Martial Arts – The History Explained


Introduction – It is a system of fighting, a codified method performed with a lot of traditional values enriched with combat practices. The reason for martial arts is many. A few being self-defense, military, and law enforcement. Some people also practice martial arts for spiritual and mental development since it is a form of tradition since ages. It is also considered as a form of entertainment in order to preserve the nation’s cultural heritage.


History –Although the word martial arts is popular as a method of fight in eastern Asia, it has its origin as combat systems of Europe since the 1550s. Derived from Latin meaning ‘arts of Mars’. Mars is the Roman god of war. In China, it is called Kung Fu. Some countries have their own form and name of martial arts which depict the traditions of their region. For instance, the Japanese martial arts practiced by the Samurais are named Koryu. Such are the vast varieties, names, methods and traditions of martial arts.


Types and classification – Martial arts can be classified considering various criteria as below:


Traditional or historical arts as compared with contemporary styles of folk wrestling and modern martial arts


Techniques that are taught: Armed against unarmed and by combat types


By application: self-defense, combat sport, forms, physical fitness, spirituality etc


Chinese tradition: External and internal style


For a better understanding and modernization of marital arts have the below top 10 forms named:


1. Judo – Originated from Japan, it is a combat sport. The aim is to throw or bring down the opponent to get points. It was initially started as a means of sport and exercise with proven benefits of close combat by using leverage.


2. Kickboxing – With different origins the most popular is the American version of kickboxing which is used for fitness, self – defense or as a combat sport. The art combines punches, knees, head butts and kicks to disarm the attacker. Speed is the main thing of kickboxing where the attacker should not be given time to respond.


3. Karate – Also originated from Japan, Karate is practiced as a basic sport mainly for self-defense involving traditional forms of kicking, punching, elbows and open hand tricks. The process is to disable attacks coming from front focusing on weak points of the body.


4. Aikido – Again Japanese form, it is designed for self-defense. It doesn’t cause injury to attackers and hence can be considered as a way to create harmony in the society maintaining the spirit of sport. Check out this website for further details about Fitness.


5. Taekwondo – This martial art originated from Korea is a combined way of attacking and self-defense. It is a sport as well as an exercise which focuses on quick hand movements and high kicks. The leg is considered the strongest and powerful weapon to keep an attacker away.


6. Brazilian Jiu – Jitsu – As the name indicates, it is from Brazil and the artists are taught aggressive moves with the first step of grabbing a limb and manipulating it at the joint until the attacker falls down or breaks. After this fists and elbows on the face are used. Each act of self-defense is a counter attack.


7. Traditional Boxing – Well known as boxing where only hands are used with balancing on the leg, with fast punches and moves. Boxers are very lean, tough and solid and there is more of trick being applied in the game to defend the opponent. Boxing is a sport for gamblers.


8. Wrestling – One of the oldest known forms of combat from Europe, traditional wrestling is a sport played on a mat without ropes. It is one of the few forms of martial arts practiced in schools and colleges.


9. KravMaga – Originated and used mostly in Israel it is the country’s national martial art. It is designed for street survival and is a part of the training given to the defense forces of the country. It involves JiuJitsu, grappling and ground fighting with some karate kicks, elbows, and knees. Traditional boxing punches are also used. So this a very complex sport which focuses on weak points of the body like eyes, groin, and neck.


10. Muay Thai – Originally from Thailand Muay Thai is called the Art of Eight Limbs. It uses punches, kicks, knees and elbows to attack. A very violent and brutal sport it is more for fun and entertainment these days. With so many varieties taught and widely practiced, martial arts is famous in the field of sport and gambling as well.



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