A-Z of Martial Arts

24 min read

Introduction: The First Punch

Have you ever watched a film all about martial arts and felt an overwhelming desire to learn one for yourself? Martial arts is a great skill that can be used for fitness as well as releasing emotions and feelings. Martial arts not just fighting – it is an impressive form of art itself.

There are over 180 styles of martial arts, so wanting to learn one is not as simple as reading an article and booking a class. You need to choose the best option for you so that you can excel and make the most of your training. 

Martial arts were originally considered ancient combat techniques. While there are so many different styles that it is impossible to generalize them, they all use technical and powerful moves that impress anyone lucky enough to witness them. 

Combat doesn’t always have to involve weapons, but some do use swords, sticks, and bow and arrows. Others rely solely on the body as the weapon, incorporating punches, kicks, and strength into it. 

Martial arts is a disciplined skill that requires perfect agility, resilience, and concentration. You need to have endurance and be flexible to conduct the moves. As well as improving your physical wellbeing, martial arts can also help mental endurance. 

Today we’re going to be looking into everything you need to know about martial arts. From all of the different styles to what is most popular in each country, you’re sure to have a better understanding of the best style for you to study after we’re finished here today.

How Many Styles Of Martial Arts Are There? 

2 How Many Styles Of Martial Arts Are There

There are over 180 styles of martial arts to admire, but some are more popular than others. You might be able to think of 5 to 10 styles off of the top of your head right now, but almost no one would be able to name all 180 without a little help. 

The origin of martial arts can be seen in early literature and figurative art pieces. Some of the oldest artwork dates back to 3000BCE. Asia has long been known as the driving force of the martial arts world, and many of the popular styles originate from the continent. 

Throughout the years, different cultures have found their own styles of martial arts to use as survival techniques. This is why martial arts first came about, but since then people have used it for different purposes. 

Some use it to become one with their mental stability, others use it as a release of anger and stress. Martial arts make good competition and many people hone their skills for many years.

Practicers often find that they’re never happy with their progress and that they want to continue pushing themselves to be better. 

While there are 180 styles of martial arts, the most common you might have heard of are Judo, Karate, MMA, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Krav Maga, and Jiu-Jitsu. They have been developed in areas such as Japan, China, and Israel. 

Having said that, as martial arts became more popular more Americans hopped on the trend and made it popular all over the world. So, you know that you want to begin training in a martial art, but which one is the best one for you? Let’s find out. 

Your Journey: What Style Is Right For You? 

3Your Journey What Style Is Right For You

With so many styles of martial arts, it can be difficult to know which is the best for you. Before you get started, you should know that studying a martial art costs a lot of money and time. For this reason, you don’t want to choose the wrong one.

You’re only going to stick with a martial art if you genuinely enjoy learning it. So, the decision is bigger than using the technique of trial and error. Below we’ve summarized the most popular types of martial arts on offer, with some benefits and drawbacks of learning them. 

Use the table above to determine which is the best martial art for you. We’ve only included the most popular styles of martial arts above, but we’ve listed the complete set below.

If none of the martial arts above sounds right for you, you might be able to find a better option in the complete list. 

Fighting By Country: Fighting Styles By Country  

4Fighting By Country Fighting Styles By Country

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about martial arts is how they differ by country. Every area of the world seems to have a different way of fighting, which we find so interesting.

Below we’re going to look at how 10 different areas of the world train and compete when it comes to martial arts. 

American Fighting Styles 

There are many different martial art styles practiced in the USA, but not that many of them were actually created in America.

The first that we’re going to talk about today is American Kenpo, first developing in the 1950s by Ed Parker. It uses traditional karate techniques as well as modern concepts. 

A particularly interesting martial art that originated in America is Chun Kuk Do, created by Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris was an actor and martial artist who created his own style to continue improving his training. Other martial arts from America include Jailhouse Rock, Kickboxing, and Lua. 

European Fighting Styles

Similar to America, many martial arts are practiced in Europe that originated in different countries. However, what about the martial art styles that were founded in Europe?

Fencing was once originated in Europe. While it is now considered an Olympic sport, fencing was a popular martial art. 

