Why are great traditional martial arts scarcely seen in sport?

  • Safety. Rules are imposed and protective gear is worn to ban some key moves and diminish the effects of other key moves.
  • Mental capacity. Competitors exhibiting brute force & ignorance generally lack the mental capacity to reach the deeper levels of martial art.
  • Compassion. Great martial art requires compassion (see Laozi page 67) and that directly conflicts with the will to beat someone up for sport. Great martial artists generally aim to prevent harm, not to unnecessarily cause harm.
  • Honesty. To flourish in a grotesque combat sport, one must not only discard compassion, one must even lie to oneself about one’s reason for fighting, to psyche oneself up, in order to achieve the most ready-to-harm attitude without hesitation – most combat sportsmen fail to achieve this thus don’t achieve their potential in their sport. But the greatest exponents of traditional martial arts wish not to deceive themselves – this way they can distinguish between what’s good & true vs mere figments of ego – this helps them to absorb only the good stuff, no bullshido.

First written: ~2019.

Last edited: February 2024.