Here we will look at the more traditional forms of martial arts and all that have been around for many years, and all the more contemporary forms that have appeared in modern times. Traditional Martial Arts. Kung Fu.
Without a doubt, one of the most popular forms of martial arts ever, especially in China, has been the Kung Fu. Possibly more so than any other form of Chinese martial arts, it combines the best aspects of all the other traditional styles. It is strong in self-defense, as well as in combat and of course in Wing Chun Kung Fu, also known as Tai Chi Chuan. All these are combined to provide the ideal package of skills to protect and defend oneself, as well as, perform some great tricks and get oneself out of sticky situations.
Aikido. Another long standing martial art form, Aikido is also known as “the way of the gods.” Unlike most other arts, Aikido places a high importance on the study of ancient Aiki diagrams, or pictorial interpretations of what happens when an opponent is hit. Aikido practitioners learn not only the correct technique for striking and blocking an opponent, but also the philosophy behind the methods, and how to calm the mind and body in order to enable combat to be properly applied.
Judo. Judo means “compassionate combat,” and it has gained a tremendous amount of popularity in the U.S. and Europe. The goal of Judo, like Aikido, is to learn to subdue opponents by utilizing throws, holds, and chokes, while also achieving a degree of self-defense. Some other styles of martial arts that have borrowed some of the techniques from Judo include Jiu-Jitsu, Shoot fighting, and Greco-Roman wrestling. In addition to all of these, Judo has also taken a lot of offense from its opponents, creating a level playing field for all parties involved.
Karate. Perhaps the oldest martial art form in Japan, Karate was founded by Master Ueshiba shortly before the end of the feudal period in the 17th century. While it evolved from various forms of combative training, such as karate, shojo, jujutsu, and fencing, its origins are basically the same as the other disciplines listed above. It is probably most famous for being the origin of the “karate sword,” which has been incorporated into various styles of combat, most famously, the karate bell.
Hapkido. Also known as “the way of the guards,” Hapkido is a Japanese martial arts technique that is more concerned with the body than the techniques used in other forms. Its roots can be traced to traditional fighting styles such as Goju-Ryu and Tai Bo. It is often considered the ancestor of modern day Jujutsu. This fighting style is one of several branches of Aikido and is the main philosophy within the martial arts.
MMA. Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, has grown in popularity in recent years. It is a full contact sport, unlike other types of martial arts, where techniques and applications are primarily applied in the battlefield. The first MMA event took place in 1993, with the “Millionaire’s Fight.” Since then, many MMA organizations, such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the Ultimate Fight Championship have held national events, made amateur and professional bouts, and featured fighters from all over the world. Mixed Martial Arts competitions are popular not only among the hardcore mixed martial arts fans but also among the casual fans who have taken up the sport to compete or watch it.
There are several different types of martial arts practiced today. Each one is based on its origins and application in combat. Many of them teach grappling, striking, throws, takedowns, wrestling, submission holds, and MMA tactics. They are practiced by men, women, adolescents, children, and adults.