Portal:Martial arts

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The Martial arts Portal

Martial arts are systems of codified practices and traditions of training for combat. While they may be studied for many reasons, martial arts share a single objective: to defeat a person physically or to defend oneself from physical threat. In addition, some martial arts are linked to spiritual or religious beliefs and philosophies such as Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Shinto or Confucianism while others have their own spiritual or non-spiritual code of honor. Many arts are also practiced competitively most commonly as combat sports, but may also be in the form of dance.

Boxing was practiced in the ancient Mediterranean

In popular culture, the term martial arts often specifically refers to the combat systems that originated in Asian cultures. However, the term actually refers to any sort of codified combat systems, regardless of origin. The Indian martial art Gatka was developed by sixth-century Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind and it was further developed and preached by the tenth-century Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh. In the late eighteenth century this martial art was further developed as a recreational game and Panjab University Lahore codified its rules. Europe is home to many systems of martial arts, both living traditions (e.g. jogo do pau and other stick and sword fencing and savate, a French kicking style developed by sailors and street fighters) and older systems collectively referred to as historical European martial arts that existed until modern times and are now being reconstructed by several organizations. In the Americas, Native Americans have a tradition of open-handed martial arts, which includes wrestling, and Hawaiians have historically practiced arts featuring small and large joint manipulation. A mix of origins occur in the athletic movements of capoeira, a practice that was created in Brazil by slaves and was based on skills brought with them from Africa.

While each style has unique facets that make it different from other martial arts, a common characteristic is the systematization of fighting techniques. Methods of training vary and may include sparring or forms (kata), which are sets or routines of techniques that are performed alone, or sometimes with a partner, and which are especially common in the Asian and Asian-derived martial arts.

The word martial derives from the name of Mars, the Roman god of war. The term martial arts literally means arts of war. This term comes from 15th-century Europeans who were referring to their own fighting arts. A practitioner of martial arts can be referred to as a martial artist.

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Shihonage technique performed in "half-seated" position (Hanmihandachi Waza). Uke is taking forward break-fall (Mae Ukemi) to safely reach the ground.
Aikido (合気道 Aikidō?) is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying (with) life energy". Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. The Aikidoka (Aikido practitioner) "leads" the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks. Aikido derives mainly from the Martial Art of Daitō-Ryū Aiki-Jūjutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba's involvement with the Ōmoto-Kyō religion. Ueshiba's early students' documents bear the term Aiki-Jūjutsu. Many of Ueshiba's senior students have different approaches to Aikido, depending on when they studied with him. Today Aikido is found all over the world in a number of styles, with broad ranges of interpretation and emphasis. However, they all share techniques learned from Ueshiba and most have concern for the well-being of the attacker. The term connects the practice of Aikido with the philosophical concept of Tao, which can be found in Martial Art such as Judo and Kendo, and in more peaceful arts such as Japanese calligraphy (Shodō) and flower arranging (Kadō).

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Russian Igor Tourchine and American Weston Kelsey fence in the second round of the Men's Individual Épée event in the 2004 Summer Olympics at the Helliniko Fencing Hall on August 17, 2004.
Credit: Master Sgt. Lono Kollars

In the broadest possible sense, fencing is the art of armed combat involving cutting, stabbing, or bludgeoning weapons directly manipulated by hand, rather than shot, thrown or positioned. Examples include swords, knives, pikes, bayonets, batons, clubs, and similar weapons. In contemporary common usage, "fencing" tends to refer specifically to European schools of swordsmanship and to the modern Olympic sport that has evolved out of them

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  • "The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants."
-Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1957)
  • "The teaching of one virtuous person can influence many; that which has been learned well by one generation can be passed on to a hundred."
-Kano Jigoro (1860–1938)
  • "So there are five ways of knowing who will win. Those who know when to fight and when not to fight are victorious. Those who discern when to use many or few troops are victorious. Those whose upper and lower ranks have the same desire are victorious. Those who face the unprepared with preparation are victorious. Those whose generals are able and not constrained by their governments are victorious. These five are the ways to know who will win."
-Sun Tzu (c.544 BC–c.496 BC); The Art of War (trans. by Thomas Cleary)
  • "I have often found in the most ancient forms of martial arts it is the person who falls over first that provides the least competition; however, once you have fallen over it is difficult to win."
-Sir Samuel David Hull Jr (1985–1987)


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