i think what mass warfare with firearms did to martial arts, urban insurrections are going, and have already begun, to reverse
very roughly i think formalised martial arts arise in two circumstances: among marginalised underclasses denied the ability to wage symmetric combat (okinawan empty-handed techniques were developed in response to peasants being denied weapons, savate was invented b/c fistfighting carried heavy penalties), or among privileged warrior classes at low level endemic warfare
@esvrld my personal favorite example of this phenomenon is capoiera, a martial art that is purposefully designed to look like dancing because it could be practiced by African slaves on Brazilian plantations who were otherwise obviously forbidden to learn any combat techniques. It focuses on sweeping and evasiveness because the expectation is that the fighter will be outnumbered. It evolved from Engolo, an Angolan ritual combat, that was brought over by people who had been enslaved. Eventually after Brazil abolished slavery capoiera was banned because the white upper classes caught on; it was basically driven underground, until the upper class decided that they could turn it into a sport/performance and make money off of it, which more or less brings us to the modern day
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