martial artmartial art
any of various systems of self-defense originating in E Asia, such as karate or kung fu, also engaged in as a sport: usually used in pl.
nounoften martial arts
Any of various arts of self-defense, such as aikido, karate, judo, or tae kwon do, usually practiced as sport.
(plural martial arts)
- Commonly, any of several fighting styles which contain systematized methods of training for combat, both armed and unarmed; often practiced as a sport, e.g. boxing, karate, judo, silat, wrestling, or Muay Thai.
- military skills, proficiency in military strategy, prowess in warfare
- 1832 ...of all the modes by which the advantage of his country may be secured, the martial arts and valour are those by which a Swiss the most hopes to promote it. (Richard Chenevix, An Essay Upon National Character: 4. On patriotism, p. 481).
- (slang) by restriction, martial arts originating from East Asia and Southeast Asia; often practiced as a meditative medium, e.g. aikido, judo, kyudo