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Western martial arts are often overlooked in favor of Asian martial arts. There is however a rich history of weapons and unarmed combat training and methods that trace back to ancient Western civilizations. Modern boxing, fencing, and even wrestling have roots in older martial forms. Western or "Occidental" describes cultures stemming from the Greco-Roman, Celtic and Germanic traditions, and the lands those cultures historically dominated. Typically, this would include Europe and the Americas. A marked difference between Oriental and Occidental martial arts is the general Occidental mind set in terms of the time to train and learn new martial skills. The Occidental instructor's mind set appears very different from those of the Oriental instructor's mindset, in that the Occidental instructor is not concerned with deep ritual or ceremony that are often, an integral part of the Oriental martial arts. Occidental students expect their Masters to provide systematic and effective knowledge, that has immediate application. Given the rapidity of the growing numbers of western-oriented martial arts groups and schools, the indication is evident that technique and the ability to learn a new skills quickly are the biggest draw for western martial arts schools today. Portions of this description are (C)2001 by David M. Cvet from the Journal of Western Martial Art. Used with permission of the author.
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