Martial arts, not for fighting?

Someone who has spent much time boxing would naturally use boxing in their sparring and fighting. Image taken from www.croatia.org

Someone who has spent much time perfecting their boxing skills would naturally use boxing in their sparring and fighting. It would be disadvantageous for them to throw away their boxing to use complicated kung fu moves in sparring or fighting. Image taken from http://www.croatia.org

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.

Likewise, someone who has spent much time practicing authentic kung fu would naturally use their kung fu in sparring or fighting. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

Someone who has spent much time practicing authentic kung fu should naturally use kung fu in sparring or fighting. It would be disadvantageous to throw away one’s trained skills to bounce about and fight like boxers. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

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.

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