One of the biggest mistakes that many people make today is to confuse martial arts with fighting. It is not uncommon to find a long list of fighting arts on sites that claim to deal only with martial arts. Both teach how to fight, but that is the only thing they have in common. Few people think about it, yet one could not start practicing martial arts without understanding their goal. So, what is the difference between martial art and fighting art?
Martial Arts and Fighting Arts
One could make it short by saying that the fighting arts are only for fighting. But this relatively short definition will not be well understood. The sole purpose of these arts will be to teach its trainees to win. Those who practice them will train and then organize fights to see who can beat their opponents. At the end of the fight, each of the participants will go home to practice again to defeat their opponents next time.
What about martial arts? Like the fighting arts, they train for fighting, but unlike them, fighting is not a goal. Martial arts have a philosophy. Their main goal is to prepare the individual for the difficulties he will encounter and teach him how to deal with them. Martial arts train how to fight when fighting is necessary and inevitable and how to win without fighting when it is better to take a different approach. If one were to make a quick comparison between the two, it would seem that the first is simply a fight, while the second is a strategy.
This is why all martial arts not only train the body, but they also focus on the individual’s lifestyle and perception of the world around him.