We particularly like the sound of Shin Kicking, which is a martial art that originated in England. It focuses on the opponents kicking each other in the shins until one cannot compete anymore. We have to see that one day! 

Wrestling was also founded in Europe and this is one of the most well known martial arts today. A match will end once one opponent pins the other. The Greeks and Romans first founded and made the rules for wrestling. 

Chinese Fighting Styles

There have been many martial arts to come from China, some of which are the most popular in the world. Kung Fu has been practiced for many years, focusing on hand and arm strikes, kicks, and weapon training. You can find so many different schools of Kung Fu around the world. 

Tai Chi is another popular martial art from China. This is considered one of the most gentle martial arts in the world and therefore it’s great for older people. Tai Chi focuses more on spirituality and health rather than combat. 

Other fighting styles from China such as Tai Yi Zhang, Wing Chun, and Zui Quan. 

Indian Fighting Styles

India also offers a reputable amount of fighting styles to the list of 180 martial arts in the world. Among the most popular are Silambam, which uses a staff to fight opponents with. Gatka utilizes swords and Mardani Khel also uses weapons. 

The running themes from martial arts originating from India seem to be weapons or wrestling techniques. Pehlwani uses a large number of wrestling tactics as well as grappling techniques. 

Japanese Fighting Styles

Much like China, a lot of the most popular martial arts have come from Japan. Karate takes the number one spot and over 100 million people practice Karate in the world. There are countless substyles of Karate, including  Ashihara, Goju-Ryu, and Seido Juku.

People have found Karate and adopted it all over the world, making it the most popular martial art. Kendo, Sumo, and Aikido are among the other martial arts that have come from Japan. 

Judo and Jujutsu are two other very popular martial arts that were founded in Japan. They both focus on grappling, throws, and joint locks. Jujutsu requires you to use the opponent’s force back onto them rather than you. 

Korean Fighting Styles

Taekwondo is a popular martial art from Korea. It uses punches, strikes, kicks, and blocks on an opponent.

Tang Soo Do is another martial art style similar to Taekwondo, but it incorporates Karate into practice as well. Soo Bahk Do is an extension of Tang Soo Do for people who outgrew the practice. 

Hapkido is another form of Korean martial art focusing on punches, throws, joint locks, and kicks. This style also has a cousin called Han Mu Do, which is considered smoother than Hapkido. It also uses more open hand combat than the alternative. 

Kuk Sool Won, Taekkyeon, and Won Hwa Do are just a few of the other Korean martial arts available to practice. 

African Fighting Styles

While there are not as many martial art styles from Africa, the martial arts that originated there are well known and popular by many. Laamb is a martial art similar to wrestling that allows punching as well as traditional wrestling moves.

Dambe is similar to Boxing but allows kicking techniques as well, so we suppose it’s also similar to Kickboxing. Zulu Stick Fighting uses weapons and Tahtib is a stick fighting martial art in which the student uses a four-foot wooden stick. 

Vietnamese Fighting Styles

Quite a substantial number of martial arts have been founded in Vietnam; however, they are mostly only practiced within their originating country.

There are some martial art styles that have made their way around the world, but only a small percentage of the entirety of Vietnamese fighting styles. 

Cuong Nhu uses elements from many different martial arts such as Aikido, Wing Chun, Tai Chi, Boxing, Shotokan Karate, Judo, and Vovinam. Vovinam is a style that uses combat, weapons, and grappling to beat an opponent. 

Filipino Fighting Styles

Dumong, Panantukan, and Yaw Yan are Philippine martial arts that focus mostly on wrestling or kickboxing techniques. Kino Mutai was originally founded in the Philippines, and this style involves unconventional techniques such as eye-gouging and biting your opponent. 

Sikaran focuses only on kicking, and Eskrima (Arnis & Kali) uses weapons such as sticks and blades. These are all of the martial arts that were originally created in the Philippines. 

Brazilian Fighting Styles

Finally, we have the Brazilian fighting styles. Much like from the Philippines, there are not that many martial arts from Brazil. However, a very popular style is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, focusing primarily on ground fighting.

