what_is_art_of_war

The art of war – it is a sum of having, collecting and storing a unique set of skills, experiences and knowledge; and using these in all actions that deal with Man’s primary task – to survive in battle or in any other extreme situation. This is why the art of war covers a very wide range of themes. It embraces various hand-to-hand and weapon techniques, tactics and strategy, the ability to provide first aid, the use of medicinal herbs, different pshychoregulatory techniques etc.

The tactical goal of practicing the art of war is to have the ability to survive in combat; the strategic goal is to be healthy and happy, living a long and prosperous life.

Martial arts are the first arts. The skill to stay alive in a hostile environment, to protect his home and to help himself or his companion in case of injuries or illness are things without which man could never have survived. Skills and knowledge acquired in the course of battling for life, later passed on from father to son, established a certain basic structure at very early times and formed a continuously developing complex. A so-called gold pool formed to which each generation added its wisdom and experience.

Although interaction between continents and nations may have been livelier in the ancient times than we tend to believe (this is suggested by the latest discoveries of historians), similar needs and experiences in different places of the world created similar survival systems even without cultural or military contacts. Therefore martial arts are a common heritage of the whole mankind, not the monopoly of a single race or continent. Although nowadays most of the people associate the term martial arts only with Asian nations and Oriental culture, we cannot deny the fact that for example Northern countries, Slavic nations as well as African and American natives had in places richer technical arsenal and longer warfare history.

With the rise of nations and the technological development of civilization the role of martial arts in the society changed. The rulers being terrified of uprisings from the one hand, and the masters who carried on the tradition of martial arts wishing to preserve the original essence of their craft on the other led to martial arts becoming the carefully guarded secret of narrow circles of trust – royal guards, elite fighting units, secret clans, etc. Only during the last decade of the 20th century, after the end of the Cold War, martial arts emerged into limelight giving us the chance to get to know one of the most interesting parts of human history.

 

Martial arts and fighting sports

Martial arts are often confused with fighting sports. We will now make a comparison of the two in essence.

Martial arts and fighting sports have different aims and different ways to reach them – there is a difference in training methods and in technical arsenal.

Martial arts can only have two aims:
1. to survive
2. to neutralize or destroy the enemy

Practicing fighting sports may have several aims. E.g.:
1. sporting achievements
2. business
3.practicing fighting techniques for a religious purpose (e.g. staori, nirvana in Buddhism)
4. artistic self-expression,
etc

The basic training methods of martial arts and fighting sports are different. It is the principle of martial arts that practiced techniques may not damage the physical or mental health of the practitioner. Since the techniques of martial arts are based on natural movement the results are achieved improving the practitioner’s health.
Fighting sports are aimed to achieving the goals at any price and in most cases the price to pay is health.

 

Conditions of fighting in martial arts and fighting sports:

MARTIAL ARTSFIGHTING SPORTS
– no rules– clear-cut rules
– usually bigger and stringer opponent– weight categories
– usually multiple assailants– one-on-one combat
– the assaulted person may be old, sick or injured– both combatants are athletes in their peak form, young and healthy
– the attack may happen anywhere (uneven surface, mud, snow, ice, narrow spaces, bad lighting, darkness, etc.)– the combat happens in agreed place (training hall or arena, good lighting, warm, safe, etc.)
– unexpected attacks– the participants know when combat begins (the beginning of fight/competition is announced by a referee)
– unlimited time– limited time
– regular clothing, no guards– special clothing, guards

 

Effective fighting techniques cannot depend on physical strength. The result of a fight depends 90 percent on control of psychic reflexes, instinctive natural behavior and plasticity of movement. If possible objects should be used for self-protection, attacks to vulnerable points and areas of the human body since the shorter the fight the greater the probability of emerging victorious..

 

Correct bearing
The bearing is correct when the spine is straight viewed from the front, and follows its natural curves viewed from the side, the pelvis and the shoulder-clavicle zone is parallel with ground and the joints are unlocked. Although this (plastic whole) is the natural bearing of the human body it may take years of practicing to achieve.

Relaxation
Under relaxation the optimal ratio of relaxation and exertion is meant. Both to maintain a static stance or to perform a movement only the necessary muscles should be exercised without exerting the remainder of the muscular system.

Correct breathing
To be healthy and balanced in mind and body a man has to maintain the optimal balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body. Breathing must correspond to bodily activity. Being passive while breathing to deeply or actively, especially breathing from the stomach, causes oxygen saturation that damages health and mental balance. Being physically active without sufficient breathing causes oxygen deprivation, the organism will start producing lactic acid, stamina and performance decreases.

Breathing is the key to techniques of psychic regulation, health improving exercises and work with energy.