Martial Sport

Martial arts have crossed over into sports when forms of sparring become competitive, becoming a sport in its own right that is dissociated from the original combative origin, such as with western fencing. The Summer Olympic Games includes Judo, Taekwondo, western archery, boxing, javelin, wrestling and fencing as events, while Chinese Wushu recently failed in its bid to be included, but is still actively performed in tournaments across the world. Practitioners in some arts such as kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu often train for sport matches, whereas those in other arts such as aikido and Wing Chun generally spurn such competitions. Some schools believe that competition breeds better and more efficient practitioners, and gives a sense of good sportsmanship. Others believe that the rules under which competition takes place have diminished the combat effectiveness of martial arts or encourage a kind of practice which focuses on winning trophies rather than a focus such as cultivating a particular moral character. The question of "which is the best Martial Art" has led to inter style competitions fought with very few rules allowing a variety of fighting styles to enter with few limitations. This was the origin of the first Ultimate Fighting Championship tournament (later renamed UFC 1: The Beginning) in the U.S. inspired by the Brazilian Vale tudo tradition and along with other minimal rule competitions, most notably those from Japan such as Shooto and Pancrase, have evolved into the combat sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Some martial artists compete in non-sparring competitions such as breaking or choreographed routines of techniques such as poomse, kata and aka, or modern variations of the martial arts which include dance-influenced competitions such as tricking. Martial traditions have

been influenced by governments to become more sport-like for political purposes; the central impetus for the attempt by the People's Republic of China in transforming Chinese martial arts into the committee-regulated sport of wushu was suppressing what they saw as the potentially subversive aspects of martial training, especially under the traditional system of family lineages. The physical nature of sparring naturally varies with the nature of the skills it is intended to develop; sparring in a striking art such as Chun Kuk Do will normally begin with the players at opposite sides of the ring and will be given a point for striking the appropriate area and will be given a foul for striking an inappropriate area or stepping out of the ring. Sparring in a grappling art such as judo might begin with the partners holding one another and end if they separate. The organization of sparring matches also varies; if the participants know each other well and are friendly, it may be sufficient for them to simply play, without rules, referee, or timer. If the sparring is between strangers, there is some emotional tension, or if the sparring is being evaluated, it may be appropriate to introduce formal rules and have an experienced martial artist supervise or referee the match. A WTF Taekwondo sparring match In some schools, permission to begin sparring is granted upon entry. The rationale for this decision is that students must learn how to deal with a fast, powerful, and determined attacker. In other schools, students may be required to wait a few months, for safety reasons,[1] because they must first build the skills they would ideally employ in their sparring practice. Sparring is normally distinct from fights in competition, the goal of sparring normally being the education of the participants.