Relevance of Martial Arts Today • Brief Martial Arts


Relevance of Martial Arts Today 600 years ago in feudal Japan our lives would
have depended on how good we are at martial arts. Similar rules applied to Medieval Europe
or Ancient Greece and Rome. Yet Martial Arts are not the same as in the past. So why Martial
Arts are still relevant today? What made them change in the history of time?
The last country to still use martial arts as a priority for surviving deadly encounters
was Feudal to Modern Japan. In 1860-es, when steam engine and telegraph were already in
use and America was fighting it’s civil war, the warrior class of the samurai were
ruling Japan. Their chances to live another day depended on their martial skills and having
to fight until death was a common event. Yet after the Meiji Restoration, when the
military ruling came to an end and Japan opened up to foreign countries, all the exposure
to different cultures and technology lead to a fall of the need for martial arts. Martial
arts such as Kenjutsu (the way of the sword) and Jujitsu became unpopular. People started
believing it was out-dated and while being challenged to a death duel or participating
in close combat battles came to an end – few saw reasons to practice it.
Those devoted to Martial Arts came to conclusions that their practices had to be changed according
to more modern times. This created opportunities for masters such as Jigoro Kano. Sensei Kano
– a devoted student of Jujitsu, understanding the changings of time, excluded deadly techniques
and stressed great emphasis on physical and moral development. Thus Judo – a martial
art suitable for the times was born. Further development of martial arts was also
influenced by the different situation that modern day presented. Martial arts became
increasingly more important as a tool of self-development and competition, rather than as a tool of
survival, thus giving birth to modern martial arts that we practice today. Nevertheless
this contradicts with some peoples thinking. No doubt there are extreme cases such as military
hand-to-hand combat training which can still be decisive in a matter of survival and other
professions which deal with physical conflict all the time. Yet being attacked to a regular
person in a life threatening situation is increasingly rare in most countries. Despite
that some people still see martial arts as means of survival.
But then if martial arts are still primarily a matter of survival, why do we keep dressing
with Japanese GI and practice bows and continue to develop techniques which are often not
useful in a self defensive situation? Too often we forget the meaning of martial
arts today as a tool of development and spend hundreds of hours preparing for that one encounter
that we might never have. We end up arguing about which techniques are effective and which
martial art doesn’t deserve to exist. We end up living in tension and fear of conflict,
rather than becoming self confident and ready for more than just brawling in the streets.
Surely, martial arts can be beneficial and very important in self-defense situations,
but they are so much more than that. Yet whilst we will see it as a means of survival primarily,
we will miss so much more that it can offer. Let me know your thoughts about the situation
of martial arts. Also, subscribe to follow when the next video will come out exploring
martial arts from a different view and check what already is out there on Aikido Siauliai
YouTube channel. This is Sensei Rokas, stay inspired.

12 Replies to “Relevance of Martial Arts Today • Brief Martial Arts

  1. I like your message,it's real aikido-ish i could say.Perosnally I prefer practicing and training old style martial arts,because for me,both aspect of martial arts are very important.

  2. I teach Aikido and Krav Maga so I see both the self defense side as well as the traditional martial art side. The way I explain it to my students is Martial Arts are for self development where Self Defense training is to save your life, and I use Aikido in my every day life. If I know a conflict is going to occur or expect conflict I rely on Aikido, I used it when I was a door man for a bar on several occasions. On the other hand when conflict arises unexpectedly, Krav Maga is great for this I can put an attacker down quickly and effectively protecting myself and others; I use both if I work unarmed security as they compliment each other well. I think the prevalence of "what is effective" will never go away, its about what works for you.

  3. Very historically inaccurate as to the events in Japan in the second half of the 19th century. Completely wrong about the nature and activities of Samurai at that time. Strongly suggest independent research, using materials accepted by historians, and well documented, rather than this fluff piece.

  4. The problem is with self delusion.

    I play BJJ. I know that I have inadequate striking skills. I know that this severely limits my ability to perform well in a real fight. I also know that I engage in no realistic weapons defense. This also limits my ability to use my martial art in situations where it really matters. Part of what keeps me honest here is that I train with people who compete in MMA, and with people who have been in the Army, and with police officers.

    I am okay with this, because I play it mostly for fun, camaraderie, and fitness reasons. I do think that my art has a lot of carryover to neutralizing most untrained attackers in a "street brawl" kind of situation. I doubt that this will ever happen to me though.

    I think it is fine for people to practice Aikido with a focus on fitness, fun, and spiritual development. However, most Aikidoka that I have talked to do not seem to realistically assess their own abilities. Since the training is largely compliant, it is easy to think you are much more capable than you really are. I do think that this is a problem, simply because I think that any delusion is a problem. We should all earnestly seek the truth.

  5. It's not relevant at all. It's just a hobby, or a sport. Trying to ascribe secondary values to it, like spirituality and the like, means nothing.

  6. Master Jou at Tai Chi Farm always stated that "you punching me, I punching you, (was) High school" an unworthy goal. He also admitted that these were exceptionally dangerous arts..the goal is not fighting but development of complete health of mind body and soul.

  7. You just opened my eyes here. I come from a place of fear which narrows my perception greatly. I took Aikido for a few months, and appreciated the emphasis on daily application. As you said, not to necessarily defeat an opponent but how to operate with respect for self and others. I need to go back…

  8. I'm a portrait artist. Portrait painting is the only true form of art. Landscape painting is bullshit. People who paint with watercolors are pussies. Impressionism sucks. Flower painting is a bunch of crap. You don't see portrait painters (the real artists) putting flowers in their pictures, do you?. You know why? Because flower painting is worthless.

  9. I have been studying Martial Arts for fifty years and I have noticed that most dojo's do not instruct philosophy of any kind. I do teach philosophy when I do teach.

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