Martial Arts as an American Sport Essay

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Martial Arts as a Sport in American Culture Martial arts has greatly influenced the American culture in many ways. Learning the history of martial arts in America is essential to learning how it transitioned and is expressed in different forms. After being integrated as a subculture, it was used as a means of self-defense. This was critical because during the wars Americans used these styles of fighting to defend against attackers and used it during hand to hand combat against their enemy. Martial arts are like any other part of culture and as time passes, evolution and change occur. Karate was primarily used as self-defense, but transitioned to other forms such as competition, media use, economic growth, and even as a way of physical fitness in some forms, such as yoga. Many people look at these fighting styles and think that they are just for fun or to fend off a robber or bully, but what society does not is see how the Asian community introduced America to something that turned out to be a major cultural boost. The assimilation of karate into American culture has been a slow process from its origination in Asia. Ever since 400 B.C. the connotation of martial arts has become heavily associated with the ways of fighting in East Asia. It was not until the late 19th century that America got a taste of these controlled and artistic forms of fighting. In the late 1800’s Chinese citizens immigrated to the U.S. looking for work and brought with them what is now a culturally integrated sport. In America, during the same time as this mass immigration, was the development of railroads in the west. Once the Chinese arrived in California, they traveled across the country to start a better life. Many of the Chinese that worked on the transcontinental railroad knew various Kung-Fu styles. However, these were guarded from Americans and were not taught to people

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