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Old 02-15-2007, 04:35 PM   #76
deepsoup
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Lots of good stuff in this thread. I'm not sure I entirely agree with some of what James has had to say.

I especially liked the pithy little sentence at the end of one of the vids Kevin L posted:
'What characterises a warrior is the willingness to close with the enemy.' Great quote. (And some great posts on this thread, Kevin, a real pleasure to read.)

Quote:
Dominic Chapman wrote:
A street fight has no rules, no limits noting.
This may be true in a very small minority of cases. But generally, there are rules. Like any other form of social interaction, there are unwritten rules that we learned as kids. If what you said were true, most fights would end in murder or maiming, in fact most end with no permanent injury to either party.
You could compare a lot of "street fights" to animal behaviour, tussles for dominance, mates or territory. In fact, it seems to me a lot of bar brawl type things even have a kind of ritual courtship dance as a prelude.

Quote:
Aikido is budo (except the style you practice, which i consider a sport)
You're entitled to your opinion, out of curiousity though, what experience do you base that on? I certainly consider Shodokan aikido to be a budo. Shishida Shihan says its budo too, and given that he's the Professor of Budo History at Waseda University, I'm inclined to take his word for it.

Btw: James, where do you practice?
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:57 PM   #77
dbotari
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Quote:
Joseph Connolly wrote:
The most ridiculous quote of the day goes to:



As opposed to aikido?

In my judo classes I would call most of what we do 'effective'. We also do a fair amount of newaza and have an entire night dedicated solely to newaza randoori. You can quote whoever about whatever, it does not excuse poor training and weak technique.
and

Quote:
Joseph Connolly wrote:
Some people are just in denial.
[snip]
All these quotes from old aikido masters and anecdote after anecdote, especially the 'assumptions' one, make me realize even more that the art form is full of people with delusions. Unable to defend their own opinion or training they seek to disparage others.
Might I suggest that you read Shioda'a Aikido Shugyo before you dismiss his comments out of hand? He had numerous real life encounters in which he demonstrated the effectiveness of his aikido. He also happened to be dan ranked in both Kendo and Judo prior to beginning his study of Aikido. Maybe just maybe he has some basis for his comments. You may choose to disagree with his position on Judo's effectiveness, but don't dismiss him as some old aikido master.

Respectfully,

Dan

Last edited by dbotari : 02-15-2007 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:11 PM   #78
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Sport has been the western budo since the time of the greeks, don't you think?
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:00 PM   #79
PeterR
 
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Quote:
Dominic Chapman quotes Shioda and then comments wrote:
"Aikido must not make the same mistake as Judo which, although it has achieved growth as a sport, places too much emphasis solely on competitions. It has abandoned effective techniques that could actually be used in a real fight and has become ineffective today as a martial art."

This is only a short extract (and i highly reccomend reading the rest) but the long and short of it is that even though competition can be hotly contested it can never compare to real combat which budo tries to train you for. Rather than training to be good at competition.
Shioda doesn't seem to disagree with Tomiki here at all. Phrases (albeit in translation) such as too much emphasis and solely suggest balance rather than total exclusion.

Where that optimal balance lies is a matter of opinion - at Shodokan Honbu well over 90% of the training is drills and kata but the remaining portion devoted to randori is believed to make all the difference. The technical, physical and emotional lessons learnt applied to all ones aikido.

It's a given that if you train for a very narrow goal you could face trouble if the parameters are changed but it is mystifying to me how excluding competitive training can better prepare you for real combat.

Last edited by PeterR : 02-15-2007 at 07:09 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:24 PM   #80
tedehara
 
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Quote:
Lyle Bogin wrote:
Sport has been the western budo since the time of the greeks, don't you think?
No.

Military arts have been practiced in the west, but that doesn't make them budo. Military arts have been practiced in the east, but that doesn't make them budo.

One of the first martial arts group to exist are the Shaolin monks of China. They began to study military arts thanks to Bodhidarma or "Tamo" an itinerant monk from India who is believed to have introduced Buddhism to China. According to legend, he taught the monks military exercises because they needed to build up their bodies to practice seated meditation. If they had aerobics or calisthenics he might have used those exercises. As it was, the only physical exercises available were military ones.

