It was mentioned on the LinkedIn Martial Artists forum that martial arts were not for fighting. Being rather confused, at such a bold statement, I felt compelled to respond with the following.
I have to disagree that martial arts are not for fighting. What one uses in friendly sparring or an actual fighting situation should be the art, style, or method that one has been trained in; hence, martial arts are used in fighting.
It should go without saying that, ideally, those who learn martial arts should have a firm basis in morality so that they do not abuse their power, but I thought it’d be worthwhile to state aloud, just in case.
That said, the skills and qualities one gains through martial arts training can certainly help one recognize and avoid a fight or some other bad situation. Confidence in oneself, a realistic picture of one’s own capabilities, quick decision-making, and overall health & fitness are all very useful qualities. Likewise, “when diplomacy fails,” someone who has trained martial arts should be able to mount an effective defense (relevant to their skill level; I don’t expect a fresh beginner to hold off a 30 person gang) to protect themselves and their loved ones; otherwise, their training has been in vain.
Sun Zi (Sun Tzu) and Confucius both said that a strong military protects the nation and allows the arts of peace to flourish. I have to say that I agree.