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jnp
3/31/2008 11:24am,
Yes I know this is a stale subject, but bear with me. I'm interested in member's responses because I have an idea for another, more interesting thread. First though, I need some edification. I searched this site and others, but looking for random definitions of TMA in different threads is like looking for the proverbial needle in an ocean of scrap metal. Also, the textbook definition of TMA seems to be changing a bit lately, or at least, people's individual definitions.

So, how do you define TMA? I'm interested in member's opinions as well as their interpretation of the textbook definition.

I'm deliberately refraining from listing the standard definition because I want to read other member's opinions first.

Educate me please.

DerAuslander
3/31/2008 11:28am,
I do not define TMA as I reject it because it sets up a false dichotomy which hinders logical discussion of the subject of martial arts.

Osuofia
3/31/2008 11:33am,
a bunch of archaic moves

Permalost
3/31/2008 11:46am,
I would say martial arts that make tradition a focal point of training, but I think Errant has the right idea.

Odacon
3/31/2008 11:49am,
TMA is one of those things that quickly makes no sense once properly scrutinized. I mean, what martial arts don't have traditions?

DerAuslander
3/31/2008 11:53am,
Oduofia,

By archaic, do you mean modern arts like Taekwondo & Shotokan, or do you mean ancient arts like Muay Thai & GrecoRoman wrestling?

Cassius
3/31/2008 11:57am,
TMA is a terrible categorization, because the "T" is hard to specify. What is Traditional? My own personal definition of TMA is a martial art where the formality and lack of useful training override the whole "learning to fight" thing. I use "TMA" sort of like some people use the word "****."

This begs the question, what would a more realistic categorization of TMA be? In my opinion, age can't really be a factor, because a lot of "TMAs" were invented or derived in the last century. Hell, BJJ is older than a lot of supposed TMAs. Boxing and wrestling are about as old as humanity. So what is a tradition? BJJ has a long tradition of causing rowdy fights in Brazil. Is that any less of a tradition than calling your teacher from Trailerparkville, Alabama Sensei? Is BJJ a TMA? Is Boxing? Is wrestling? How about Judo?

I honestly can't come up with a fair solution to this question, so I decided a few years ago to throw fairness out the window and categorize anything I like as a "sport," and anything that I think sucks as a "martial art," or a TMA. Call it a retroactive paradigm shift, if you will. Make no mistake: I'm absolutely not defending my bias. I'm racist against martial arts, and I'll probably die being racist against martial arts.

Gezere
3/31/2008 12:15pm,
Yes I know this is a stale subject, but bear with me. I'm interested in member's responses because I have an idea for another, more interesting thread. First though, I need some edification. I searched this site and others, but looking for random definitions of TMA in different threads is like looking for the proverbial needle in an ocean of scrap metal. Also, the textbook definition of TMA seems to be changing a bit lately, or at least, people's individual definitions.

So, how do you define TMA? I'm interested in member's opinions as well as their interpretation of the textbook definition.

I'm deliberately refraining from listing the standard definition because I want to read other member's opinions first.

Educate me please.
Actually this is a really good question because pple's views on it change over the years.

Too often we simply classify TMA as the krooty/tkd/aikido/wc/ect (aka the CRAP schools) that look down on "sport" fighters.

As Cassius pointed out, its not really defined by time because that would make boxing and wrestling far older than many schools considered to be TMA. Hell BJJ is older than Aikido but pple would have issues if we started calling it a TMA.

To me TMA has come to symbolized staganat or obsolete. Where the focus of training is more on doing something that others done even if its no longer practical or only serves as a mean of cultural prervation. TMA to me is a reference but should be used sparringly. If you tell me that I have to perform a technique a specific way because pple who wore armor in battle centuries before did it that way then thats a TMA to me, especially if you can't or won't equate its usage to the modern era. The training methods also play a part. If I am prancing around doing complex drills and not spending equal or more time actually learning to apply it on a resisting partner then that is TMA to me to. (Although this method is more of a modern thing created by so called traditionalist)

The Question
3/31/2008 12:17pm,
I define TMA as anything that registers more than a 6 on the gay-o-meter.
For example:

Muay Thai --- 2.
Kickboxing ---1.
Karate --- 3.

Wrestling ---5.
BJJ ------------12.

Ke?poFist
3/31/2008 12:17pm,
I do not define TMA as I reject it because it sets up a false dichotomy which hinders logical discussion of the subject of martial arts.

Wow thread won in the first response.

Start the petition! Ban use of of the term TMA!

Ke?poFist
3/31/2008 12:22pm,
I define TMA as anything that registers more than a 6 on the gay-o-meter.
For example:

Muay Thai --- 2.
Kickboxing ---1.
Karate --- 3.

Wrestling ---5.
BJJ ------------12.

The Question ------ sorry the scale broke. Come back later to get results.

Frank White
3/31/2008 12:37pm,
TMA is more concerned with the preservation of a style of fighting, maybe for cultural reasons, or simply for the way it looks (or LARPing, or excercise, whatever.)

DSL
3/31/2008 12:39pm,
I like RMA better, Renaissance Martial Arts.
Re-enactment type stuff, forms, breaking, odd clothing.

DCS
3/31/2008 12:59pm,
One which all of his first generation practitioners died before i was born.

Teh El Macho
3/31/2008 1:01pm,
The only correct way to use 'traditional' as a categorization is if it's used to describe those martial arts that

1. have a documented tradition of existence for more than a century and whose evolution is pretty much well documented (.ie. Boxing, Savate, Muay Thai, Judo, Catch, Pelwani),

2. or that have direct lineage to one of the former (.ie. BJJ and SAMBO from Judo),

3. or that have developed almost in isolation and existed for decades (as it's suggested with Luta Livre)

4. or that have existed as part of a culture (Garrote Larense, Jogo du Pao, FMAs, Koryu, folk forms of wrestling).

Notice that I'm using 'traditional' as 'historic', 'authentic' and 'autochtonous'. Hybrid fighting systems made in the last 2-3 decades are not 'historic' or 'autochtonous' even if they are authentic and posses a clear, documented lineage to something that it is. One example of these is Shooto or MMA as it exists today.

However, this is where being 'traditional' challenges categorization. What is not traditional today may become traditional tomorrow as it becomes part of a long history.

Similarly, what is not autochtonous today may become so as it evolves and becomes, over decades or centuries, into an important part of the culture (.ie. Wrestling in certain US states).

That is, it does not mimic a culture as done by many mall dojos. It is its own culture, and it is part of a larger culture. Its development goes hand to hand to the development of the culture in which it grows (.ie. Koryu and Japan under the Tokugawa shogunate.)

This way to categorize what is traditional or not in martial arts is not perfect, but I truly believe is the most appropriate one as it defines traditional in terms of historical and cultural autenticity rather than idealisms and romaticisms for a foreign culture.

Teh El Macho
3/31/2008 1:02pm,
One which all of his first generation practitioners died before i was born.

I like this.