Martial arts
Overview
 
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense
Self-defense
Self-defense, self-defence or private defense is a countermeasure that involves defending oneself, one's property or the well-being of another from physical harm. The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many...

, competition
Combat sport
A Combat sport, also known as a Fighting sport, is a competitive contact sport where two combatants fight against each other using certain rules of engagement , typically with the aim of simulating parts of real hand to hand combat...

, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development.

The term martial art has become heavily associated with the fighting arts of eastern Asia, but was originally used in regard to the combat systems of Europe as early as the 1550s.
Encyclopedia
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense
Self-defense
Self-defense, self-defence or private defense is a countermeasure that involves defending oneself, one's property or the well-being of another from physical harm. The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many...

, competition
Combat sport
A Combat sport, also known as a Fighting sport, is a competitive contact sport where two combatants fight against each other using certain rules of engagement , typically with the aim of simulating parts of real hand to hand combat...

, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development.

The term martial art has become heavily associated with the fighting arts of eastern Asia, but was originally used in regard to the combat systems of Europe as early as the 1550s. An English fencing manual of 1639 used the term in reference specifically to the "Science and Art" of swordplay. The term is ultimately derived from Latin, martial arts being the "Arts of Mars," the Roman god of war.

Some martial arts are considered 'traditional' and tied to an ethnic, cultural or religious background, while others are modern systems developed either by a founder or an association.

Variation and scope

Martial arts may be categorized along a variety of criteria, including:
  • Traditional or historical arts and contemporary styles of folk wrestling
    Folk wrestling
    A folk wrestling style is a traditional wrestling discipline which may or may not be codified as a modern sport. Most human cultures have developed their own sort of grappling style unique from other styles practiced...

     vs. modern hybrid martial arts.
  • Regional origin, especially Eastern Martial Arts vs. Western Martial Arts
    Western Martial Arts
    Western Martial Arts refers to formalized fighting techniques and skills of European or generally Western origin, as distinct from those originating in Asia....

  • Techniques taught: Armed vs. unarmed, and within these groups by type of weapon (swordsmanship
    Swordsmanship
    Swordsmanship refers to the skills of a swordsman, a person versed in the art of the sword. The term is modern, and as such was mainly used to refer to smallsword fencing, but by extension it can also be applied to any martial art involving the use of a sword...

    , stick fighting
    Stick fighting
    Stick fighting is a generic term for martial arts which use simple long slender, blunt, hand-held, generally wooden 'sticks' for fighting such as a staff, cane, walking stick, baton or similar....

     etc.) and by type of combat (grappling
    Grappling
    Grappling refers to techniques, maneuvers, and counters applied to an opponent in order to gain a physical advantage, such as improving relative position, escaping, submitting, or injury to the opponent. Grappling is a general term that covers techniques used in many disciplines, styles and martial...

     vs. striking
    Strike (attack)
    A strike is an attack with an inanimate object, such as a weapon, or with a part of the human body intended to cause an effect upon an opponent or to simply cause harm to an opponent. There are many different varieties of strikes...

    ; stand-up fighting
    Stand-up fighting
    Stand-up fighting is hand-to-hand combat that takes place while the combatants are in a standing position. The term is commonly used in martial arts and combat sports to designate the set of techniques employed from a standing position, as opposed to techniques employed in ground fighting...

     vs. ground fighting
    Ground fighting
    Ground fighting is hand-to-hand combat which takes place while the combatants are on the ground, generally involving grappling...

    )
  • By application or intent: self-defense
    Self-defense
    Self-defense, self-defence or private defense is a countermeasure that involves defending oneself, one's property or the well-being of another from physical harm. The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many...

    , combat sport
    Combat sport
    A Combat sport, also known as a Fighting sport, is a competitive contact sport where two combatants fight against each other using certain rules of engagement , typically with the aim of simulating parts of real hand to hand combat...

    , choreography or demonstration of forms, physical fitness
    Physical fitness
    Physical fitness comprises two related concepts: general fitness , and specific fitness...

    , meditation
    Meditation
    Meditation is any form of a family of practices in which practitioners train their minds or self-induce a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit....

