Re: how do we define martial?
All very good post for sure!
Nothing really to add. except Ellis' post made me think of this....
I train in many different ways and teach differently too depending on the context of our focus. Sport Jiu Jitsu is trained differently than the way I would train guys for CQB to deal with grappling fights.
For example, I don't teach arm bars from the mount and guard for CQB as the context of training is different.
Does that mean the sport Jiu Jitsu is not applicable to combat or "martial practice"? not at all, there is much in sport jiu jitsu that can inform training for CQB or combat. You simply have to understand the difference.
It would be the same for civilian self defense or say a "women's self defense class" you would have to adapt what you teach to fit the context.
The problem is, IMO, it is not that easy to simply adapt what you teach all the time. I have seen some abominations of what people interpret out of martial arts (bunkai) that they believe will work in reality.
I think a lot gets lost in translation when those that are not experienced in such things or who have not been exposed/taught correctly (transmission). I am not saying that there is a only a privileged few that hold the secrets, but I think it is much smaller than we'd like to believe.
I think there is much wisdom in what Ellis is talking about above.