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Introduction

The martial art of boxing was practiced in ancient Thera.

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, for physical, mental and spiritual development; as well as for entertainment or 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.

Selected article

Shihōnage technique performed in "half-seated" position (hanmi hantachi waza).
Aikido (Japanese: 合気道, Hepburn: aikidō) (Kyūjitai: 合氣道) [aikiꜜdoː] is a modern Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy and religious beliefs. Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury, making zero damage to the attacker. Aikido is often translated as the art of peace, the power of love. "the way of unifying (with) life energy" or as "the way of harmonious spirit".

Aikido's techniques include: irimi (entering), and tenkan (turning) movements (that redirect the opponent's attack momentum), various types of throws and without pain joint locks.

Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba's involvement with the Ōmoto-kyō religion. Ueshiba's early students' documents bear the term aiki-jūjutsu.

Ueshiba's senior students have different approaches to aikido, depending partly on when they studied with him. Today, aikido is found all over the world in a number of styles, with broad ranges of interpretation and emphasis. However, they all share techniques formulated by Ueshiba and most have concern for the well-being of the attacker because Morihei Ueshiba is the founder of Aikido.


Selected biography

Maeda circa 1910
Mitsuyo Maeda (前田 光世, Maeda Mitsuyo, born November 18, 1878  – November 28, 1941),

a Brazilian naturalized as Otávio Maeda (Portuguese pronunciation: [oˈtavju mɐˈedɐ]), was a Japanese judōka (judo expert) and prizefighter in no holds barred competitions. He was also known as Count Combat or Conde Koma in Spanish and Portuguese, a nickname he picked up in Spain in 1908. Along with Antônio Soshihiro Satake (another naturalized Brazilian), he pioneered judo in Brazil, the United Kingdom, and other countries.

Maeda was fundamental to the development of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, including through his teaching of Carlos Gracie and others of the Gracie family. He was also a promoter of Japanese emigration to Brazil. Maeda won more than 2,000 professional fights in his career. His accomplishments led to him being called the "toughest man who ever lived" and being referred to as the father of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.


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Selected image

Execution of a judo throw (ōuchi-gari). The player in blue is being thrown.
Credit: Lance Cpl. Scott M. Biscuiti

Judo, meaning "gentle way", is a modern Japanese martial art (gendai budō) and combat sport, that originated in Japan in the late nineteenth century. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an opponent to submit by joint locking the elbow or by applying a choke.

Quotes

  • "The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants."
-Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1957)
  • "The teaching of one virtuous person can influence many; that which has been learned well by one generation can be passed on to a hundred."
-Kanō Jigorō (1860–1938)
  • "So there are five ways of knowing who will win. Those who know when to fight and when not to fight are victorious. Those who discern when to use many or few troops are victorious. Those whose upper and lower ranks have the same desire are victorious. Those who face the unprepared with preparation are victorious. Those whose generals are able and not constrained by their governments are victorious. These five are the ways to know who will win."
-Sun Tzu (c.544 BC–c.496 BC); The Art of War (trans. by Thomas Cleary)

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