    , etc.
  • Within Chinese tradition: "external" vs. "internal"
    Neijia
    Nèijiā is a term in Chinese martial arts, grouping those styles that practice nèijìng , usually translated as internal martial arts, occupied with spiritual, mental or qi-related aspects, as opposed to an "external" approach focused on physiological aspects...

     styles

By technical focus

Unarmed
Unarmed martial arts can be broadly grouped into focusing on strikes
Strike (attack)
A strike is an attack with an inanimate object, such as a weapon, or with a part of the human body intended to cause an effect upon an opponent or to simply cause harm to an opponent. There are many different varieties of strikes...

, and those focusing on grappling
Grappling
Grappling refers to techniques, maneuvers, and counters applied to an opponent in order to gain a physical advantage, such as improving relative position, escaping, submitting, or injury to the opponent. Grappling is a general term that covers techniques used in many disciplines, styles and martial...

, and in addition those combining these two fields, usually described as "hybrid
Hybrid martial arts
Hybrid martial arts refer to martial arts or fighting systems that incorporate techniques and theories from several particular martial arts...

".

Strikes
Strike (attack)
A strike is an attack with an inanimate object, such as a weapon, or with a part of the human body intended to cause an effect upon an opponent or to simply cause harm to an opponent. There are many different varieties of strikes...

  • Punching
    Punch (strike)
    A punch is a striking blow with the fist. It is the most commonly used attack in hand to hand combat. It is used in some martial arts and combat sports, most notably boxing where it is the only type of technique allowed...

    : Boxing (Western)
    Boxing
    Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

    , Wing Chun
    Wing Chun
    Wing Chun , also romanised as Ving Tsun or Wing Tsun, ; ; is a concept-based Chinese martial art and form of self-defense utilizing both striking and grappling while specializing in close-range combat.The alternative characters 永春 "eternal spring" are also...

  • Kick
    Kick
    In combat sports and hand-to-hand combat, a kick is a physical strike using the foot, leg, or knee . This type of attack is used frequently, especially in stand-up fighting...

    ing: Capoeira
    Capoeira
    Capoeira is a Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, sports, and music. It was created in Brazil mainly by descendants of African slaves with Brazilian native influences, probably beginning in the 16th century...

    , Kickboxing
    Kickboxing
    Kickboxing refers to a group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai and western boxing....

    , Tae Kwon Do,
  • Other strikes: Kung Fu, Muay Thai
    Muay Thai
    Muay Thai is a combat sport from Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. It is similar to other Indochinese kickboxing systems, namely pradal serey from Cambodia, tomoi from Malaysia, lethwei from Myanmar and muay Lao from Laos...

    , Choi Kwang Do
    Choi Kwang Do
    Choi Kwang Do is a martial art developed by Kwang Jo Choi. The style relies more on flexibility and fluidity of movement as opposed to the more rigid lines of some other martial arts. To achieve this it employs yoga-based stretching to develop the flexibility of practitioners.-History:Choi Kwang...


Grappling
Grappling
Grappling refers to techniques, maneuvers, and counters applied to an opponent in order to gain a physical advantage, such as improving relative position, escaping, submitting, or injury to the opponent. Grappling is a general term that covers techniques used in many disciplines, styles and martial...

  • Throwing
    Throw (grappling)
    A throw is a martial arts term for a grappling technique that involves off-balancing or lifting an opponent, and tossing them to the ground in Japanese martial arts referred to as nage-waza, 投げ技, "throwing technique"...

    : Glima
    Glima
    Glíma is the Icelandic national style of folk wrestling.There are four points that differentiate it from other forms of wrestling:*The opponents must always stand erect.*The opponents step clockwise around each other...

    , Judo
    Judo
    is a modern martial art and combat sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw or takedown one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an...

    , Sambo
    Sambo
    Sambo may refer to:*Sambo , a racial term for a person with mixed African and Native American heritage * Sambo , a martial art developed in the USSR* Sambo from The Story of Little Black Sambo, a book...

    , Sumo
    Sumo
    is a competitive full-contact sport where a wrestler attempts to force another wrestler out of a circular ring or to touch the ground with anything other than the soles of the feet. The sport originated in Japan, the only country where it is practiced professionally...

  • Joint lock
    Joint lock
    A Joint lock is a grappling technique involving manipulation of an opponent's joints in such a way that the joints reach their maximal degree of motion....

    /Chokes/Submission holds: Aikido
    Aikido
    is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying life energy" or as "the Way of harmonious spirit." Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to...

    , Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting...

    , Hapkido
    Hapkido
    Hapkido is a dynamic and also eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks...

    , Jujutsu
    Jujutsu
    Jujutsu , also known as jujitsu, ju-jitsu, or Japanese jiu-jitsu, is a Japanese martial art and a method of close combat for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no weapon, or only a short weapon....

  • Pinning Techniques: Judo
    Judo
    is a modern martial art and combat sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw or takedown one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an...

    , Shuai Jiao
    Shuai jiao
    Shuai jiao is the general Mandarin Chinese term for wrestling. As a generic name, it may be used to cover various styles of wrestling practised in China in the form of a martial arts system or a sport. The narrower term pertains to wrestling styles of the North China Plain...

    , Wrestling
    Wrestling
    Wrestling is a form of grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position...

    , Sambo
    Sambo (martial art)
    Sambo is a Russian martial art and combat sport. The word "SAMBO" is an acronym for SAMooborona Bez Oruzhiya, which literally translates as "self-defense without weapons". Sambo is relatively modern since its development began in the early 1920s by the Soviet Red Army to improve their hand to hand...



Weapons-based
Those traditional martial arts which train armed combat often encompass a wide spectrum of melee weapons, including bladed weapons and polearms. Such traditions include eskrima
Eskrima
Eskrima is the umbrella term for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines, which emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives and other bladed weapons, and various improvised weapons...

, silat
Silat
Silat Melayu is a blanket term for the types of silat created in peninsular Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei and Singapore. The silat tradition has deep roots in Malay culture and can trace its origin to the dawn of Malay civilization, 2000 years ago...

, Kalarippayattu
Kalarippayattu
Kalaripayattu is a southern Indian martial art originating in Tamil Nadu but also practiced in contiguous parts of Kerala and Karnataka.Kalari payat includes strikes, kicks, grappling, preset forms, weaponry and healing methods...

, kobudo
Okinawan kobudo
Okinawan kobudō is a Japanese term that can be translated as "old martial way of Okinawa"...

, and historical European martial arts
Historical European martial arts
Historical European martial arts is a neologism describing martial arts of European origin, used particularly to refer to arts formerly practised, but having since died out or evolved into very different forms...

, especially those of the German Renaissance
German Renaissance
The German Renaissance, part of the Northern Renaissance, was a cultural and artistic movement that spread among German thinkers in the 15th and 16th centuries, which originated from the Italian Renaissance in Italy...

. Many forms of Chinese martial arts
Chinese martial arts
Chinese martial arts, also referred to by the Mandarin Chinese term wushu and popularly as kung fu , are a number of fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. These fighting styles are often classified according to common traits, identified as "families" , "sects" or...

 also feature weapons as part of their curriculum.

Sometimes, training with one specific weapon will be considered a style of martial arts in its own right. This is especially the case in Japanese martial arts
Japanese martial arts
Japanese martial arts refers to the enormous variety of martial arts native to Japan. At least three Japanese terms are often used interchangeably with the English phrase "Japanese martial arts": , literally meaning "martial way", , which has no perfect translation but means something like science,...

 with disciplines such as kenjutsu
Kenjutsu
, meaning "the method, or technique, of the sword." This is opposed to kendo, which means the way of the sword. Kenjutsu is the umbrella term for all traditional schools of Japanese swordsmanship, in particular those that predate the Meiji Restoration...

 and kendo
Kendo
, meaning "Way of The Sword", is a modern Japanese martial art of sword-fighting based on traditional Japanese swordsmanship, or kenjutsu.Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines strong martial arts values with sport-like physical elements.-Practitioners:Practitioners...

 (sword), bojutsu
Bojutsu
, translated from Japanese as "staff technique", is the martial art of using a staff weapon called bō which simply means "staff". Staffs are perhaps one of the earliest weapons used by humankind. They have been in use for thousands of years in Eastern Asia. Some techniques involve slashing,...

 (staff), and kyudo
Kyudo
, literally meaning "way of the bow", is the Japanese art of archery. It is a modern Japanese martial art and practitioners are known as .It is estimated that there are approximately half a million practitioners of kyudo today....

 (archery). Similarly, modern Western martial arts
Western Martial Arts
Western Martial Arts refers to formalized fighting techniques and skills of European or generally Western origin, as distinct from those originating in Asia....

 and sports include modern fencing, stick-fighting systems like canne de combat
Canne de combat
Canne de combat is a French martial art. As weapon, it uses a cane or canne designed for fighting. Canne de combat was standardized in the 1970s for sporting competition by Maurice Sarry. The canne is very light, made of chestnut wood and slightly tapered...

 or singlestick
Singlestick
Singlestick, also known as cudgels, refers to both a martial art that uses a wooden stick as well as the weapon used in the art. It began as a way of training soldiers in the use of swords such as the sabre...

, and modern competitive archery
Modern competitive archery
Modern competitive archery involves shooting arrows at a target for accuracy from a set distance or distances. This is the most popular form of competitive archery worldwide and is called target archery. A form particularly popular in Europe and America is field archery, shot at targets generally...

.

By application or intent

Combat-oriented

Many martial arts, especially those from Asia, also teach side disciplines which pertain to medicinal practices. This is particularly prevalent in traditional Indian martial arts
Indian martial arts
The Indian subcontinent is home to a variety of fighting styles. In Sanskrit they may be collectively referred to as ' or '. The former is a compound of the words and , meaning "knowledge of the sword" or "knowledge of weaponry"...

 which may teach bone-setting, and other aspects of traditional Indian medicine.

Martial arts can also be linked with religion and spirituality. Numerous systems are reputed to have been founded, disseminated, or practiced by monks or nuns.

For example, gatka
Gatka
Gatka is a weapon-based Indian martial art created by the Sikhs of the Punjab region. The word gatka refers to the wooden stick used in sparring matches. The term might have originated as a diminutive of the Sanskrit word gadha or mace....

 is a weapon-based Indian martial art created by the Sikhs of the Punjab region of India and the Kshatriya
Kshatriya
*For the Bollywood film of the same name see Kshatriya Kshatriya or Kashtriya, meaning warrior, is one of the four varnas in Hinduism...

 caste of Hindus  have another ancient martial art named Shastra vidhya.

Japanese styles, when concerning non-physical qualities of the combat, are strongly influenced by Zen
Zen
Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism founded by the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma. The word Zen is from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word Chán , which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which can be approximately translated as "meditation" or "meditative state."Zen...

 philosophy. Concepts like "empty mind" and "beginner's mind" are recurrent. Aikido
Aikido
is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying life energy" or as "the Way of harmonious spirit." Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to...

, for instance, has a strong philosophical belief of the flow of energy and peace fostering, as idealised by its founder Morihei Ueshiba
Morihei Ueshiba
was a famous martial artist and founder of the Japanese martial art of aikido. He is often referred to as "the founder" or , "Great Teacher".-Early years:Morihei Ueshiba was born in Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan on December 14, 1883....

.

Systema
Systema
Systema is a Russian martial art. Training includes: hand to hand combat, grappling, knife fighting and fire arms training as well. Training involves drills and sparring without set kata. It focuses mainly on controlling the six body levers through pressure point application, striking and weapon...

 draws upon breathing and relaxation techniques, as well as elements of Russian Orthodox
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 thought, to foster self-conscience and calmness, and to benefit the practicioner in different levels: the physical, the psychological and the spiritual.

Some martial arts in various cultures can be performed in dance
Dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

-like settings for various reasons, such as for evoking ferocity in preparation for battle or showing off skill in a more stylized manner. Many such martial arts incorporate music, especially strong percussive rhythms. See also war dance
War dance
A war dance is a dance involving mock combat, usually in reference to tribal warrior societies where such dances were performed as a ritual connected with endemic warfare....


Historical martial arts

While evidence show that martial arts have roots in prehistory
Prehistory
Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing...

, the earliest evidence of systematic training in specific martial arts traditions emerges in antiquity (late 1st millennium BC) in both Asia and Europe.

