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The art in martial

Updated: Nov 29, 2018

Have you ever thought about why there is art in martial arts? As an interesting observation the words ‘martial’ and ‘art’ are so closely interwoven, that you can not even write ‘martial’ without using ‘art’. So why there is the art in martial arts?

Why art is in martial art: look at the meaning of the words

I should leave that to the experts. But lets try to put it in layman’s terms:

  • ‘Martial’ refers to the Latin god of war, who is named Mars. His greek counterpart would be Ares. Unlike Ares who was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace. He was considered a father of the Roman people.

  • ‘Art’ as a word refers to the latin word ‘artem’ and according to the definition from Merriam Webster Dictionary it is something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings. Art can also mean a skill acquired by experience, study, or observation.

So here we have a simple answer: Martial Art is a skill acquired by experience, study, or observation, that uses military power (strategies, tactics, fighting methods), imagination and skill as a way to secure peace.

Isn’t it wonderful?

That was the simple answer based on the meaning of the words. But did you notice? This blog article explained why it’s called »martial arts«. There is a much better answer, why there has to be »art« in »martial«. The answer is based on function and not in words. Are you interested, then read my soon to be published blog article about the importance of elegance in Martial Art titled: »The tripple-E progression of Martial Arts«

What do you think? Should there be art in martial? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


This article has first been posted on January 2016 in Uli Weidles 'Kaliman' blog. In the future selected articles from Ulis kaliman blog will be reposted here.

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