martial arts that openly admit it's a hobby/sport

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by MMAWARRIOR20, Mar 25, 2020.


from your anecdolatl observations which MA is likely to admit it's a hobby and not self defense

  1. capoeira

  2. tae kwon do

    0 vote(s)
  3. jiu jitsu (tradtional japanese)

    0 vote(s)
  4. wing chun

    0 vote(s)
  5. tai chi

  6. other

  1. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    From the people I've known who do it; generally when TC is part of a wider kung fu curriculum the fighting aspect is promoted, but when it is just a TC class it generally isn't.
  2. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Well in that case, the wrestling style is literally Mongolian. But "boxing" in terms of pugilistic art isn't any more English than tea is. That's a joke but it's true. ;)

    "Western" boxing is not really a European invention, although you can argue the rulesets were. But boxing duels have existed in every ancient culture. There is not a huge difference between English and Asian forms of boxing. I guess my point is that East/West is a false duality when it comes to hand to hand combat in general. Greece traded martial culture with China for aeons, Egypt set the stage for what became modern civilizations. England conquered half the globe and assimilated entire cultures, and a lot of hand to hand fighting was involved for sure, but I think we are well past the "this technique is from THIS country". I doubt that's true even for really old arts, they all have a common core because humans haven't physically evolved much in the last 5,000 years, so we really fight the way we always have.

    I think the art of boxing is defined simply by two things: the aesthetic fighting styles of individual boxers going back millenia, but even moreso the spectacle of performing pugilistic grace for crowds, going back to Rome and beyond to prehistoric Asia. People love art because it is beautiful, terrifying, thought-provoking, inspirational, etc. And so they vicariously love boxing because it is viscerally intriguing. For that reason I think pretty much everything that appears to be martial art on its face qualified, with the exception of the liars and charlatans. The Japanese archery videos posted before are martial art (aesthetically), but so is MMA, Judo, etc. These sports have judges that often do incorporate gradings and decisions based on visual quality, efficiency etc. People like martial arts that look good, and to me nothing looks cooler than a knockout blow in slow motion. :D

    Hope everyone is safe and healthy out there.

  3. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    I thought the term "western boxing" was used, not because only westerners do it, but simply because "Queensbury rules" is a mouthful and to help make clear that you're not talking about Thai boxing, kickboxing, etc.

    No, it's not literally technically accurate, but neither are literal translations of karate (empty hand), taekwondo (the foot fist way), taijiquan (grand ultimate fist), etc.
  4. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    The idea of watching people punch each other in the head for entertainment isn't a uniquely English idea, but the rule set that we know today as (Western) boxing can be traced back there.

    It's not about the techniques, it's about the lineage of the sport.

    MMAWARRIOR20 Valued Member

    grond and david.. i think one of you has the understanding that the term "martial arts" refers to an activity rooted in tradition, history and heritage "lion dancing" was cultural value. capoeira with the instruments and singing seem like a cultural ritual. But when i think "martial arts" i just think "methods of inflicting harm or subdueing"
  6. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Am I practicing "martial arts" when I go to the range to train with my .357 Magnum? Setting aside technical definitions, that's never how I, or anyone I know, has ever used the term.
    David Harrison likes this.
  7. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    Ugh thats another rabbit hole really. Hojutsu is technically a martial art:

    Hōjutsu - Wikipedia

    So the only difference between your Magnum and the Japanese matchlock is level of technology and time. I think the term martial art means for good or ill whatever the utter has in its mind. Four broad cardinal points can be delineated I think and all arts fall somewhere between those points

    Combative activities pertaining to warfare and armed conflict

    Competitive activities of a combative nature between human beings in defined rulesets

    Cultural activities/Folk with combative characteristics maintained for social enrichment and/or cultural memory

    Combative arts from(but not exclusively) from the far east with a religious/philosophical component.

    This of course is fairly broad and may rope in things such as Javelin throwing, Olympic vaulting, shin kicking and chess, which vast majority would not see as martial arts but would be roped in under those cardinal points
    David Harrison likes this.
  8. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I don't like the term "martial arts" at all really, but it's not something 5 people on the internet get to decide. The vast majority of people still think of people punching and kicking in pyjamas when they hear the term, or more recently the UFC.

