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#431672 - 03/06/11 10:57 AM Qualities of martial arts "Credibility"...IYO?
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
What are the qualities, the characteristics of martial arts "credibility"? There are many technical standards for different arts/practices... and perhaps these "connect the dots" for some when they define credible?

However in the larger picture is there more (far more?) than just physical demonstration to credibility in the many arts that we all practice?


#431694 - 03/11/11 09:46 AM Re: Qualities of martial arts "Credibility"...IYO? [Re: Ronin1966]
Matakiant Offline

Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 126
I'd happily use the words of my greatest Sensei.

''If it works it has credibility''

By what works he defines it simply as what would work in a full contact spar and ultimately a out of the ring/dojo confrontation

For him and for me there is NO other standard in MARTIAL arts.

As for the large picture question I do not see anything else being there in a martial art practiced for ''martial purposes''

Edited by Matakiant (03/11/11 09:47 AM)

#431742 - 03/15/11 04:34 PM Re: Qualities of martial arts "Credibility"...IYO? [Re: Matakiant]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Matakiant:

Thanks for taking part....

So USAGE then is a "key" of credibility IYV? If I do not hit someone (sic. outside of training) the punches, the kicks, the art is not "credible" then???

Not being a professional soldier, it is obscenly unlikly I will ever need to kill, in the way "martial" was intended in the context of warfare wink. Perhaps there are more components to credibility I wonder?


#431744 - 03/15/11 06:50 PM Re: Qualities of martial arts "Credibility"...IYO? [Re: Ronin1966]
Matakiant Offline

Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 126
Well that is why I stressed the word martial.

There are other things there yes but if your talking about ''credibility'' that's what it is to me - if You can't use it when You need it, it is worthless as a martial art.

See I consider martial arts to be systems of combat you can use to defend yourself if necessary - different styles are just different systems with different approaches.

Perhaps our seemingly large difference in thought stems from the use of the word credibility what is credible depends on what is advertised or rather claimed to be taught and what is sought by the practitioner.

If you study and practice something for self defense and it turns out you can't defend yourself if needed it loses credibility.

If you study and practice something for health reasons and your health does not improve over time it loses credibility.

Since credibility in this world is an individual choice it breaks down to individual desires - what the individual wants to accomplish.

''However in the larger picture is there more (far more?) than just physical demonstration to credibility in the many arts that we all practice?''

Like I said I do not consider anything else to be there - in the martial arts. The other not physical things are not from the art itself but from its training. Good training cultivates discipline, character and willpower which all amount to our self confidence.

That's what really makes up the ''becoming a better person'' aspect in martial arts - you simply become a better person by further understanding & controlling yourself through training.

#431746 - 03/15/11 10:49 PM Re: Qualities of martial arts "Credibility"...IYO? [Re: Matakiant]
iaibear Offline

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Okay. Who is it supposedly to be credible to?

When I started Iaido I was supposed to be accepting my imagined opponent as a genuine threat. That is in the "he started it, I'll finish it" attitude. If I did it believably enough, not only I, but anyone watching, could "see" him as well.

How credible are you talking about, please?

#431767 - 03/19/11 02:47 PM Re: Qualities of martial arts "Credibility"...IYO? [Re: Ronin1966]
fileboy2002 Offline

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Chicago, IL
For the majority of general public, the question of martial arts' "credibility" is pretty straightforward. It boils to to this: does X martial art have any real-world self-defense value?

Among martial artists, the question gets more complicated. Martial artists invest a huge amount of time and energy in their arts. Over time, their art becomes part of their identity. It is not just something they do, it becomes part of who they are. To deny the credibility of their art becomes unthinkable. Hence, the old, "it's the artist, not the art" cliche.

This statement does not come from any objective assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of various styles. It is merely a political statement, designed to keep the peace within the martial arts community. We all agree to pretend that somehow, every art is potentially just a effective as any other. We do not make this assumption in any other area of life. No one argues, for example, that every car is equally good, or that every way of making an omlette is equally effective.

#431772 - 03/19/11 07:48 PM Re: Qualities of martial arts "Credibility"...IYO? [Re: fileboy2002]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
Fileboys back!

I agree with you that it is a complicated question and people who study martial arts for a serious length of time often invest part of their identity in that art. As such any criticisms of the art can be taken by such people as personal criticism. And to be fair, sometimes criticism that is levelled at an art or it's practioner CAN be meant personnally by the person offering said criticism.

It can be hard to gauge the credibilty of martial arts based soley on whether they work in physical confrontation though. For example, I don't think anyone who studies Kendo does so with the understanding or belief it will help them win a physical hand-to-hand fight in the 21st century.

Similarly someone who studies Taijiquan for its health benefits might not be interested in whether or not what they know works in s physical fight. I know of one such person who is a cancer survivor and now spends a lot of time doing Taiji to help his health and mental well being. He told me he has no interest in Taiji fighting qualities, he is only interested in how it's helping him with his health post-cancer.

Although it is fair to say a large number of people judge martial arts by how effective they are in a physical fight, there are people who study martial arts for reasons other than their effectiveness as a fighting system. I think in such cases a different set of criteria need to be applied to help those people decide if their martial art is "credible".
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.


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