The foundation of modern Asian martial arts is likely a blend of early Chinese
Chinese martial arts
Chinese martial arts, also referred to by the Mandarin Chinese term wushu and popularly as kung fu , are a number of fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. These fighting styles are often classified according to common traits, identified as "families" , "sects" or...

 and Indian martial arts
Indian martial arts
The Indian subcontinent is home to a variety of fighting styles. In Sanskrit they may be collectively referred to as ' or '. The former is a compound of the words and , meaning "knowledge of the sword" or "knowledge of weaponry"...

. During the Warring States period of Chinese history
History of China
Chinese civilization originated in various regional centers along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys in the Neolithic era, but the Yellow River is said to be the Cradle of Chinese Civilization. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest...

 (480-221 BC) extensive development in martial philosophy and strategy emerged, as described by Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu
Sun Wu , style name Changqing , better known as Sun Tzu or Sunzi , was an ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who is traditionally believed, and who is most likely, to have authored The Art of War, an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy...

 in The Art of War
The Art of War
The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise that is attributed to Sun Tzu , a high ranking military general and strategist during the late Spring and Autumn period...

(c. 350 BC).
Legendary accounts link the origin of Shaolinquan to the spread of Buddhism from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 during the early 5th century AD, with the figure of Bodhidharma
Bodhidharma
Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century AD. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Ch'an to China, and regarded as the first Chinese patriarch...

, to China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.

In Europe, the earliest sources of martial arts traditions date to Classical Antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

.
Boxing
Ancient Greek Boxing
Ancient Greek boxing dates back to at least the eighth century BC , and was practiced in a variety of social contexts in different Greek city-states. Most extant sources about ancient Greek boxing are fragmentary or legendary, making it difficult to reconstruct the rules, customs and history...

 (pygme, pyx), Wrestling (pale) and Pankration
Pankration
Pankration was a martial art introduced into the Greek Olympic Games in 648 BC and founded as a blend of boxing and wrestling but without any rules. The term comes from the Greek , literally meaning "all powers" from "all" + "strength, power". Spartans were taught to use this ancient...

  were represented in the Ancient Olympic Games. The Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 produced gladiatorial combat
Gladiator
A gladiator was an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked their legal and social standing and their lives by appearing in the...

 as a public spectacle.

During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, the development of the cossacks as self-governing warrior communities in the current region of Ukraine and Southern Russia resulted in a accumulation of fighting skills passed through generations. Due to a wide variety of climate and enemies, these people developed versatile and fast-learning martial habilities, which are considered to be the roots of systema
Systema
Systema is a Russian martial art. Training includes: hand to hand combat, grappling, knife fighting and fire arms training as well. Training involves drills and sparring without set kata. It focuses mainly on controlling the six body levers through pressure point application, striking and weapon...

.

A number of historical combat manuals have survived from the European Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

.
This includes such styles as sword and shield
Sword and shield
Sword and shield can refer to:*Fencing with sword and shield*Viking Age arms and armour*Royal Armouries Ms. I.33*Society for Creative Anachronism*The Shield and the Sword, a song by British singer-songwriter Clare Maguire...

, two-handed swordfighting  and other types of melee weapons besides unarmed combat. The most famous of these is Johannes Lichtenauer's Fechtbuch (Fencing book) of the 14th century, which today forms the basis of the German school of swordsmanship
German school of swordsmanship
The German school of fencing is the historical system of combat taught in the Holy Roman Empire in the Late Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern periods , as described in the Fechtbücher written at the time...

. Likewise, Asian martial arts become well-documented during the medieval period, Japanese martial arts
Japanese martial arts
Japanese martial arts refers to the enormous variety of martial arts native to Japan. At least three Japanese terms are often used interchangeably with the English phrase "Japanese martial arts": , literally meaning "martial way", , which has no perfect translation but means something like science,...

 beginning with the establishment of the samurai
Samurai
is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau...

 nobility in the 12th century, Chinese martial arts
Chinese martial arts
Chinese martial arts, also referred to by the Mandarin Chinese term wushu and popularly as kung fu , are a number of fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. These fighting styles are often classified according to common traits, identified as "families" , "sects" or...

 with Ming era treatises such as Ji Xiao Xin Shu
Ji Xiao Xin Shu
The book Ji Xiao Xin Shu was written by the Chinese general Qi Jiguang of the Ming Dynasty. The title can be translated as New Book Recording Effective Techniques....

