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Question: The martial arts include sports such as archery and fencing.
Answer: Martial arts are not exclusive to hand-to-hand combat, falling into armed and unarmed categories. Sports such as archery and fencing are included in the armed category of martial arts.
Question: The Korean tae kwon do translates to, in English, “the art of self-defense.”
Answer: While the sport was developed as a self-defense technique, the translation of tae kwon do to English does not include “self-defense” but is in fact the “art of kicking and punching.”
Question: Judo was added to the Olympic Games in 1964.
Answer: The Olympic Games in 1964, held in Tokyo, Japan, were the first to introduce judo as an official medal sport.
Question: Boxing originated in North America and only recently became an Olympic sport.
Answer: Boxing has been a part of the Olympic Games since the original Ancient Greek games, and competitions have likely occurred since prehistory.
Question: The term martial arts was first used to define East Asian fighting arts such as judo, karate, and tae kwon do.
Answer: While East Asian fighting arts are the most prominent and well-known of the martial arts, the category was originally intended to describe fighting styles of Europe in the 1500s.
Question: The original Greek pentathlon included wrestling, a martial art.
Answer: The original Greek pentathlon, different than the modern pentathlon, included wrestling as well as racing, long jumping, discus throwing, and javelin throwing.
Question: Many martial arts are performed not for combat or fighting but for spiritual reasons.
Answer: Martial arts such as tae kwon do and aikido emphasize spiritual development, the mindful precision of movements, and bettering oneself physically and mentally rather than harming others.
Question: Kung fu and karate are both martial arts that come from Japan.
Answer: Kung fu is a name for a grouping of ancient Chinese martial art practices, not Japanese. Karate, though, is a Japanese martial art and originated sometime between 1111–255 BCE.
People in a gym in martial arts training exercising Taekwondo, the trainer has a black belt.

Martial Arts: Fact or Fiction?

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