Abstract - Martial arts in psycho-physical culture
Background and Aim. The authors will discuss the nature of the relationship between the various martial arts and the “psycho-physical culture”. We will approach this topic from the perspectives of the Humanistic Theory of Martial Arts, martial arts systemic anthropology, and the sociology of psycho-physical systems.
Methods. The main method of research has been a qualitative content analysis of the literature (scientific and popular) acquired through a query library. We studied material gathered under the theme “Martial Arts” in the Library of the University of Rzeszow, as well as a list of recommended literature suggested by the International Martial Arts and Combat Sports Scientific Society (IMACSSS)
Results. Four dimensions have been traditionally investigated to justify the assignment of martial arts to the area of psycho-physical culture. These are: (1) The presence in most martial arts of an original philosophy, especially one demanding a code of ethics: (2) A close, almost “genetic” relationships between martial arts and various applicable religious systems and traditions of applied social ethics; (3) The continuing emphasis on the area of physical culture as it relates to personality development and human spirituality; and (4) the presence in schools of martial arts of ceremonial events attached to “passages” in personal growth. Ascetic practice, as it is traditionally associated with the martial arts, reveals itself most often in the third of these dimensions. For example, when various forms of Budo are treated as educational systems, traditional ceremonies are associated with stages of personal maturity. Consequently, we best understand the martial arts as a form of psycho-physical culture. As much as possible, this would include the ‘internal arts’ of the discipline, and the smallest - “combat sports” which continue to be popular.
Conclusions. Martial Arts, as a specific cultural phenomenon, are beyond the limited scope of popular sports culture and physical culture, and so any reductionist approach to their importance will not work. Martial arts must also be studied within the field of psycho-physical culture. This imperative applies especially to the ‘internal arts’ of the disciplines. The practice of various martial arts is always a key factor in an individual’s attainment of a full self-realization, but their mastery allows ongoing personal development across many diverse dimensions of personal growth.