Fighter vs. Artist

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by kerling, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. kerling

    kerling Hidden haito style

    Hi fellow MAP users

    It makes me sad how a part of most new commers here are thinking of becomming good street fighters.

    Every other question here is like this: "What is the best fight to beat someone up in a bar?" refrase this like you want but in the end it's the type of question beeing asked.

    I wonder if I'm the only one who started karate without thinking is this good to kick someones ass. Yes this is the most lethal style out there I'll choose it.

    Is it because thouse people newer stopped to look at the ART part of martial art.

    If you become a martiaARTist will not much of the street fighting part come as a part of it? Isn't this what every other black belt is telling you?
    Of corse there are limitations to each style but that is the ARTist to overcome with his advancement and greater understanding of the ART.

    Are "new" forms of wrestling changing the way that the public looks at MA? By wrestling I mean UFC and such tournaments that are for show. The more blood the more beating the more fun. Is this not excelling in one part of the whole thing? Fighting one on one in a closed ring?

    In today society are we trying to take much much shortcuts to fame and fortune that we miss the whole idea of the trip to there? Isn't a part of beeing a artist in a sense to feel and know how this works and how to take this knowledge to advance even further?

    Missing a part of the journey towards becomming a artist you miss the other parts picture. You miss out on the character building ... no pain no gain... and such golden words of wisdom. Self control and self awareness is also a great part of this journey.

    Perhaps these are just silly words written on a webpage out in the world of high speed and high stakes. Maybe that no one listens to they words they read and maybe no one cares?

    Where ever you are going in life .. don't miss the journey there for it is life.

    Regards Kerling
  2. Greg-VT

    Greg-VT Peasant

    Yea, I agree. But maybe not always throughout my life history. As I'm sure is the same with many MAs.

    There have been points in my past where I thought about starting Martial Arts just for the attraction of being able to fight. Not to the point of wanting fight, but of being able to fight -and knowing that I could, without hesitation.

    So, yea, I thought about Martial Arts in that way, only a little, when I was younger and inexperienced. But not the extreme that your reffering to.

    It is different now. In fact it has been different from that most of the time. They where only moments filled with anger and the idea of revenge.

    People who are what saying what you mentioned, I think are either young (teens or younger), or inexperienced and have never done any MA, or fighting for that matter

    And if they continue the way they are going there going to get great shock when they wake up (either figurative speaking, or in a a hospital bed).
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2003
  3. Southern Mantis

    Southern Mantis New Member

    I agree with comments made in both posts.

    I have gone through phases in my study of Kung Fu. Initially, I wanted to study it because it looked good in films, then I thought waw! this is good to use in a fight. But I feel I have matured in my approach recently. I really am appreciting the 'art' part of it. There is so much more to it than fighting - aspects that are actually more enjoyable than thinking how you can use it to injure somebody. Don't get me wrong, if I had to defend myself, I would use my art, but it has to be used in an approprite manner. And only by understanding the different layers of the art can you do this.

    For me, being able to defned myself is just an added bonus - I learn for the physical, mental and health benefits. To be honest, the more I learn about my art, the more dangerous I realise it is and the more I realise you cannot and should not approach it in a gung ho fashion. As my instructor says - Kung Fu is dangerous - you cannot have an ego whilst practicing it. You must be peaceful or you will do some serious damage.

    Martial Arts is no place for meatheads.
  4. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    For what it's worth Kerling, I do empathise with your sentiment.

    My reasons for practicing MA have changed many times over the years as different influences came and went.

    It's about setting goals for me. Seeing a standard I want to acheive, or looking at something I'm not sure I'm capable of, then just getting on with it and having a go anyway.

    Succeed or fail, you make challenges to yourself and work your way through the obstacles life throws you.

    This ethos seems in itself, to be too much of a challenge for some people to get to comprehend.
  5. Sonshu

    Sonshu Buzz me on facebook

    The Art

    I was into the art side of things especially when doing Taijitsu (Ninjitsu) I loved everything about it and really wanted to learn as much as I could. There is simply too much for me to learn but it still holds a close place in my heart and I still do use a lot of what I learnt.

    Karate and other arts I have tried and never taken to the art side of it. Dont know why but they just never stuck.

    I think a lot of the posts about fighting and all are from new people on the forum and we all need new blood to help each other and to get the site to evolve. Many of the things we have discussed on older threads that perhaps they have not seen.

    Still as they say its good to talk.
  6. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    Personally I believe there are (and always have been) two separate approaches to "fighting":

    1. Martial Arts
    2. Martial Systems

    Martial systems are a method of fighting, typically grounded in reality. Martial Arts are a method of living that includes, but is not restricted to, fighting. The Japanese arts delt with this traditionally with ideas like Budo vs. Bujitsu. But I think the gap has grown increasingly apparent in recent years.

    Can there be artistry in Martial Systems? Of course. There can be artistry in everything. But it isn't necessarily a core tenant of those systems. When it comes to Martial Arts, the art needs to be in balance with the martial (as the name suggests).

