I’m posting this here so when it becomes commonplace to regard pro wrestling as a martial art, and we can all agree that I came up with the idea.
So, listen. Pro wrestling is a martial art. It is a non-competitive, performative martial art. Like aikido.
You ever heard of an aikido tournament? They don’t have those. They do have demonstrations, though, which are non-competitive and performative.
Heck, there’s a long history of non-competitive, performative martial arts. Take, say, what Jackie Chan does. He’s a martial artist, and his style is rooted in the martial arts taught to opera performers, which is to say, performative and non-competitive.
Additionally, most people study martial arts in non-competitive, performative ways. Sets of moves that you practice alone, except for when performing for your advancement committee? Performative, non-competitive. Or do you imagine that hitting a bag isn’t non-competitive and performative?
(And as an interesting aside, professional wrestlers do better in competitive martial arts than most non-competitive martial artists. Not a lot of aikido guys do well in MMA, but a whole lot of pro wrestlers do! Hell, part of how MMA was formed is pro wrestlers in Japan wondering who would “really win” in a competition. The promotion was called Pancrase. You can check it out.)
Just sayin’ that professional wrestling is a martial art. For realsies!