View Single Post
Old 03-30-2013, 08:24 PM   #56
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: how do we define martial?

Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Graham - once again, you post what you'd like things to be, not as they are or ever were.

1. In Japan, firearms were definitely considered martial arts. By the end of the Edo period, there were several hundred 古式砲術 (Koshiki Hojutsu) schools. They included cannons. The ryu were mostly abandoned when they found that the Western systems of gunnery were better. LINK

Your assertions are ahistorical. It is simply not true - pure fantasy - although widely disseminated fantasy that martial arts were done in temples and then "borrowed" by warriors. The militant Buddhist temples of Japan were havens of thugs, who slaughtered celebrants of other shrines and sohei of other temples. The military arts of the Shaolin temple were, in fact, consolidated to fight Wakou (Japanese coastal raiders who were the Eastern equivalent of Vikings).

If you ask any practitioner of an authentic classical ryu what the purpose of using the sword is, he or she would assert that it was for learning how to kill. Group solidarity and moral training were contributory to that end, in large part so one could effectively do it in cooperation with others.

There is no doubt that modern martial arts are often focused primarily around self-development. Tae Kwon Do classes for learning disabled kids. Aikido for the blind, the halt, the lame, the hale and the hearty.

And you know what? I think that's more praiseworthy than learning how to kill. I think its good that good people have a place to practice good things.

Except to be safe in many parts of the world, one has to know about killing too. Which is why, I think, Nidai Doshu ended his story with his father running out of the house with a bokken in his hand. The only thing he didn't say - and I always loved Doshu for his very dry and quiet humor, is if, his father, before he fell in the mud in his Sunday best, intended to thrash the foreign bullies, or to thrash his own son for being such a wimp.
Ellis Amdur
Ellis, I fail to see your point.

1) Firearms? Tell that to the world. A cannon loader is a martial artist. Mmmmm. Don't think so.

2) Sohei havens for thugs? Wow! That is quite an extraordinary assertion I will just have to leave without any further comment.

3) I never mentioned warriors.

4) Military martial arts of shaolin? Another statement I find totally unrepresentative of time sequence. Maybe you should study Buddhism and indeed Bodhidharma before making such assumptions.

5) Sword? Yes I'll ask real top ones like Ueshiba or the guy who originally founded shinto ryu. They tend to be quite enlightened at the end of their journeys and tell you the real purpose. Quite opposite to what you propose.

6) Modern martial arts go back to the roots and understand better the true purpose of martial arts their problem is the opposite to those who hang on to warlike views. Their problem is they want to be and do it like art without realizing the discipline involved which comes through facing and handling that which you call martial not by becoming it.

  Reply With Quote