What is a "Martial Artist"

JesterXY

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This is a continuation of a discussion me and some of my fellow students were having while unwinding after class.

At what point can one legitimately consider themselves (or be considered) a “Martial Artist”?
The obvious answer “Black Belt” was quickly brought up. However one of the Black Belts suggested that sticking it out long enough to make the first advancement in rank was sufficient. Some one else suggested a “natural aptitude” as a criteria.

My feeling is that whether or not one is a “Martial Artist” has nothing to do with rank or advancement, or aptitude or even how long one has studied. What makes a “Martial Artist” are things like attitude and perseverance and making the effort.


What are your opinions?
 

Kenlee25

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I've asked myself this question as well. When did I consider myself an actual martial artist? When I reached black belt? No way! Then i only THOUGHT I was skilled. When I first ranked up in belt? Are you serious, i couldn't defend myself from a fly! When i had put a few years into it? Since when did hours = skill?

After much debate with myself, I figured out that one can consider themselves a martial artist once they except and gain the confidence and understanding to realize that although they know a lot, they know nothing at the same time. That although they could defend themselves, they could also be beaten just as easily. That although they are skilled, they could stand to improve on so much more. And most importantly, a martial artist is someone who makes martial arts a part of their lives, a true passion, and not just someone who practices it for fun.

you don't call someone who simply likes to write poetry a poet. You just say that they like writing poetry. Just the same, you don't call Someone who simply likes martial arts a martial artist, you just say they practice a martial art.

my two cents
 

Steve

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Anyone who trains in or is proficient in any martial art.


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Blindside

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I don't even think proficiency is a requirement, you just have to be a student. That yellow belt may suck but he is a martial artist, just like my five year old's pictures won't sell for millions but they are still art.
 

Steve

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I don't even think proficiency is a requirement, you just have to be a student. That yellow belt may suck but he is a martial artist, just like my five year old's pictures won't sell for millions but they are still art.

Agreed. But if someone is proficient, even if they don't actively train they are still a martial artist. So if they are training, regardless of skill. Or are proficient.


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Cyriacus

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A person who actively trains in a Martial Art.
The rest is subject to the individual.
 

K-man

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When is a doctor a doctor? When is an engineer an engineer? The answer is, when they have a recognisable qualification. Before that they are medical students or engineering students. That doesn't mean that a doctor or engineer stops learning. That is ongoing.

Other professions require an apprenticeship. A first year apprentice can't be called an electrician or a plumber. Once again, they need that important piece of paper.

If you apply a similar criteria to the martial arts, black belt really is that base qualification. Yellow belt etc are steps that recognise a student's progress. Black belt is like a base level, and you must keep learning. That is probably the earliest I would call someone a martial artist. :asian:
 

EddieCyrax

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I understand your point related to doctors/engineers, but I am not sure this is a fair comparison to what is a Martial Artist.

I agree that BB has become the standard of competance in most styles, but I also know that BB is just the beginning rather than the end of one's Martial Arts Training.

Art comes from within. Its the ability to express one's self through motion or other means. Martial Artists continue to improve their skill to better express their ability, spirit, talent, but the art begins the first day they begin training. The spirit within holds the art that the body must train to express.

my $.02
 

Instructor

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For me being a martial 'artist' isn't about skill per se. It's about being able to transcend your training. Being able to use what you've learned in a creative way that exceeds the standard drills you were taught. I think different people get to this level at different times, some never do.
 

Jenna

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I think in discerning terms it is only when you can turn the "science" of your curriculum of techniques into the "art" of interpretating the medium (your art) like any artist in any field that you become a martial artist in the discerning sense.

Until then I think you are apprenticed..