Luta Livre is another grappling martial art founded in Brazil, with Capoeira incorporating acrobatic movements into martial arts. Vale Tudo boasts of being similar to Mixed Martial Arts but without as many rules. There are only four martial art styles originating from Brazil.

Martial Arts Styles: An End-To-End Guide  

5Martial Arts Styles An End-To-End Guide

Now we’re going to break down the 180 martial art styles for you so that you can make an informed decision on which one sounds like it suits you best. So, get comfortable and get ready for a crash course on every martial arts style that there is. 

We’ve listed all of the styles from the most popular to the least, but that doesn’t mean that one of the lesser-known styles isn’t the perfect one for you! Make sure to read the entire list so that you don’t miss out on your perfect match.

Karate

  • Originated in Japan
  • There are lots of different sub-styles of karate
  • Focuses on elbow strikes, kicks, punches, and hand strikes

Judo

  • Originally from Japan
  • Focuses on grappling, throws, and joint locks

Jujutsu

  • Attempts to redirect force from an attack back onto the opponent 
  • Japanese martial art

Tai Chi

  • Considered a gentle martial art
  • Uses slow movements to reduce stress and improve health

Kickboxing

  • Focuses on powerful kicks and punches
  • An extension on boxing

Boxing

  • Focused only on powerful punches and blocks

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

  • Originally from Brazil
  • Focuses on ground fighting

Kung Fu

  • Chinese martial art
  • Focuses on strikes, kicks, and weapons
  • Lots of different styles of Kung Fu

Mixed Martial Arts

  • Uses techniques from many different martial art styles

Wrestling

  • Better known today as a sport
  • Ancient martial art
  • You need to pin the opponent to win

Coreeda

  • Originated in Australia
  • Focuses primarily on wrestling

Daido Juku Kudo

  • Founded in Japan
  • Focuses on mixed martial arts
  • Practicers wear a traditional gi

Muay Thai

  • Similar to kickboxing with strikes
  • An element of MMA training

Krav Maga

  • Formed in Israel
  • Uses combat in real situations

Shin Kicking

  • English martial art
  • Focuses on kicking the opponent in the shin

Fu Jow Pai

  • Chinese martial art

Hung Ga

  • Founded in South China
  • Mixes five animal styles – dragon, crane, snake, tiger, and leopard

Huyen Langlon

  • Created in North East India

Gongkwon Yusul

  • Korean martial art
  • Blends elements from Jujutsu, Boxing, Judo, and Hapkido

American Kenpo

  • Also known as Kenpo Karate
  • Hybrid martial arts style 

Taekwondo

  • Korean martial art
  • Uses punches, strikes, kicks, and blocks

Kyuk Too Ki

  • Originally from Korea
  • Kickboxing

Kyusho Jitsu

  • Targets pressure points

Laamb

  • Senegalese martial art
  • Blends wrestling with punches

Aikido

  • Originated in Japan 
  • Focuses on blocking attacks and redirecting the energy back to the opponent
  • Full of throws, joint locks, and traditional Japanese weapons

Aikijujutsu

  • Subgenre of Jujutsu
  • Focuses on blending with the opponent
  • Moving joint locks and other specialized principles

Catch Wrestling

  • Grappling martial arts
  • Mixes techniques from Judo, Wrestling, and Jujutsu

Canne de Combat

  • Originated from France 
  • Considered a sportier version of cane fighting

Singlestick

  • Ancient English martial art 
  • Uses wooden rod 
  • Originally designed for teaching fighting to sailors

Military Martial Arts

  • Developed by the military
  • Uses real-life situations of combat

Kobudo

  • Focused on weapon training
  • Weapons used are the bo staff, nunchaku, sai, and tonfa
  • Originated in Japan

Kokondo

  • Combines techniques from Jujutsu and Karate

Lua

  • Founded in Hawaii
  • Focused on wrestling, weapons, and breaking bones

Mau Rakau

  • Weapons based
  • Founded by Maori of New Zealand

Sumo

  • Founded in Japan
  • Focused on wrestling

Gatka

  • Originated in India
  • Focuses on swords for weapons

Glima

  • Originally from Scandinavian countries
  • Created by the Vikings

Small Circle Jujitsu

  • American martial art
  • Uses modified techniques from Judo and Jujutsu

Sojutsu

  • Originated in Japan
  • Focuses on spear fighting

Tang Soo Do

  • Similar to Karate and Taekwondo
  • Korean martial art

Monkey Kung Fu (Hou Quan)

