What is a "Martial Artist"

EddieCyrax

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"Pedantic"

Nice word choice.

Since everyone is in there dictionary we can all stretch our vocabulary.

Thanks for the word. Seriously.
 

Christian Soldier

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I think it's definitely evident when someone has a quallifications like a BB certificate, but for a individual/personal requirment I think it comes down to mental prepardness. Do you freeze if someone attacks you or do you react? Have you stopped being a victim? You can have someone talk at you and thow MA knoledge at you, but unless you absorb it and take it in, you aren't a MA yet, at least IMO.
 

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As a black belt and a servicemember I have followed this with interest. I am not a soldier. My first hitch was in the Air Force and I was a Security Policeman, these days I am in the Coast Guard. I have had a little hand to hand training from the Air Force Security Police Academy, I think they called it IKYO. It was mostly arm bars and chicken wings. Frankly I wasn't impressed. We were taught how to stab and slash with a bayonette which is more impressive. Finally we learned mostly to shoot.

Refresher training was rare and regular, certainly not even weekly.

Comparitively I began martial arts (Hapkido)after having been violently attacked. Regular training three and four times a week for the last 20 years have given me so many things that I am not sure I can even put it into words.

I think some styles have a military lineage, some are practiced by soldiers today. In my country the great bulk of martial artists though are civilians practicing arts developed by people that were sometimes servicemembers of their individual countries and sometimes not. So in my humble opinion the term Martial Arts may have some military involvment but not necessarily so.
 

rickster

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I think it's definitely evident when someone has a quallifications like a BB certificate, but for a individual/personal requirment I think it comes down to mental prepardness. Do you freeze if someone attacks you or do you react? Have you stopped being a victim? You can have someone talk at you and thow MA knoledge at you, but unless you absorb it and take it in, you aren't a MA yet, at least IMO.
Are you saying, unless a certification was obtained or a skill was used, those practicing martial arts, are not martial artists?
 
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MJS

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I think it's definitely evident when someone has a quallifications like a BB certificate, but for a individual/personal requirment I think it comes down to mental prepardness. Do you freeze if someone attacks you or do you react? Have you stopped being a victim? You can have someone talk at you and thow MA knoledge at you, but unless you absorb it and take it in, you aren't a MA yet, at least IMO.

IMHO, someone could have a bunch of certificates and belts, but in the end, those things really don't mean squat! Why? Because all they are is simply a physical indication that someone has reached a certain level. It by no means that said person is worthy of those things, has an understanding of the material or can even do the material when their *** is on the line. Of course, its a no-brainer that one would be worthy of it, but we all know that is not always the case.....unfortunately.
 

Christian Soldier

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Rickster, not at all. Certification is generally indicitive of someone that has traning (like a diploma from high school) but that does not make the martial artist, it's a mental thing. I'm probably over thinking this, let me use an anology to try to explain. If I gave a gun and BDUs to a little boy does that make him a soldier? Even if he shoots the gun it doesn't make him a soldier. There is expiernce, training, and a mental change that needs to take place. That's how I generally view a martial artist. So by the dicionary is someone who practices martial arts a martial artist, absoultely. But philisoophically I think there's a little more to it.

MJS pretty much said what I ment, certification may be an indication of prior expiereince. Just because you go to a martial arts school doen't make you a martial artist, you have to let the material sink in and know it spontenately if you need to. Krav guys might not have certification but they can react well if they need to compared to someone at a MA school who doesn't want to be there and just waits out the clock (I've taught many people like this).
 

rickster

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IMHO, someone could have a bunch of certificates and belts, but in the end, those things really don't mean squat! Why? Because all they are is simply a physical indication that someone has reached a certain level. It by no means that said person is worthy of those things, has an understanding of the material or can even do the material when their *** is on the line. Of course, its a no-brainer that one would be worthy of it, but we all know that is not always the case.....unfortunately.
This could be a misconception or a paradox. We cannot level the playing feld to simply limit or put specifications on what criteria it is needed to be a martial artist

In other words, what one will deem not worthy, another may say they are.

Each art is offering something unique to the individual.

To reiterate;

A.) A martial art will cater to those who practice.

B.) It is a indiviudal choice or opinion, sometimes as biased as politics and religion

C.) A single-style martial art cannot "be the best" as the application of the instruction/learning is upon each practitioner

The beauty of martial arts is to add the variety that can appeal to anyone upon, per A.), B.), and C.)
 

