Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Martial arts/archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

I have taken the liberty of breaking one comment up into several smaller comments for easier replying, since they raise a lot of good points. --Andrew 03:52, Apr 16, 2004 (UTC)

Suggested topics

Some topics that I think should be included:

  • Spelling unification and other language-related guidelines
  • Guidelines for reorganization and what should be a single article

Should we all follow Mandarin pinyin spelling? Tai-Chi, T'ai-Chi, T'ai-Chi-Ch'uan, Taijiquan, Taiji, or what? It would be better to reduce the spelling variants, too. I would rather all Chinese martial art articles were named following pinyin... but perhaps martial arts found in Guangdong should follow some Cantonese romanization instead? Jiu-Jitsu, Ju-Jutsu, Jujutsu - Japanese names are also not unified, and should probably follow the official romanization used in Japan. --Edededed 02:30, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Spelling unification is a good idea where possible. The problem is that many martial arts organizations have official spellings (in some alphabet). For example, "Cabales Serrada Escrima" is the name of an organization (and possibly a corporation). Changing it by fiat to "Cabales Serrada Eskrima" seems very iffy. On the other hand, where the generic terms Kali, Escrima, or Arnis de Mano might be used, the article standardizes on Eskrima.
I think that, while we should have guidelines, we should make it clear that they are for words only, not for names of systems. As such, we can standardize the same ways that the rest of Wikipedia does. Unfortunately, I know nothing of Japanese beyond how to count to ten, and nothing of Chinese beyond "ni hao, ma" and "Luke, wo sho nu baba". So somebody else needs to specify romanizations and suchlike. --Andrew 03:52, Apr 16, 2004 (UTC)

As for reorganization, I think that general articles should be smaller, and details given for each style in each style's separate article. --Edededed 02:30, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

This has its good points and its bad points. Certainly, separate pages for styles which have a lot of information is a good idea. Family pages describing shared features of a family of arts are also very useful, I think; the ancient history of Wing Chun and Wing Tsun is probably the same (although they might have different origin stories) and they are probably technically similar, so it's probably worth sharing most of that information on a family page. If there's enough differences left over, they should have individual system pages.

Style vs. System vs. ?

Also, what is a style? For Chinese arts, we have two separate pages for Wing Chun and Wing Tsun, but these are English spelling conventions and most likely considered the same in Hong Kong (it would be better to put Wing Tsun under Wing Chun as a substyle article, perhaps (there are many other substyles of Wing Chun)). --Edededed 02:30, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I have two comments: the first is a distinction my teacher emphasizes, which I think he may have got from Dan Inosanto: systems and styles are different. A style is a way of doing techniques, a choice of technique for each problem, a preference of weapon and so on. Normally styles are personal. Only the most rigid schools train their students so precisely that a student prefers exactly the same techniques as their teacher, and this may not be a good idea if they are physically different. A system, on the other hand, is an organized method for teaching an art: a list of drills, a set of standard names, forms, and so on. Systems are usually not personal: most teachers follow their teacher's system; this is because it's difficult to develop an effective system.
The point of this little rant is that we may want to standardize the use of these words in order to help make distincions more clear. By this criterion, I would say that there are many styles of Wing Chun and Wing Tsun. But I get the impression that there are two distinct systems there, that is, they are taught in systematically different ways. I don't know what the difference is, just that it's related to a schism several generations ago.
The second comment is that the criterion for whether they need separate pages has little to do with whether they're different systems; see the discussion above. I think these two probably belong on the same page (although which spelling should be used may be politically difficult; if all else fails, we can use the Cantonese spelling and redirect both to that. --Andrew 03:52, Apr 16, 2004 (UTC)

If we define concepts differently than people do out there, then I think we have a problem. Very often when people say "style" they do mean "organisation". I do not think it is possible to say that it is wrong, it is so common and used also in quite official circumstances. In aikido, it is very common to talk about "styles" like Aikikai and Ki-aikido, while from a technical point of view the Aikikai contains so many types of aikido... very ki-aikido-like, as well as the opposite. I argue that this distinction between style and org. is an artifical one.

