Putting the Art in Martial Arts
|Picassso's Science and Charity|
|No one will disagree that at least O-Sensei was a badass.|
To the aikido detractors I usually have a conversation which goes something like this.
Me: "Which is more realistic representation, photography or drawing?"
Me: "Why do we still have drawing then?"
Me: "Why do we have drawing and painting? Why do we have impressionism, or cubism, which look nothing like the original subjects?"
Hoplology is the study of martial arts from a cultural point of view. The idea is that it is as representative and worthwhile part of a culture as pottery, or music or any other traditionally interpreted art. Jujutsu is a great martial art, if you are on a battlefield of medieval Japan with armored people attacking you with arrow, spears, and swords. It has a specific value in this specific application. MMA wouldn't be very "realistic" in that arena. In that same case, because of the armor, a Philipino knife fighter wouldn't do so well either. But Arnis is still a great martial art. All three martial arts are great for their specific application. They have their own specific value both culturally, on the battlefield. Some martial arts are concentrating more on their cultural aspect than they are their combative aspect. In the end all martial arts can all be used in self defense situations as well. Afterall, it's the martial artist, not the martial art.
So in the end, make sure you have your art, but don't get so lost in it, that it looses its realism.