Differences Between Martial Arts & Sport・武術とスポーツの差異

General public and younger generation who are just getting into martial arts tend to question and judge:

1. Aren’t they the same?

No, they have common grounds but they are not the same.

-Genuine and complete system of martial arts have not age limits but sports do.

-Martial arts contain and have overlaps with sports in sportsmanship.

-Martial arts are not for competition. You are your own and the only enemy.

-In martial arts, under gold medal means death in the real situation.

-In sport, you see lots of players make a gesture or say come on to be impressive. You are considered a show off and ignorant in martial arts. Humbleness and mutual respect are very important.

2. Are you a black belt?

-Rankings including belts are for administrative and self-check point. is solely for administrative purposes of teaching students things at right level. Not for students to show off whatever their rankings are. Moreover, belt system are created in recent era. Traditionally if in Japanese martial arts, you receive scrolls of licences.

-There are people who train for few years to get the 1st ranking in black belt and quit after thinking that’s all. You are just a born baby to re-learn the exercises you have being doing as exercises as color belts in most dojo or martial arts centers.

3. I think style A is better than style B. I saw it on Youtube and in movies.

This is the most common misconception. No, there is no best martial arts. Please see Martial Arts and Media for more discussion.

4. So what can you become when to get to 3rd dan? Isn’t it the highest?

It’s not about you earn more money when you become a manager. It’s about internal development physically and mentally. There is no limitation or end point to it. Modern ranking given are for administrative purposes and serves as a self-check point. You can still improve till the end of your life with skills, experiences, and internal development as mentioned earlier.

Physical development and techniques are only part of martial arts training and are not the highest level of aims.

5. What can you do with it? There are guns and nuclear bomb already?

This is similar to question 4.

6. He/ She can do this. He/ She does Martial Arts.

Martial artists have better understanding of life and fighting skills but don’t mean they are the supermen in the movie that can do anything.

7. He/ She exercises a lot. I know Someone like that in the gym. (Martial Arts are not exercises or just for fitness.)

-Martial arts trains techniques with intention. Exercises doesn’t necessarily have intentions. For example, you master teaches you how to punch. That should include how you make a fist and where are you aiming at.

-Martial arts have the side benefit including improving health and fitness not as the main one.

-Martial art is not about drinking protein to make you look bigger physically. Bigger muscles and taller sizes don’t mean you. Generally, people think Just look at the Hollywood movies. Always on the physical sizes, which promotes unnecessary images. For example, the shorter the weapon, the more fierce it is compared to the larger and longer ones. Two swords holders don’t mean it will always win over the single sword holders.

The above are the real questions we have encountered.

As what general public would wonder, judge or make comments based on what they think as if they know but from images or films with incomplete and immature information. It is shallow when general public ask a master what can you become when you practice it or are you a black belt? This is only a basic understanding, and there are more to it, deeper than anything else.

So do you think you know it all? You’d better think again. Did you get information from the people who know what they are doing?

We are always beginners.


  • The points explained here are only minimal general guidelines.
  • Sport here also includes bloodsport with gambling involved.


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