MJS

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This could be a misconception or a paradox. We cannot level the playing feld to simply limit or put specifications on what criteria it is needed to be a martial artist

In other words, what one will deem not worthy, another may say they are.

Each art is offering something unique to the individual.

To reiterate;

A.) A martial art will cater to those who practice.

B.) It is a indiviudal choice or opinion, sometimes as biased as politics and religion

C.) A single-style martial art cannot "be the best" as the application of the instruction/learning is upon each practitioner

The beauty of martial arts is to add the variety that can appeal to anyone upon, per A.), B.), and C.)

I simply said that because from what I've seen, many people put a belt and paper as the deciding factor of knowledge and skill, when in reality, it isn't. Trust me, I've seen people wearing black belts, and I've thought to myself, "Holy ****! A BB!?!?! This guy sucks!" People also tend to use certificates as some sort of proof that they are certified in something, when in fact they did nothing more than attend a 2 hr seminar....yet somehow they're not martial artists.
 

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I still think it is someone who transcends their instruction not merely a product of it.

I have taught white belts with little more than a week of training and seen them make leaps in understanding that were inspired. At that moment they were definitly a martial artist.
 

rickster

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Rickster, not at all. Certification is generally indicitive of someone that has traning (like a diploma from high school) but that does not make the martial artist, it's a mental thing. I'm probably over thinking this, let me use an anology to try to explain. If I gave a gun and BDUs to a little boy does that make him a soldier? Even if he shoots the gun it doesn't make him a soldier. There is expiernce, training, and a mental change that needs to take place. That's how I generally view a martial artist. So by the dicionary is someone who practices martial arts a martial artist, absoultely. But philisoophically I think there's a little more to it.

MJS pretty much said what I ment, certification may be an indication of prior expiereince. Just because you go to a martial arts school doen't make you a martial artist, you have to let the material sink in and know it spontenately if you need to. Krav guys might not have certification but they can react well if they need to compared to someone at a MA school who doesn't want to be there and just waits out the clock (I've taught many people like this).

If you go to a martial art school, by definition you are a martial artist.

Should a line or criteria be drawn be those who fight, defend, or beginners just learning?
 

rickster

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I simply said that because from what I've seen, many people put a belt and paper as the deciding factor of knowledge and skill, when in reality, it isn't. Trust me, I've seen people wearing black belts, and I've thought to myself, "Holy ****! A BB!?!?! This guy sucks!" People also tend to use certificates as some sort of proof that they are certified in something, when in fact they did nothing more than attend a 2 hr seminar....yet somehow they're not martial artists.

Skill, is pending upon what was taught, studied and applied.

As I stated, somewhat, can we hold a criteria of skill as a martial artist?

Those commercial kiddie McDojos, they are not "practicing martial artists"?

If the guy sucked as a black belt by your opnion or standard, he still isnt a martial artist?

A martial artist cannot suck at what they do?

I have seen many martial artists who seemed, by "my criteria-opinion" lacked skill.

That said, they were the best at what they were taught, studied and apply.

In other words, if someone is taught the Tae Kwon Leap Boot to the Head Kick,
and they do this well,
but others do not see a application
are they still a martial artist?
 

Carol

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If you go to a martial art school, by definition you are a martial artist.

Should a line or criteria be drawn be those who fight, defend, or beginners just learning?

I don't think so myself. Good MAists, bad MAists, beginning MAists, proficient MAists -- all martial artists.

Pursuing any art will give an artist a hefty dose of life's-not-fair. Talent often has little to do with financial success. Business skills, connections, networking, follow-up are generally the biggest factors in financial success. Much like major labels will sign highly marketable recording artists whose musicianship may not be very good, there are MAists whose profit-fu is very strong indeed, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are great martial artists. It may simply mean they are skillful at MA marketing and closing deals with the parents of their students.

The art will always be better than us. We have to decide where we want it to take it, and who we will pick for our influences. Its up to us to become the martial artist we want to be.
 

Christian Soldier

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If you go to a martial art school, by definition you are a martial artist.

Should a line or criteria be drawn be those who fight, defend, or beginners just learning?

Dictionary wise, yes. I think if you are learning martial arts (usually requires practice, training, and commitment) that would be indictive of being a martial artist. There are certantely students that are far worse and some that are far better than others, but as long as they are learning martial arts I guess they would all be martial artists. It just seems like the standards should be higher, IDK. I'm probably still over thinking it, sorry.
 

