Martial Arts

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Martial Arts)

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a grappling system that maintains both sport and combat forms. The art was derived from Japanese antecedents in twentieth-century Brazil. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is virtually synonymous with the Gracie family, through whose lineage the system was passed and whose members modified the original Japanese art into its present state. Currently, however, instructors are […]

Budo, Bujutsu, and Bugei (Martial Arts)

The meaning and usage of the terms budo, bujutsu, and bugei as appellations for the martial arts of Japan are subjects of considerable confusion and misinformation among practitioners and aficionados of these arts— Japanese as well as Western. Among modern authorities in Japan the terms have acquired a more or less conventional usage adopted mainly […]

Capoeira (Martial Arts)

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that relies primarily on striking techniques, although some grappling maneuvers, especially takedowns utilizing the legs in either tripping or scissoring motions, and weapon techniques complete the repertoire of the capoeirista (practitioner or “player” of capoeira). Various etymologies of the name capoeira are offered in the scholarly literature. The root […]

China (Martial Arts)

In early times, a number of terms were used to describe Chinese martial arts, which are now known as wushu. The term jiangwu (teach military matters) was a comprehensive concept comprising training in general and martial arts in particular. In the state of Zhou (475-221 B.C.), jiangwu took place during the winter, while farming occupied […]

Chivalry (Martial Arts)

The age of chivalry flourished between a.d. 1100 and the opening of the sixteenth century. It was a time when the mounted nobility of Western Europe lived out their lives in obedience to the code of chivalry, which charged each knight with the defense of the Church, his sovereign king, and the weak and the […]

Combatives: Military and Police Martial Art Training (Martial Arts)

Combatives is the collective term used to describe military or paramilitary training in hand-to-hand fighting. For police, the emphasis is usually on restraining the opponent, while for armies the emphasis is usually on increasing soldiers’ self-confidence and physical aggressiveness. During such training, the virtues of “national” martial arts frequently are extolled, often at the expense […]

Dueling (Martial Arts)

A typical definition of the duel holds that it is a “combat between two persons, fought with deadly weapons by agreement, usually under formal conditions and in the presence of witnesses (seconds) on each side” or “any contest between two antagonists” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary). Discussions of dueling abound, but—except for Mr. Webster—precise definitions are […]

External vs. Internal Chinese Martial Arts

In general, Chinese fighting arts have been classified as external or internal, hard or soft. This classification system depends on the source of the energy applied: In theory, an art may apply muscular and structural force (the external element) activated by forceful muscular contraction (the hard aspect), or it may depend on control of the […]

Europe (Martial Arts)

The term martial arts today typically refers to high-level Asian fighting methods from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and, to a lesser extent, Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam. This perspective is derived primarily from Western popular culture. The standard view holds that non-Asian contributions to the martial arts have been restricted to sport boxing, […]

Folklore in the Martial Arts

The martial arts, like all areas of human endeavor, have developed folklore (materials that are learned as an element of the common experience in a special interest group, which could be based on ethnicity, avocation, gender, among other factors) as an integral element of their core knowledge. In fact, by virtue of the secrecy and […]