Americanization of American Martial Arts

As we all know, Asian martial arts are very popular in the United States. There may be two or three Korean Taekwondo schools in any town, some Okinawa karate schools, one Chinese Kung Fu school or two, and a few judo, Aikido, Jiu-Jitsu and other scattered schools. Future martial arts students can choose which style is most appealing to him or her, and even freely combine elements of various styles. In the period of the establishment of martial arts, this was not the case. When art was passed from the students to the teachers, it was passed down directly. It is not always easy to find a teacher. Students must spend the rest of their lives mastering art. There is no "pick and choose", no purchase style and owner. So how does martial arts integrate into Western consumer culture? Very good, actually. The freedom of choice allows the mix to have been separated for centuries of style. Finally, we saw the emergence of a true American style of fighting. This collection of fighting art is a melting pot, just like the United States itself.

It should be pointed out early that this article provides a comprehensive overview of many specific martial arts schools and styles. It turns out that some schools can adapt to local influence almost immediately, while other schools have retained traditional features for decades. This article is not to say that one way is better than the other. This is just a look at how the martial arts scene across the United States changes.

The first wave of martial arts in the United States took place several years after the Second World War. The US military stationed in the east, as part of the post-war professional force in the region, discovered the unique and effective art of fighting in Japan. The main martial arts launched at this time are judo popular in the Japanese mainland, as well as some empty-handed martial arts from Okinawa. These Okinawa art are collectively referred to by the Japanese name – "kara" means "empty" and "te" means "hand", forming the commonly used "karate" or "empty hand". The second wave was an interest in Chinese martial arts [Kung Fu]. In the 1960s, Bruce Lee’s demonstrations and film and TV characters were mostly promoted. X-generation martial arts enthusiasts can largely trace their martial arts influence on karate kiddie movies.

However, through decades of martial arts practice in the United States, martial arts are still rooted in its oriental culture and traditions. The course begins with a Japanese or Chinese title and uses the same language to calculate boxing and kicking during the exercise. The closer the American martial arts school is to the traditions of their ancestors, the more respected the art is. Schools that combine Eastern martial arts with American boxing and wrestling are often seen as “fading out” the traditional essence of their art in some way.

Over time, these views have been slowly changing, and Mixed Martial Arts [MMA] has combined amazing art with wrestling and fighting art to become a recognized martial arts category. The success of the Ultimate Fighting Circuit highlights the fact that in modern sports, this circuit hardly stops the battle. The characteristics of the early Ultimate Fighting Championships were that the competitors were basically one-dimensional. Someone might be a boxer, a squatter, a karate practitioner, or something else, but rarely see a real mixed martial artist. However, the one-dimensional fighter quickly found himself defeated by more talented MMA competitors. This is a recent and amazing highlight, when Royce Gracie, Jiu Jitsu and three of the top four Ultimate Fighting Championships were defeated by modern MMA fighter Matt Hughes in his return game.

Does this mean that traditional martial arts have been replaced by a new generation of MMA style? Absolutely not. Instead, it just shows that even in martial arts, there is no one size for everyone. Obviously, if you play three five-minute rounds in the link octagon, then MMA may be the way you want to go. But who can tell the most effective way to confront in the real world? Moreover, as any real martial arts practitioner knows, the real value of studying martial arts is not to find ways to defeat the opponent – but the real challenge is to face your own failure and become the best person.

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