A martial artist is not a person of violence. The philosophies and principles
of martial arts aim to avoid violence. Through training, instructors learn
how to rise above violence and teach their students to do the same.
The martial arts come mainly from China, Japan, Korea and Okinawa. Lesser-known
sources include the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.
Karate, jiu-jitsu, tae kwon do, aikido, judo, kung fu and sumo are all
different areas of the martial arts.
"The techniques are different at the higher levels. At the novice or beginning
level, most are basically the same," says grandmaster George Petrotta.
"The Koreans are known, as are the northern Chinese and Thais, for their
kicking prowess. They prefer to fight at that range. The southern Chinese,
the Indonesians and Filipinos prefer close range and like to utilize the elbows
and knees as well as the hands."
The philosophy of the martial arts is to improve character, attitude and
manner, to teach respect, to be honest and to always stand by the weak.
Successful instructors need more than just knowledge of the sport. "Teaching
requires a lot of patience and training both in technical skills and communication,"
says instructor Stan Lee.