Cyriacus

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Dictionary wise, yes. I think if you are learning martial arts (usually requires practice, training, and commitment) that would be indictive of being a martial artist. There are certantely students that are far worse and some that are far better than others, but as long as they are learning martial arts I guess they would all be martial artists. It just seems like the standards should be higher, IDK. I'm probably still over thinking it, sorry.
Think of it another way: To You, is being a Martial Artist being some kind of transcended Human Being? Not literally of course. But if Your answer is Yes, then Your opinion is that a Martial Artist is someone who does more than Train. Which is fine - Just remember that its not something you need to prove, or try and convince everyone that its fact and not an opinion. The problem with these discussions is that too often, people forget that theres no right answer. And when you try to 'prove' that your answer is the right answer, things get a bit twisted.
 

Christian Soldier

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Never really had a 'phillosphical argument' before, I think your post is right on. The point when each person becomes a martial artist is a very individual thing. There's certainitely time, training, and expieriece that need to take place, but the amount of all those before a person becomes a martial artist varies widely.
 

rickster

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Think of it this way, when someone is practicng playing a musical instrument, they are not a "musician"?
 

Tez3

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Think of it this way, when someone is practicng playing a musical instrument, they are not a "musician"?

Not when they are learning the bagpipes or violin, once they can play yes they are musicians until then they are a public health hazard. :)
 

MJS

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Skill, is pending upon what was taught, studied and applied.

As I stated, somewhat, can we hold a criteria of skill as a martial artist?

Those commercial kiddie McDojos, they are not "practicing martial artists"?

If the guy sucked as a black belt by your opnion or standard, he still isnt a martial artist?

A martial artist cannot suck at what they do?

I have seen many martial artists who seemed, by "my criteria-opinion" lacked skill.

That said, they were the best at what they were taught, studied and apply.

In other words, if someone is taught the Tae Kwon Leap Boot to the Head Kick,
and they do this well,
but others do not see a application
are they still a martial artist?

If you go back to my first post, I had said that I feel that a martial artist is anyone that trains. For me, I consider training, to be defined as something someone does on a regular basis, ie: attending class 2-3, if not more, times a week. IMHO, attending a 1 time womens SD class for example, no, I wouldn't consider those people martial artists.

To answer your above questions...as I asid in my initial post, again its anyone that trains. A white belt is just as much of a martial artist as an orange belt. Its the training that matters, not the color of the belt, the fancy certs, etc. Why do I say that? Because IMHO, its the training that will be called upon, should the person need to defend themselves. White belt, yellow belt, brown belt, is all moot....those're just symbols of where you're at in your training.

Is someone who trains at a mcdojo a MAist? Yup. Does the BB who sucks still a MAist? Yup. And yes, of course they can suck. :) Once again, as I said, those people, despite their actual ability or where they train, are still MAists. :) Quality of said dojos or physical skill of the person attending, are topics for another thread. :)
 

rickster

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If you go back to my first post, I had said that I feel that a martial artist is anyone that trains. For me, I consider training, to be defined as something someone does on a regular basis, ie: attending class 2-3, if not more, times a week. IMHO, attending a 1 time womens SD class for example, no, I wouldn't consider those people martial artists.

To answer your above questions...as I asid in my initial post, again its anyone that trains. A white belt is just as much of a martial artist as an orange belt. Its the training that matters, not the color of the belt, the fancy certs, etc. Why do I say that? Because IMHO, its the training that will be called upon, should the person need to defend themselves. White belt, yellow belt, brown belt, is all moot....those're just symbols of where you're at in your training.

Is someone who trains at a mcdojo a MAist? Yup. Does the BB who sucks still a MAist? Yup. And yes, of course they can suck. :) Once again, as I said, those people, despite their actual ability or where they train, are still MAists. :) Quality of said dojos or physical skill of the person attending, are topics for another thread. :)


Nicely worded
 

Black Belt Jedi

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Coloured belt ranks doesn't make you a Martial Artist or be professed as a Martial Artist since a belt is a piece of cloth to hold up your pants and keep your gi together, coloured belts are just nothing but indicators of progress in your training. When teaching self-defenses I would teach the adult beginner anything to my heart's desire if it's from basic grabs to hair grabs and joint-locking techniques to knife and firearm self-defenses, I wouldn't hold back and think, oh it's too early for you to learn this, that is for green belts and so forth. But I digress.

A Martial Artist is all about character, dedication and devotion to your own system of Martial Arts.
 

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