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A 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.
The 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.
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
This 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
"Soft" 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
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
Anyone can learn Martial
Arts, regardless of age, sex, or limitations, it is never too late to
begin practice. Even the physically challenged individual can learn
martial arts because it is not just kicking and punching. It is a modern
universal art of self-defense and character development.
"Discipline is the
foundation stone of a martial artist and self-respect is the
pillar". You should always be aware of what you do and say and how it
will affect others. Discipline yourself. When you can control what you do
and say, you will know the satisfaction of having contributed your best,
whether it be by outward expression or silence at the right time. Your
ability to discipline yourself will have a direct effect on the degree of
success you have in attempting to reach your goals. Your self-respect will
be something that you deserved and earned.
"Everything comes to
those who wait". When one begins practicing martial arts, hours are
spent performing techniques over and over, sweating as you go. When you
leave to go home, you can leave that place behind, but you must take that
patience and persistence with you. Not only during practice but in
everything you do, have patience. Whether driving your car or cooking
dinner, give yourself the gift of time. Don't try to beat the red light.
Patience can save your life.
Always Keep a Goal.
Whenever you drive, your
car must go a certain direction, otherwise you will make unnecessary turns
and waste fuel. The same is true in life. You should have a goal, a
direction in which you will go. In certain times of hardship, having,
keeping and relying on your goal can help brace you for the continuous
Everyone makes commitments in their life but few people practice the art of keeping their word on promises. Whenever you make a commitment, stick by it, even if circumstances change and you end up losing somewhere. Your promise is your name. Give it a reason to be depended on.
The meaning of respect
includes several things, all of which deal with your relationship with
others. The degree to which you trust, love and attempt to understand
others equates to the degree of respect you have for them. If you ignore
someone, obviously, your respect for that person is not great. Attempt to
extend yourself, to offer your undivided attention so that not only do you
please others but you also gain from the experience. Enrich your life by
A look in any high school physics book will give us the equation Force = Mass X Velocity. This means that an object with twice the mass moving at the same speed as another object will hit with twice the force, or an object moving at twice the speed will hit with twice the force. This is a proven law of physics. It explains why a small bullet with little mass but traveling at a very high velocity can do so much damage. When we apply this unwavering law of physics to the martial arts it gets a little more complicated. Therefore to increase the force of your strikes you must increase your mass or your velocity.
Physically increasing your mass through weight training will increase your power but of coarse you must
be careful that you are not sacrificing speed.
A small technical machine can do a lot of work, as we read in our books simple machines i.e. a pulley, a rod if used technically right they can lift up amazingly lot of weight. So remember all your martial arts techniques are the same principles of science.
An easier way to increase your mass or force is to work
on weight transfer. Weight transfer is simply the process of applying your
mass to achieve the maximum benefit. This is accomplished many ways, by
developing a strong base, by proper transfer of energy through the hips,
by using full extension of your techniques, as well as other aspects of
proper body mechanics. These methods of developing efficient mass transfer
are usually described simply as developing "good form". All
instructors teach proper form but not all understand that its purpose, in
scientific terms, is to increase the amount of mass that is directly
applied to the strike.
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