I think though the LENGTH of the apprenticeship differs from practitioner to practitioner.. I think it is true that some can produce artistry early in their apprenticeship and for others it is longer to develop.. Perhaps it is natural talent versus diligent learning.. none are better.. :)
 

Danny T

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Opinion has nothing to with when one can be considered a “MartialArtist”. One becomes a martial artist and IS considered a martial artist at theprecise moment one meets the definition of Martial Artist. This is not asubjective matter. There is a recognized standardized definition of Martial andof Artist as well as the term Martial Artist. The combining of the termsmartial and artist does not change the definitions of either word.

Martial – of, relating to, or suited for war; relating toan army or to military life; experienced in or inclined to war.

Artist -- One whois able by virtue of imagination and talent or skill to create works of value; A person whose work showsexceptional creative ability or skill; One, such as an actor or singer, who works in the performingarts. One who is adeptat an activity; aperson who displays in his/her work qualities required in art; a person whose profession requiresartistic expertise; aperson skilled in some task or occupation; a person proficient in something’;one with special ability in a task; having or showing skill, expert, proficient.

MartialArtist – one suited for war or is experienced in war; one with special abilityor skill in war or military type of action. An expert or one proficient in thepractice of performing war skills.

Proficient,expert, skilled does not define one who just practices or is a beginner /intermediate level.
 

rickster

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What makes a “Martial Artist” are things like attitude and perseverance and making the effort.


What are your opinions?

If these you speak of what makes martial artists, then even non-martial artists, per; "people with attitude and perseverance and making the effort", can also be "martial artists".

I think the paradox of being a martial artist should not try to amplify or state the many virtues, which are common amongst non-martial artists as well.

There has to be more differences than "virtues" shared by both martial artists and non martial artists
 
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JesterXY

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If these you speak of what makes martial artists, then even non-martial artists, per; "people with attitude and perseverance and making the effort", can also be "martial artists".

I think the paradox of being a martial artist should not try to amplify or state the many virtues, which are common amongst non-martial artists as well.

There has to be more differences than "virtues" shared by both martial artists and non martial artists


Context, rickster, context.

I was speaking in the context of Martial Arts and training.

"Attitude:" Treating that guy you really don't like much with respect because he is your fellow student and trains just as hard as you do. Bowing to your sparring partner who just humiliated you in front of everyone, because he taught you several very valuable things.

"Perseverance:" Going to class and training just as hard even though you're still sore from the time before, Going to class and training even though you've had a crappy day and all you really want to do is park your rear in front of the TV and drink a beer.

"Making the effort:" Trying again and again and again to pull off that "impossible technique." Because dammit it is possible and you will do it

And yes, anyone with sufficient desire and drive can become a "Martial Artist".
 

Carol

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I think if martial arts are something you take part in, then you are a martial artist.

I am a musician. I have a B.Mus. from a world-class school. I gigged professionally when I was younger and gig on average once per week now. I think the guy who pulls out a guitar every now and then is a musician, too. He may not be very good. He may not play on a professional level. He may perform material that makes me cringe. But, its in him.

Nothing particularly mystical about such a term.

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ks - learning to fly

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What makes a “Martial Artist” are things like attitude and perseverance and making the effort.


QUOTE]

I think that kind of says it all....:)
 

Tez3

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Opinion has nothing to with when one can be considered a “MartialArtist”. One becomes a martial artist and IS considered a martial artist at theprecise moment one meets the definition of Martial Artist. This is not asubjective matter. There is a recognized standardized definition of Martial andof Artist as well as the term Martial Artist. The combining of the termsmartial and artist does not change the definitions of either word.

Martial – of, relating to, or suited for war; relating toan army or to military life; experienced in or inclined to war.

Artist -- One whois able by virtue of imagination and talent or skill to create works of value; A person whose work showsexceptional creative ability or skill;One, such as an actor or singer, who works in the performingarts.One who is adeptat an activity;aperson who displays in his/her work qualities required in art;a person whose profession requiresartistic expertise;aperson skilled in some task or occupation; a person proficient in something’;one with special ability in a task; having or showing skill, expert, proficient.

