What is martial arts?
Martial arts refers to systems and traditions of warfare and combat. In modern days, ring sports and entertainment styles have also started calling themselves martial arts and thus general public also commonly considers them under the umbrella of martial arts.
Origin of the term “Martial arts”
There are various explanations of the origin of the term “Martial Arts”. In English dictionary, the term was first introduced in 1972. The term Martial is defined as something related to military or war now too, thus martial arts would mean the art of warfare.
Another explanation links the term Martial to the Roman god of war “Mars”, thus martial arts meaning the arts of war of Mars.
However if we go into the Asian ideology of the term “martial” it would mean something that is used to end a conflict.
The term doesn’t directly mean the arts of unarmed fight only or ring sports, by definition. The initial dojos in the western world were based on combat sports and not warfare, this lead to the concept that this is what the original Asian (or Japanese specifically) ancient arts of war look like.
History of Martial arts
Man has been fighting for power and resources or any other reasons for ages! The oldest recorded martial arts are considered to be as old as 3400 BC from Egypt. Similar paintings depicting struggle are found in Babylon and Vietnam too.
Chinese martial arts are believed to be 4000 years old. Asian martial arts are a blend of early Chinese and Indian martial arts.
Greeks used to practice pankration and other fighting skills. Romans produced the gladiatorial combat as a public spectacle in ancient times too!