Without Writing

The art of writing without writing… about fighting.

Monthly Archives: July 2010

Penn & Teller and MacYoung, oh my!

The enviably successful magical partnership of Penn Jillette and Teller (Born Raymond Teller) has a track record of revealing the proverbial man behind the curtain. Earlier in their careers, their primary selling point was the fact that they revealed the tricks behind famous magic acts, while at the same time preserving their own artistic credibility through demonstrations of insanely difficult and dextrous prestidigitation. Perhaps the best example of this is their version of the staple “cups and balls” trick: Read more of this post

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Definition of the term “Martial Art”

A contentious issue indeed is the issue of how to actually define what is, and what is not, a martial art. However, it’s an important issue to address, if one is intending to write reams of guff about martial arts.

Let’s be clear on several points:

1. The term “martial art” is a European term, deriving from Latin roots. It refers to the “arts of Mars”, that is, the arts of war or battle. (Mars being the Roman equivalent of the Greek god of war, Ares.)

2. In the age in which the term was coined, the word “art” did not necessarily mean an “artistic display” in the way we most commonly understand the term today. It did not (and does not) necessarily refer to abstract aesthetic art, but instead to “skill” or “method which has been learned”. In other words, dance is the art of the dancer, and fighting is the art of the fighter. Cooking is the art of the cook. Read more of this post