designed and developed for self defense, or themselves, family and also used to defend themselves in warfair if they were some how cought with out a weapon or disarmed. that is it in a nut shell!

many unarmed systems were developed because of ocupation, and or denial of weapons to the lower classes. they still had to defend themselves, but with out weapons hand to find a way to do it unarmed. Once again, defense was the need and driving factor. ....


what they are now or some are becoming? well that is up for grabs in some ways. some are still for defense, and some are being modified so they are basically only good for sport.

Again, martial arts does not equal unarmed. Additionally, they're simply not all designed for self defence. Some are designed with duelling in mind, for example. It's hardly self defence if you're going out to meet someone for a fight...

Full Definition of MARTIAL

1. of, relating to, or suited for war or a warrior


2. relating to an army or to military life


3. experienced in or inclined to war : warlike

The answer is simple, they were designed for combat, of all kinds. Anything else is just an activity. If you can't defend yourself, or you are not on the path to learning, you are not a MARTIAL artist, you are just an artist, a dancer, and a cultural dabbler--which is cool, to each his own.

G

Okay, you've been banned, so you can't answer, but the last comment here is plainly and flatly nothing but your own personal value system at play. Look at Kyudoka (Japanese archery), are they not martial artists? Kyudo doesn't teach you anything about self defence....

That is as silly as saying Goju Ryu is spiritual because Yamagucchi went down that track. Regardless, aikido is still a RBSD art if it is trained that way. :asian:

No, I'd disagree... Aikido (as many other arts) can be trained in a reality based way, but that doesn't make it an RBSD system... to make it that, you'd need to lose 90% of the system, and change a lot of what's left. With regards to the Goju Kai (Yamaguchi) analogy, no, I don't think I'd say they're the same thing at all. Ueshiba was rather vocal about the influence of the Otomo Sect on his Aikido post WWII, so to make that connection (with Aikido) can be fair for the most part. Obviously different forms have different emphasises, but it's still there (when dealing with Takemusu/Iwama Ryu it's far more obvious, Yoshinkan far less etc).

I don't think it is cut and dried at all. What martial art? If you are talking about okinawan karate and their katas then it was developed as a system of civilian self-defense. If you are talking about some other styles, they were developed for use on the battlefield (many of the japanese -jutsu styles come to mind).

Also, are we talking armed martial arts or unarmed martial arts? I can't think of ANY weapon based martial arts that were NOT developed for fighting/war.

To me, "martial arts" is just to nebulous to say "yes/no" as a whole as to the self-defense vs. war argument. You have many different arts, but I would say they were all developed for fighting of somekind.

"Jutsu" doesn't actually mean anything to do with "battlefield"... the "jutsu/do" distinction is more one of preferential terminology of the time than anything else, really. Iaijutsu, for instance, isn't anything to do with a battlefield/combat in war... nor are most Kenjutsu systems. I agree that it's just not that cut-and-dried, but that extends even through to the examples given... there just isn't a yes/no answer to this.

I don't consider what I do (Survival Training / RBSD) a true martial art. The techniques I employ come from everything under the sun but I wrapped them up into a system that "I feel" will protect me under the most likely scenarios without ME getting into trouble with the law. The large majority of what I do is focused on pre-emptive striking and protecting myself from multiple attacks and common weapons attacks including avoidance and escape. This is what I enjoy doing......

I love TMA but I don't think they prepare people quickly enough to protect themselves because there is too much structure involved. With that being said life isn't always about quick justification. Many people need the structure that TMA provides and they have a strong desire to learn an ancient art form the traditional way which is awesome.

Ummmm, in describing what you do, you just described how most TMA's were originally taught as a civilian self-defense system and also how they developed originally. Someone found something that worked for them in certain situations and they passed it on to others. The katas were a way to cram in multiple applications and information in a small easy to remember practice to pull from and practice.

Maybe some TMA's, but certainly not all, not even most, I'd say. Most just weren't designed as "civilian self defence" at all. It's even more of a gap when you look at specific cultural approaches... Japanese arts, more than anything else, are completely removed from the idea of civilian self defence. The main reason is that they were created by a warrior class, for use by the warrior class, typically against other members of the warrior class. Rory Miller has noted that most martial arts don't teach you to fight against someone untrained, they teach fighters to fight other fighters... which most don't realise or recognise. Anything military is designed to go up against other military systems/approaches, anything culturally based is going to be designed to go up against similar things from the same culture... which isn't necessarily just the same time and place, it means specific social groups etc, as well as the context it's designed for (strategic education, duelling, sporting contest, etc).

So, what were martial arts designed for? Well, that depends on the art itself. No two martial arts are designed for the exact same reason... sometimes it's a direct response to a situation, sometimes it's to provide a particular role in education, sometimes it's to give an advantage in a specific context/situation... but most commonly, it's not to handle "common" violence (untrained assaults). It's to handle trained, or skilled opponents. Which actually takes it away from being designed for self defence.
 

K-man

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
6,193
Reaction score
1,221
Location
Australia
'Martial Art' is such a broad term it makes the discussion academic. Some Martial Arts were designed specifically for self defence, others to teach concepts. Good grief Chris even brings up Takemusu. Perhaps if someone would care to define 'Martial Art' we might be able to have a decent discussion.
 

celtic_crippler

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 15, 2006
Messages
3,968
Reaction score
137
Location
Airstrip One
Simply put, to do harm to another.

As they've evolved into modern day "martial arts" many people have found other benefits and their respective schools have adjusted the curriculum to cater to those wants and needs.

But, at the end of the day... it's all about doing damage. Why else practice punchs, kicks, locks, holds, etc... DERP
 

K-man

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
6,193
Reaction score
1,221
Location
Australia
Simply put, to do harm to another.

As they've evolved into modern day "martial arts" many people have found other benefits and their respective schools have adjusted the curriculum to cater to those wants and needs.

But, at the end of the day... it's all about doing damage. Why else practice punchs, kicks, locks, holds, etc... DERP
Unless you are a friend of The Boar Man

Originally Posted by The Boar Man
Aikido is an example of an art that came from a self defense art that became an religious expression.
:p
 
OP
M

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
427
Location
Cromwell,CT
Cool. Let's see what we can come up with, then. I will quickly say, though, that what they were designed for, and what they're currently about can be quite removed from each other... as can "why people train"...



Well, the thing is that "reasons for training" and "the reason for the arts design" are not the same thing... but we'll cover aspects of that as we go, using others posts to get to my points (hopefully!).

I will say here, though, that RBSD systems don't actually teach "blocks, kicks, punches" etc... they teach contextual application of such things, which (in many cases) are drawn from the students martial arts experience. RBSD are not martial arts, and no martial arts are RBSD (although they can be trained in a "reality based" method, that doesn't actually make them RBSD systems without completely changing them from being the art they originally are... we'll probably come back to this).

I'd say the RBSD arts are more designed for fighting, plain and simple. While the other arts have different reasons, I still feel that the main reason was fighting. Sure, the inner peace, self control, blah, blah, are part of it, but I doubt it was the sole purpose. And no, of course the structure is going to be different, so I didn't mean to imply the classes will be like your typical class in TKD. Like I said, the average RBSD system is the bare bones, stripped down version of what you'd find in other arts. More meat and less fluff. :D
 

Latest Discussions

Top