#15 – Arts martiaux et sports de combat


uIs there a difference between martial arts and combat sports ? There is one. But to answer i need to make A small detour and oppose the terms ‘martial’ and ‘arts’. In Japanese it is called ‘Budo’. So, without snobbery, I think it necessary to take these two terms: Budo. ‘Do’: the path, the way. In the thought that goes from low to high; from body to spirit – And ‘Bu’ -that’s important – which figures in its pictograms a hand blocking a halberd. It could be shown that ‘Bu’, contrary to what is commonly thought, is in fact the act of blocking weapons. So the Budo -which are translated by ‘martial arts’- should rather be understood as what stops the war, stops the conflict, stops the battle. And it is quite important to indicate that. Now about combat sports, they themselves give their own definition to their practice. It’s not criticism from Budokas against combat sports: what they practice *is* called ‘combat sports’. Thus they are sports with everything that is implied in sports. Some positive and also some more limited. Sport comes from the old english ‘disport’, which means to relax. So already in the terms there is the notion of relaxation. There is maybe also in Budo the intention to relax, but that is not the goal, is it? There we have a divergence even if it could be considered that, taking Judo as an example, it could be considered as a combat sport by some and as a Budo by others. So there it is. Without necessarily opposing these three manners of saying: ‘Budo’, ‘martial arts’, ‘combat sports’. It is necessary to know what we are talking about. To conclude this short answer, the individual will chose to practice a ‘sport’, a ‘martial art’ -which references the god of war Mars- or a ‘budo’. But there is space for everyone although it is necessary to know what each is about and knowing this everyone can chose their field of practice field of experience, what they want to achieve, they have to set up a project in the budos; this project necessarily has a higher significance because the art of peace is its last implement. So it calls to and it deserves a way to consider the techniques, to consider the training, to consider the years of practice to follow a certain path. But that is a pleonasm since ‘do’ is the Path.

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