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Old 01-28-2006, 04:31 PM   #38
Mike Haftel
Location: Hokkaido
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 87
Re: Is there a way to unite all martail arts

James Kelly wrote:
I've gotta disagree here. I know it's probably a futile argument because on one hand everything is inherently the same and on the other everything is unique and the answer lies somewhere in the middle, but for me, the commonly held belief that all martial arts are just different paths to the same end is false.

Leaving aside the many reasons an individual may practice a specific art, the ends, the entire reason for the existence of various martial arts, are not uniform:
- In some arts the aim is explicitly to learn the most effective way to harm (or kill) your opponent.
- Some arts are practiced for self improvement/meditation alone and the martial aspects are secondary, or even frowned upon (I'm thinking of the Shaolin Gong Fu I took).
- Others, Capoeira for example, grew as an expression of black freedom against an oppressive colonial regime and are still fundamentally about expression.
- Some are sports where the goal is to learn how to score points within a specific set of rules.
- And then there's Aikido, the aim of which is the unification of the practitioner's individual ki with the ki of the universe (or what have you... ).

And the list goes on.

My long winded point here is that to call these wildly diverse practices already united is stretching it. The only definition that would fit all the above would also include yoga and tennis (go Baghdatis) so the only thing that unites them is the fact that they consider themselves martial arts... a long way from inherently the same.

My 0.0632 Zlotych
That's not what I was intending to imply by my previous statement. When I said that all martial arts are inherently the same I was not talking about every arts specific goals or intentions about technique or etiquitte, or philosophies, or ethical guidlines, or the sport/martial/fighting/art aspect. I was speaking from a more physiological mindset.

A nikyo is a nikyo. Of course everyone does it differently and every art or style does it differently (some arts don't even have nikyo or insert technique here) but nikyo works because of something. And that 'something' is present in every art; this is because every martial art or fighting art or sport or whathaveyou works on the same principles. Do not confuse this with the cliche about the path up a mountain.
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