Hmm. That complicates things. I know people use the words much more loosely than this. I think it's justifiable to try to be more precise and consistent in an encyclopedia, but it may not be a good idea.
Certainly I wouldn't call Aikikai a "style", and it really sounds like it would be misleading: when you say "style", people expect some sort of common properties, beyond a common brand identity. And yet people say "style" anyway...
I think my vote is for using the words the way they're specified now. I don't think that usage will cause confusion (although being preachy about it might; so let's just quietly use them the right way). --Andrew 14:44, Apr 20, 2004 (UTC)
I agree and disagree. I don't think Dan Inosanto's way of using the words are "the right way". Still, we can make a definition and use it, but then we'd better be clear about what we mean with the concepts when we use them. Habj 17:14, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Wing Tsun is a special example. It is a trademark. It is a Wing Chun organisation, but as the name is a trademark all offshoots thereoff will have to spell differently. That is why we also have strange birds like Ving Tchun...

As for Wing Tsun (and Ving Tchun) that's got to be a bizarre interpretation of trademark law. I suppose the original Chinese spelling is not covered by their trademark? That sort of cements the Western influence in the art... incidentally, that fact ought to be in the article; do you have a reference? (I've also seen the claim that the ITF copyrighted their forms so that non-members are not allowed to do them...) Intellectual property wierdness aside, that's why I was being careful about organization names - probably many are trademarked, and they should be used as exactly as possible. But it's unfortunate to note that even if we decided the correct transliteration of wing chun was wing tsun we couldn't safely use it. Ugh. --Andrew 14:44, Apr 20, 2004 (UTC)

I think I like the idea of using "system" and "style" the way they are specified now. Would be good with some examples, to make it more clear.

I have not followed the Wing Chun-pages as I don't know much about this system, but from what I have heard "Wing Chun" and "Wing Tsun" are just different ways to romanize the Chinese name. If we are to use "Wing Tsun" for an organisation, I think this would be better placed in Wing Tsun (organisation) and redirect all alternate spellings of "Wing Chun" to the main article about this system and its various offsprings. This discussion is probably better suited for talk:Wing Chun, though. - Wintran 21:12, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Well, both. It has general applications...

They are different ways of romanising the Chinese name, but still people use it to destinguish between the different organisations. Locally in Sweden, we have a similar thing in jujutsu where different orgs. have made a point of spelling jiuitsu, ju-jutsu etc. and then many people think that there is an original difference in meaning between the words... for the people involved in the style, it is probably important to spell in the "right" way. No sorry I don't have a reference on the trade mark thing - heard it from a WT person, could be a myth. But still, the offshoots from EWTO (European WingTsun Organisation) tend to use other spellings - but that could be just to make a distinction. Habj 17:12, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I do some writing on MA on Swedish Wikipedia. Sometimes I contribue here also, but most of the time I think you native speakers do it better. I follow with great interest, though. Habj 10:52, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Your English is certainly fine! It's better than my French; even if my French were better, I'd still be really hesitant to write much for the French encyclopedia, so I think I understand. But if you see things that are missing or especially references that we're missing, please do continue to let us know. Thanks! --Andrew 14:44, Apr 20, 2004 (UTC)
I'm from Sweden as well, but I love writing in the English Wikipedia because so many more people are working on it and have access to it. The great thing is that all native speakers can correct my spelling mistakes, and I've just began to understand that writing a good article is not about using complex grammatics and words, but rather the opposite. It's nice to have a Swedish Wikipedia as well, but if you see something missing here it would be great if you could help out, like Andrew said. Cheers! / Wintran 21:12, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)


