The Martial Arts

For hundreds of years the Martial Arts were practiced in secret and handed down from generation to generation. In 1942 James Cagney demonstrated some Judo Techniques in the film Blood of Sun, and wetted the west’s appetite for more.

Today, the Martial Arts play a major part in action films, and stars such as Bruce Lee and Steven Seagal have become household names. What’s more, they have presented to the public two completely individual arts. Bruce Lee’s lightning fast punches and high jumping kicks amazed the world, and Kung Fu became well established with Lee as its figure head.

When Steven Seagal returned to America in 1983 he brought with him a Japanese Martial Art the like of which the west had never seen. When he fought he was relaxed, calm, almost smiling. He was strong and powerful, yet he didn’t jump or kick. The Martial Art was Aikido, and it made Seagal an instant star.

Through film and television the world has been introduced to a variety of the Martial Arts and were it not for them, it would not have the following it enjoys today. Unfortunately, this medium is a double edged sword. By only presenting the finished article, the fighting, the Martial Arts are sold short.

Most people who practice Martial Arts will never use them. This is because you learn the best way to win a fight is by making sure it doesn’t start. You also develop with practice what is called a “Presence”. It comes from confidence and means you can defeat an opponent with a single glance. This is the paradox of the Martial arts, the move you learn, the more at peace you become.

Violence is the last resort of the weak minded.

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