, Indian martial arts
Indian martial arts
The Indian subcontinent is home to a variety of fighting styles. In Sanskrit they may be collectively referred to as ' or '. The former is a compound of the words and , meaning "knowledge of the sword" or "knowledge of weaponry"...

 in medieval texts such as the Agni Purana
Agni Purana
The Agni Purana, one of the 18 Mahapuranas, a genre of Hindu religious texts, contains descriptions and details of various incarnations of Vishnu. It also has details account about Rama, Krishna, Prithvi, and the stars...

 and the Malla Purana, and Korean martial arts
Korean martial arts
Korean martial arts are the martial arts that originated from Korea. Some well known Korean martial arts are hapkido, kuk sool won, and taekwondo. There has also been a revival of Korean sword arts as well as knife fighting and archery...

 with Joseon
Joseon
Joseon, Chosŏn, Choseon or Chosun are English spellings of the Korean *word for "Korea". It may refer to:*Korea*Gojoseon, the first Korean kingdom, from 2333 BC to 108 BC.*Joseon Dynasty of Korea, from AD 1392 to 1910....

 era texts such as Muyejebo
Muyejebo
The Muyejebo is a Korean martial art manual written during the reign of King Seonjo in 1598.-History:As the Imjin war dragged on for years, Korea needed a way to effectively train a large number of troops, and the Korean military adopted a training methodology based on a Chinese military manual...

 (1598). "Historical martial arts" in both Asia and Europe are mostly based on such records of the late medieval to early modern period (15th to 17th centuries; see also Koryū
Koryu
is a Japanese word that is used in association with the ancient Japanese martial arts. This word literally translates as "old school" or "traditional school"...

).

European swordsmanship was trained for duel
Duel
A duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two individuals, with matched weapons in accordance with agreed-upon rules.Duels in this form were chiefly practised in Early Modern Europe, with precedents in the medieval code of chivalry, and continued into the modern period especially among...

s until the Napoleonic era
Napoleonic Era
The Napoleonic Era is a period in the history of France and Europe. It is generally classified as including the fourth and final stage of the French Revolution, the first being the National Assembly, the second being the Legislative Assembly, and the third being the Directory...

, and developed into sport fencing
Fencing
Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

 during the 19th century. Modern boxing originates with Jack Broughton
Jack Broughton
John "Jack" Broughton was an English bare-knuckle fighter. He was the first person to ever codify a set of rules to be used in such contests; prior to this the "rules" that existed were very loosely defined and tended to vary from contest to contest...

's rules in the 18th century, and reaches its present form with the Marquess of Queensberry Rules
Marquess of Queensberry rules
The Marquess of Queensberry rules is a code of generally accepted rules in the sport of boxing. They were named so because John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry publicly endorsed the code, although they were written by a sportsman named John Graham Chambers. The code of rules on which modern...

 of 1867. Europe's colonization of Asian countries also brought about a decline in local martial arts, especially with the introduction of firearms. This can clearly be seen in India after the full establishment of British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 in the 19th century. Similar phenomena occurred in Southeast Asian colonies such as Malaysia, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

Folk styles

All over the world, there are traditional styles of folk wrestling
Folk wrestling
A folk wrestling style is a traditional wrestling discipline which may or may not be codified as a modern sport. Most human cultures have developed their own sort of grappling style unique from other styles practiced...

, and in some cases also stick fighting
Stick fighting
Stick fighting is a generic term for martial arts which use simple long slender, blunt, hand-held, generally wooden 'sticks' for fighting such as a staff, cane, walking stick, baton or similar....

, rooted in local culture and folklore. In East and Southeast Asia, these are forms such as Korean, Khmer
Khmer Traditional Wrestling
Khmer traditional wrestling is a folk wrestling style from Cambodia. It has been practiced as far back as the Angkor period and is depicted on the bas-reliefs of certain temples. Although predominantly a male sport today, Khmer wrestling was once practiced by both sexes as female wrestlers are...

 or Mongolian wrestling
Mongolian wrestling
Mongolian wrestling, known as Bökh , is the folk wrestling style of Mongols in Mongolia, Inner Mongolia and other regions...

 and Japanese Sumo
Sumo
is a competitive full-contact sport where a wrestler attempts to force another wrestler out of a circular ring or to touch the ground with anything other than the soles of the feet. The sport originated in Japan, the only country where it is practiced professionally...

