Friday, April 14, 2006

Meaning of the term "Martial Arts"

[The great samauri warrior Belushi]

Dave Lowry on the term, "Martial Arts" in this month's Black Belt. Read it all. Excerpt:

Every once in a while, it’s worthwhile to go back to the basics. For instance, we use the term “martial arts” all the time. Yet what exactly is a martial art? Is boxing a martial art? How about pistol shooting?

To begin, we must acknowledge that this matter of nomenclature is a tricky one and that there are no hard and fast rules. The word “martial” is of Latin origin, but it’s a safe bet that very few of the Japanese warriors who created and used the fighting arts were conversant in that language. Borrowing terms from Western culture to describe something in another culture—in this case, Japan’s—can make the semantics even more complicated.

No comments: