17.12.15

The purpose of jiujitsu & judo

What is the purpose of Gracie or Brazilian jiujitsu, or indeed any martial art?

Is it self defence?



Why did you start training jiujitsu or any other martial art?



Is it for proficiency in fighting?


Is it to practice a sport?





Is it just a form of physical exercise and an opportunity to socialise?

"As a discipline travels far from its empirical source, or still more, if it's a second or third generation only indirectly inspired by ideas coming from "reality" it is beset with very grave danger. It becomes more and more purely aestheticising, more and more purely l'art pour l'art. This need not be bad, if the field is surrounded by correlated subjects, which still have closer empirical connections...but there is grave danger that the subject will develop along the line of least resistance, that the stream, so far from its source, will separate into a multitude of insignificant branches, and that the discipline will become a disorganised mass of details and complexities. In other words, at a great distance from its empirical source, or after much "abstract" inbreeding, a subject is in danger if degeneration "

- John von Neumann (from The Mathematician)

The words of John von Neumann ring true for mathematics, science and of course the martial arts. If practice of a discipline travels far from its source and original purpose, it is beset with very grave danger.

There is a caveat, however. If the field is surrounded by correlated subjects, which still have closer empirical connections.

The diagram below describes the evolution of judo from a martial art with sportive elements to an international Olympic sport with martial elements.



This doesn't even include the effects the more recent rule changes have had on the art (apologies for all the swearing!):


I'm not saying on is right and one is wrong. Whatever your reason to put the gi on, good on you.

Just remember why you decided to practice the art in the first place

I remember reading once that the great Bruce Lee often quoted Shakespeare:




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ZHOO ZHITSU IS FOR EVERYONE!

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