, in South and Southwest Asia Indo-Persian Pehlwani
Pehlwani
Pehlwani or Pahlavani or Kushti is a Persian style of wrestling popular in Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It was developed in the Mughal era through a synthesis of Indian malla-yuddha and Persian Varzesh-e Bastani....

, in Central and Western Asia Turkic (Uzbek
Kurash
Kurash is a form of upright jacket wrestling native to Uzbeks, practiced since ancient times. It is an event in the Asian Games and there is an effort to include Kurash in the Olympic games.-Rules:...

, Tatar
Köräs
Köräş, also Tatarça köräş - Tatar wrestling, is the Tatar style of wrestling, related to some Central Asian styles of wrestlings, such as kurash and Turkey's yağlı güreş....

) styles; in Europe, there are Icelandic, Swiss and various English wrestling traditions. African folk wrestling includes the West African style of Lutte Traditionnelle
Lutte Traditionnelle
Lutte Traditionnelle is the name used to describe related styles of West African Folk wrestling, known as Laamb in Senegal, Boreh in The Gambia, Evala in Togo, and KoKowa / Kokawa in Hausa areas of Nigeria and Niger, or simply Lutte Traditionnelle, in Niger and Burkina Faso...

.

While these arts are based on historical traditions of folklore, they are not "historical" in the sense that they reconstruct or preserve a historical system from a specific era. They are rather contemporary regional sports that coexist with the modern forms of martial arts sports as they have developed since the 19th century, often including cross-fertilization between sports and folk styles; thus, the traditional Thai style of Muay Boran
Muay Boran
Muay boran is an umbrella term for the unarmed martial arts of Thailand prior to the introduction of modern equipment and rules in the 1930s.It is thus the direct ancestor of modern Muay Thai....

 developed into the modern national sport of Muay Thai
Muay Thai
Muay Thai is a combat sport from Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. It is similar to other Indochinese kickboxing systems, namely pradal serey from Cambodia, tomoi from Malaysia, lethwei from Myanmar and muay Lao from Laos...

, which in turn came to be practiced worldwide and contributed significantly to modern hybrid styles like kickboxing
Kickboxing
Kickboxing refers to a group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai and western boxing....

 and mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts
Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, judo and other styles. The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be...

.

Modern history

late 19th to early 20th century
The mid to late 19th century marks the beginning of the history of martial arts as modern sports developed out of earlier traditional fighting systems. In Europe, this concerns the developments of boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

 and fencing
Fencing
Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

 as sports. In Japan, the same period marks the formation of the modern forms of judo
Judo
is a modern martial art and combat sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw or takedown one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an...

, jujitsu, karate
Karate
is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed from indigenous fighting methods called and Chinese kenpō. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands. Grappling, locks,...

, and kendo
Kendo
, meaning "Way of The Sword", is a modern Japanese martial art of sword-fighting based on traditional Japanese swordsmanship, or kenjutsu.Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines strong martial arts values with sport-like physical elements.-Practitioners:Practitioners...

 (among others) based on revivals of old schools
Koryu
is a Japanese word that is used in association with the ancient Japanese martial arts. This word literally translates as "old school" or "traditional school"...

 of Edo period
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

 martial arts which had been suppressed during the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
The , also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868...

. Modern Muay Thai
Muay Thai
Muay Thai is a combat sport from Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. It is similar to other Indochinese kickboxing systems, namely pradal serey from Cambodia, tomoi from Malaysia, lethwei from Myanmar and muay Lao from Laos...

 rules date to the 1920s. In China, the modern history of martial arts begins in the Nanjing decade
Nanjing decade
The Nanjing decade was the decade from 1927 to 1937 in the Republic of China. It began when Nationalist Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek took the city from Zhili clique warlord Sun Chuanfang halfway through the Northern Expedition in 1927. He declared it to be the national capital despite the...

 (1930s) following the foundation of the Central Guoshu Institute
Central Guoshu Institute
The Central Guoshu Institute was established in Nanjing by the Kuomintang government of the Republic of China in 1928 for the propagation of Chinese martial arts, and was an important center of martial arts during the Nanjing decade.Guoshu "national art" was...

 in 1928 under the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 government.

