Having just listened to Iain on Geoff T's podcast it got me to thinking about the distinction between SD, fighting and martial arts. Both Iain and Geoff mentioned the importance of recognising each for what it is and training accordingly.
Now what I wonder is if the distinction between the three areas is one they are "forced" to make because so much of modern martial arts fail to deliver when it comes to SD and fighting?
As such "martial arts" has become a thing in itself distinct from the other two almost by default?
But if martial arts were better at delivering such things the distinctions would start to blur and melt away?
It strikes me that the masters of old would be surprised that their martial arts weren't seen as suitable for SD or fighting. Or that SD was something that had to be trained separately.
I also feel they would be surprised if it was suggested that their skills only worked in SD but they couldn't handle a simple limited rules bout of sparring.
As we see in Iain's interpretation of kata the karate of old was geared towards SD and also had back up tactics if a basic hit and run didn't work and principles/techniques that can be applied in a much wider combative context. As such I feel it covered the SD and fighting portions (using fighting to mean what happens after a pre-emptive strike fails). Now I would also class the Karate of old as a martial art and it would also have included drills for body conditioning, increasing your fighting spirit/will/fitness etc. So you see how that would blur the distinctions between the three?
Doing a martial art (back when it was much closer to reality) would have increased your ability to defend yourself AND fight if needed AND been a system of martial arts training with longevity and depth to study. There may be distinctions drawn in different lessons, different focuses from day to day but when taken as a whole there would be less distinction than is drawn today. All three working together.
I would also posit that someone like Iain teaches in just such a way and would confidently predict that his students (and himself) could defend themselves, fight if neeeded (both with and without rules) AND be martial artist and "do" martial arts.