types of martial arts
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Martial Arts: A Walk Through Time
Most people have a common misconception about martial arts. Though its initial intention was to create competent fighters during the times of war, Martial Arts later contributed to easing the mind, body, and soul through systematic training and discipline. Martial arts became a pathway via which the students could guide themselves onto a road of spiritual unification with themselves. It became an art form, practiced and learned all over the world. Individual experts started creating their own individual forms and version of out the age-old fighting skills. It ended up being learned all throughout the world, and even today the popularity of martial arts still looms high in modern society.
Anyone can name a whole set of different martial arts that they have tried out in their lives or are actively are practicing it. Yet, when we look at the story about martial arts, at best we know about a few stories about our own practice, yet what to speak about the whole history of martial arts in the world.
The word ‘martial’ is derived from the name of Mars, the Roman god of war. This makes the term ‘Martial Arts’ literally mean the art of Mars. To put it another way, it means the Art of War. The term comes from 15th century Europeans, who were referring this way to their own fighting techniques, known today as Historical European Martial Arts. Yet, in its entirety, martial arts training throughout history can be defined as systems of codified practices and traditions of training for combat.
While each style has unique facets that differentiate it from other forms of martial arts, they can all be characterized to a systemization of fighting techniques. Some more linked to spiritual and religious beliefs or philosophies, while others are linked to the idea of making oneself much stronger physically, rather than mentally.
Origin and Explanation
Most people have a common misconception that martial arts originated in the orient. The truth is any culture that has a need for martial arts has them. Manuals have been found in medieval Europe that shoe many techniques which are taught today. The ancient Greeks had wrestling and boxing. The Egyptian tombs contain paintings that show both armed and unarmed martial art moves, some of which would appear familiar to many of today’s martial arts fighting techniques. Any form of Japanese martial arts ends with either the word ‘Jitsu’ or ‘do’.
For example, Jiu-Jutsu or Judo, Kenjutsu or Kendo and Aikijitsu or Aikido. The original forms of the arts all end with ‘Jitsu’ which means art or technique. They were created out of the necessity of violent time when there was a definite need for a fighting ability. The entire reason for the existence of the martial arts class was to produce competent fighters. As the Japanese society became more settled and peaceful, the ability to fight well became less important. After the modernisation of the army, the need for fighters declined and the fighters who had trained their entire lives had no real need for their fighting abilities.
Most stopped training and became normal members of the society. But a handful of the fighters looked deeper at the results of the training. They realized that they had gained much more than the ability to just fight by the techniques. Training in martial arts had molded them into the men they were now. This became a new reason for training. Producing competent fighters was no longer the primary concern. The principal goal was to produce better people, who were a lot more connected to themselves and their body. The training was also aimed to improve one’s physical health.
These people believed in the idea that learning martial arts will not only be beneficial in terms of fighting but will help an individual to develop and grow completely in terms of both mental and physical health. Jigoro Kano was the founder of the fighting arts known as Judo. As a young man, Kano became an expert in several systems of Jiu-Jutsu. However, not only was he an expert in Jiu-Jutsu, but he was also a teacher. He was the director of the Tokyo higher normal school, the precursor of the present Tokyo University of Education and Chief of the Education Bureau of the ministry of Education.
As Kano grew in his knowledge of Jiu-Jutsu, he realized that it could be used as a tool in developing better and more well-rounded people. With this in mind, he formatted the jiu-jitsu that he had learned into a better teaching tool and called it Judo. So the main difference between the Jiu-Jutsu that he learned and the Judo that he taught was the purpose. The martial art rules were, however, the same. His teachers were more concerned with the fighting ability and skills. Kano, however, emphasized more on developing the characters of his students.
The creation of the UFC was done keeping in mind to pit practitioners of various martial arts against one another with as few rules as possible. The fighting techniques escalated from conventional to more favorable ones. Martial arts pressure points were always targeted in a fight, and in the modern day, that preference is still prevalent.
Modern Martial arts
Nowadays, the age old fighting styles have are not practiced that much. People and martial arts enthusiast all over the world are trying to bring back these cultures by imbibing them in real life sports. The process of reconstruction includes intensive study of the art form and rigorously disciplined practice. Martial art practice nowadays is a top priority in many countries.
Building Bridges across Nations
Martial art practices nowadays are not limited to only one particular nation. Practitioners travel the world to discover more ]martial art forms and learn them. As a result, different styles get mixed together to give rise to a completely new form. This reaching out promoted relation between other countries. Compared to the past where martial was a medium of violence, the present is a much more fortuitous time.