    I see a lot of value in Martial Systems. And I think we should be respectful if thier benefits. By my personal passion lies in Martial Arts and the self discovery that they lead to.

    - Matt
  7. 47Ronin

    47Ronin New Member

    I was thinking about this the other day after my Sensei was talking to me about "fighting" and the words that really inspired me were " You learn Karate so you do not have to fight" and now I totally agree.

    People talk to me and say that their classes are such a great work out but they forget the true meaning to Karate and have no spirit. One thing that I thought of that I will ask these people is "If suddenly your art was no longer taught period would you care or would you just go to the next "fighting" style?"

    Another thing I see is that this is the difference between MMA's and TMA's we study for the art they study for "self defence" or a "workout". I am not saying that it is bad to study for those reasons but when you only study for that then it is not an Art.

    Good thread.
  8. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

    well I learen the MA first because well I watched a little too much Star Wards when I was a kid, so I wanted to learn how to fight with sword. It looked cool which is why I dont most things its cool regardless of what i can use it for.
    But as I continued to study I decided my MA Knowledge is useless I can actually use it a fight.
    THere is art in everything you have to look for it. mean there is art to drivin the store to buy food.
    Is it esential that people realize this? I dont think so. Some people could care less whether or not they are artful preroing to do waht they want when they ned to not bothering to learn a lot of extranious details taht wont help them fight.
    LIke me i dont need to have all this extra stuff like making yourself a better person through MA I have God for that OI dont need much else.

    and I beleive tha the term Martial art can still be used for a style that only is fighitng with out extra fun stuff in it. Becasue art doesnt only mean art like pretty stuff it also means anyting a person would do making a synonym for scienece and craft But thats not really neccesary like arguing over he pronouciation of potatoe.
  9. nzric

    nzric on lookout for bad guys

    At last a sensible post - there's some excellent points from everyone.

    I think one way to test is to ask yourself "if I could somehow predict the future and know I will never be in a 'real' fight, would I still practice martial arts?" learning ma just in case you get into a fight is like learning to drive only because there's a chance you might one day get into a car chase.

    Personally, I like the fact that I'm more confident now, but I also know anybody in the world can beat anybody else if it's their lucky day. I like IMA because it has given me an introduction to chinese culture, history and medicine that I had never considered before, and also because the body mechanics behind bagua (and all ma) is fascinating.

    It's interesting, when you read about the famous masters, that nearly all of them actively went out of their way not to fight in their later life. It's logic - why fight if you don't have to?

    There's a part of Crouching Tiger (I know, it's a tacky thing to bring up but it's still a great movie) where the old female warrier visits the up-and-coming (feisty) protege. She comment's on the girl's mastery of calligraphy and draws a parallel between her style with the brush and the art of handling a sword. That's a great comment about the benefits ma gives every part of your life (and about what is really important).
  10. shonuff

    shonuff New Member

    Fighting is about technique, efficiency, speed, power, experience.

    Fighter always beats artist. Like a 3000 pounds of TNT would do better at destroying a boulder than an engraved gold plated hammer.
  11. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    At the risk, as you put it, of arguing pronouciation I have to disagree (though I understand your position). The reason that I differentiate the Art from the System is because I think that there are at times conflicting issues between the two.

    As I see it (again this is all IMHO) part of the desire of a Martial System is to focus on the most effective fighting aspects of what they practice. I think that in that respect most MMA's are systems, not necessarily arts. The choose to remove aspects of the practice that are antiquated. And I don't necessarily blame them for that. They're focused primarly on the modern application of what they practice.

    With Martial Arts, I think there is a stronger cultural aspect in what they practice. If you want to learn how to fight (in a practical sense) there's no good reason you should spend your limited training time mastering a Chinese Spear form for example. So why do we do that in the TMA? To preserve a tradition. And I think that preservation is crucial to separating the art from the system.

    Again, I think that there can be a lot of artistry in the execution of Martial Systems. And I've seen practictioners remove (sometimes intentionally, sometimes not) all the art from Martial Arts. And ultimately this is all arguing symantics (and I'll be expecting some observation to that effect from Andy Murry... just a lot more witty than I could come up with).

    - Matt
  12. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    LOL, drop my last Aspirin in the toilet why don't you. :p

    I think personally that the true essence of what might often be termed a TMA is to evolve.

    e.g. Kung Fu can mean Hard Work, Work Hard, Work in Progress etc. Perhaps a more appropriate sentiment would be to 'seek personal evolution'

    For me, anything I do, be it MMA or BJJ or JKD or whatever. It's still part of my personal evolution, so it's still Kung Fu. I'm not hindered by semantics, or the definitions of others. I just do!

    History forms the building blocks of the future. You just don't know what you may find in some old geezers head that's valid today. We'd be foolish to close that door.

    All the MMA arguements are focused on what has transpired in the past. Let's see what happens in the future.

