There is no universally accepted definition of the term martial art . The word "martial" means "military, so one could argue that a good definition is:

  • An activity that historically was used for military combat

Under this definition, activities such as archery and fencing are included as martial arts. Colloquially, people often use the definition:

  • A style of unarmed combat, typically practiced for self-defense purposes

This definition deemphasizes the competition of martial arts in tournaments. For some reason, some people refer to martial arts as practiced at tournaments as martial sports.

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