As for Japanese arts, Jujutsu is not a single art - it is a type of art, so in a way should be a general page - there should be many styles of jujutsu mentioned here, and separate articles for each, I think, since the Chinese side doesn't just have everything thrown into the Kung Fu article. --Edededed 02:30, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Well, having read more, it's messy. "Jujutsu" was written by somebody whose school just claimed to be doing jujutsu, and they thought that was all there was.
Perhaps someone could clean up budo, gendai budo, koryo, and jujutsu? A tall order, I know, but the words all seem to cover "Japanese ways of fighting", so maybe they should be all one article? (That's what I did with eskrima; of course, things over there aren't nearly so fragmented.) Be careful of translations: the Spanish Wikipedia has separate articles for gendai budo and koryo, so I don't know how to merge them.
By koryo you mean koryu, right? I don't think it is feasible to merge all four into a single article. Maybe there could be an introduction to "Japanese ways of fighting" in Japanese martial arts? Of course this means unredirecting it from budo, which I believe should be done anyway. jni 08:35, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The Chinese side is also a mess; I think eventually everything will hang from Chinese martial arts. --Andrew 14:44, Apr 20, 2004 (UTC)

Do we need one article on budo and another on Japanese martial arts? Habj 02:52, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Ancient history

Histories can also be improved - why does the Taekwondo article talk about millenia before Taekwondo was conceived? If we follow that example, we could talk about the state of ancient martial arts for every article we have. --Edededed 02:30, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

It is the custom in taekwondo schools to talk as if those arts were the direct ancestor of taekwondo. Absent someone willing to claim that this is true, these should go somewhere more generic (Korean martial arts, under history? Martial arts?) But don't expect too much from ancient histories; people are very attached to their favorite origin story, whether or not it has historical evidence. --Andrew 03:52, Apr 16, 2004 (UTC)

Yes. If we write that Taekwondo mainly comes from Shotokan karate, every second taekwondo person who stubles on the article will try and rewrite it :) but as far as I know that is the truth... It is probably a good idea to try and clear out some myths, or rather telling them but adding that historians don't agree. Maybe also write a page on the phenomenon of ancient martial art history myths. Habj 11:38, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

(I don't know anything about non-Chinese/Japanese/Korean arts, but I would guess that other articles also need to be fixed up.) --Edededed 02:30, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I know some about Capoeira, Eskrima and Jeet Kune Do and less about Savate and la canne. I've been tidying the Eskrima article (which is how I got into this project) but it still needs work; I really haven't looked too closely at the others. --Andrew 03:52, Apr 16, 2004 (UTC)


NPOV is a big problem here. So many people write about their favourite art, adding all the myths they have been told and never questioned. Habj 10:52, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Yes, this is a very big problem - we have a lot of problems, including a lack of objectivity, lack of information (yet writing articles anyway), copying down what is written on official homepages, myths, etc. What can we do?
Anyone know if the dog kungfu article (and others) are accurate or not?
Edededed 00:56, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I think one partial solution would be to write a some guidelines and suggestions for maintaining NPOV when writing martial arts articles. I have written a few recommendations for Brazilian jiu jitsu in particular that give you an idea what I am talking about. You can read them here:

As you can see, what I wrote there was pretty particular to that article and how it addresses other arts, but I do think it gives a rough start for what kind of guidelines might be useful. I am rather new to Wikipedia so I don't know if I would be the best candidate since I'm stilling trying to make sure I can write with NPOV myself. I am willing to type away if someone else is willing to review them for me.

I'm thinking of some guidelines along these lines:

  • Avoid irrelevant comparisons to other arts.
  • Where comparisions must be made, base them on historical or technical facts (i.e. lineage, fight records, differences in competition rules, etc.).

I don't know how useful or doable any of those guidelines are, but they seem to have kept me safe so far. I'm sure others out there have some good stuff to add on this.

Aesopian 16:58, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I did a little more tidying up by categorizing more discussions with headers. --Aesopian 15:20, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)


In current article: "Wushu (chinese characters go here) rather than wu shu, meaning any Chinese martial art (?); use competition wushu when being specific."

What are you referring to when you say "competition wushu"? Do you mean when using wushu as a name for the modern styles of Chinese martial arts aimed at competition? Information about these modern styles are currently in the article about wushu, but uses the terms contemporary- and modern wushu.

