So right off the bat, all that we think of as martial arts, like Karate, Taekwondo, Aikido, Krav Maga... they're not martial arts. Neither would be boxing, wrestling, muay thai, etc. Martial arts, then, is the study and practice of war skills. So, if you're in boot camp, or training for an MOS (military operational skill), then, you're taking a martial art. Perhaps, if your Taekwondo class also teaches how to lay claymore mines, throw hand grenades, fire an M16 or LAW, drive a tank. then perhaps you're really practicing a 'martial art'.But at one time, those in the practice of things like karate, kung Fu, etc WERE practicing war skills. Since these skills are not applicable in today's modern warfare tactics, then those practicing what was practiced in those days are practicing 'classical martial arts“.
But then, those practicing classical martial arts are only doing so for self-defense (or for keeping their re-enactment skills up, or for historical study). Such was not the purpose of martial arts in the classical era of MA. What you practiced back then was for the benefit of the country, not for self-preservation.Today, we practice those war skills and apply them to personal self-defense, and then we slap on a moniker like 'martial arts'. Well, that's the other dictionary defining martial arts - the urban dictionary.
And in that dictionary, any skills used for purposes of self-defense is considered a martial art. That tends to leave out the sports styles, since their goals are not for self-defense, but for sport. While their techniques may significantly overlap, their strategies couldn't be further apartNevertheless, there are others who try to lump things like boxing, wrestling, pankration, muay thai, etc as a martial art. This is subjective: some believe, others, like me, do not.
Further clouding the issue are the newer styles, like Taekwondo, Tang Soo Do, Hapkido, Aikido: these styles are not classical, having only been invented towards the beginning of this century. There's nothing classical about them, and there's nothing martial about them, either.Some Koreans will point to the Korean and Vietnam war-time fighting skills they used were precursors to modern day taekwondo and tangoed. The truth is, the system of killing does not exist in today's Taekwondo or Tangoed.
So to answer your question, strictly speaking, martial arts is a study and practice of military/war skills. Others subscribe to the urban dictionaries, which define it as a system of self-defense. 1. It's incredibly instinctual, as you can effectively recall and apply its moves during a street fight. Other martial arts are theoretically practical; however, they often fail when 'tested' during live, spar sessions.
Even he said that wing chun is for health rather than fighting single or multiple opponents. IP 3 was a great movie by the way, but don't believe that 30 years of wing chun will allow you to take Given the amount of sweat and panic generated in a street fight, BJJ practitioners have a distinct advantage in that any sweat in their eyes will not affect their attacks.
Other arts and philosophies, including Krav Maga and Jeet Kune Do, require that one be able to see his opponent and have a god-like ability to anticipate his attacks. Professional MMA fighters, nor the undefeated Floyd Maywearther Jr, can even pull this off, what makes you think you can as a civilian? While there are some funny videos simulating multiple attackers on YouTube, most of these 'deadly, experienced martial artists' simply back up strategically while throwing straight punches or low kicks.
Their approach may work for a moment, but in the hood, it's only a matter of time before danger collapses upon you, which brings me to my third point.BJJ allows one to effectively bargain to take on the alpha in a given group of gangstas, and easily influence the beta followers around him. Though the alpha attacker may be stronger, faster, and heavier on paper, the physics and practicality of BJJ make such leaders easy targets. You'll be able to take down most opponents with ease and mount them with confidence. They'll squirm about, wasting energy, until you choose to apply a choke or submit them in front of their friends.
BJJ practitioners don't have to be in incredible physical shape for chokes and positioning to work either. Being able to kick and punch with ease requires significant amounts of stamina and strength, and most don't maintain those kinds of abilities during the work week.Have you ever punched or kicked someone without a boxing, MMA glove, or shin guard? It hurts likes hell and after the adrenaline wears off, your hands and feet may be arthritic and disfigured for life. Want to play that instrument 30 years from now? Too bad, you let your emotions get the best of you, and you threw a punch or kick that landed incorrectly.