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Posted: Friday, May 16,2014 11:26 AM

Martial Arts


Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practices, which are practiced for a variety of reasons: self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, entertainment, as well as mental, physical, and spiritual development. Martial arts can also be linked with religion and spirituality. Numerous systems are reputed to have been founded, disseminated, or practiced by monks or nuns. For example, gatka is a weapon-based Indian martial art created by the Sikhs of the Punjab region of India. Japanese styles, when concerning non-physical qualities of the combat, are often strongly influenced by Mahayana Buddhist philosophy. Concepts like "empty mind" and "beginner's mind" are recurrent. Aikido, for instance, can have a strong philosophical belief of the flow of energy and peace fostering, as idealised by its founder Morihei Ueshiba. Traditional Korean martial arts place emphasis on the development of the practitioner's spiritual and philosophical development. A common theme in most Korean styles, such as taekkyeon and taekwondo, is the value of "inner peace" in a practitioner, which is stressed to be only achieved through individual meditation and training. As with most other East Asian martial arts, the Koreans believe that the use of physical force is only justified through defense. Systema draws upon breathing and relaxation techniques, as well as elements of Russian Orthodox thought, to foster self-conscience and calmness, and to benefit the practitioner in different levels: the physical, the psychological and the spiritual.[4] Some martial arts in various cultures can be performed in dance-like settings for various reasons, such as for evoking ferocity in preparation for battle or showing off skill in a more stylized manner. Many such martial arts incorporate music, especially strong percussive rhythms