A Unit of Path Defender Private Limited (XMA Member of Karate India Organisation)
WHAT IS MARTIAL ART ?
Martial Art can be defined as a system of techniques, physical and mental
exercises developed as an effective means for self-defense and offense, both
unarmed and with the use of weapons. The origin and history of Martial Arts is
a controversial issue. We can see signs of Martial Arts in Greek, Indian,
Egyptian, African, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, as well as other cultures. There is
a clear trail leading from the Southern China-regions up to Korea, Okinawa and
Japan. The details before that, and the exact details of that transfer, are
greatly debated by historians and Martial Artists.
MARTIAL ARTS PHILOSOPHY
martial arts are both art and science. The word "art" is defined as
the activity of creating beautiful things and the word "science" is
defined as a methodological activity, discipline, or study". While these
two definitions are correct, I prefer the contributions of an anonymous poet:
"Art is a passion pursued with discipline; science is a discipline pursued
with passion". At their most basic level, the martial arts are nothing
more than ways to prevent someone from harming or killing you. At their highest
aspiration, the martial arts are paths to self-knowledge and the expression of
beauty. The martial artist must be both scientist and artist. He must learn the
traditions, theories, principles, laws and techniques upon which martial
artistry is based. He must then practice them with passion and discipline so as
to properly learn and understand what he is doing. Only then can he master
himself and the martial arts.
WHAT KIND OF MARTIAL ARTS ARE THERE ?
are many ways in which martial arts can be divided. Here are a few of them that
might be useful to use in defining Martial Arts and discussing them. These are
not necessarily consensus definitions but they are commonly held. It is also
useful to remember that very few of these martial arts are just one way or
another...they are all mixtures of these elements in various degrees. When we
say a style is "hard" what we mean is that the predominant expression
of that style is hard. If we say Shotokan is linear, it does not mean Shotokan
has no circular techniques.
Linear and Circular styles
distinction refers to lines of movement, attack and defense.
"Circular" styles use circular movements to block, attack, or move.
Around and aside... "Linear" styles use direct, straight-on
movements, attacks, or head-on blocks. In and out... Styles can, and sometimes
do, mix circular blocks with linear attacks. This is a subtle distinction and
not absolute, but it gives some information.
Soft and Hard styles
styles tend to redirect energy, channeling and diverting momentum to unbalance
an opponent, or to move them into striking range. They tend to be lower
commitment and use less force. Thus, they are less likely to be unbalanced and
can recover from redirection easier. Examples are Tai Chi, Aikido, Ninjutsu, or
many Kung Fu styles and sub-styles. "Hard" styles tend to direct
energy outward and meet energy with energy. They will tend to strike more, and
deliver more force with each strike. Hard stylists will often damage with their
blocks, turning them into attacks. They deliver more power, and thus are harder
to turn aside, but they are higher commitment, and thus don't recover as well
from mistakes. Examples are Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, Muay Thai, and some Kung Fu
styles and sub-styles.
Internal and External
styles are styles that emphasize the more non-tangible elements of the arts.
They utilize chi/ki/qi flow, rooting, and those elements which some people
consider "mystical". They tend to emphasize meditation, body control,
perception, mind control (self, not others!), and pressure points. Typically
internal styles are soft. Tai Chi is an internal style. "External"
styles tend to emphasize body mechanics, leverage, and applied force. They tend
to use weight, strength, positioning, and anatomy to optimal advantage.
Typically' external styles are hard. Muay Thai is an external style. MARTIAL
ARTS: A WAY OF LIFE Did you eat breakfast today? Probably so. Just as you need
to nourish your body everyday, martial arts is also a daily supplement to good
health. Neither with food nor martial arts should you feast and/or famine. You
can buy anything you want with money; a car, clothes or a house, but even a
million dollars cannot buy your good health.