  • Uses different angles and positions to disorientate opponent
  • Unorthodox martial art

Muay Boran

  • Originated from Thailand 

Soo Bahk Do

  • Korean martial art

Pencak Silat

  • Umbrella term for Indonesian martial arts

Ninjutsu

  • Developed by ninjas

Pankration

  • Greek martial art
  • Uses boxing, grappling, and kicking

Pehlwani

  • Originated in India
  • Focuses on wrestling and grappling

Combat Hapkido

  • Focuses on self-defense and grappling

Danzan Ryu

  • The American form of Jujutsu
  • Otherwise known as Kodenkan

Shintaido

  • Blends Kenjutsu, Bojutsu, and Karate with meditation

Shootfighting

  • Similar to Mixed Martial Arts
  • Focuses on total body submission grappling

Hwa Rang Do

  • Uses sparring, weapons, and self-defense techniques

Vale Tudo

  • Originated from Brazil
  • Similar to Mixed Martial Arts, but with fewer rules

Systema

  • Used in various Russian special forces

Taekkyeon

  • Focuses on low kicks, sweeps, trips, and pushing the opponent
  • Originated in Korea

Xtreme Martial Arts

  • Combines martial art techniques with gymnastics

Zui Quan

  • Better known as Drunken Fist
  • Substyle of Kung Fu

Yabusame

  • Japanese martial art
  • Focuses on archery while on horseback

Hapkido

  • Focuses on kicks, punches, joint locks, and throws

HEMA – Historical European Martial Arts

  • Primarily focuses on sword fighting 
  • Uses 1300-1800s European techniques

Eagle Claw Kung Fu

  • Originated in China
  • Known for gripping techniques

Ssireum

  • Korean martial art
  • Focuses on wrestling

Tahtib

  • Egyptian martial art 
  • Uses stick fighting techniques

Enshin Kaikan

  • Japanese martial art
  • Involves punches, kicks, and throws
  • Turns attacks back onto the opponent

Jeet Kune Do

  • Created by Bruce Lee

Bojuka

  • Focuses on self-defense
  • Main moves involve grappling and strikes

Bojutsu

  • Weapon based
  • Uses a long staff called a Bo

Jojutsu

  • Focuses on using a short staff called a Jo
  • Founded in Japan

US Army’s Modern Army Combatives Program

  • Taught by the US army

Won Hwa Do

  • Known for circular techniques
  • Korean martial art

Keijojutsu

  • Originally created in Japan
  • Uses police stick combat 

Kendo

  • Founded in Japan
  • Focuses on sword fighting

Yamanni-Ryu

  • Focuses on Okinawan weapons

Yaw Yan

  • Philippines version of Kickboxing

Varma Kalai

  • Focused on pressure points

Hanbojutsu

  • Uses a three-foot wooden staff called a Hanbo

Han Mu Do

  • Korean martial art
  • Considered a cousin to Hapkido

Kuntao

  • Founded in southeast Asia
  • Uses hand strikes, grappling, and martial arts weapons

Kyudo

  • Japanese martial art
  • Focuses on archery

Dumog

  • Primarily focuses on wrestling.
  • Founded in the Philippines 

Hojojutsu

  • Originated in Japan
  • Uses ropes to disable an opponent

Wing Chun

  • Founded in China
  • Focused on grappling, strikes, and weapons

Silat

  • Focuses on strikes, takedowns, and weapons

Siljun Dobup

  • Sword fighting martial art
  • Based on Korean and Japanese traditions

Itto-Ryu

  • Japanese martial art
  • Focuses on sword fighting techniques

Kumdo

  • Sword fighting martial art
  • Similarities to Kendo

Nunchaku Do

  • Uses nunchaku in the way of sports

Pradal Serey

  • Originally from Cambodia
  • Similar to Kickboxing and Muay Thai

Kung Fu To’a

  • Originated from Iran
  • Combines Kung Fu and Yoga

Jailhouse Rock

  • Developed in the US prison system

Angampora

  • Originally formed in Sri Lanka
  • Focuses on unarmed combat as well as weapons
  • Common moves are grappling and finding pressure points

