General Dance Discussion > Ballroom Dancing vs. The Martial Arts

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Spitfire, Apr 18, 2003.

  1. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

    I don't think that anybody here was calling martial arts dance. I certainly wasn't. My main point has been that many of the often fairly counterintuitive reflexes I've learned in the dojo have translated easily to the dance floor. Heck, my "frame" started life as a defensive reflex.
    Like learning a routine without any lead/follow connection? :D
    Agreed... Many of the same traits that make a effective[1] martial artist make a good looking dancer.
    Weird. What you have described here is the mindset that I achieve when following to the very best of my ability. No preconcieved ideas indeed.
    Different activities with different purposes, but using essentially the same set of tools - two[3] human bodies and the consious and unconsious kinesthetic communication between them. I find the overlap in method as big as you find the gap in purpose.

    Cheers
    Sarah

    [1]able to dominate a confrontational situation[2]

    [2] Ok, then `win a fight'. ;)

    [3] Two or more.
     
  2. KaiTran

    KaiTran New Member

    ??

    Hi All, I'm fairly new to this forum so I thought I'd just spit out my opinion on this topic since I myself have been in the martial arts for about 10 Years now. I'm 18 by the way. Well first off I wanted to say that the comment about Krav Maga not being a Martial Art is somewhat of a fallacy. Most people see forms, demonstrations, people with gi's on and what not when they think Martial Arts. I think thats what most Krav Maga instructors are trying to seperate the style itself from as far as the sterotypical MARTIAL ART is concern. Martial Arts translates to "Warefare Arts" and Krav Maga is indeed a Warfare Art. I myself take it. As far as Martial Arts and dancing is involved, I believe they can complement each other greatly. I know in some of the softer Martial Arts (such as Aikido), the instructors actually tell their students that they are "dancing" with their opponet in more spirtual sense. From my own experience, my instructors in Shotokan even told me that I should think of myself as performing a dance when doing a Kata to show form and expression but with power and strength. I've also had some classmates with extensive backgrounds in ballet and other dance styles. Lemme tell you, they can make some of those forms look so graceful and beautiful it'll bring tears to your eyes. One example of the complements of Martial Arts and dance on each other is capoeira. This is an art where students actually learn to dance in their own way. However, like I said that is the floopy side of the marital arts. The truth in my opinion however is that the true side of the martial arts has no real similarity with dance. Dance is a performative art and true Martial Arts is not. As said earlier, Martial Arts translates to warefare arts. The core of the Martial Arts is all about combat. Whether the Martial Art studied becomes defensive or offensive is up to the martial artist. In the end, Martial Artist are learning how to fight. I know that can stir up some debate but i believe that to be the truth. Some people say that martial arts is becoming a performative art. I think it can have some performative value, but it really can't be called a martial art (warefare art) if it is performative. Dancing and dancers fit into a whole other category. That is just my opinion of course...and I am young so if anybody has anything to teach me, i welcome them with open eyes and ears.
     
  3. KaiTran

    KaiTran New Member

    by the way...

    to the person who said that fighting with your opponet can be somewhat like a dance:

    I see dance as graceful, beautiful, and some other adjective I can't think of at the moment. I see combat as destructive, far from beautiful, and simply brutal. In most fights, there is no "dance" involved. The only combative "dance" I see are those in movies and TV shows. In dance, usually all the participants are enjoying themselves. In combat, usually the participants are just trying to beat the sh** out of each other. Some might enjoy that but in the end someone will not have very much fun.
     
  4. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    First off, welcome to the Forums KaiTran! :D

    As far as your comments, while I personally do see connections between dance and martial arts I also understand where you are coming from. I think the key to the discrepancy is, at least in part, one of focus -- is it martial arts or martial arts? To differentiate Krav Maga from martial arts with katas, forms, point systems, etc., I usually reference it as a military combat style instead of as a martial art but, as you point out, it is – in a very real sense – a true martial art.

    Thanks for adding another perspective and I look forward to seeing what some of the better-versed martial artists here have to offer in response...
     
  5. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Kai have you been in fights before? Sparring or sel-defense.

    I've done both it is very much like dancing. There is grace and beauty in the body movement used in a fight. Maybe not of the same aesthetic by which you judge ballet but it is present. Watching a perfectly executed throw, lock, punch or kick leaves me with the same feeling as watching Steven Mitchell execute a perfect swing-out.

