What does it mean to be a martial artist?

Gerry Seymour

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A guy can strike out every time he swings a bat and not care enough to practice before his next game, but it's ok, he's a "baseball player".
Thing is, despite your snarky tone, that's actually true. Even if he strikes out every time and never practices, he's playing baseball. I suck at golf. No, really, I'm pretty awful. And I don't practice much. But I do play golf. As such, I'm a "golfer". That term doesn't carry any connotation of my skill level. There are "bad golfers" like me, and there are "good golfers" not like me. We're all golfers.
 

Steve

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The less they train, the longer it takes. "for fun" is a vague term so hard to say if that would entail taking it seriously enough.

The definition of "artist" is - person skilled in a particular task or occupation.

So "skill" plays a part but (imho) so does passion, commitment, desire. Without these things, NO, a person is not a martial artist. They're just a hobbyist or (more appropriately) a tourist.

Hey, I get it. This is a feel good place where everybody wins just for showing up. A guy can strike out every time he swings a bat and not care enough to practice before his next game, but it's ok, he's a "baseball player".

Now, on the other hand, if that same guy is doing "axe chops" in the gym, working on accuracy drills, studying the mechanics of the game, and the first thing he thinks about when he wakes up is how to get better BUT he still strikes out. Yea, that guy is a baseballer, crappy one who loses a lot, but wtvr! He's willing to invest chunks of his soul into something he loves. THAT is art.
Lol. I'm the last person anyone here would accuse of being about feeling good and everyone wins.

But I think people who do what you're doing are being elitist. Anyone who trains in any martial art is skilled. Maybe not expert, but they are learning and applying some skill.

It's the difference between a person who has never played baseball picking up a bat (unskilled) and a kid who,plays in the babe Ruth league (skilled). One is not a baseball player. The other one is.

Hey, I get it. You want to feel special, like you're part of an elite group of people who walks in the shadow of the old masters, or maybe you're a ninja or a samurai. Its all good, because around here we welcome everyone.
 

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Perhaps. It is, to me, but perhaps the actual meaning of the "ka" in Japanese carries a connotation of skill and experience. I don't use it that way, but if that's what the suffix means in Japanese, then the distinction is more in the use of the term. Perhaps an equivalent distinction would be the word "psychologist". From a linguistic approach, it simply means one who studies/practices psychology. However, in actual use it's a reserved word that normally only applies to someone with a doctorate. Perhaps "ka" has a similar connotation.

Just musings. I'm not sure it matters much to me, except as an intellectual pondering. If using "Aikidoka" for any student is incorrect, then I'm routinely incorrect in my usage.
Yeah, but according to the other thread, ecen the term martial artist connotes skill and experience. So, I think you're okay.
 

Saheim

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Lol. I'm the last person anyone here would accuse of being about feeling good and everyone wins.

But I think people who do what you're doing are being elitist. Anyone who trains in any martial art is skilled. Maybe not expert, but they are learning and applying some skill.

It's the difference between a person who has never played baseball picking up a bat (unskilled) and a kid who,plays in the babe Ruth league (skilled). One is not a baseball player. The other one is.

Hey, I get it. You want to feel special, like you're part of an elite group of people who walks in the shadow of the old masters, or maybe you're a ninja or a samurai. Its all good, because around here we welcome everyone.

Did I say I would refer to myself as a "martial artist"?

Oh to the poster who said "art" doesn't mean what it does ANY other time because it is after the word "martial" - I'm curious does "martial" still retain its definition? Or does it somehow magically change as well?
 

Steve

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Did I say I would refer to myself as a "martial artist"?

Oh to the poster who said "art" doesn't mean what it does ANY other time because it is after the word "martial" - I'm curious does "martial" still retain its definition? Or does it somehow magically change as well?
Okay. At least you're consistent.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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The less they train, the longer it takes. "for fun" is a vague term so hard to say if that would entail taking it seriously enough.

The definition of "artist" is - person skilled in a particular task or occupation.

So "skill" plays a part but (imho) so does passion, commitment, desire. Without these things, NO, a person is not a martial artist. They're just a hobbyist or (more appropriately) a tourist.

Hey, I get it. This is a feel good place where everybody wins just for showing up. A guy can strike out every time he swings a bat and not care enough to practice before his next game, but it's ok, he's a "baseball player".

Now, on the other hand, if that same guy is doing "axe chops" in the gym, working on accuracy drills, studying the mechanics of the game, and the first thing he thinks about when he wakes up is how to get better BUT he still strikes out. Yea, that guy is a baseballer, crappy one who loses a lot, but wtvr! He's willing to invest chunks of his soul into something he loves. THAT is art.
I googled artist definition, you chose the third definition that was available. The first one was specifically about painting, so that's fine to ignore for this, but the second was "a person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker.". So by that definition, anyone who practices martial arts would be a martial artist, regardless of their skill level. They may not be a good martial artist, or a martial arts expert, but they would still technically be a martial artist.

To go with that, the definition that I got for martial artist was "a person who practises a martial art", which again does not denote skill.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Did I say I would refer to myself as a "martial artist"?

Oh to the poster who said "art" doesn't mean what it does ANY other time because it is after the word "martial" - I'm curious does "martial" still retain its definition? Or does it somehow magically change as well?
It's not magical, and the condescending tone is unnecessary. Phrases can use words in different ways.
 
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Mou Meng Gung Fu

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My goal has never been perfection. That seems a frustrating goal to me. Does that mean I'm not a martial artist? I started out as a curious kid, and just kept going to class. At what point did I just keep coming enough to become a martial artist?

The moment you started finding difficulty in your training but decided that you weren't going to give up until you got it right. That's when you became a martial artist. And I agree, being a martial artist has nothing to do with skill level. It has much more to do with having heart. ;)
 

Buka

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To me, the best parts of golf are driving the cart, smoking cigars and cold beer.
And the clothes my friends wear. Very colorful.
 

CB Jones

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To me, the best parts of golf are driving the cart, smoking cigars and cold beer.
And the clothes my friends wear. Very colorful.

I would add watching your serious golfing partners reactions to bad shots.
 

Gerry Seymour

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The moment you started finding difficulty in your training but decided that you weren't going to give up until you got it right. That's when you became a martial artist. And I agree, being a martial artist has nothing to do with skill level. It has much more to do with having heart. ;)
I don't recall ever having that thought of "I'm not going to quit". I just enjoyed the classes and found them useful, so I kept going.
 

Gerry Seymour

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To me, the best parts of golf are driving the cart, smoking cigars and cold beer.
And the clothes my friends wear. Very colorful.
I actually never liked beer with my golf as much as with my pizza. Cigars? Hell, yes. I even had a cigar rest I could leave it on while putting - hard to see the line with a stogie in the way.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I would add watching your serious golfing partners reactions to bad shots.
I never got to see their reactions all that often...so many of the bad shots were mine. I used to be able to drive the ball almost 350 yards (longest measured was 347). But my "fairways in regulation" stat was well below 50%. Perhaps by 50%. I keep it in the fairway more often now, mostly because I can't hit it as far, so more of the "out of bounds" is also "out of reach".
 
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