    I'm evolving no matter what labels other people apply to me!
  13. Hakko-Ryu

    Hakko-Ryu New Member

    i think ALL martial artists should be a fighter in a way...and all fighters should be a martial artist...there needs to be a balance between the 2 in my opinion. whats a martial artist that cannot fight?...and whats a fighter/athlete that don't know the essence behind the art in which they're learning?
  14. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher


    Great points, I don't mean to suggest that TMA are, or should be, muesum peices with no relivance. That's not the way my art works, and it would definitely be considered a TMA. Life and the Martial Arts (and Martial Systems) are all about evolution. But the path of taken to evolve definitely varies. I think TMA's often look to the past to help create the future. That's thier evolutionary path.

    Ultimately we all hope that our study will lead to the greater way that masters like Musashi found. And that's a great quest to be one!

    - Matt
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2003
  15. Flashing Dagger

    Flashing Dagger Valued Member

    When people say that they want to learn how to "street fight" I hope they mean that they want to learn how to defend themselves instead of becoming just another punk criminal. But learning a serious martial art requires some responsibility and restraint on our parts. If we are in a serious martial art then we learn to strike the eyes, neck, groin, and break joints. I'm sorry, but I'm not about to put someone's eyes out or break a knee cap because someone is mouthing off in the street or in a bar. People who talk about violence like it is something they want to get involved with might not realize that becoming a 'good fighter' is not all that fun. If you know that you could put someone in a cast for 8 weeks or even cause his death then you will most likely walk away from a conflict situation because, well...what's the point?

    I agree with you guys about a study of martial arts as an 'art' or a journey. But for me that journey begins with making some real decisions beforehand about what self-defense means. I would rather learn the real stuff (not just point sparring or reciting the dojo-kun) and train seriously like the samurai used to (defeat in combat=death) and then only use that art when you really need it. And if you really have decided that you will not be a victim, then go all out on his ass. Like Sun Tsu said, 'when you go to war, you go to win or not at all' (I paraphrased a bit)

  16. totality

    totality New Member

    i train mma because it is what defines me. the sport is one of the most important things in the world to me, and i need it to air, or women ;). and i can see why many people are drawn to tma, as it does have something mma doesn't. but the best thing about mma is that, (as opposed to the "self-defense" aspect of tma), after a fight you don't run away, or feel bad about what you've just done, you smile and shake the other guy's hand. no hard feelings about who won or lost, and even if one of you has a bit of a limp, it's understood that it's just a game.

    and about the fitness thing, i'm proud of the fact that we can claim some of the highest-caliber of athletes in the world. if "art" is what i have to trade for training my ass off and feeling good about, then so be it.
  17. Kwan Jang

    Kwan Jang Valued Member

    -Andy's viewpoints pretty much reflect my own. I would like to add though that after you reach a certain level as a fighter and a confidence tha reflects a legitimate competence, your priorities change. You mature and you look for more. You still want to grow and improve your combat skills, but you look for other challenges and deeper meaning in what you do.
    -I will admit that there are people out there who use the term "artist" as an excuse or sheild from being effective towards combat/fighting, but to me, the only true artists in our craft are the ones who have went through the combat end and come out the other side. I am very aware of the difference of the suffix -do and -jitsu in the Japanese systems, but I have never understood why they had to be so seperate. The values and benefits, the lifeskills of the -do can still be applied with the combat efficiency of the -jitsu, IMO. I can undertand that there are certain people (espescially young children) that you want to limit the combat efficientcy of what you teach them. (This was one of the main reasons of the creation of the -do in the first place was to create a children;s art where they would not seriously injure themselves or someone else). You don't put a loaded gun in the hands of a child. However, I've never understtod why the -jitsu/martial systems isn't always neccesarily taught with the benefits of the -do. To me, that just seems like the natural step in the evolution of the arts and follows the natural evolution of the artist as a person.
  18. Tireces

    Tireces New Member

    I think this thread should've been about people who just want to learn martial arts to idly fight. Linking MMA and non traditional martial arts to that mindset is ridiculous. There have been plenty of traditional martial artists across time who have been less than admirable people as well. Saying that non-traditional martial arts foster bad attitudes is no different than these people who come on here just to bash traditional martial arts because they believe that no one has any idea how to fight after training in them.
  19. zun

    zun New Member

    Some good points here.

    Just to add one that I can't see has been discussed.

    Some (Many?) of the newbies to MAP have at one point or another feel the need to defend themselves, hence they turn to MA.

    For instance, I read some of the posts that talk about how they have been bullied - or are worried about the scraps that their friends are getting into - or gangs that harass them.

    Some of these guys, unfortunately, are looking for and in some cases need a quick fix.

    This may go to explaining so many request for info on the best MA.
  20. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    Spot on.
    There are 'less than admirable people' in all walks of life.

    A common theme is the 'My MA is better than your MA'.
    UFC events and their imitators have fueled this type of attitude, because these people turn round and point at it, saying 'There I told you so'.

    What irritates me is that there are so many wonderful, talented people in TMA's whom I definitely wouldn't want to fight, that are getting 'rubbished' along with their arts.

    You mean to tell me that Hee Il Cho, Park Jung Tae, Terry O Neil, Emin Boztepe etc can't defend themselves because they do a TMA?
    They should perhaps justify themselves and their arts to the world by entering a UFC event?


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