Friday, May 05, 2017

Martial Arts Are Not Sports

Martial arts.

These are arts with roots in the art of killing. Their original aim was to kill another human being, in the most effective and efficient way.

Controlled portions of martial arts training has been adapted for competitive sports, but these are limited to certain aspects of the martial arts that has been adapted, and is not representative of its true potential. For example, boxing is an adaption of bare-handed fighting, with very strict rules on what can be used, and where can be hit. There are similar adaptations, such as in karate, and even in taiji (pushing hands).

But that is what sports is about. You isolate a limited portion of something, and compete in that limited aspect to see who is better. The thing is, it is not a representation of who is better overall, but just in that limited aspect.

Yet the art of killing is not about being limited. It is about being effective and efficient, using all available means. So when martial arts is turned into a competitive sport, we must remember that as a competitive sport, it only represents a limited portion of the original martial art. We are isolating a certain, limited portion just to see who is better in that particular aspect. It does not, however, represent who is the better martial artist, since attempting to compete in such an aspect will most probably lead to fatalities.

In sports, a person trains within certain rules, learns how to excel within those boundaries, and gets better over time with training. That invariably makes him or her better within those rules compared to someone new to the rules. And that is all competitive sports can show: who is better in a certain aspect within the boundary of certain rules.

At the end of the day, martial arts were not developed as systems for sports, but were developed as systems for killing. While adapting martial arts for sports allow us to see who is better in certain aspects under certain rules, it does not guarantee us a way to see who is a better martial artists, since there are no rules in the art of killing.

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