    As to dancing being a performative art, that is a Western European mindset. Dancing is not just part of life in the African Diaspora it is life.Dancing inthis family which includes most Black Dance (read African American) tends to be about improvisation both rhythmic and pattern. You dance for yourself, becausen you must.
     
  6. KaiTran

    KaiTran New Member

    Yay replies...

    Well first I want to say its great to see other people's points of view. To answer your question d nice, yes I have been in many fights. More then I really would have liked to have been in. As far as sparring, I do it all the time because Krav Maga is a full contact combative art. Let me just say first that I think the best fights are the ones that are ended quickly. In the fights I've been in, I just went in, did my stuff, and got out. Basically I don't like to fight and every fight I've been in was one where some "Mr. ToughstufF" wanted to prove himself in front of his friends and my peers. So my philosophy is make the other guys not want to fight anymore then just leave. Thats why I have a hard time seeing such a connection between dance and the martial arts. This is because its so hard for me to see any of the pattern and rhythm mentioned when to me the fighting is such a brutal and unplanned thing. I know I'm talking about fighting rather then the Martial Arts themselves, but fighting is the core of the martial arts in my opinion. Although...I must say I do see your point d nice when watching Frank Shamrock in those cage battles or those great boxing matches. However, the fighting I'm talking about are the ones where it doesn't last more then 30 seconds - a minute. The kind of fights that most survival martial arts (True Karate, Krav Maga, and etc...) were meant to address. (If you wanna know what I mean by True Karate I can elaborate on that later if y'all want)
     
  7. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Shamrock actually is a perfect example. Take a look at his first three or four fights... over in under thrity seconds including the time it takes for the ref to come in and pull Frank off of his opponent and confirm the knockout or recognize the submission.

    He moves with grace, speed, and power, adapts instantly to the movement of his opponent, incorporate sthat into his own movement using their momentum or inertia to create the attack he chooses, and establishes clear control of a situation or follows their lead until he has exploited an opening. He controls the rhythm of the fight even when it lasts for only a sixteen seconds.

    A lot of whether or not someone will believe that there are ties/similarities to dance and martial arts will be determined by their personal understanding/definitions of the two.

    It sounds like we have similar ideas of martial arts, but differing ideas on dance. Not surprising to me, I have a very different view of dance than most people on this forum.
     
  8. KaiTran

    KaiTran New Member

    Hhmm..

    Yeah you know..actually you probably have a better point then I do. Fact is I can't dance and know jack about it. I'm basically here because I hope to learn something about it. I actually admire dance a lot and a lot of my friends...(A WHOLE LOT) are dancers. I am a pure Martial Artist and my skills are basically based upon combat. I also do a lot of simulated combat sports such as paintballing and airsofting so you can get an idea of what kinda train of thought I have when comparing the two arts of dance and Martial ARts. I HOPE one day I will learn enough to maybe see your point.
     
  9. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

    Hi KaiTran, and welcome

    One major similarity between martial arts and dance is that it's impossible to learn it by reading about it. Are you taking dance lessons anywhere, and if so in what style? Some of the best leads I know were martial artists before they were dancers - they seem to instinctively know that more force is not necessarily the answer.:)

    Cheers
    Sarah
     
  10. Porfirio Landeros

    Porfirio Landeros New Member

    I would hope that between all of us we could list any number of differences between martial arts and dancing. I think that's why the topic of this forum is interesting, because pointing out similarities seems surprising, when martial arts is associated with fighting, and dancing with art/enjoyment.

    I trained in Aikido, Judo, and wrestling, while being introduced to ballroom dancing. I got my black belt in Aikido and studied religiously for a total of 8 years (and I still get on the mat now and then). At some point toward my diminishing devotion to Aikido, I changed gears and focused more on ballroom dancing.

    What's similar?

    You train for hours to do something that only lasts minutes.
    You must be in shape physically and have control of your body.
    Power is best derived from using your opponent's/partner's energy to your advantange.
    The more aware you are of your center of gravity, the better you will be.

    These are all I could think of in this quick moment, given that I hear dance coaches say similar things that come out of a Sensei.

    In the end, I guess I picked being a Lover over a Fighter...
     
  11. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

    :D time this thread was brought back into the light, as we seem to have picked up a few new martial arts types.

