When the term “martial arts” is used most lay-people think of those arts practiced by those of the Orient. This is often due to the martial arts movies of the 1970s and 1980s which popularised martial arts and presented them in such a fashion that they were found to be interesting. The result if this was that there was a boom period of various Oriental martial arts schools, which continues today. The media has focused the attention of the public toward the Orient with regard to the term “martial arts”. The long lineages of many of these Oriental martial arts only furthers to cement these ideas.
In comparison, Western Martial Arts (WMA) or Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) is relatively new and relatively unknown in comparison. Interest in these forms only is created through the media when popularise films and series come out. Schools and clubs supplying this form of fighting style are relatively new and few in number in comparison to Oriental martial arts.
The Arts of Mars
That the term “martial arts” is an Occidental (Western) one based on the Latin and is applied to Oriental and Occidental arts simultaneously is most interesting and demonstrates common ground between these two physical forms. Here, it is commonality which can be found rather than difference. Even more interesting is that it originally referred more to the Occidental arts of the Renaissance rather than those of the Orient is most interesting.
The same theories which apply to Occidental fighting forms can also be applied, and should, to Oriental fighting forms. The discussion which is presented here to discuss martial arts is not only to discuss Occidental fighting forms, though it tends to be my focus, but to discuss all forms and can apply the same criteria to them. This is only possible due to the commonality and the same levels of expectation of them.
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