Araki Ryu

  • Originated in Japan
  • Focuses on traditional Japanese martial arts weapons 

Combat Hopak

  • Ukrainian martial art

Bokh

  • Traditionally practiced by Mongol warriors
  • One of the first wrestling martial arts
  • Also known as Mongolian Wrestling

Budokon

  • Combines martial arts with the practice of yoga

Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu

  • Originally a Japanese martial art
  • Focused on unarmed combat, strikes, and joint locks

Defendu

  • Originally founded in Britain
  • Taught to troops and allies of WWII

Iaijutsu

  • Combat alternate to Iaido

Gungsol

  • Originated from Korea
  • Focuses on archery

Haidong Gumdo

  • Focuses on sword fighting techniques
  • Founded in Korea

Jukendo

  • Originated in Japan
  • Focuses on the bayonet

Juttejutsu

  • Founded in Japan
  • Focuses on a weapon called Jutte

Iaido

  • Founded in Japan
  • Focuses on drawing a sword from its holder
  • Does not use sparring too much

Nippon Kempo

  • Japanese martial art
  • Uses punches, joint locks, kicks, and grappling

Shooto

  • Created by Satoru Sayama in Japan
  • Similar to Mixed Martial Arts

Butthan

  • Originally from Bangladesh
  • Focuses on self-defense and meditation 

Choy Li Fut

  • Type of Kung Fu

Krabi-Krabong

  • Founded in Thailand
  • Focuses on using weapons

Leopard Kung Fu (Bao Quan)

  • Chinese martial art
  • Focused on using speed and agility to defeat opponents

Nunchakujutsu

  • Uses nunchaku for self-defense training

Okichitaw

  • Combines traditional fighting techniques with Judo and Taekwondo

Kuk Sool Won

  • Korean martial art
  • Focuses on strikes, grappling, weapons, and healing

Lerdrit

  • Military martial art used by the Royal Thai Army

Kino Mutai

  • Founded in the Philippines
  • Usually, illegal tactics used such as eye-gouging and biting

Lethwei

  • Similar to kickboxing but with headbutts and other illegal techniques

Bando

  • Originated in Southeast Asia

KAPAP

  • Hebrew acronym for ‘face to face combat’
  • Used by many Israel military units

Kenjutsu

  • Founded in Japan
  • Uses sword fighting 
  • Unlike Kendo, Kenjutsu doesn’t focus on sparring

Panantukan

  • Boxing portion of Filipino martial art

Luta Livre

  • Brazilian martial art
  • Otherwise known as free fighting

Malla Yuddha

  • Martial art from India and Southeast Asia
  • Focused on combat wrestling

Eskrima

  • Martial art from the Philippines
  • Uses sticks and blades for weapons
  • Also named  Arnis and Kali

Fencing

  • Now known as an Olympic sport
  • ‘Historical fencing’ uses it as a martial art

Chun Kuk Do

  • Created by Chuck Norris
  • A hybrid between Korean and American techniques 

Dambe

  • African martial art
  • Uses boxing techniques as well as kicking

Quarterstaff

  • British martial art
  • Uses a 6 to 9-foot wooden staff as a weapon
  • Can be seen in Robin Hood

Sambo

  • Originated from Russia
  • The two styles are Combat Sambo and Sports Sambo

Kenpo or Kempo

  • Similar to American Kenpo

Keysi

  • Self-defense system
  • Featured in films such as Batman

Bartitsu

  • Originated in England
  • Combines boxing, jujutsu, and cane fighting
  • Peak interest comes from Sherlock Holmes

Bataireacht

  • Also known as Irish Stick Fighting

Kalaripayattu

  • Ancient martial art originating from India

Shindo Jinen Ryu

  • Combines Aikido, Karate, and Jujutsu

Shuri-Ryu

  • Blends techniques from Karate and Kung Fu

Tantojutsu

  • Focused on knife fighting
  • Uses a Japanese Tanto

Tessenjutsu

  • Based on the use of Tessen
  • Originally from Japan

Bujutsu

  • Japanese martial art
  • Practiced by Samurai 
  • Uses both short and long-range techniques

