“Martial arts movement and dance,” by Christopher Littlefair

“Whilst watching a video recently I was prompted to revisit a theme I’ve pondered on in the past: the relationship between dance and martial arts.

Funakoshi said about karate, ‘No matter how much time you devote to practice, no matter how many months and years pass, if your practice consists of no more than moving your arms and legs, you might as well be studying a dance. You will never come to know the true meaning karate’. He was effectively saying that karate had an additional motive to simple body movement and that is application within conflict.”

Click here to read entire article.


  1. …dance is cool. good for aerobic health. pretty. and even doing aikido as dance can have some martial benefit if it helps you smooth out your forms. but don’t dance with a mugger.

  2. current modern dance as well as forms of dance forms from China, Korea and Japan(and many other native or folk dances have many similarities with martial arts. there is a belief among many cultures that in order to see the skill of a warrior all you need to do is to see how well one dances.
    just saying…

  3. Perspective:
    Bruce Lee was a great artist. There is no doubt about that. He was superlative technician as well. And no doubt a pretty good fighter too.
    In real life, for protection against fools who constantly challenged him, he carried a pistol.
    As with many other masters of fighting, on a film set he was taught the value of grappling on a one to one basis by Gene LeBell, who was twice his age and who submitted him easily. After that Bruce began to include the study of grappling in his repertoire.
    As part of movie story, he would often throw away a weapon so he could fight anything from 15 to 200 men. Bare handed of course. Unless said weapon was nunchukus, of course. In which case he never slip and hit himself. (Not in the in the final take, anyhow.)
    Sure, if you get caught, you do what you can, but would you throw away a useful tool thereby minimising the chances of survival, in lieu of showing, off in a real situation where multiples are trying to kill you?
    If you would, please send me your details and I will humbly request the privilege of becoming your most humble deshi. But only after you survive showing that you in fact can.
    To discern the difference between fact and fiction beyond appearances and fantasies held in infantile wishful thinking, in all things, is the purpose of Budo training over and above combat. On this basis, it’s a science more than it is an art and on this basis possibly a “spiritual” or deeply psychological one. Unless of course you are merely satisfied with mimicking form and researching nothing, in which case dancing can be fun. But only if you understand the difference.

Speak Your Mind