The 6 types of martial clash

Each type of combat correspond to a specific context

For each combat category we can identify different:

  • Scenarios to face
  • Determinating skills
  • Goals to reach
  • Risks to avoid
  • Rules to follow
  • Levels of psychological tension
  • Causes and consequences to prevent

Before starting to list the various kinds of fighting it is important to stress that:

  • 6 Dragons Kung Fu refuse violence and does not like war (read The 6DKF’s diagram about the use of violence)
  • When we discuss these topics we always talk only in terms of understanding and we never encourage their pursuing
  • From our point of view, the use of violence is the worst human intellect defeat

The 6 basic types of clashes

In 6DKF we recognize, among the infinite shades: 6 basic types of clashes. Let’s start listing them in order from the softest to the most extreme one (with or without weapons):

  • Exchange of declared techniques (as study / assessment, included for example in Karate)
  • Sparring (as training, included for example in Boxing)
  • Sportive fight (as competition, included for example in Judo)
  • Self-defense (as street survival, included for example in Krav Maga)
  • Martial clash (as a duel, for example, as it happened a lot of time ago, among practitioners of different styles of Kung Fu)
  • War clash (like open field / guerrilla war, as happened for example in feudal Japan; samurai’s open field battles, ninja’s stealth assaults, etc.)

Why is important to make these distinctions

This classification has been made with the precise objective to analyze the differences that exist between the various types of combat. The idea is to make easier to:

  • Understand the distance between the prevailing physically on an opponent within a defined context and doing it in a “complete” way and / or in a ruleless situation
  • Understand for example why a friendly and / or a sportive confrontation will never be comparable to a war struggle (read Hand to hand combat: elite soldiers in MMA / UFC?)
  • Understand for example the difference between street fighting, self-defense and sportive martial teachings (read Martial art and self-defense: what are the differences?)
  • Figure out (for example in a personal defense context) how far we can reasonably push ourselves and where instead we must wisely stop
  • Understand with what spirit the ancient martial clashes has taken place and were done
  • Understand (respectfully) why traditional styles are so different from the modern ones
  • Imagine what level of preparation is necessary (so far from normal gym martial training), to accept to truly risk life in extreme conditions of combat
  • Understand that the careless use of violence aims gradually to a more and more negative conclusions
  • Understand that martial arts should also be evaluated in (and above all in) terms of purpose and context

In the next articles, we will explore deeply, schematically and in parallel the various types of clashes:

In-depth articles


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • What is the most common prejudice about martial arts?

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