    Cheers
    Sarah
     
  12. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Very interesting thread--though I think it pretty much covers all the bases already. Some early mention of tae kwon do--most of my MA experience has been in tkd and hapkido. I would agree with most of the people who say that the soft arts have far more potential in enriching a dance background than the hard Korean and Japanese arts. TKD in particular is explosive and sharp. Most strikes and kicks gain their power because the practitioner is taught to release the joint. That means if you're doing something as simple as unfolding an arm, you have to concentrate pretty hard not to let the wrist flick and snap into position.

    And as I've written elsewhere, the body alignment in tkd is more or less completely the opposite of what it is in Rhythm and Latin. Any tkdist worth her salt will have to retrain her body in a very basic way when moving into dance.

    Oh, and about whether the forms were traditionally practiced--some of the poomse in tkd are many hundreds, perhaps thousands of years old, and they are all quite deadly, if you understand what the form is teaching. The form is the essence of the art, and contains within it all the techniques one would use in fighting.

    Just some of my own thoughts from my experience in MA, which has been about 12 years, but is also something I've given over for dancing. So I'm something of an outsider in the MA community these days.

    Cheers,

    Genesius
     
  13. Blondie

    Blondie New Member

    Martial arts and dancing

    Porfirio Landeros said: (regarding similarities of martial arts and dancing)-
    You train for hours to do something that only lasts minutes.
    You must be in shape physically and have control of your body.
    Power is best derived from using your opponent's/partner's energy to your advantange.
    The more aware you are of your center of gravity, the better you will be.


    I am a dancer, and so far only an observer of martial arts. But I found your comments very observant, as it is how I see things when comparing the two.

    Not long ago on cable tv I saw a show about kung fu, and saw masterful men and women performing it. I was quite impressed with the moves and poses, immediately seeing the visual similarities of using the body in both dance and MA poses. At least that's how I see it...
     
  14. Blondie

    Blondie New Member

    Question regarding martial arts

    I don't want to digress, but since there seem to be so many experts in this forum with a lot of martial arts experiences, I have a question. I am interested in taking a course in a martial art form where I could develop the moves using hands, arms, feet, legs, body, etc. without actually touching other people or punching equipment. Is there such a thing? I want to learn fast moves. I have good reflexes and do well in dancing. I tried taekwondo briefly but did not like using my feet to hit things. (And some people say that taekwondo is not a martial art!)

    So is there such a thing as learning fast (and accurate) MA moves and forms without actually touching others or hurting your feet on objects? I heard from some friends that karate may be taught this way. (As you can tell, I just don't know much about this).
     
  15. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

    Re: Question regarding martial arts

    Hi Blondie

    If you want to learn moves which look kinda like punching and kicking, without actually ever intending to punch or kick anything, or even pretending to want to use this stuff in a martial context[1], you might as well go to some Tae-Bo[2] classes. It'll probably be cheaper.


    Cheers
    Sarah

    [1]Competitive sparring -or- self defense.

    [2] Or whatever your local gym's non-brand-name equivalent is.
     
  16. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Re: Question regarding martial arts

    Actually, my old dojang charged $600 per year, offered 16 classes per week, and you could take as much as you like. MA is a very affordable work-out!

    Genesius
     
  17. Blondie

    Blondie New Member

    Tae-bo?

    I thought that tae-bo was just hyped up aerobics with some kicks and punches.
     
  18. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

    Re: Tae-bo?

    Sounded to me as though that was
    what you were asking for.

    Sorry - that answer's a bit short. Thing is, in a martial art the movement, while often being aesthetically pleasing, has a function and that function is to incapacitate another person.
    You probably are already aware that many martial arts have choreographed forms for solo practice, and I get the feeling that that is what you mean, but IMO without having the background knowledge of what it feels like to contact something, be it punching bag, concrete block or living breathing body, those forms become hollow and meaningless.

    That doesn't mean that you won't be able to find someone who will sell you something like what you're asking for.

    Cheers
    Sarah
     
  19. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Re: Tae-bo?

    It is. And in the words of the immortal Bruce Lee, "Boards...don't hit back." :wink:
     
  20. Blondie

    Blondie New Member

    Thanks for comments. I do know what punching and body contact are like since I just finished a 3 month course on self defense. We had plenty of experience with being the attacker and the victim. Along the way we punched pads and bags, eventually punched our instructor who wore protective gear. We did a lot of that sort of thing.
    Anyway, I won't continue to digress from the original topic.
    I appreciate everyone's comments.

    :)
     

Share This Page