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Hunter B. Armstrong: Martial vs. Civilian Fighting Systems

Hunter B. Armstrong, the foremost authority in hoplology, gives an impromptu talk in his office at the Spartan Training Center in Sedona, AZ in the fall of 2014. He explains some important distinctions between “martial” fighting systems and “civilian” fighting systems.

Within civilian fighting systems are two sub-categories, sport fighting systems and civilian self-defense systems.

Mr. Amstrong sharply distinquishes civilian fighting systems and martial fighting systems based on the inherently different psychological and physical differences on the battlefield versus the street or in a sports arena.

Mr. Armstrong critiques mixed martial arts from this perspective and the limitations of training a martial person using sports fighting.

He then explains historical martial systems from various cultures, and, in particular, he speaks a bit on Japanese battlefield systems. One of the distinguishing elements of most battlefield systems is the training of character, morality and ethics.

(Excuse the video quality. We’re going very low-tech.)


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