Studying a military art whether it's wrestling, ju-jutsu or savate is different than doing budo. Generally there is a spiritual or psychological component to the art as well as a physical one. This was mainly done through practices like meditation and breathing exercises.

The term "dojo" comes from the meditation training halls used in zen. After practicing meditation, the warriors would bring out their weapons and practice their military arts. Generally you don't see this spiritual component in modern sports.

Does budo have competition? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Like Olympic judo, it can become the tail that wags the dog. In aikido it shows up in some styles and not others. However competition itself does not make the activity a sport.

In modern sports you train physically to win a competition. In budo you train physically and spiritually for self-improvement. These are two different things.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:37 PM   #81
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Quote:
Joseph Connolly wrote:
All these quotes from old aikido masters and anecdote after anecdote, especially the 'assumptions' one, make me realize even more that the art form is full of people with delusions. Unable to defend their own opinion or training they seek to disparage others.

For me, i have been hit. I know what it feels like. I can tell when someone else is going to hit me since the body moves in certain ways. I know what I am capable of doing in terms of reactions times and flexibility. From judo I know how to instinctively fall in the correct manner as to now smash my head on the ground.
You haf dishonor my master (well, errr... actually my master's master)... you now shall face me in a fight to death. Fear my SHOMEN-ATE of DOOM (TM)! j/k

Wrt Shioda Kancho's statement about competition, you just have to read the entire chapter to see his point of view or the context he is coming from.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 02-15-2007, 10:27 PM   #82
Edward
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
In modern sports you train physically to win a competition. In budo you train physically and spiritually for self-improvement. These are two different things.
Agreed 100%!!!

Moreover, I keep reading in this thread about efficiency and fighting and brawls and eye gougings and kicks in the nuts. That was exactly what I was trying to run away from when I joined aikido. I do not care if aikido is effective in a street fight or not, I do not do this kind of primitive behaviour. The only fights I have are with my boss and my staff at work, and with my other half at home. Aikido has helped me a lot in redirecting their energy to get ultimately what I want. For the ones who keep on dreaming about fights and kicking ass, well, hope you will wake up some day and do something useful in your lives. (Unless this is what u do for a living :-)))))

Last edited by Edward : 02-15-2007 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:39 AM   #83
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Edward you talk as if the two cannot exsist in the same person or within the same system of study.

Ted I agree that military (martial ) tactics in and of themselves are not budo...they are just that tactics designed to kill, maim, or immobilize.

I suppose we first have to agree on our realitive position on the GPS....most of us that say that competition CAN be within the realm of budo don't attach the label of budo to the art....but the person.

We believe that Budo is a state of mind.

I think contrary to that is like saying that a Protestant cannot be a Catholic because they have not been confirmed a Catholic. Does that mean he is not a Christian though, or can gain the same spiritual or closeness with God?

I suppose that depends on your point of view of the whole dogma of religion.

Ted I would propose that Budo is within the realm of military arts. I have not met too many soldilers that are one dimensional...that is all they think about is killiing and practicing killing.

They have families, feelings, desires, emotional needs, and everything else. They must have all this in balance in order to be a good soldier.

Mushashi wrote a book on it.

The military places some emphasis on competition because it is a small part of helping to develop warrior ethos...an important part of budo.

I'd go so far to say that IF you are NOT including some sort of competitive measuring stick in a healthy way...you are dabbling in budo from the side lines.

Parochialism and conventional wisdom from all those early japanese masters states pretty much that competition should not be a part of budo.

I buy it to a degree....philosophically.

In practice and in my profession though..which pretty much centers 24/7 around the nature of Budo....it has been my experience that competition in an important element.

Competition has also gone along way in promoting world peace and understanding between people of different countries and political backgrounds.

I think you guys are simply looking at competition in a way too over simplisitic view.

