You could probably learn to swim by doing the crawl or backstroke on dry land, but would you avoid getting into the water just because it's dangerous?
If so, why learn to swim in the first place? Isn't the whole point of learning to swim is to be safer in the water? And eventually, be able to enjoy it too?
Of course, everyone's so called "martial arts" isn't swimming. People practice for a whole lot of intents and purposes- self-defence, engage in competitions, artistic appreciation, spiritual experience, health, etc.
But say if we're all referring to martial arts, the art of physical combat, the art of Mars (the Roman god of war), is it possible to truly learn it without ever taking a punch?
Why learn to swim if you never intend to ever get into the water?
Why learn martial arts if you never intend to experience the physical engagements that comes with it?
Sparring Without Striking: When Training Gets Too Safe