Is there some kind of moves in martial arts that resemble dancing moves? Like a really elegant, swift, and light way of fighting?


Pretty much, any master can make their style look elegant as hell. With practice and dedication, any competent martial artist can polish a kata down to really good performance art.

But, katas aren’t for fighting. They’re a set of moves designed to help students get used to shifting from one strike to the next. In theory, anyone can polish them into one fluid performance; but it’s kind of missing the point.

And, nothing will get you killed faster in a fight, than digging out a kata. It’s a rote set of moves, anyone who recognizes the kata you’re using will instantly know what you’re going to do next, and while they’re not standardized, they are teaching tools, they get around.

Here’s the thing; outside of a fight, as a demonstration or a kata or an exhibition, most mainstream martial arts can be performance art. There are styles like Capoeira that were specifically designed to be disguised as dancing. But, when a fight starts, the styles change.

In combat, martial arts styles are reactive. They key off what your opponent is doing at this moment. As an unarmed combatant, you need to be building momentum, building force, or working with pinpoint precision. You can’t do any of those things while you’re pirouetting around; you have neither the time, nor the energy.

More than that, at a training level, dancers make poor martial artists, and vice versa. To an outside observer, what they do may look similar, but on a technical level, the skills are almost completely incompatible.