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.

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Offense, defense, and hurting your opponents?

How much force is too much? Do we really have to maim our opponents? How proactive or reactive should we be in a sparring match or a fight? Is showing mercy to an opponent a worthwhile endeavor? How did past masters react?

The question of the day on the LinkedIn Martial Artists forum was the relative amount of offense and defense used in various arts and how much was “too much” force.

"Bail Moon From Sea Bottom," a potentially fatal and combat ending grip to the groin.  Image taken from www.shaolin.org

“Bail Moon From Sea Bottom,” a potentially fatal and combat ending grip to the groin. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

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