Sunday, January 08, 2006

Martial Art

There's a question that comes up frequently on MA sites- why martial art? Why not martial science or martial endeavor? Where did this art thing come into it and why?

Honestly, it's not worth the time to read crap like that. It's like the people who are arguing about whether jutsu or jitsu is right... there's no letter 'u' or letter 'i' in Japanese writing so it just doesn't matter. Does red taste like chocolate?

However, I did have a thought the other day. It ties in with things already mentioned here about the messiness of combat, the unpredictability, the fact that there really aren't right answers, just stuff that worked that one time.

Maybe that's why it's called an art and not science, because in art it's accepted that there are no absolutes, no right answers. Bach gets his point across and so does Rob Zombie. Pollock and Monet are displayed in the same museum. I shoulder slam, sweep and kneel on the threat's elbow and neck, C picks the threat up and slams him to the ground. We both get the message across but in very different ways.

Rigid thinkers do well in science and crappy in art (though a mix of free and rigid is where the breakthroughs in science happen). Rigid thinkers do well in administration and crappy when it comes time to actually deal with criminals.

Maybe who ever called it 'art' was on to something. More likely it was just the luck of a poor translation. That's kind of a human drive, though, to look for meaning in arbitrary things.

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