Fighting systems are primarily intended as combative sports and with the secondary benefit of being useful for self-defense. The primary purpose of a fighting technique is to score with physical contact upon the opponent in same way. In some fighting systems, you may also knockout or incapacitate the opponent or the opponent may surrender. The deadly aspects of the fighting are controlled or eliminated so there is little chance of death or serious injury while fighting. Fighting may cause minor injuries but, after recovery, fighters are usually able to fight again and again. Fighting systems are result oriented; there is no concern for art. For example, in scoring a boxing match, no points are awarded for form or how precise or beautiful the punches were; the only concern is whether the opponent was hit, where he or she was hit, and how hard he or she was hit. The goal of a fighting system is to win the contest, while staying within the rules. You have perfected a fighting system when you win all or most of your fights, preferably with little damage to yourself.Martial fighting systems are intended for war.
The primary purpose of a martial fighting technique is to kill the enemy; there is no concern for artistic expression, for example, you will not see Force Recon Marines performing patterns. Martial fighting is results oriented, there is little concern for how you kill the enemy; the primary concern is that the enemy is dead. It martial fighting systems, there is physical contact, but it is kept to the minimum required to kill the enemy. The goal in martial fighting is kill the enemy before he or she kills you. You have perfected a martial fighting system when every enemy you fought is dead. If you have not perfected your martial fighting skills by the time you go to war, you never will perfect them, because you will probably be dead.
Martial arts are primarily intended as a way for a person to follow the ways of a warrior and train in martial fighting, with or without ever becoming an actual warrior or ever having actually to use the fighting techniques in war. In martial arts, the emphasis is on the path, the journey, and the means, not the destination or result. If required, a martial artist will use the martial art for combat, but the martial artist trains for perfection in performance of technique, not for the possibility of having to use the technique in combat. Usually a martial art is only used in demonstrations of martial techniques, such as in a sparring, forms, breaking, or weapons competition. In many martial arts, physical contact is not required; a competitor may score by performing perfect patterns or, in the case of no-contact free-sparring, by performing a perfect technique that could, but does not, touch the opponent. The goal of a martial art is perfection of technique; however, even though a martial artist seeks perfection, he or she believes that perfection in the martial art may never be achieved.
In some martial arts, such as Iaido, Kyudo, or Capoeria, the art or way is the goal; the artistic way a technique is performed is more important than with the results of a technique. For example, in the sport of archery, the primary concern is the results, whether the arrow hit the target, while in the art of Iaido, the primary concern is the means, the process of loading the arrow and raising and pulling the bow is more important the arrow hitting the target. Some fighting systems, such as Krav Maga or Brazilian Jujitsu, are called martial arts but they are concerned with results, not means. You win by the physical defeat of the opponent; there is no concern that any artistic expression be used to achieve the defeat.