If in my BJJ dojo all I ever cared about was winning, that is extrinsic gratification (all about ME!), then I'd have no one to train with, or i'd lose interest fast because rarely do I win and losing would get old after a while.
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Old 02-16-2007, 01:09 AM   #84
Edward
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

In Thailand, Aikido is compulsory at the Police Academy and Army Officer School. All my teachers, current and previous teach or have taught there. The training is always similar to that at the dojo except that the military folks like to add a little more resistance. Many Police officers practice at my dojo and they can all vouch that they have used Aikido in many real life situations. Conflict for these people is a part of their job and life, they do not need competition to prove if the techniques work or not, they have to apply them in real life situations. I understand that some need to always measure themselves to someone else, and competition is probably a good way. But then Aikido by its nature does not lend itself well to competition since there are 2 opposite roles to be played, unlike Karate or Judo where both opponents have the same purpose. My own personal opinion is that Aikido is great as it is, if I wanted the sport aspect I would have remained in Judo. And by the way, I have a lot of bad memories of the 7 years I spent doing Judo. Being not very competitive (not able to fight for top positions in championships), my and other friends' position was quite awkward at the dojo because we could not perform as well as our champs. We were often used as Uke in order to help the competitive ones train for upcoming events. We were so to speak second class members. This is one of the main reasons I prefer the Aikido training environment.
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Old 02-16-2007, 02:58 AM   #85
PeterR
 
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Edward

I'm sorry your experience in Judo wasn't all that great - its important to find a group that shares your goals. Surprised you remained for 7 years.

I don't think that anyone (at least in this thread) is demanding that you change your aikido to suit their needs. Conversely, for those that find randori goes a long way to help their aikido develop, wont be changing their minds too soon. I think the Shodokan boys are popping up here in response to those saying Shodokan Aikido is not budo or worse - just because our approach is different.

I really don't know where your Shodokan experience was - I know Bob Dziubla had a small club in Thailand. It was a young club, mainly kids, but he has a pretty good understanding of what Shodokan offers. Your description doesn't sound like Bob at all.

I have to say that proving randori and by extention shia are not about proving whether techniques work or not but exposing an aikidoist to situations closer to reality than kata alone can offer. If you have done seven years of judo than you already have those lessons and might not need to do the Shodokan style of randori. Unless you enjoy it - and it can be great fun once you get the hang of it.

Also I don't compete - was never that good at it not to mention time constraints. Yet that has never been held against me at the Shodokan Honbu. By the by - when I did Judo I never got that impression either and I only competed during grading.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-16-2007, 04:21 AM   #86
Edward
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Peter,

Maybe I misunderstood the purpose of this thread, but I did have the impression it advocated turning Aikido into sport by introducing competition.

I don't have much experience in Shodokan Aikido, I did train 2-3 times with Bob long time ago, but we were only like 3-4 people on the mats. Training was very basic. I also had the occasion of training a couple times during my travels abroad, and of course watching many footages on youtube and other internet sites. The impression that I had is that Shodokan Aikido was actually a mixture of Judo and Aikido. I never liked the Shiai because I felt it was too artificial (personal opinion) unlike Judo or other arts. It didn't feel realistic at all. We had to start from a fixed position which is uncomfortable to begin with, we had to keep this position until after Uke launches the attack, the distance between the 2 opponents was too close in my opinion.

However, as you said, it is a matter of personal choice to train in traditional Aikido or Shodokan.

I believe that at our dojo we have several exercices which resemble Shiai in a way by their realism and intensity (forgot the Japanese names), but the difference is that there are no points and no losers and winners, and most importantly there are no restrictions on stances and attacks (within reason). They are very interesting and fun, and executed in a very relaxed atmosphere.

