East and West may never meet. At Shanghai University of Sport, Dr. Dai Guo Bing, dean of the Wushu Department, explained to me the differences between the Chinese arts and Western arts like boxing, wrestling and fencing. He said the commonalities between those three Western styles are identical to their differences from the Chinese styles. One, the Western styles’ main purpose is to fight/compete. Two, they don’t have a performance component. Three, they cannot be practiced alone.
It would be strange in the West to meet someone who claimed to be a boxer, wrestler or fencer but had never competed. In China, however, you can dedicate yourself to practicing wushu, taolu or tai chi for a lifetime without ever fighting. When called on to perform, practitioners of wushu, taolu and tai chi will do a form. About the best a Western martial artist can do is shadowboxing. And finally, men and women in their 60s, 70s and sometimes 80s who have been practicing Chinese martial arts for a lifetime continue to improve or at least stay healthy and relevant by practicing alone every morning. For Western martial arts, if you do not have a training partner, it’s very hard to practice on your own.
Dai explained the reason for the difference: “China is an aesthetic society which developed early. Primitive cultures are concerned about having an apple to eat. But once you have solved the problem of hunger, you say, ‘It is not just enough to eat an apple. I also want someone to paint a picture of the apple.’”
This matches the trajectory of martial arts development in most countries. Hundreds or even thousands of years ago, the martial arts were an important means of combat. Eventually, swords, guns and other weapons became common, and the martial arts lost their importance in battle, at which time they began transitioning to a sport art and later to an entertainment art.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
10 YEARS OF TRAVEL, PART 2
THIS MULTIPART COLUMN WAS WRITTEN ON THE OCCASION OF THE 10 TH ANNIVERSARY OF ITS LAUNCH AND ITS ASSIGNMENT TO A WRITER NAMED ANTONIO GRACEFFO, THE MARTIAL ARTIST WHO HAS BECOME BLACK BELT’S ROVING REPORTER IN ASIA. IT PRESENTS MORE OF THE AUTHOR’S CONCLUSIONS REGARDING THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S MARTIAL ARTS.
4 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR DOJO AND YOUR LIFE
These four ways to improve your dojo and your life are all about attitude. As such, they will elevate the mood in your school and make learning more enjoyable. First up: Make "yes" your favourite word.
BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC, A PLETHORA OF VIDEOS HAVE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE WHO WISH TO CONTINUE THEIR TRAINING WHILE IN LOCKDOWN OR NEAR LOCKDOWN. THIS IS A GREAT THING FOR ALL PRACTICING MARTIAL ARTISTS BECAUSE EVERYONE SUDDENLY HAS ACCESS TO NOTABLE FIGHTERS AND TRAINERS WHO WERE PREVIOUSLY UNAVAILABLE TO THE MASSES.
KUNG FU HIP HOP, DA MARTIAL ELEMENTS AND MARCO JOHNSON
BEING ONE OF THE TOP MARTIAL ARTISTS IN THE WORLD SOUNDS LIKE A DREAM COME TRUE FOR ANY PRACTITIONER OF KUNG FU, KARATE OR TAEKWONDO. YET THAT ALONE ISN’T ALWAYS ENOUGH TO BRING SUCCESS OUTSIDE OF MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOLS AND TOURNAMENT VENUES.
WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING “COBRA KAI”
Because I’m somewhat familiar with the Black Belt demographic, I can safely say there’s a good chance you’re a lot like me. You probably grew up in the martial arts, and when The Karate Kid came out in 1984, you loved every minute of it.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE KATA?
IF YOU’RE A STUDENT OF JAPANESE OR OKINAWAN KARATE, YOU’VE BEEN INTRODUCED TO THE FIRST OF THE FIVE HEIAN OR PINAN KATA.
SELF-DEFENSE READINESS TEST
PREPARATION IS NO GUARANTEE OF SURVIVAL, BUT FEW DOUBT THAT THE ODDS OF PREVAILING IN ANY STRESSFUL SITUATION INCREASE FOR THE PREPARED PERSON.
MARTIAL ARTS MOVIE PROMISES TO CREATE A NEW GENRE!
UNESCO'S INTERNATIONAL CENTRE OF MARTIAL ARTS
It’s a martial arts gem that’s not yet well known. It’s an international organization that’s trying to bridge the gap between styles, techniques and countries. In addition to striving to do all this, it’s a group that’s emphasizing the positive values the martial arts teach.
The Sabaki Revolution
As Seen Through the Evolution of Enshin Karate’s Rules, Concepts and Techniques
SPOTIFY'S PODCAST POWER PLAY
The company is staking its future on converting music listeners to podcast fans and has become the favorite to own the industry—for better or worse
ATHLEISURE LIST: EQUIPMENT + STREAMING CITYROW
Founded by Helaine Knapp,'s CITY ROW Signature-class format combines rowing intervals with strength training for a total body HIIT-style workout.
STM ChargeTree 3–in–1 wireless charger
Space–conscious wireless charging
YOU: PRO NEW GENERATION POWERS UP YOUR TECH
As iPhone and iPad sales begin to fall, Apple is focusing its attention on professional users, introducing a bunch of new hardware to compete in an increasingly crowded - but lucrative - market. With the launch of Pro Mode for macOS, the company could be onto a winner…
BACK TO SCHOOL: RETURNING TO THE CLASSROOM SAFELY
Five months on from the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and policymakers and public health officials have decided it’s time to return to the classroom. Around the world, schools and colleges are preparing for a new semester, and though environments may be different, one thing is clear: teachers and students will be depending on technology more than ever.
Apple unveils new iPad Pro with trackpad support
APPLE TAKES THE iPAD PRO TO THE NEXT LEVEL
SEARCH: APPLE COULD RIVAL GOOGLE WITH NEW INDEXING SERVICE
As antitrust battles continue to dominate Silicon Valley, Apple is using its initiative, planning for a future where multibillion-dollar tie-ups aren’t acceptable. In a perhaps surprising move, the Cupertino company has reportedly begun ramping up efforts to launch its own search engine tech to rival that of Google’s, a course of action that could change the face of search.
REMOTE WORKING: VIRUS ENCOURAGES BUSINESSES TO THINK DIFFERENTLY
With the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak forcing governments to close schools, sporting events, communal spaces and more, businesses are taking the situation into their own hands, encouraging their staff to work from home.
2021: PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES
With the introduction of a 5G iPhone, a superfast M1 chip for the Mac, a bunch of hardware like AirPods Max, Apple Watch SE, and HomePod mini, and significant investments in its services division, Apple had a stellar year in 2020. But the future is just around the corner, and even greater innovations await.
iPAD: REFINING THE WORLD'S MOST POPULAR TABLET
iPad has long been one of Apple’s most successful product categories, and following upgrades to the iPad Pro and iPad mini earlier in the year, Apple used its September Event to unveil the next-generation iPad and iPad Air, taking its tablet portfolio to even greater heights.