MARTIAL ART A FORM OF SELF DEFENCE

The term martial arts has become associated with the fighting arts of East Asia, it originally referred to the combat systems of Europe as early as the 1550s.

Testing and competition

Testing or evaluation is important to martial artists of many disciplines who wish to determine their progression or own level of skill in specific contexts. Students often undergo periodic testing and grading by their own teacher in order to advance to a higher level of recognized achievement, such as a different belt color or title. The type of testing used varies from system to system but may include forms or sparring.

Various forms and sparring are commonly used in martial art exhibitions and tournaments. Some competitions pit practitioners of different disciplines against each other using a common set of rules, these are referred to as mixed martial arts competitions. Rules for sparring vary between art and organization but can generally be divided into light-contactmedium-contact, and full-contact variants, reflecting the amount of force that should be used on an opponent.

Martial arts have crossed over into sports when forms of sparring become competitive, becoming a sport in its own right that is dissociated from the original combative origin, such as with western fencing. The Summer Olympic Games includes judo, taekwondo, western archery, boxing, javelin, wrestling and fencing as events, while Chinese wushu recently failed in its bid to be included, but is still actively performed in tournaments across the world. Practitioners in some arts such as kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu often train for sport matches, whereas those in other arts such as aikido generally spurn such competitions. Some schools believe that competition breeds better and more efficient practitioners, and gives a sense of good sportsmanship. Others believe that the rules under which competition takes place have diminished the combat effectiveness of martial arts or encourage a kind of practice which focuses on winning trophies rather than a focus such as cultivating a particular moral character.

Health and fitness benefits

Martial arts training aims to result in several benefits to trainees, such as their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

Through systematic practice in the martial arts a person’s physical fitness may be boosted (strength, stamina, speed, flexibility, movement coordination, etc.) as the whole body is exercised and the entire muscular system is activated. Beyond contributing to physical fitness, martial arts training also has benefits for mental health, contributing to self-esteemself-controlemotional and spiritual well-being. For this reason, a number of martial arts schools have focused purely on therapeutic aspects, de-emphasizing the historical aspect of self-defense or combat completely.

According to Bruce Lee, martial arts also have the nature of an art, since there is emotional communication and complete emotional expression.

Self-defense, military and law enforcement applications

Some traditional martial concepts have seen new use within modern military training. Perhaps the most recent example of this is point shooting which relies on muscle memory to more effectively utilize a firearm in a variety of awkward situations, much the way an iaidoka would master movements with their sword.

During the World War II era William E. Fairbairn and Eric A. Sykes were recruited by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to teach their martial art of defendu (itself drawing on Western boxing and jujutsu) and pistol shooting to UK, US, and Canadian special forces. The book Kill or Get Killed, written by Colonel Rex Applegate, was based on the defend taught by Sykes and Fairbairn. Both Fairbairn’s Get Tough and Appelgate’s Kill or Get Killed became classic works on hand-to-hand combat.

Martial Arts is such a form of expressing our emotions which is indeed somewhat unbelievable till you recognise the art of kicks.

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