But I like to re-emphasise here that I would train in Shodokan again if I had the opportunity, as I would with any other Aikido style, Yoshinkan or Ki or others. I am just not convinced that it presents any advantages over other styles because of the more competitive aspect. But this is strictly my opinion and others might and I'm sure will disagree.
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:17 AM   #87
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Quote:
Edward Karaa wrote:
I don't have much experience in Shodokan Aikido, I did train 2-3 times with Bob long time ago, but we were only like 3-4 people on the mats. Training was very basic. I also had the occasion of training a couple times during my travels abroad, and of course watching many footages on youtube and other internet sites. The impression that I had is that Shodokan Aikido was actually a mixture of Judo and Aikido. I never liked the Shiai because I felt it was too artificial (personal opinion) unlike Judo or other arts. It didn't feel realistic at all. We had to start from a fixed position which is uncomfortable to begin with, we had to keep this position until after Uke launches the attack, the distance between the 2 opponents was too close in my opinion.
Hi Edward,

Not trying to make this thread personal or anything, but did you train in Shodokan with Bob after having a solid grounding in traditional Aikido? The reason I ask is because you echo the sentiments of many traditional Aikidoka who pass through my dojo. What I have found is that the Shodokan training methodology, basic exercises etc. are quite different to the training I have experienced in traditional Aikido also and folks tend to have difficulty adapting, especially if they are only doing a handful of Shodokan classes after having a solid muscle memory pattern developed from long term traditional Aikido practice.

The result of the above is that the traditional newbies and some of the yudansha (the higher the better) from the traditional method tends to fare better in my dojo than someone in the Nikyu-Shodan range, probably because of the still developing muscle memory wrt to the kyu grades and the already well developed muscle memory of the higher yudansha. Because of this these folks at the extremes tend to be able to adapt better because their bodies are either not programmed deeply yet or so well programmed that they can release from the programming and move differently when needed. I have quite a few traditional Aikido yudansha from different countries who come train every so often just to do resistance randori with unfamiliar folks. These are often the ones who welcome the challenge of the unfamiliar or have the confidence in their ability to even attempt a different randori format to their norm, but there are others who are so put off by the difference of certain aspects that they dismiss the entire Shodokan training paradigm (also sometimes to preserve their own egos, which randori has a way of destroying). I've had the latter as well and they did not stay very long.

Just an observation I've made over the years. As said earlier it's a matter of choice.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:34 AM   #88
Edward
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Hi LC,

To answer your question, yes, if I remember well, I must had done 3-4 years in traditional Aikido and was probably around Nikyu when I tried Shodokan. I have also tried other styles like Yoshinkan, Iwama, Kinomichi and trained at many different dojos around Europe and Asia (had to travel often for my work and I always carried a Gi) and the Shodokan experience was the most uncomfortable for me, but not because of the Randori (done it only once or twice with just one or two partner) but mostly because of the Judo stance from which I had trouble launching any movements. Your theory could be right actually.

Cheers,
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:56 AM   #89
DaveS
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Quote:
Edward Karaa wrote:
but mostly because of the Judo stance from which I had trouble launching any movements. Your theory could be right actually.
Judo stance? I thought natural posture was a fairly fundamental idea for the shodokan system - mu shin mu gamae and so on. I seem to recall reading that Kano and Tomiki were both unhappy with the tendancy of judoka to adopt a posture that works in competition but makes less sense from a budo point of view, and that Tomiki worked hard to eliminate that from his training system. The thing that causes most confusion for people with prior experience coming to our club seems to be that the posture is square on rather than one shoulder forward - and if anything, square on is the more natural posture...
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Old 02-16-2007, 06:23 AM   #90
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Even if i think a "competitive" mindset with an "i win, you lose" mentality is not productive from a Budo point of view, sparring as a training tool has his place in the integral developement of the martial artist.

I'd suggest reading this T.K. Chiba article, especially focusing in the Yamaoka Tesshu's "tachigiri no seigan" part.
http://www.aikidoonline.com/index2.a..._1000_tkc.html

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 02-16-2007 at 06:27 AM.

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Old 02-16-2007, 07:06 AM   #91
DonMagee
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

I do not believe in losers in competition. Just people who did not win. They defiantly did not lose anything, they gained a valuable experience.

- Don
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Old 02-16-2007, 07:36 AM   #92
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Good point Don.

I thought about this alot this morning. I too used to think that competition was a dirty word. That was until I found schools and methodologies that had the right balance.

