Portal:Martial arts

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Introduction

Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practiced for a number of reasons such as self-defense; military and law enforcement applications; competition; physical, mental, and spiritual development; entertainment; and the preservation of a nation's intangible cultural heritage.

Although the term martial art has become associated with the fighting arts of East Asia, it originally referred to the combat systems of Europe as early as the 1550s. The term is derived from Latin and means "arts of Mars", the Roman god of war. Some authors have argued that fighting arts or fighting systems would be more appropriate on the basis that many martial arts were never "martial" in the sense of being used or created by professional warriors. (Full article...)

Although the earliest evidence of martial arts goes back millennia, the true roots are difficult to reconstruct. Inherent patterns of human aggression which inspire practice of mock combat (in particular wrestling) and optimization of serious close combat as cultural universals are doubtlessly inherited from the pre-human stage and were made into an "art" from the earliest emergence of that concept. Indeed, many universals of martial art are fixed by the specifics of human physiology and not dependent on a specific tradition or era.

Specific martial traditions become identifiable in Classical Antiquity, with disciplines such as shuai jiao, Greek wrestling or those described in the Indian epics or the Spring and Autumn Annals of China. (Full article...)

Selected article

Painting of gladiators.
A gladiator (Latin: gladiator, "swordsman", from gladius, "sword") was an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked their lives and their legal and social standing by appearing in the arena. Most were despised as slaves, schooled under harsh conditions, socially marginalized, and segregated even in death.

Irrespective of their origin, gladiators offered spectators an example of Rome's martial ethics and, in fighting or dying well, they could inspire admiration and popular acclaim. They were celebrated in high and low art, and their value as entertainers was commemorated in precious and commonplace objects throughout the Roman world.

The origin of gladiatorial combat is open to debate. There is evidence of it in funeral rites during the Punic Wars of the 3rd century BC, and thereafter it rapidly became an essential feature of politics and social life in the Roman world. Its popularity led to its use in ever more lavish and costly games.

The gladiator games lasted for nearly a thousand years, reaching their peak between the 1st century BC and the 2nd century AD. Christians disapproved of the games because they involved idolatrous pagan rituals, and the popularity of gladatorial contests declined in the fifth century, leading to their disappearance. (Full article...)


Selected biography

Brock Lesnar in March 2015.
Brock Edward Lesnar (/ˈlɛznər/; born July 12, 1977) is an American-Canadian professional wrestler, retired mixed martial artist, former amateur wrestler and professional football player currently signed with WWE.

After his successful amateur wrestling career at Bismarck State College and the University of Minnesota, Lesnar signed with WWE (then the World Wrestling Federation) in 2000. He was assigned to its developmental promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he was a three-time OVW Southern Tag Team Champion with Shelton Benjamin. After debuting on WWE's main roster in 2002, Lesnar won the WWE Championship five months after his debut at the age of 25, becoming the youngest champion in the title's history. Following his title loss to Eddie Guerrero at No Way Out in 2004 and his match with Goldberg at WrestleMania XX, Lesnar left WWE and pursued a career in the National Football League (NFL). He was named a defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings, but was cut before the start of the 2004 season. In 2005, Lesnar returned to professional wrestling and signed with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), where he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in his first match. After a contractual dispute with NJPW, he also wrestled as IWGP Heavyweight Champion in the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF).

In 2006, Lesnar pursued a career in mixed martial arts (MMA), as he signed with Hero's and won his first fight, against Min-Soo Kim, in June 2007. He then signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) the following October. Lesnar lost in his UFC debut against Frank Mir and then won his second fight against Heath Herring. In November 2008, Lesnar defeated Randy Couture to become the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Shortly after a successful title defense in a rematch with Mir, Lesnar was sidelined due to diverticulitis. He would return at UFC 116 to defeat Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Shane Carwin and unify the heavyweight championships, becoming the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion in the process. Lesnar then lost the championship to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121. In 2011, he was once again sidelined due to diverticulitis and underwent surgery on May 27. Lesnar returned at UFC 141 in December, losing to Alistair Overeem and promptly retiring from MMA. Lesnar was a box office sensation in UFC, as he took part in some of the bestselling pay-per-view events in UFC history, including UFC 100 and UFC 116. (Full article...)


Selected entertainment

The Great American Bash was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It was the second Great American Bash under WWE, and 16th overall. It took place on July 24, 2005, at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. The event featured wrestlers and other talent that performed on the SmackDown! brand division.

The main event was Batista defending the World Heavyweight Championship against John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL). JBL won the match after Batista was disqualified, but did not win the title because a championship can only be won via pinfall or submission. One of the featured matches on the undercard was Rey Mysterio versus Eddie Guerrero, which Mysterio won by pinfall. The other was Orlando Jordan versus Chris Benoit for the WWE United States Championship, which Jordan won, also by pinfall.

The event grossed over US$375,000 in ticket sales from an attendance of 8,000, and received about 233,000 pay-per-view buys, the same amount as the following year's event. This enabled WWE's pay-per-view revenue to increase by $4.7 million from the previous year. When the 2005 event was released on DVD, it reached a peak position of second on Billboards DVD Sales Chart. The event was also available free of charge for Armed Forces members and their families. ('Full article...)


Selected image


Final of the Challenge Réseau Ferré de France–Trophée Monal 2012 (épée world cup tournament in Paris): Diego Confalonieri (left) and Fabian Kauter (right).
Credit: Marie-Lan Nguyen

The épée (English: /ˈɛp/ or /ˈp/, French pronunciation: ​[epe]), sometimes spelled epee in English, is the largest and heaviest of the three weapons used in the sport of fencing. The modern épée derives from the 19th-century épée de combat, a weapon which itself derives from the French small sword.

As a thrusting weapon, the épée is similar to a foil (contrasted with a sabre, which is designed for slashing). It has a stiffer blade than a foil. It is triangular in cross-section with a V-shaped groove called a fuller. The épée also has a larger bell guard and weighs more. The techniques of their use differ, as there are no rules regarding priority and right of way. Thus, immediate counterattacks are a common feature of épée fencing. In addition, the entire body is a valid target area. (Full article...)


Selected quote


The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things.


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