Defendo Alliance

  • Founded in Europe
  • Focuses on realistic forms of self-defense

Icho-Ryu

  • Created for law enforcement officers
  • Fuses Jujitsu, Aikido, Karate, Judo, Aikijujutsu, and Goju Ryu

Cuong Nhu

  • American/Vietnamese hybrid martial art
  • Combines Aikido, Wing Chun, Judo, Boxing, Tai Chi, Shotokan Karate, Vovinam

Thien Mon Dao

  • Vietnamese martial art

Sibpalki

  • Originated from Korea
  • Uses close combat techniques

Sikaran

  • Philippines martial arts
  • Primarily uses kicking

Silambam

  • Focuses on staff fighting
  • Indian martial art 

Taiho Jutsu

  • Originally created to help the police capture armed criminals

Kyujutsu

  • Originally from Japan
  • Focuses on archery with a Yumi

Bokator

  • Ancient martial art from Cambodia
  • Focuses on weapons, strikes, and grappling

Shorinji Kempo

  • Uses spirituality, personal growth, and health with self-defense techniques

Shuai Jiao

  • Focused on wrestling and grappling

Kajukenbo

  • Originated from America
  • Uses lots of different techniques from other martial arts

Lathi Khela

  • Founded in Bangladesh
  • Stick fighting

Zulu Stick Fighting

  • Weapons based martial art
  • Originated from South Africa

Vovinam

  • Originated in Vietnam

Byakuren Kaikan

  • Founded in Japan
  • Focuses on full contact sparring

Special Combat Aggressive Reactionary System (SCARS)

  • Taught to US Navy Seals in the late 90s

Spochan

  • Uses airsoft weapons to learn fighting techniques

Taido

  • Founded in Japan
  • Uses Karate techniques with dynamic movements

LimaLama

  • Originated from Samoa

Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) 

  • Uses knife training and unarmed combat

Naginatajutsu

  • Originated from Japan
  • Uses a long pole called Naginata as a weapon

Capoeira

  • Acrobatic martial art
  • Originated from Brazil 

Bagua Zhang

  • Otherwise known as circle walking
  • One of the most well-known Wudang styles

Bajutsu

  • First created in Japan
  • Focuses on  military equestrianism

Shaolin Kung Fu

  • Developed by monks at the Shaolin Temple in China
  • A substyle of Kung Fu

Kinomichi

  • Originated in France
  • Created by a student of the creator of Aikido

Niten Ichi-Ryu

  • Created by Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi
  • Uses two swords

Qwan Ki Do

  • Vietnamese martial art

Wushu

  • A modern-day version of Kung Fu

Yoseikan Budo

  • Japanese martial art
  • Combines Aikido, Judo, Kobudo, Boxing, Jujutsu, and Karate together

Nam Hong Son

  • Founded in Vietnam

Bakom

  • Peruvian martial art
  • Combines street fighting with Jujutsu

Praying Mantis Kung Fu

  • Focuses on redirection and trapping tactics

Shaolin Kempo Karate

  • Blends techniques Karate, Shaolin Kung Fu and Asian wrestling

Nhat Nam

  • Vietnamese martial art

Linh Quyen Dao

  • Vietnamese martial art

Bajiquan

  • Founded in China
  • Known for its explosive moves 
  • The key move is elbow strikes

Niyuddha

  • Ancient Indian martial art

Sanshou (or Sanda)

  • Developed for Chinese military

Savate

  • Otherwise known as French Kickboxing

Schwingen

  • Swiss martial art

Getting Started: How To Start Fighting & Training  

6Getting Started How To Start Fighting Training

So, you’ve managed to find the right martial art for you out of the amazing 180 styles to choose from. Now you want to know how to begin training and learning the skill. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to join a gym or class focusing on the martial art you have chosen. 

Joining a gym will allow you to be taught by a professional and you’ll always have an opponent to practice with. Not to mention that it is a sociable experience and that you can meet new peers with.

