Should Martial Arts be in the Olympics?

Should Martial Arts be in the Olympics?
Should Martial Arts be in the Olympics?

Awhile ago, I had gotten into a discussion with someone about if Martial Arts should be in the Olympics or not. The debate has cropped up from time to time and there are arguments on both sides which lend weight to either.

Which side of the discussion do you agree with? Come read some of the debates below and then share your ideas/thoughts in the Martial Arts forum.

Pro: The Olympics is a great opportunity to showcase Martial Arts and spark more interest in the sport. This is a real eye opener for folks that Martial Arts can exist in more than just flashy Hollywood movies. Young Martial Artists need more role models and heroes to represent them. We need a Mary Lou Retton for Martial Arts.

Con: Martial Arts is more than just a “sport”. It’s a way of life. What is shown in the Olympics cheapens the true meaning of Martial Arts. There’s much more to Martial Arts than just sparring and forms. If a student enters Martial Arts thinking they will become an Olympic star, they will be sorely disappointed.


Con: Martial Arts is about combat and war. The Olympics is about peace and bringing together people. The two concepts don’t meld well and Martial Arts isn’t a great display of the true meaning of the Olympics.

Pro: The same could be said for any of the more combative competitions like boxing and wrestling. Competition always breeds competitiveness and that’s what you’re really seeing on the floor in a Martial Arts match. How is this in variance with the rest of the Olympics?


Pro: The wonderful thing about Martial Arts is that you can’t predict the winner just based on their size or outward appearance. In basketball, it’s easier for a very tall athlete to do better than one who is short. For gymnastics, you often see the physique is one of a smaller framed person. Martial Artists come in all shapes and sizes and thus opening up the Olympics to more variety of people.

Con: Too much of the Olympics is becoming predictable. Certain countries will always dominate xyz games. This is just another sport adding to that division and segregation. Without surprise, Japan leads the medal count in Judo and South Korea leads for Taekwondo.


So where do you stand? Come join me in a discussion in the Martial Arts forums.


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