- Wintran 11:57, 17 Apr 2004 (UTC)

List of pages in the Martial Arts Project

I've joined the project and already started using the Template:martialartsproject on a couple pages. You can see them (and everything included in the project) on the template's What links here page. That makes a handy list of pages in the project.

Can we clean up that page by having these redirects deleted? I checked and nothing links to them, so no links would die without them.

  • Template:Martial arts project (redirect page)
  • MediaWiki:Martial arts project (redirect page)
  • MediaWiki:Martialartsproject (redirect page)

Aesopian 14:52, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)

When is it OK to add MAP template?

What's the etiquette for when I can add the {{msg:martialartsproject}} to a Talk page? I have only been adding it after I've made significant contributions to the article, which I think is fine, but there are plenty of pages I come across that I think would benefit from being in the project that I do not add because I haven't had any hand in creating them.

Aesopian 17:43, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

  • I think it's best to limit the template usage to pages you or some other MA project participant has heavily edited and will continue to edit in future also. Note that you don't need to use the msg: prefix anymore, just {{martialartsproject}} is the preferred form nowadays. See my rewrite of the "Templates" section of the project page. jni 09:50, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

How to categorize martial arts?

Any ideas how to improve Category:Martial arts and its subcategories? jni 08:39, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well, I created Category:Bujinkan and Category:Japanese swordsmen, but how to structure the whole category graph relating to MAs? jni 14:15, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
On second though, Japanese swordsmen falls under Japanese people and under the project to categorize people (is there any?), so I wouldn't worry about it in context of this project. jni 09:42, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Or under Category:Martial_arts_practitioners although the relevance of listing old military heroes among moderna martial artists strikes me as questionable. I find this one more relevant than we others we are discussing though; if you are interested in Japanese swordsmen I guess this is a convenient way to find them while the items listed in the others can simply be foound under the category name word. Habj 11:59, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Both categories seem unnecessary to me. I think if those are categories, so are a fifth of the entire 'pedia. Habj 15:20, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I think both are more useful than Category:Goju Ryu and Category:Wado Ryu, which are both cases of overcategorization, or is someone going to add a large number of articles into them? Do we really need an article per kata and category per style for karate related material? jni 09:42, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
That definately seems like overcategorisation to me... but Bujinkan is in the same class. Really, all it refers is the budo of Hatsumi sensei plus those who left his to create their own organisation! Maybe it seems more justified, simply because more articles are created under it but almost all of those terms can be found as links in the page Bujinkan. Why not just make sure all the terms are mentioned and linked on that page, then delete the category? Is there a policy somewhere for categories? I think I saw a page about votes for deletion of categories. Habj 11:31, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I won't object if the category gets deleted *after* Bujinkan specific content has been located in Wikipedia and labeled as such. I don't care much about editing the articles in question myself, just grouping those "out-of-my-way" so to speak. If you don't like categories, how about subdividing List of martial arts-related topics (which is currently a mess!) to "List of Bujinkan related topics" etc... I will continue adding to [:Category:Bujinkan] at least until a better classification system gets developed, because I believe there still is orphaned ninjutsu stuff laying around. jni 13:00, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

My guess is that the Genbukan and Jinenkan people would be really unhappy about being labelled "Bujinkan category". A better name for the category would then probably be X-kan. Habj 10:04, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Japanese language issue - romaji?

Is there a consensus on the Wikipedia how to write romaji? I am esp. thinking about double-spelled vowel sounds. Should we write dojo, dōjō, or dôjô? If you don't know the specifics of romaji, these things above the vowel doesn't say anything about the pronounciation. I don't suppose encyclopedias normally include them.

I suppose this is not really a martial arts issue, but a language issue. Can a decision on the subject be found somewhere else? Habj 10:01, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Well, we have Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles) and [[Wikipedia:Japanese translation note]], but no policy or style guide specific to martial arts. It would probably be under this project's scope to write one. I try to follow the style presented in above style guide, but for instance haven't made my mind on issues like whether to use Katori Shinto Ryu or Katori Shinto ryu or Katori Shinto-ryu as an article name.
Note: [[Wikipedia:Japanese translation note]] is now at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (Japan-related articles)/Translation note. Fg2 11:34, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
According to the above manual of style, one should use ō and ū except for article titles. As for the example word dojo, the guide suggests it should be written without macrons because it is an English word loaned from Japanese. jni 15:14, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

if the article is already categorized as a subcategory?

