Some thoughts on Martial Art v's Sport

Let's be honest: there is an underlying conversation which is "people who think they are good at sword fighting finding reasons why they aren't the ones winning tournaments."

Personally I appreciate the dash of reality you get from getting your arse kicked at tournaments but it's interesting to watch the online cognitive dissonance from people trying to maintain their self identification as an "authority" and justify the fact that they are unwilling or unable to put their money where their mouth is.

Apparently it's because:

1. Tournament rules are prejudiced against "real" sword fighting techniques
2. You have to do special training for tournaments and this takes time away from "real" swords training
3. A slippy slope argument about how HEMA is the next MMA thanks to "Sportification"
4. Tournament fighters lack "control" and against "real" sword fighting technique it would be unsafe
5. [insert rationalisation here] etc

Is victory in tournament the only achievement worthy of respect? No. But, it is inescapable that the Art is made up of theory and practice, that some kind of demonstration of free fighting has always been and will always be part of the Art.


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