There are more and more types of martial arts being added in the list because of the modified and newly developed techniques that some schools or masters have come up with. But still, there are the ones that remain the most popular and most learned.
Many of you might have already watched any of the versions of the movie ‘Karate Kid’. In all the movies, an American kid is taught by a Chinese ancient martial artist. Here you would see that Karate, though said to have originated from Japan, have been adopted from the ancient fighting style of the Chinese. Karate means ’empty hand’. It is a striking art that uses different punching and kicking techniques. Some weapons or tools can also be used in Karate.
Instead of offense, this type of martial art focuses more on the defense side. It believes in the philosophy of controlling one’s aggression without injuring others. Learners of aikido are taught to use their opponent’s energy against them. This requires years of practice before one becomes comfortable in the techniques.
- Tae Kwon Do
This martial art that originated from Korea has become so popular that it has been added to the Olympics. Tae Kwon Do is known for its supremacy to different kicking techniques. Flexibility is one of the key factors in this art, aside from strength and agility. Though this martial art is mostly focused on the legs or feet, the training also includes punches, elbows and knees. Students are also taught to break boards with their bare hands and feet.
- Muay Thai
In Thailand, Muay Thai has become their national sport. It is also one of the most popular types of martial arts that is being used in MMA. This martial art requires all ‘eight limbs’ to be used to strike the opponent. These limbs are the shins, hands, elbows and knees. The most unique technique of this martial art is called the clinch. It is when the attacker pulls the opponent’s head towards him and strikes it with his knees.
Many still argue that boxing is not a kind of martial art because of the restrictions of the rules and the dependent on the score – and that it did not originate from Asian traditions. However, you might have noticed that most MMA fighters learn the art of boxing in order for them to be more competent in the ring. Boxing is a combat sport that dates back to probably the earliest days. And as time has passed, modifications of the sport have been done, including kickboxing. MMA fighters also use different hand and feet techniques that are common to boxing, even using a Century BOB for training.
- Kung Fu
Kung Fu is probably the most widely known martial arts, and is sometimes said to be martial arts itself. It uses all the techniques used by other types of martial arts and more. Unlike aikido which focuses more on the defensive aspect, Kung Fu builds both defense and offense techniques.