    If it really were related to the arts of Mars, god of war, then Mitlov would be more of a martial artist on the range than when he is doing Tang Soo Do or fencing. HEMA, or at least the study of treatises relating to battle, would be more martial arts than a hall full of karateka. Olympic archers and javelin throwers would be more martial arts than olympic Taekwondo competitors...

    In fact, these days, learning to remote pilot a drone from a laptop is more of a martial art than most things we call martial arts.
  9. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    They are martial arts that are effective for fighting, not self defence. Don't confuse the two.
    Pretty In Pink likes this.
  10. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    That's a bit of a cheap nit-pick. It's splitting hairs.

    Fighting is part of self-defence. Those arts are effective for the fighting aspect of self-defence. Ergo, those arts are effective for self-defence.

    He didn't say they are effective self-defence, he said they are effective for self-defence.
  11. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    In my experience, the taxonomy i personally use, there's three categories of things I've seen called "martial arts" in real life:

    1. Martial arts in the Gichin Funakoshi sense, hobbies with combative roots for physical and mental self-improvement;

    2. Combat sports, from MMA to Olympic TKD, and increasingly including boxing and wrestling, though these weren't called martial arts 20 years ago in my experience, and

    3. Combatives training like police "defensive tactics" and Marine Corps MCMAP and civilian equivalents. Here, I've typically seen the term used specifically for the hand-to-hand element, not for firearms training, even though police and military obviously train with firearms.

    (Or some combination of the three).

    I'd never heard of Hojutsu before, but it sounds very much like a martial art in the Funakoshi sense.

    With shooting, the four terms I hear people use are "competition," "recreational," "defensive/tactical," and "hunting." There are obvious parallels to the martial arts categories above (except hunting, lol) but I never hear the same terminology used.
    Botta Dritta and Grond like this.
  12. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Olympic boxing has been a well documented sport art for at least 2,700 years according to Greece, at least. Would an ancient Greek boxer give a damn about rules established by the aristocracy in Britain thousands of years later? I doubt it.
  13. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    If you decide to stop tracing at the 19th-20th centuries, then yes. But I also think "punching people in the head" isn't a fair way to describe the pugilistic art form, which I think stretches back to the literal dawn of man, and isn't some modern contrivance.
  14. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    However you want to describe it, yes, people getting a visceral thrill from watching other people fight probably does stretch back to the dawn of man. If you want to call any of it that includes punching "boxing", then go for it.

    We've been down this road before, so I don't think we will break new ground here. If you have some evidence to cite that there was a continuation of olympic boxing in the 1400 years between the last olympic games in Ancient Greece and the first modern olympics, I would love to see it.
  15. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Apologies, what I should have asked is:

    If you have some evidence to cite that there was a continuation of boxing competition and training methods in the 1100 years between the last olympic games in Ancient Greece and the London prize fights of the 16th Century, I would love to see it.

    "Lineage" means an unbroken transmission of training. You also have "revival", such as English folk singing, the olympic games, or HEMA. Modern boxing is neither an unbroken transmission nor revival. The modern rules are in no way attempting to recreate ancient grecian boxing, and it is its own sport.

    As for unfair descriptions of "the pugilistic art form" (pugilism being another relatively recent term made up by an English aristocrat), ancient Greek legend (which you have cited as evidence previously) puts the origin of boxing in a competition format that involves two men sat opposite each other, punching each other in the head until one of them dies.
    Grond and Mitlov like this.
  16. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Modern Olympic boxing is based on Queensbury rules boxing, not ancient Greek boxing. Historians think ancient Greek boxing had something like the following rules:

    • No holds or wrestling
    • Any type of blow with the hand was allowed but no gouging with the fingers
    • No ring was used
    • There were no rounds or time limits
    • Victory was decided when one fighter gave up or was incapacitated
    • No weight-classes, opponents were selected by chance
    • Judges enforced the rules by beating offenders with a switch or whip
    • Fighters could opt to exchange blows undefended if the fight lasted too lon

    Ancient Greek boxing - Wikipedia
    Grond likes this.
  17. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Everything I know about Olympic boxing history comes from two places, the Olympics, and the encyclopedia. The Olympic tradition of various sports goes back to that era (even discus) so why would boxing be much different has a human art form, as opposed to a particular set of rules in a particular place.