Does it need have the main category as well? For example, tae kwon do has the sub category "korean martial arts". does it need "martial arts" category too? It's kind of redundant. --Dangerous-Boy

It is redundant, and the main category should then generally be removed. /Habj 08:25, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Family pages

This kind of division according to land of origin only makes sense for traditional martial arts. Japanese martial arts is already redirected to budo, which makes sense. Japanese non-budo-arts - such as shooto don't need to be crammed in together with the budo arts. Chinese martial arts is kind of an unnecessary article too, since kung fu is used about it all. We should realise that MMA (Mixed martial arts/Modern martial arts) probably should be regarded a family too, plus that there are many arts that can not be easily be put into a family. /Habj 08:32, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Breaking down "List of martial arts"

I'd like to take up again the discussion at "List of martial arts": The list is verry long. How about

1. Breaking down the list into seperate articles

Eg. Chinese martial arts, Japanese martial arts, Vietnamese martial arts, ...
The list itself will remain to carry
a) The links to the articles "Xxxx martial arts" articles (to the "sub-lists")
b) All remaining martial arts that have not yet been moved to an own article
Not the best idea but it should do (?)

2. Every new article will contain ...

2.1 Text explaining The commons, the differences, the history, ...
2.2 The list of all the martial arts
What will we then do with the Subcategories for Chinese martial arts, Japanese martial arts, ... ?

Currently I am writing an article about the history of vietnamese martial arts. Perhaps I'd just start an example: "Vietnamese martial arts" ... Hostory ... Commons ... List of ... .

Also I vote for leaving martial arts names with no article behind them.
Reason: It can be useful to see that there are several martial arts in that region/country and how they are named.
If there is no article in Wikipedia one can at least google for that name.
And maybe someone will find "his" or "her" martial art in that list and contribute the article.

Pse post your opinions. - - Thomas 21:49, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Some areas such as Chinese martial arts currently have two pages, a main article (Chinese martial arts) for overview and history, and a list (List of Chinese martial arts) for a list of the systems. Shawnc 10:18, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Uke and Seme pages

For those interested in participating, there's a discussion over at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Anime and manga#Uke and Seme pages on how to split the martial arts terms from the sexual connotations.--Mitsukai 18:37, 18 August 2005 (UTC)


Hey all, I made a proto-userbox for a Green Stripe in Taekwondo(such as myself) at "Image:Greenstripe2.jpg". Eventually there may be a category on it, but the user box still needs some work in my opinion, and I was wondering if any of you had any ideas. Karmafist 23:53, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Bias Section on Main Martial arts page

On the main page of this project titled: Martial Arts, the section on self defense is completly bias and has no factual basis. I looked on the article's talk page and saw that another guy mentioned it. Why don't you guys take a look and see if you think it should be deleted. Tobyk777 05:46, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Update: the section has been edited. Shawnc 07:55, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Marial arts category for Wikipedians

A new category for those interested in martial arts has been created at Category:Wikipedians_interested_in_martial_arts. To add yourself, simply copy the following code to the bottom of your user page:

[[Category:Wikipedians interested in martial arts|{{subst:PAGENAME}}]]

Shawnc 11:29, 15 November 2005 (UTC)


Who's doing all this categorization? --Dangerous-Boy 10:06, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

I did most of the recent ones (See here). Some category names such as Category:Chinese wushu practitioners are a bit misleading. I wrote some notes on the category's own page but a less ambiguous usage would be something like "Wushu practitioners from China". On the other hand, a category name like Category:American judoka is more concise than Category:Judoka from United States. Is this ok, or should we change to the less ambiguous usage, or maybe a mixed usage? Shawnc 02:43, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
Also, there may be an issue with Category:Martial arts by region. See Category talk:Martial arts. Shawnc 08:02, 28 November 2005 (UTC)