Newbies Guide to Martial Arts
Martial Arts Humor

When people say ...
They really mean this ... 
Japanese martial arts are the best! I practice a Japanese martial art. 
This art is thousands of years old. This style is decades old. 
The martial arts are about building better people. The martial arts are about sweat, bruises and money. 
Chinese martial arts are the best! I practice a Chinese martial art.
High kicks are stupid. I can't do high kicks.
Sparring is extremely important. I'm good at fighting and I like it and I can't do much of anything else.
The martial arts are about building better people. The martial arts are about beating people up if they lay a finger on you
Korean martial arts are the best. I practice a Korean martial art. 
Breaking techniques are very important. We do a lot of breaking techniques. 
I don't believe in grades. Nobody ever gave me a high grade.
The martial arts are about building better evolved characters. Like me.
Filipino martial arts are the best. I practice a Filipino martial art.
Sophisticated arts like Tai Chi and Aikido are far superior. Sparring frightens me. 
He's a good martial arts teacher. He's in my organization.
He's a lousy martial arts teacher. He used to be in my organization but he broke away and I don't get any money out of him anymore. 
My style is the best. I don't know anything about any other styles. 
Grades are not important. There's a grading coming up and it's important. 
Breaking techniques are useless. I can't do breaking techniques.
I'm an innovative, free-thinking, modern Western martial arts teacher, doing my own non-classical thing. 
I'm more interested in teaching than learning; and the Orientals ignore me because they know how ignorant I am. 
Martial arts politics are the necessary result of official recognition by respectable associations to protect the public. I belong to a large, well-established organization. 
I hate martial arts politics. None of the large, well-established organizations recognize me or have the slightest interest in my existence. 
In this system, we make the art fit the person.
In this system, we make the person fit the art.
Competitions are a waste of time. I've never won any competitions. 
Forms or kata are the highest expression of the inner essence of the martial arts. I read that somewhere -- and I've had enough of tournaments. 
Forms or kata are useless.
Bruce Lee said forms are useless and this relieves me of a lot of effort, so go argue with him. 
One style is not better than another -- it's the individual that counts.  Don't go to another school -- it's the style we teach here that counts. 
The techniques aren't important. I wouldn't know what else to do with the principles so it's the techniques that are important. 
Bruce Lee didn't know what he was talking about. I don't know what Bruce Lee was talking about. 
Size and strength are not important. Size and strength are important, especially if you're fighting somebody who's bigger and stronger than you are.
Science and leverage will always win out over bruce force. Except when he's bigger and stronger than you are. 
The purpose of the martial arts is spiritual development and liberation from the ego.  I'm so humble and wise, it's terrific. 

You may have been in Martial Arts too long when...

you say to the salesman in the men's store, "Nice pants, but I don't think I can kick in them." 
when you want to say "I'm sorry" and involuntarily bow.
you go to the shoe store to try on shoes. 
Instead of walking or jogging around the store, you practice pivoting, sweeps, stances and kicks. 
You check to see if the shoe has a sufficiently hard striking surface and whether it protects the toes well. 
and lastly, you don't even care if (and they probably are) the other patrons are looking at you funny. (That's the big clue.) 
Now when every time you pass a wall you start to wonder: 'Is that structural or drywall?'  THEN you know you've gone overboard. 
When you hit your head on a low doorway or ceiling and kick it in anger and damage it. 
"GAK! NO! The *left* side of the bathrobe goes on top...." 
"What was I doing in my office when I was spinning around and flailing my arms and legs? Ahhhhhmmmmmmm....." 
when you're practicing your arm blocks while driving down the highway, notice someone in another car staring at you, and suddenly turn your block into vigorously fanning away an imaginary fly. 
when you use various strikes to turn lights off and on; 
don your clothing with kicks, thrusts, and punches. 
open and close doors with spinning kicks. 
find yourself idly doing iaido and kenjitsu moves with the plastic knives at the fast food place. 
can't walk by anybody else from your school without casually exchanging a flurry of mock strikes and kicks 
haven't gotten over the phase of seeing everybody walking around with a blanket of little red cross-hairs on all their vital spots. 
leap to your feet and shriek with indignation while watching "Kung Fu", "Walker, Texas Ranger", and "Highlander" at home. 
deliberately go to see martial arts movies in the theater so you can leap to your feet and shriek with indignation during the movie, out in the parking lot, and with all your friends the next time you're at class. 
find yourself practicing bo staff techniques in miniature with your pencil during dull meetings. 
try to backfist the correct floor button on the inside of the elevator, based on your memory of the button's location, before you get in far enough to see it. 
notice you never stand with your arms crossed or your hands in your pockets. 
tend to keep at least one flavour of martial arts weapon close at hand by your bed when you sleep.
buy shoes either because they're particularly flexible or have steel toes. 
have at least one fantasy where you are a martial arts hero and end the fight by saying something *so* cool that you make Arnold Shwarzenegger and Clint Eastwood look like nervous chatterboxes. 
have begun to master the reflex to commit a very messy homicide when, directly after someone finds out you practice martial arts, they immediately ask "Are you a Black Belt ???" 
Urge to bow every time I enter or leave a room? Uh, not anymore, thankfully. 
I used to accidentally call one of my favorite professors 'sensei' with fair regularity, and I don't think I'll ever stop saying 'hai!' instead of 'yes!'. 
When standing in line you find yourself practicing some stance from your art. 
When you bow going into and out of the bathroom. 
When you don't use any tools while splitting firewood. 
When you are introduced to someone and you bow to greet them. 
Whenever you see some wood or concrete, even things like stools or tables, and get excited while you picture just how you would go about breaking it. Then you get funny looks as you feel it and give it a look of hard concentration, then maybe measure off a few times. 