    Boxing Equipment and History - Olympic Sport History

    I happen to think of boxing as a very diverse field including contributions from every race and country in history, specifically because modern boxing is very much like ancient boxing, a duel of artistic might between two individuals. The gloves, equipment, technology, and rules change over time to meet legal and societal norms (in civilized places at least), but the tradition is as old as the Silk Road, at least.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2020
  18. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    It's based on both, technically, because it incorporates both elements of 19th century British boxing rules as well as BC-era boxing elements. Put another way there would be no Queensbury Rules without ancient Greek boxing, for sure, because the rules are one thing and the human art form is another. When you really examine "what's new", you see that it's numbers and how things are calculated, what is allowed and so on, but the real meat has never really changed. Some humans have been amazing fist fighters since prehistory, and the best known became famous gladiators and pugilists whether they wore leather straps or the rather gentrified gloves we wear today, was the ring square circle or triangular, etc.

    One way to think about this from a critical standpoint is if you think you can really tie any particular boxing technique to the 19th century, you might be leaving out a lot to consider. I think Queensbury is barely scratching the surface, really, but in the same productive way UFC scratched the surface of the global martial arts scene in the late 1990's. First, standardized the rules, then the real artists will come forward. And they do! :D

    And as a side note to everyone, since this should become a tradition in the future during global virus outbreaks...please stay safe and indoors and away from all martial arts studios and gyms etc.. I've been reading about schools training groups privately in spite of warnings. I'm sure some of that is due to some tradition.. don't be so stupid, please. Sorry for the public service announcement.

    Speaking of my own (forced solo) boxing traditions, I have sweat off ten pounds of hamburger just hitting the bag the last three weeks. I hope everyone is able to use this time to reflect on their inner warrior and what value they can take out of that sort of investment in self reflection. Boxers have a common mindset, because I can feel what this guy was feeling when he sat for this. I hope everyone can, because that's the art of boxing right there.

    Last edited: Apr 5, 2020
  19. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I'm still not sure which of these points you are arguing:

    1) There is a sport and related pedagogical tradition of fist fighting that can be traced directly from Ancient Greece to modern-day boxing.

    2) People who fight with their fists will come up with similar techniques and tactics, as no matter where you are in time or place, it is still humans trying to punch each other.

    If it is 2, then you have no argument from me. However, if it is 1, the evidence does not support your assertion.

    The writings of the Ancient Greeks were lost to Europe for centuries, preserved by, and rediscovered via, Muslim scholars. To take your example of discus throwing, modern discus is a revival started by Christian Georg Kohlrausch in 19th CenturyGermany: Discus throw - Wikipedia

    Perhaps aristocrats such as Queensbury took inspiration from the classical world, but the low-born fighters that preceded the gentrification of the sport were very unlikely to have done, especially as most people still digested them in the original Ancient Greek, as was taught in private schools.

    What becomes boxing, as we know it, begins as a very different sport. I'll attach a of video from Martin "Oz" Austwick, a HEMA practitioner with an interest in "classical pugilism".

    An account of one of James Figg's fights, the "father of boxing":

    Which includes a backsword duel to first blood, an unarmed fight that is mostly wrestling, and then a fight with quarterstaffs.

    Surely if there is an unbroken line of boxers from Ancient Greece to today, then the sport would be more like ancient olympic boxing 400 years ago than it does now? How come the opposite is true?

    It seems to me that your ideas of a lineage stretching back to antiquity are a romantic notion rather than evidence-based. Which is fine; I have romantic notions of a connection to my antecedents stretching back to the neolithic when I'm out in the woods making fire with blade and ferrocerium rod, even though the materials of both were not available until the modern era and hence the techniques involved differ. I am fully aware that it is just a romantic notion though, and not evidence of a pedagogical tradition stretching from the me back into the mists of time.
  20. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Here's the other video I wanted to post, which is Martin Austwick reading from an 18th Century wrestling treatise that includes a section on boxing. It gives advice on headbutts, wrestling grips, hair-pulling and eye-gouging.


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