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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; physical, mental and spiritual development; and 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.

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.

Selected article

Japanese Martial art called Jodo – technique: Kuri tsuke.
Shintō Musō-ryū, or Shindō Musō-ryū (神道夢想流), most commonly known by its practice of jōdō, is a traditional school (koryū) of the Japanese martial art of jōjutsu, or the art of wielding the short staff (). The technical purpose of the art is to learn how to defeat a swordsman in combat using the , with an emphasis on proper combative distance, timing and concentration. The system includes teachings of other weapon systems which are contained in Shintō Musō-ryū as auxiliary arts (Fuzoku ryuha). The school is sometimes abbreviated as SMR.

The art was founded by the samurai Musō Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi (夢想 權之助 勝吉, fl. c.1605, dates of birth and death unknown) in the early Edo period (1603–1868) and, according to legend, first put to use in a duel with Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵, 1584–1645). The original art created by Musō Gonnosuke has evolved and been added upon ever since its inception and up to modern times. The art was successfully brought outside of its original domain in Fukuoka and outside Japan itself in the 19th and 20th century. The spreading of Shintō Musō-ryū beyond Japan was largely the effort of Takaji Shimizu, (1896–1978), considered the 25th headmaster, who, unlike many other traditional martial arts teachers, wanted Jodo to be known and taught internationally. With the assistance of his own students and the cooperation of the kendō community, Shimizu spread Shintō Musō-ryū worldwide.


Selected biography

Tate in 2018
Miesha Theresa Tate (/ˈmʃə/ MEE-shə; born August 18, 1986) is an American mixed martial arts pundit and former mixed martial artist who competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and is a former UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion. Primarily known for her grappling ability, Tate became a wrestler while attending Franklin Pierce High School in Tacoma, Washington and won a state championship during her senior year in 2005. She began her professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career in 2007, and won the bantamweight championship of the Freestyle Cage Fighting promotion in 2009. Tate gained increased recognition in 2011, when she won the Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Championship. She has also won a silver medal in the FILA Grappling Championships.

Outside of MMA, Tate has modeled for numerous websites and publications, including ESPN The Magazine and Fitness Gurls. In 2015, Tate was announced as a cast member in the feature film Fight Valley. Her fighting style, which focused on wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has earned praise from multiple peers and media outlets. Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White has credited Tate's fight with Ronda Rousey on March 3, 2012 as the key factor in the creation of women's divisions in the UFC.


Selected entertainment

Mortal Kombat is a media franchise centered on a series of video games, originally developed by Midway Games' Chicago studio in 1992. The development of the first game was originally based on an idea that Ed Boon and John Tobias had of making a video game starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, but as that idea fell through, a fantasy-themed fighting game titled Mortal Kombat was created instead. Mortal Kombat was the first ever fighting game to introduce a secret fighter, reached if the player fulfilled a set of requirements. The original game has spawned many sequels and spin-offs consisting of several action-adventure games, films (animated and live-action with its own sequel), and television series (animated and live-action), as well as a comic book series, a card game and a live-action tour. Along with Street Fighter and Tekken, Mortal Kombat has become one of the most successful fighting franchises in the history of video games and one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.

The series has a reputation for high levels of violent content, including, most notably, its Fatalities (finishing moves allowing the player to finish off their defeated opponent). Controversies surrounding Mortal Kombat, in part, led to the creation of the ESRB video game rating system. Early games in this series were also noted for their realistic digitized sprites and an extensive use of palette swapping to create new characters. Following Midway's bankruptcy, the Mortal Kombat development team was acquired by Warner Bros. and turned into NetherRealm Studios. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment currently owns the rights to the franchise, which it rebooted in 2011.


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Randai performances with silek (silat) as one of the dance's components.
Credit: Michael J Lowe

Randai is a folk theater tradition of the Minangkabau ethnic group which incorporates music, singing, dance, drama and the martial art of silat. Randai is usually performed for traditional ceremonies and festivals, and complex stories may span a number of nights. It is performed as a theatre-in-the-round to achieve an equality and unity between audience members and the performers. Randai performances are a synthesis of alternating martial arts dances, songs, and acted scenes. Stories are delivered by both the acting and the singing and are mostly based upon Minangkabau legends and folktales. Randai originated early in the 20th century out of fusion of local martial arts, story-telling and other performance traditions. Men originally played both the male and female characters in the story, but since the 1960s women have also participated.


Selected quote


It's not how much you know that counts, but how much you can recall under stress.
John Danaher, Mastering Jujitsu


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