A martial art which allows you to defeat your enemy without hurting him. Unless of course his does not know how to ukemi in which case he has his wrist broken in about 20 places.

"Harness of the hand." A Filpino martial art, also known as eskrima and kali, centering around stick, blade and empty hand combat. Mispronanciation of the art guarantees a quick taste.

A stick.

A stick that looks like a sword.

A religious doctrine and a marketing tool to populate Asia with statues of short fat bald men.

A biophysical energy generated through breathing techniques, which in defying the laws of physics and the basic scientific common sense, allows the user to develop super human strength.

A term used in the Japanese martial arts for anyone who has achieved the rank of at least first-degree black belt.

The sound uttered when the wearer of a Dan realizes that they will now get hit harder and more frequently during training.

"The place of the way." A training hall or gymnasium. Very similar to a B & D parlor but without the mistress.

A skirt sometimes worn in the Martial Arts but we don't really like to talk about it.

"Way of the sword." The modern art of drawing the samurai sword from its scabbard. A rather interesting art developed around the principle of "look how big mine is".

"Gentle way." A Japanese art where grown men roll around cuddling each other without apparently doing any damage. These men are often closet Hakama wearers.

A lot like judo expect that these boys like to inflict slightly more damage. Tend to get very angry when accused of being Hakama wearers and often are heard saying "You gotta a big mouth"

"Empty hand" or "China hand."  The primary purpose of this art is the destruction of wood and other natural products. Most Karate styles have a placing on Green Peace's most wanted list. This art will be outlawed by most countries by the turn of the century. Karate people enjoy pain, this is shown by their habit of fighting with their fists on their hips.

A series of prearranged maneuvers practiced in many of the Oriental martial arts in order to avoid free sparring or anything else that may involve pain.

A sharp metal stick.

A strange and unusual past-time involving hitting each other with sticks and making in-human sounds. Could be a cult ??

Kung fu:
A generic term for a majority of the Chinese martial arts. Many of these arts involve the emulation of animals. Many students of Pray Mantis spend years attempting to obtain the other 4 legs while students of Monkey Kung-fu tend to find themselves being carted off by men in white lab coats.

A title bestowed on a martial artist who has attained advanced rank after long years of study or has started his own style after achieving kyu grades in at least 4 arts, or has completed the "Become a Master by Video" course available for only 19.95 per month.

A stick with a sharp bit on the end.

A rather confused individual who likes sneaking around at night in his pajamas.

The art of being confused and sneaking around in your pajamas

Bashing each other senseless in the hope that nobody realizes that you don't know any kata or techniques.

Tae kwon do:
An unusual martial art that relies on its followers to have the flexibility of a professional ballet dancer.

Tai chi chuan:
Another unusual art that promises ultimate power from moving very slowly for many years. The drawback being that by the time you develop the ultimate power you are close to death anyway.

"Straw mat." A mat usually measuring three by six feet and three inches thick (with bound straw inside.)  Original purpose to
prevent blood stains on the wooden floor.

Three sectional staff:
Three sticks linked together.

The discipline of enlightenment related to the Buddhist doctrine that  emphasizes meditation, discipline, and the direct transmission of teachings from master to student. Mostly taught by rather old and confused monks who have had one too many rocks fall on their heads during waterfall meditation. Works best when sitting in a cave facing a wall for 10 years or so.

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Updated by Hoosain Narker