What Do You Call Someone Who Does Martial Arts?

It’s simple. Someone who practices martial arts is known to be a martial artist.

There are different facets of martial arts some of them are spiritual, religious beliefs, and philosophies.

These different facets of martial arts give rise to different fighting patterns which are called different names and their artists are not left behind because these are the people who bring the action to play.

In accordance with the type of martial arts, they engage in they are called different names such as

Martial artists are military men because they can go to war with their fighting skills and their techniques are also employed in the military.

They engage in the unarmed fighting technique of martial art such as Taekwondo, Muay Thai, grappling, and basic self-defense techniques.

Ninja is another name for martial artists. They employ deception and phony moves to take their opponents by surprise.

Being a martial artist entails a lot, this title is given to martial artists because they have devoted themselves to the art and have developed fierce hearts in the process.

Who is a martial artist?

Martial is a word that typically entails “war”. In Chinese, the word “martial” is translated as  “wu”.

And if we should be explicit, it literally means, “to stop the use of weapons”, “to end the violence”, or “to stop the fighting”.

We may be tempted to call a martial artist a fighter but I tell you, a fighter is not a martial artist.

A fighter is one who fights, they are trained to engage in competitions to prove a point to either themselves or others, in a way restricting them to fighting in rings.

This nudges them to constantly develop their skills and fighting techniques because their mastery is what gives them championships, money, and fame.

Martial artists are people who consider martial art an expression of oneself and they understand that competing with an opponent in a ring is a process of facing one’s limitations.

On a more explanatory note, they are individuals trained to understand that beyond engaging in physical combat or competing in a ring, the actual confrontation includes daily battles with weak thoughts and its afflictions such as anxiety, lust, covetousness, obsessions, and doom.

Although there are various combat cultures in the world, martial art is renowned to be associated with Asian culture.

This doesn’t mean that martial artists are restricted to being Asians alone but there are many sophisticated martial art techniques employed by western boxing, wrestling, and the military.

How to tell if a person is a martial artist?

If you still think that a martial artist is a fighter, then there won’t be any need to ask, “how to tell if a person is a martial artist?”

Since a martial artist is not simply any fighter, here’s how you can tell if a person is a martial artist:

Non-digitalized or no weapons to fight

While some Martial artists are trained to fight without weapons, others are trained to fight with weapons.

To tell if a person is a martial artist, check for their method of fighting. Martial artists are known to use their bodies as weapons while engaging in a fight, they make use of their hands and feet as a self-defense technique in combat.

They are trained to fight with high kicking techniques and punches. Martial arts which employ weaponless methods of combating include taekwondo, karate, Jiu-Jitsu,

We can affirm that an average fighter cannot devote their life to this fighting style.

So, when you see a person fighting vehemently with his/her body, using their feet and hands as a self-defense technique, then you are closer to a martial artist than you’ve ever thought.

In as much as some martial artists do not employ the use of weapons, others are trained to. In martial art, the types of weapons used are specific.

To identify a martial artist who fights with weapons, you should understand that they do not use digitalized weapons such as guns.

They are trained to easily navigate traditional weapons, a conventional fighter can be easily noticed when given a sword to fight with.

The weapons associated with martial artists with which they can be easily identified include Bladed weapons such as swords, knives, daggers, and blunt weapons such as knuckledusters, sticks, staffs, and batons.

What is a martial arts master called?

A master in martial arts is called a Grandmaster or master.

Grandmaster and Master are titles used to recognize superior or experienced martial artists.

Generally, these titles are bestowed on a person, to depict honor, this means that they do not signify rank but rather distinguish the martial artists as very highly revered in the martial arts system.

Grandmaster is the highest level of accomplishment in martial arts and it is not accorded to a lot of people but a few.

Martial art is a way of life and not a lot of people can dedicate themselves to learning an art that will eventually become their lifestyle.

Just like any other primary element of that defined life, there are also significant factors that define the martial art lifestyle.

Growth and leadership are characteristics of a Master martial artist. They are not just individuals with incredible fighting skills but people who have gained mastery over their bodies and mind.

The grandmasters command respect from both students and teachers in martial art, this is because they have devoted themselves to gaining knowledge and constant practice until they attained the highest degree of the art.

What do you call a martial art instructor?

There is no specific name ascribed to a martial art instructor and this is due to the diversity of practice.

Martial art is like an umbrella that encompasses different styles of combat and just as they differ in their fighting technique, their instructors are called different names.

Below are the names of martial art instructors according to their culture and fighting techniques:

  • Sensei pronounced as “Sen-say” is a Japanese word used to refer to an instructor in Karate, Judo, and Jiu-jitsu
  • Sabom pronounced as “Sah-bom” is a Korean word ascribed to a Taekwondo instructor.
  • Sifu pronounced as “Shifu” is a Chinese term used to call a Kung-fu instructor.
  • Guro pronounced as “Goo-roh” is a Tagalong word used to refer to a Kali instructor.
  • Professor pronounced as Profe’sor is a Portuguese word used to refer to a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor
  • Coach is an English word used to refer to a Mixed Martial art instructor.

It takes a level of experience and mastery to be called any of these names. Out of the knowledge they have acquired over time, they train students in different combat techniques.

A martial art instructor’s duty entails planning and scheduling classes, providing practical instructions, and ensuring that students learn and operate within a safe, supportive environment.

What are the different types of martial arts?

Martial arts are practiced in different countries of the world, although quite a number of them originated in China, Japan, and Korea.

Different historical events brought about the diversity of this art, some are trained to use their feet and hands as self-defense techniques while others are trained to employ grappling, throws, chokeholds, and joint locks when combating.

There are over a hundred and seventy types of martial arts, you may be familiar with the renowned models such as Karate, Taekwondo, and Jiu-Jitsu while the others are less popular.


This is a noncompetitive Japanese martial art that does not rely on punching or kicking, instead, it uses a variety of blending and turning movements designed to allow the person being attacked to view the situation from the attackers’ point of view before executing one of the tremendous arrays of techniques.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

This is a grappling-based martial art and self-defense system created by Carlos and Helio Gracie where they modified some techniques and philosophy the traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu.

Although this martial art focuses primarily on grappling and ground fighting, it is a comprehensive self-defense system that includes striking techniques, throws, and stand-up techniques.


Judo was derived from Jujitsu which entails the application of Samurai grappling and like traditional Jujitsu, Judo combat techniques include joint locks, chokes, throws, submissions, striking kicking, and resuscitation techniques.


Karate means empty hand and in its simplest term is a fighting system that teaches a practitioner to utilize their hands and feet in order to deliver blocks and strikes against an attacker.

Kung Fu

Kung Fu is a Chinese martial art meant for exhibition and competitions, it involves stances, kicks, punches, balances, jumps, sweeps, and throws.


Taekwondo is a style of martial art that originates from Korea. It literally means, “the way of the foot and first”.

Taekwondo is a martial art that requires the application of the hand, foot, and some grappling.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a system of continuous and flowing movements practiced as a style of martial art.


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