The Martial Arts and Fighting

Martial arts aren’t all about fighting.  They are a variety of organizational systems of physical techniques, most of which are applicable to fighting skill development.  In other words, they are raw material.  Learning techniques isn’t the same as learning to fight.  I’m always looking for good analogies for this, like martial arts is like writing.  Knowing vocabulary, grammar, and the basics of style doesn’t mean you can write academically or professionally.  It means that you have the basic materials for writing.  To be a good write, you have to write and write and write.  You have to practice, analyze, revise, analyze again, then practice some more.  You become a good writer not because of vocabulary, grammar, and style basics, but by learning how to manipulate them.  The same is true of martial arts.  Knowing the techniques doesn’t mean you’ll know how to fight.  Knowing shiho-nage, irimi-nage, or a basic straight punch is the same as knowing the words incandescent, effervescent, and technology.  Knowing something isn’t the same as knowing how to manipulate it.

In the developed world, martial arts are less about learning to fight than it is learning about the manipulation of the body using techniques that are applicable to fighting and thus practical.  If you want to learn to fight, you have define what kind of fighting you mean and then do that.  A lot.  Then you’ll know how to fight.  Just knowing the vocabulary and grammar gives you a chance of knowing how to fight, but no guarantee of it.

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2 Responses to The Martial Arts and Fighting

  1. Your analogy is spot on. Good post, thanks for sharing.

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