There are many Karate, TKD, and Judo schools, clubs, McDojos out there that do not practice correctly IMO. They have watered down the art so much that it cannot go back to being very sound in principle so you get alot of kicks, punches, kiai, but not alot of effectiveness.

From this standpoint, competition could be judged as being detrimental.

I would also say that complete lack of competition, or aliveness also kills many of the so-called budo practices. When I say competition, it does not mean you concentrate on point sparring etc necessarily, just some sort of measure of ability in a non-compliant situation.

I think once you have experienced good training in a good methodology that has the right mix...it changes your perspective on competition.

At least it changed my perspective.
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Old 02-16-2007, 03:43 PM   #93
Cyrijl
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Wow, I missed quite a few posts.

To my responders:
The experiences of others does not defend YOUR training or use of aikido. If somene else gets into a fight and uses aikido effectively to defend themselves does not entitle you to lay claim that your aikido and your training methodoligies can save YOU. And yet you continure to prove my point by referencing others and not yourself as proof of your martial effectiveness.

For Example:
Barry Bonds plays baseball. I play baseball. Therefore I can hit homeruns all day long. Using this analogy makes it quite obvious how the 'my master, some guy, could kill 100 men' statement is irrelevant when talking about oneself. In fact, I do not train like barry bonds or take performance enhancing drugs so therefore i DO NOT hit homeruns like barry bonds. I doubt many people train with the rigor of these older early gernation aikidoka and that is fine. Most people do not have the time, desire or will to train that hard (me being one of them). But you cannot take someone else's life and give yourself credit by analogy. Sorry, you just can't.

--edited:added
Similarly, I do not believe sensei should brainwash their students into thinking that the students can absorb all of their wisdom and experience and ability just by watching and practicing dead drills.

All of my critiques are not aikido specific nor do I believe all aikido is like this. I just want to make that clear. I just think each person has to be honest with themselves as to their ability and not try to inflate their ego or hide behind the acts of others. I would think that is something almost all of us could agree onl

Last edited by Cyrijl : 02-16-2007 at 03:52 PM.

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Old 02-16-2007, 11:47 PM   #94
PeterR
 
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Quote:
Edward Karaa wrote:
I never liked the Shiai because I felt it was too artificial (personal opinion) unlike Judo or other arts. It didn't feel realistic at all. We had to start from a fixed position which is uncomfortable to begin with, we had to keep this position until after Uke launches the attack, .....
That wasn't shiai or even randori. Possibly a drill.

Anyway no matter - its important to find a budo that suits you and to occaisionaly walk outside the box.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-18-2007, 04:46 PM   #95
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

"In modern sports you train physically to win a competition. In budo you train physically and spiritually for self-improvement. These are two different things."

There is a great deal of mental training in all sports, and many athletes take an approach that is holistic and includes the concept of self-improvement.

I think martial artists tend to want to differentiate and distance themselves from sport mostly because of fear or lack of understanding. Some how we wind up thinking that sport is some how base and degrading in the face of our more highminded "budo" concept. But from meeting hundreds of martial artists, and hundreds of athletes, I would say they are pretty well balanced as far as results (in terms of people who clearly care about personal development and have some self-knowledge).

If I train for personal development, and yet choose to compete, then what am I? A martial artist or an athlete?

If I train for competition and the lessons I learn help me grow as a person, then what am I?

Martial art and sport can be the same, and have the same origin.
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:33 AM   #96
tedehara
 
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Re: Sport is the new Budo

Quote:
Lyle Bogin wrote:
...There is a great deal of mental training in all sports, and many athletes take an approach that is holistic and includes the concept of self-improvement.
Only recently have athletes begun to investigate the mental game. Psychological or spiritual development is not done to help the person, but is done to improve performance within the sport.

Quote:
Lyle Bogin wrote:
Martial art and sport can be the same, and have the same origin.
Both martial arts and sports evolved from the military arts. They are two different traditions.

What tradition are you part of?

This is a subjective judgement. It's possible for a person to be both athlete and martial artist. Generally their activity decides on what catagory they are.

Last edited by tedehara : 02-19-2007 at 07:39 AM.

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