The irony of this forum is, of course, that most things typically regarded as TMA are anything but. Shotokan is only a century or so old, and TKD is a more recent offshoot of Shotokan, etc.

Wing Chun is probably only 150 years old out of a 5000 year culture. That's pretty fresh.

Same for most SEA arts.

But then, if people here only discussed Shuai Jiao, Jujitsu, Okinawa Te, Shaolin Lohanquan, and other really TMA, it would be kind of boring.


rene, you are very correct. "traditional" is more like a label than a real definition.

rene.r is very correct. There are obviously some problems with the label.
Muay Thai is old, real old, but most wouldn't consider it a TMA, despite its age, fidelity to tradition, and its one-style approach.
Wrestling, now that's got some tradition to it.

I'm hoping that we don't get bogged down in nitpicking what's traditional and what's not, because I don't think we could come up with an answer.

I just hope this can be a forum where you can discuss a fighting style or training technique without someone telling you to get with the times, learn at least 3 arts simultaneously, ignore whatever you don't like, and that the only arts worth learning or discussing involve bike shorts and fingerless gloves.

That's why the intro talks more about the traditional approach to martial arts, as opposed to implying that some arts have tradition and some don't.

Shotokan is no where near a century old.


Shotokan was the name of Gichin Funakoshi's dojo in 1936. He had previous ones and had already written a book about karate before this point. The name was something others came up with to recognize what he was teaching previously.

Shotokan was partly his attempt to unite all of Okinawas styles/katas under an umbrella to spread it elsewhere. He renamed many of the katas from their original names, for example Naihanchi (spellings vary) became Tekki. Wansu to Enpi.

True, it looks like Muay Thai is older than most forms of kung fu, all forms of karate, and japanese jiu jitus/judo. Bando would be up there also.

Wing tsun as I recall is around 250-300 yrs old, but no one really knows for sure.

One point of the definition 'traditional' is that the panoply of asian and European fighting arts come from some very different cultures. Eg, many kung fu sifus traditionally taught in a method that would be considered lax by Japanese standards.