Actually it was a good point as martial arts were never elevated to a path of self-knowledge or mystical pursuit in Europe untill recently, unless maybe in some ancient shamanic practices (assuming religious military orders are not exactly coming from the same perspective).Tammuz, I said "gnom like Kant". He was 1m40 and the talk was about martial arts ... just another bad joke of mine.
First of all physical exercise, including dance, was considered beneficial by some schools of philosophy in Ancient Greece for self development at some point of the person's education, and probably the closest link to a philosophical practice would be found in the Cynics. The Cynics however were pacifists and the greater Greek exponents of the movement lived in poverty, so they practiced basic exercises like runing or ascetic physical exercises like Diogenes embracing statues naked in winter or rolling over hot sand in the summer. Accustoming the body to cold was a practice found in several schools and followed by Socrates himself. There were also philosophers with military experience like the last or professional soldiers like Xenophon or even a former boxer like Cleanthes. However apart from this physical exercise was at least considered something that should not be practiced beyond what was necessary to keep the body healthy.
In the East we see people like Ueshiba and Sun Lutang pursuing martial arts in connection with self knowledge and mysticism, and a traditional teacher being as much a teacher of philosophy as a physical trainer with the school being similar to a sect. Maybe we could say that these developments in the East were relatively recent and by then philosophy as a widespread path of self-knowledge had been almost eradicated in the West, or that Christianity had the effect of compartimenting disciplines.
Nevertheless this elevation of the martial arts to a path of self-knowledge and mystical pursuit also came with dilemas, as removing the violent and competitive side of fighting renders the art inefective for fighting purposes and thus misleading people which obviously does not come from a position of sincerity and self-knowledge. The money spent in tutoring, eating and medical bills in modern times could also be seen as inadequate for the plain and simple way philosophers of the main Greek traditions were supposed to live in.