I Am Not Really An Artist

close-up-angled-elbow-posterized and fescoed

What is the fixation with people calling martial practitioner’s martial artists?  Maybe it is just me but I just do not get this.  Was someone in the past trying to connect with how dance is considered a work of art or was someone trying to elevate martial practice in the general publics perception?  Do people want it to be considered Art?

When I think of martial practice or systems I think of military and or self-preservation through violent conflict.  In my opinion violent conflict is not really artful.  Typically it is brutal and or disgusting when the end result is viewed.  I am not a fan of the term martial artists but instead prefer martial practitioner.  Just like I prefer martial system or martial science over martial art!  I know that challenges how some people in this field view themselves.  It may even upset some people.  However, at the core of what I train in or teach is a brutal system designed to incapacitate and or dismantle people in a personal protection situation.  Sure we might be able to avoid and evade but if we cannot we are ready for violence.  At the core I practice some pretty brutal stuff and it certainly does not come across as art to me.  Can it be beautiful during practice?  Why  yes it can be.  However, when done in a violent situation it is anything but beautiful to watch particularly when you see the results.  I am not really an artist and if you practice a true martial system then you in my mind are not either!

In my previous post on the gift I received that is art.  Dance is art.  Pottery, paintings, sculptures, etc.  Violence or the training, mimicking of it probably shouldn’t be interpreted as art.   Instead just realistic self-defense and personal protection skills.  Just my 02. on the subject and I am sure that others might not agree.  However, I do now and then try to get people to look at things in a different manner.  Broaden horizons and try not to think in a cookie cutter fashion!

Brian R. VanCise

Note: This blog is opinion only and neither Instinctive Response Training LLC or Brian R. VanCise are responsible for any third party actions.

Visit us at: www.instinctiveresponsetraining.com


About Brian VanCise

Hi my name is Brian R. VanCise and my passion is the Martial Sciences. I have trained almost my entire life in the pursuit of martial excellence and I teach a world class curriculum in Las Vegas, Nevada and my good friend Gary Haffey runs our IRT Training Hall in Alma, Michigan. View my website at: www.instinctiveresponsetraining.com or Contact us at: 702-326-3622
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3 Responses to I Am Not Really An Artist

  1. Tim says:

    Agreed. I would not define it as an Art either but I use the term because to me it is just a name and I tend to not let it bother me. The only times I can remember being bothered by a name was whan the person told people about me ant that I do…


    And the guy I once did Tuishou with who got offended because he could not get past me when I told him “He will be fine, martial Arts takes practice so don’t worry about it” and he said..

    “I don’t DO Martial Arts…I DO Tai Chi!”

    And he did….just not very well 🙂

  2. Brian VanCise says:

    Hey Tim,

    I am with you in that it is just a name and a common one with people who practice. If it is used that is fine with me I just don’t think it is accurate. I just prefer martial practitioner or martial science with what we do. I will say this though I think the term martial art or martial artist is a very recent name used in this manner. Back in the day I am pretty sure they just used a name like Arnis, Erkrima, Tai Chi, etc. I would be curious as to when martial art became the accepted norm.

    • Tim says:

      I am guessing when it got to America or possibly Europe. I never researched the term in China or checked what the call a Wushu Practitioner…my wife just calls me martial arts crazy so I just assumed that is what everyone in China is called who does this stuff 🙂 …you have given me something to check into, thanks.

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