Is Wing Chun a Martial Art?
– by Dr. Claudiu ”Kooksee” Cucu –
”Martial arts” is one of the worst terms that are perpetuated through recent history
reffering to different fighting methods from different parts of the world.
While it might be a useful marketing term which helps bringing out students,
it reflects only partially the meaning that it tries to translate.
Although I am referring to Wing Chun, this can be extrapolated to any
”martial art”/fighting system which hasn’t appeared in the last 30 years or so.
”Martial arts” is an unfortunate term which appeared probably sometime
around the ’60s in USA and put forth by the Black Belt Magazine.
According to dictionaries, ART means ”an activity performed by humans
which has as purpose the production of aesthetic values and which uses
means of expression with a specific character.”
Aesthetic is surely the last aspect that a practitioner is interested in
when seriously and honestly involved in the performing Wing Chun!
Coincidentally, after a long period of training, that practice may acquire also
an aesthetic character. After all, even someone digging ditches
can become better and better an the result will be ”beautiful” (straight, symetric).
It is a secondary aspect and not the main purpose.
So the term ”art” doesn’t have any link to what it#s supposed to denote.
The other word – MARTIAL – comes from Mars, the god of war in roman mythology,
and by this the term acquires a more aggressive meaning.
My opinion is that Wing Chun should be classified as a fighting method,
rather than a martial art. Being a method, it can be learnt and used by anyone.
Anybody can learn how to build a table or to assemble an engine,
but not everybody can learn how to draw, paint or compose music.