Taking up martial arts has become more popular over recent years. With all types of martial arts in existence, it can be difficult to choose just one to start with.
Part of the appeal of these different types of martial arts is the discipline that it imparts on individuals and participants alike. Apart from becoming more self-aware and controlling anger, you will also have the means to redirect you energy.
You will also learn some cool moves along the way. If you’re interested in studying martial arts, below are some of the most popular martial arts that remain highly practiced and renowned all over the world. Take a look.
All Types of Martial Arts and The Most Popular Divisions
Take a look at the most popular types of martial arts below.
Karate is undoubtedly one of the most famous types of martial arts in the world. It is a form of Japanese striking art that has its origins from the island of Okinawa, which was systematized in the 17th century and was later introduced to the rest of Japan in the 1920s.
This martial arts form evolved and was adapted from the Chinese art of Kung Fu after individuals were forbidden to carry weapons.
The word karate in itself means ‘empty hand.’ To engage in this martial arts, a series of kicks, punches, blocks, and strikes are taken using the hands, knees, elbows, ball of the foot, heels, and forearms.
This practice also emphasizes the need for fast and impactful strikes at the moment of contact. While this sport is practiced by more than 100 million people worldwide, it is commonly practiced in East Asia.
Tae Kwon Do
Hailing from Korea, Tae Kwon Do is a type of unarmed combat that fuses the best of both karate and tae kyon, another earlier form of Korean self-defense.
It was reportedly created between the 1940s and 1950s after the Second World War. However, the systematized and more official recognition of this sport is attributed to Choi Hong-Hi as its principal founder, who submitted the name in 1955.
This sport is characterized by its combined use of kicks, punches, and blocks. Unlike karate, which focuses on its use of arms, Tae Kwon Do focuses its aims on the legs.
Besides Korea, this sport is also practiced in different parts of the globe including the United States, China, Taipei, Turkey, and Iran. These countries have also garnered medals in the sport from international championships.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
If you turn on your television screens or even your social media posts, chances are that you’re bound to see some sort of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) on your screen, especially with UFC and even Fox having these on their roster.
MMA is a hybrid combat sport that incorporates a variety of techniques from different martial arts, such as judo, karate, jujitsu, wrestling, and even Muay Thai. It banks on wrestling and grappling as its main forms of ‘defense,’ with a no-holds-barred approach. Today, a knockout format usually takes place in arenas.
Its origins have been said to date back to the ancient Olympic Games in 648 B.C.E., where pankration was the combat sport of choice in Ancient Greece. Though the sport died down, it later resurfaced in Brazil during the 20th century under the Brothers Gracie. Both Carlos and Helio Gracie initially unveiled this sport under vale tudo, otherwise known as ‘anything goes.’
The brothers later on imported the sport to the U.S. in the 1990s, gaining attraction as Helio’s son joined UFC 1 and won by using MMA. Today, this sport is widely regulated and recognized in the United States, Brazil, Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia, and many other countries.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know more about these sports, you’ll hopefully gain a deeper and renewed appreciation for all types of martial arts.
With the insightful striking and combat sports on this list, you can certainly jumpstart your fitness and defense journey in no time.