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Martial Arts Details
Martial arts are systems and practices of techniques and forms demonstrated by martial artists after training in any one of the many disciplines of martial arts. Each style is studied for various reasons by its students, mainly being for self-defence, but they all share a common-interest, to combat against aggressive opponents in differing styles, this defence may to ones person, or property. Some martial arts are also regarded as spiritual interests such as Buddhism, Hinduism, or Shinto, Confucianism, and even Islam (by Chinese Muslims). Some have their very own spiritual or non-spiritual code of honour. Most of the styles are practised and demonstrated competitively as combat sports, although this can also extend into the art of dance as seen in Capoeira from Brazil.
Recently, the term "Martial Arts" has come to be known as combat-systems which originally came from Asian cultures. Although the term "martial arts" actually applies to any sort of codified combat system, regardless of origin.
Europe is now the home to many impressive variants of traditional martial art styles inluding Jogo do Pau and other stick and sword fencing and Savate, a developed French kicking style from street fighters and sailors), including other older systems which are commonly referred to as "Historical European" martial arts that were around until modern times and are still being reconstructed by several organizations.
In the America continents, Native Americans have always had a tradition of open-handed arts, these can resemble wrestling, and the Hawaiians have apparently practiced arts featuring very tiny joint manipulations, aswell as the more aggressive forms of these techniques.
Some styles take unique features from other styles to try and make it "unique", a very common feature of this is the systemisation of the techniques from any given style. Training methods obviously vary from club to club, and from style to style but usually include some kind of forms (kata), these are a set of movements or routines used to demonstrate particular techniques, these are usually done alone, but sometimes will use a willing participant.
The word martial comes from the ancient name of Mars, the Roman god of war. As such, the term 'Martial Arts' is literally the art of war.
This term of "war" comes from the 15th century where Europeans were found to be using fighting styles that are now known as "Historical European" martial arts.
Any student or practitioner of the martial arts, regardless of style is known as a martial artist.