MartialArtist – one suited for war or is experienced in war; one with special abilityor skill in war or military type of action. An expert or one proficient in thepractice of performing war skills.

Proficient,expert, skilled does not define one who just practices or is a beginner /intermediate level.

If there is a recognised standardised definition of martial artist why is everyone coming up with their own? Indeed, why is someone asking for opinions if they can look up this standardised definition?

Taking the 'martial' part of your definition, if this is standardised and recognised as being only pertaining to war/army/warlike etc then very few people are martial artists, not even the most senior grades.

As for artist, that is very subjective. I may consider someone an artist because I enjoy their work, another person may hate the same work and consider that the artist is in fact not one. One doesn't have to be 'skilled' to be an artist however one merely has to enjoy what one does, that's artistic.
 
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chrispillertkd

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A martial artist is someone who puts the philosophical lessons their particular art teaches into practice in their daily life.

Pax,

Chris
 
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JesterXY

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Opinion has nothing to with when one can be considered a MartialArtist. One becomes a martial artist and IS considered a martial artist at theprecise moment one meets the definition of Martial Artist. This is not asubjective matter. There is a recognized standardized definition of Martial andof Artist as well as the term Martial Artist. The combining of the termsmartial and artist does not change the definitions of either word.

Martial of, relating to, or suited for war; relating toan army or to military life; experienced in or inclined to war.

Artist -- One whois able by virtue of imagination and talent or skill to create works of value; A person whose work showsexceptional creative ability or skill;One, such as an actor or singer, who works in the performingarts.One who is adeptat an activity;aperson who displays in his/her work qualities required in art;a person whose profession requiresartistic expertise;aperson skilled in some task or occupation; a person proficient in something;one with special ability in a task; having or showing skill, expert, proficient.

MartialArtist one suited for war or is experienced in war; one with special abilityor skill in war or military type of action. An expert or one proficient in thepractice of performing war skills.

Proficient,expert, skilled does not define one who just practices or is a beginner /intermediate level.


Thats very interesting Danny T, but when I enter the word "Martial Arts" into the Merriam dictionary online there is virtually nothing mentioned about war, the army or military life.

: any of several arts of combat and self defense (as karate and judo) that are widely practiced as sport

martial artist noun















Not a definition I would particularly agree with; (the "widely practiced as sport" thing kinda set my teeth on edge) but there you go.

As to the term "Artist" not being subjective. I believe that the rock and roll band "Alice in Chains" where/are great artists, and I am absolutely certain that there are a large number of people out there who would disagree.

Sorry Danny your little play at pedantry just doest cut it.
 

Cyriacus

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Thats very interesting Danny T, but when I enter the word "Martial Arts" into the Merriam dictionary online there is virtually nothing mentioned about war, the army or military life.
: any of several arts of combat and self defense (as karate and judo) that are widely practiced as sport

— martial artist noun















Not a definition I would particularly agree with; (the "widely practiced as sport" thing kinda set my teeth on edge) but there you go.

As to the term "Artist" not being subjective. I believe that the rock and roll band "Alice in Chains" where/are great artists, and I am absolutely certain that there are a large number of people out there who would disagree.

Sorry Danny your little play at pedantry just doest cut it.
You can search for blends of two words in a dictionary?

Search Martial.
 

Buka

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You are a Martial Artist the first day your instructor remembers your first and last name.

You are a Martial Artist the day you buy your second gi.

..........when you stay and train after class more often than you don't.

..........when you run into that guy who used to train at your school but you can't remember his name anymore.

..........when you become that "karate guy".

You are a Martial Artist when you back down from someone you know you can whoop the dogshit out of, when your friends and family know where to find you five days a week, when getting the tar wailed out of you ain't a big deal anymore, and when you start to carry foodstuffs in your workout bag.

You are a Martial Artist on the first day of your training, on the last day of your training, and every single beautiful day in between.
 
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