Kennedy on “What is Martial Art” : RTD 018
Bruce Lee said in his infamous television interview with Pierre Burton, that martial art is the expression of self. That, in my opinion, is what “art” is. When applied in a combative context, what component of the “self” is one expressing, exactly?
It is my opinion, that martial art can be defined as the following:
The articulation of one’s combative intent through the medium of human movement.
To have an objective in mind, and to achieve this objective using the only instrument one has – his or her body (and weapons, if present, as an extension of the body).
Each individual will articulate his or her movements differently, and will indeed choose different tools to perform different tasks. This is where individuality comes into play. Where the expression of self is seen. The differences in articulation are the result of differences in physiology, culture, personal ethics, etc.
The more one practices using their body to articulate combative intent, the more prolific and efficient they will become in their art. There will be a singularity – a cohesion of techniques and increased fluidity of movement.
That is the denotative meaning. However, there is a significant connotative interpretation of martial art that I’d like to discuss.
That is, the more one engages their mind to act in tandem with their body, the more centered and aware they can become. This union of mind and body can lead to expanded consciousness.
There is an ineffable quality to martial art. A difference in intent. A fighter will fight for status, for resources, etc. A true martial artist…..or warrior…..will fight to protect that which he or she values. Their motives may be love, justice, compassion, etc.
A “fighter” is a role, whereas “martial artist” is a way of life;
a state of being.
These are my thoughts on what “martial art” is.
I welcome any comments.
Founder of the Hybrid Fighting Method
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