Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practiced for a number of reasons such as self-defense ; military and law enforcement applications; competition ; physical, mental, and spiritual development; entertainment ; and the preservation of a nation's intangible cultural heritage. Although the term martial art has become associated with the fighting arts of East Asia , it originally referred to the combat systems of Europe as early as the s. The term is derived from Latin and means "arts of Mars ", the Roman god of war. Unarmed martial arts can be broadly grouped into those focusing on strikes , those focusing on grappling , and those that cover both fields, often described as hybrid martial arts. The traditional martial arts that cover armed combat often encompass a wide spectrum of melee weapons , including bladed weapons and polearms.
Modern history of East Asian martial arts - Wikipedia
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East Asia, the region dominated by Chinese, Japanese and Korean culture, was greatly transformed following its contact with the West in the 19th century. This defining period can be considered as the start of the modern period of East Asian history, and also happens to be the time of origin of most schools of martial arts of East Asian origin practiced today. New approaches and ideas about martial arts were created that were distinct and different from previous history of martial arts , especially under the influence of nascent nationalism in the region, which took the respective traditions of martial arts as being part of the nation's heritage to be polished into a pure form and showcased. As a result, the modern martial arts of China and Japan are for the most part a product of the nationalist governments in power during the s and s, in the case of Korea developed under Japanese occupation and cast in terms of a Korean national art during the s.