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  1. #1

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    Redefining our terms:

    So I had an interesting epiphany today:

    How about redefining the phrase "traditional" martial arts to "classical" martial arts?

    Most people confuse the traditional martial arts by associating it with time; not that "classical" can be juxtaposed, it's just not held to the same standard.

  2. #2

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    To me "Traditional Martial Arts" refers to those systems where practitioners seek to maintain the style of the past; e.g. , Soke's scrolls, 8mm films of old-timers, and what the master secretly showed someone when he was drunk 20 years ago represent the gold standard of movement. These systems value fidelity to the past over effectiveness (whether or not they would admit this). In this way, I think "traditional" is very appropriate.

    Maybe you could give some examples of arts you think should be termed "Classical"?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
    To me "Traditional Martial Arts" refers to those systems where practitioners seek to maintain the style of the past; e.g. , Soke's scrolls, 8mm films of old-timers, and what the master secretly showed someone when he was drunk 20 years ago represent the gold standard of movement. These systems value fidelity to the past over effectiveness (whether or not they would admit this). In this way, I think "traditional" is very appropriate.

    Maybe you could give some examples of arts you think should be termed "Classical"?
    Exactly Steve, but kajukenbo, kempo, kenpo, Aikido, Taekwondo are based on the term traditional. Yet they are younger than Judo, BJJ, SAMBO and Savate. Now Judo is placed in the TMA, but it's embraced as a practical modern art too. So if we use the term Classical to mean the description you used then there might be less confusion. Just saying.

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    Yeah but 'classical' has even more connotations of 'good' and 'the golden olden days' than 'traditional'

  5. #5
    Tranquil Suit's Avatar
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    Sorry, CMA is already taken. Better luck next time.

    (button in upper right corner) Settings> (left menu under My Account) General Settings > in Thread Display Options > Number of Posts to Show Per Page: 40

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    It's not age that makes an art traditional, it's this "keep it the way it was" mentality.

    In Modern Judo, advancements like the double knee drop seoinage that didn't exist 100 years ago are willingly accepted and integrated into the system because they are effective. To me this makes Judo NOT really a TMA, but I agree it is largely considered one.

    As another example of how TMA status isn't about age, in my lane I see guys who do the various "WW2 Combatives" systems who have the same "keep it the way it was" mentality as other TMAs. They act as if those WW2 commandos represented the pinnacle of practical combat, and no one could ever develop any better way of training.

    So I think the principal distinguishing trait among MAs is whether or not a system is willing to evolve: is it a living organism or a fossil? In this light I think we would be better served coming up with a new name to classify the "living" MAs and leave the fossilized ones with the TMA mantle.

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    PointyShinyBurn's Avatar
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    'Traditionalist Martial Arts' is a better way to say what you mean.

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    The thought came by me when I heard "Classical" way of thinking, rather than "Traditional" way of thinking.

  9. #9
    In the blackest moment of a dying world, what have you become? supporting member
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    I usually think of traditional arts literally being arts handed down via a set specific traditions that are kept (like an an ongoing historical re-enactment), as we all know sometimes right down to the furnishings.

    Classical works too, in fact I would use them synonymously. Classical music is a good parallel to classical martial arts, both are basically time capsules, in a way.

    Anything handed down as a tradition over at least a few generations would be a traditional art so...the only thing not making BJJ a traditional art is a few more baby Gracies (or dead ones I suppose)
    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 11/12/2012 2:24pm at . Reason: triple negative fail..

  10. #10
    It is Fake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Supreme View Post
    So I had an interesting epiphany today:

    How about redefining the phrase "traditional" martial arts to "classical" martial arts?

    Most people confuse the traditional martial arts by associating it with time; not that "classical" can be juxtaposed, it's just not held to the same standard.
    Do you want the thread where we argued this? It was accepted and then it morphed back every time a new poster joined.

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