Many gyms will have all of the updated information about competitions and awards that you might be eligible for, so you can increase your skill even more. 

It’s also beneficial to have people to talk to who are in the same boat as you. You’ll meet people who have been training longer than you who you can get tips and tricks from. Finally, joining a gym will keep you motivated and willing to practice. 

However, a gym membership can be expensive. If you don’t have enough money to consistently go to a class teaching your chosen martial art you can opt to learn from home.

It might be slightly more difficult and take a longer time to master, but you can certainly teach yourself a martial art from home. 

This is what most practitioners do as they don’t want to spend as much money on all of the gym classes. We would recommend mixing your time between gym classes and home practice sessions. 

Martial arts are easy to learn at home because you don’t always need an opponent to grasp the techniques. However, we do recommend getting a partner at least once a week so that you can show how the techniques you’ve learned that week work in real combat. 

If you’re learning from home, you can use YouTube video tutorials. There are plenty of teachers generously offering their services for free on YouTube, so all you need to do is find the one that you work with the best. 

You won’t get along with every teacher, so it’s good to conduct some trial and error to ensure that you find the best one for you. A good teacher can make or break your practice, so don’t make the decision lightly! 

Depending on the martial art style you choose, you might need to invest in some equipment. For example, weapon-based styles such as Aikido, Bojutsu, and Kung Fu require culture-specific weapons.

These might be difficult to come across if you don’t live in the originating country, but thanks to the internet you should be able to purchase one of your own. 

Other martial arts, such as Boxing, Kickboxing, and Mixed Martial Arts sometimes call for equipment like a mouth guard, head guard, and athletic tape. These all protect you from injuries if you’re practicing with an opponent. 

If you’re practicing on your own, you might also benefit from gloves and a punching bag. These offer you the feel of a real opponent while still training in the comfort of your own home.

These are not vital; however, as you can shadow box instead. This is where you practice punching and kicking in thin air. 

Finally, some martial arts require you to wear a uniform of sorts. For example, Karate students wear a keiko-gi or just gi. If you’re practicing Kung Fu you will be expected to wear a yī-fu. A Judo student would wear a judogi, and a Jujutsu student would wear a kimono also called a gi. 

Once you decide upon a martial art style to practice you should do some research into it and see whether there is a correct uniform to purchase. This will avoid you turning up to class unprepared or accidentally offending someone’s culture. 

Conclusion: And, Fight!

7Conclusion And, Fight

We hope that you’ve learned something interesting and valuable from our handbook to the martial arts. Better yet, we hope that you’ve found your new favorite hobby! There are 180 martial art styles out there in the world, but you will have heard of only the most popular ones. 

What we aimed to do in our article is to show you that there is more to martial arts than just Karate, Judo, and Tai Chi. If you’ve chosen one of these to begin practicing, we hope that you’ll love it as much as everyone else who practices them does! 

But if you’ve chosen one of the lesser-known martial arts to study, we hope that it lives up to your expectations. The most fascinating thing about martial arts is how many styles get forgotten about behind the most popular options. 

China, Japan, and Korea are where the most popular martial arts have originated from, but there are also plenty of styles created in America, Europe, Africa, and Vietnam.

While these styles are not considered the most popular or studied, one of them might just be your new favorite obsession. 

Once you’ve made your decision, and we know that it won’t be an easy one, you have to figure out how you’re going to train.

Many martial artists suggest that you split your time between professionally taught classes and practicing at home so that you can hone your skills in the shortest amount of time. 

However, your learning journey is individualized to you and only you have the power to decide what is going to work best for you. So, what martial art did you choose? Personally, we enjoy Karate, Shin Kicking, and Wrestling the best.


by Rayford Baxter. Republished from bodymindandmodem.com. Read the original article here.

Rayford Baxter is an avid BJJ, MMA, grappling, and general martial arts enthusiast from Southern California. He received his first black belt at the age of 8 years old in Karate, then started exploring all forms of martial arts throughout his teens and adult life.

He is currently the owner of his own MMA dojo “in paradise” where he teaches combat training and meditation. He is also the author of a book soon to be published on the merits of martial arts training on the body and mind.

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