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The Lineage of Martial Arts

Martial Arts has transcended culture so much so that everyone and their left jab are choosing martial arts as an alternative to more conventional exercise. It is easy to understand why so many people are swapping the sweaters for the Gi. Martial arts provide you with an engaging activity that is great for both your body and mind. The affects have been studies vicariously and the conclusion is always the same. As long as you leave it in the dojo, you are enjoying a stimulating experience that cannot be met within a health club. ‘IBIS world’ have studied the market of martial arts studios and their expansion. ‘IBIS world’ agree that as economic conditions continue to improve, so will the demand for martial arts studios.

The exponential rise in growth and revenue show the sociological surge of the median. For example, between the years of 2011 and 2016, the industry has grown by 5.3% each year. Furthermore, the industry is now valued at a staggering £ 4 billion and that is excluding professional fight promotions such as the UFC (Ultimate Fighter Championship), that sold for £4 billion itself. Martial arts has always been a niche that was practiced by the passionate. Now, it is more universally acclaimed and respected. Within my area there are three to four martial arts gyms. As a personal trainer I have often through about incorporating martial arts classes into my schedule so I can also get a slice of the action. There are many clients who are willing to pay for classes but I am no purist and I would not want to cheaply imitate a kickboxing class. This brings me to the burning question,

Has martial arts evolved or deceived the faithful’s?

I believe that it is has been evolved or rather re-constructed to match the social conventions of the current epoch. This evolution has been kindling for some time but to truly understand the popularity of martial arts, we must look at the social-historical context of the median. Historians believe that the true origin of martial arts is difficult to re-construct. This is because martial arts, or less eloquently, fighting is intrinsic to the human condition. The hyper aggressive nature of humans that has only been diluted in more recent years has inspired people to go toe-to-toe for millennia. Great civilizations have practiced mock combat for more abstract reasons than our own. However, martial arts have been defined as ‘Classical Antiquity’. These traditional disciplines have been glamorised in cultural texts and re-accounted across generations.

Due to globalisation, cultures have kneaded. While some sub-cultures experience rapid decline, some other subcultures benefited. Historians call this ‘worldwide cross-pollination’. The seeds were sown there just needed to be a catalyst. These mavericks brought culturally dictated styles and practices underneath one umbrella to develop what is now known as MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). This is now regarded as the most authentic martial arts.

The chronology of martial arts has led to the precipice of the unknown, tomorrow. It has come a long way from being depicted on the murals of tomb 5 at Beni Hasan (20th century BCE), to recording record gate revenue at Madison Square Garden (UFC 205). So much so that the Philippines have declared ‘Modern Arnis’, a national sport. However, lets back track to the proposed question regardless of the social-historical context or current popularity of martial arts.  Has martial art’s experience an evolution or deception?

I would agree that martial arts has evolved to meet the humanitarian requirements or our culture and I also believe that its lineage is respected by the practitioners of modern MMA. There is a community built around it and I believe that this is a testament to the practice of martial arts itself. It is not just about the besting of your opponent but the besting of your self. Once you can control yourself and what are supposedly uncontrollable situations, you are free to operate in other walks of life in a calm and humane manner.

These teaching have endured and so has the fascination with fighting culture. It would only be deceptive if it were to be used for bloodlust. While MMA theorists & practitioners admire the technique of a fighters as well as the propensity for damage, they do not ever want to see a fighter’s health affected. Therefore, the culture of fighting may be a metronome for less violent confrontation in the our culture due to the balancers of respect and honour.

This article was written by a MMA enthusiasts and personal trainer called Chris Simon who works as a PT/blogger from Origym.

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