Western interest in Asian martial arts arises towards the end of the 19th century, due to the increase in trade between the United States with China and Japan. Relatively few Westerners actually practiced the arts, considering it to be mere performance. Edward William Barton-Wright
Edward William Barton-Wright
Edward William Barton-Wright C.E., M.J.S. was a British entrepreneur specialising in both self defence training and physical therapy...

, a railway engineer who had studied jujitsu while working in Japan between 1894–97, was the first man known to have taught Asian martial arts in Europe. He also founded an eclectic style named Bartitsu
Bartitsu
Bartitsu is an eclectic martial art and self-defence method originally developed in England during the years 1898–1902. In 1901 it was immortalised by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mystery stories...

 which combined jujutsu
Jujutsu
Jujutsu , also known as jujitsu, ju-jitsu, or Japanese jiu-jitsu, is a Japanese martial art and a method of close combat for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no weapon, or only a short weapon....

, judo
Judo
is a modern martial art and combat sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw or takedown one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an...

, boxing, savate and stick fighting
Stick fighting
Stick fighting is a generic term for martial arts which use simple long slender, blunt, hand-held, generally wooden 'sticks' for fighting such as a staff, cane, walking stick, baton or similar....

.

Fencing
Fencing
Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

 and Greco-Roman wrestling
Greco-Roman wrestling
Greco-Roman wrestling is a style of wrestling that is practised worldwide. It was contested at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been included in every edition of the summer Olympics held since 1908. Two wrestlers are scored for their performance in three two-minute periods, which can...

 was included in the 1896 Summer Olympics
1896 Summer Olympics
The 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was a multi-sport event celebrated in Athens, Greece, from April 6 to April 15, 1896. It was the first international Olympic Games held in the Modern era...

.
FILA Wrestling World Championships
FILA Wrestling World Championships
FILA Wrestling World Championships is the Amateur Wrestling World Championship organized by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles . The men's Greco-Roman tournament began in 1904...

 and Boxing at the Summer Olympics
Boxing at the Summer Olympics
Boxing has been contested at every Summer Olympic Games since its introduction to the program at the 1904 Summer Olympics, except for the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, because Swedish law banned the sport at the time. The 2008 Summer Olympics was the final games with boxing as a male only event...

 were introduced in 1904.
The tradition of awarding championship belt
Championship belt
A championship belt is a large, extravagantly designed belt used primarily in combat sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts and professional wrestling to signify the champions of the promotion or company, much like a cup or trophy in other sports...

s in wrestling and boxing can be traced to the Lonsdale Belt
Lonsdale belt
The Lonsdale Belt was a boxing prize introduced by Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale, to be awarded to British boxing champions. It is still awarded to British champions today.-National Sporting Club:...

, introduced in 1909.

20th century (1914 to 1989)
The International Boxing Association
International Boxing Association
The International Boxing Association is a for-profit organization that sanctions professional boxing matches and awards world and subordinate championships.- Origins :...

 was established in 1920. World Fencing Championships have been held since 1921.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting...

, or Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, is an adaptation of pre–World War II judo developed by the brothers Carlos
Carlos Gracie
Carlos Gracie was the first Gracie to learn Judo from Otávio Mitsuyo Maeda. Based on this judo training, Carlos and his brothers founded the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...

 and Hélio
Hélio Gracie
Hélio Gracie was a Brazilian martial artist who, together with his brother Carlos Gracie, founded the martial art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, known internationally as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...

 Gracie
Gracie family
The Gracie family is a prominent sporting family from Brazil known for their founding of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu . They have been successful in combat sport competitions including mixed martial arts, vale tudo and submission wrestling events...

, who restructured the art into a sport with a large focus on groundwork. Jiu-Jitsu gained fame quickly in Brazil because of the popular fights with Capoeira
Capoeira
Capoeira is a Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, sports, and music. It was created in Brazil mainly by descendants of African slaves with Brazilian native influences, probably beginning in the 16th century...

 fighters.

As Western influence grew in Asia a greater number of military personnel spent time in China, Japan, and South Korea during World War II and the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 and were exposed to local fighting styles. Jujutsu, judo and karate first became popular among the mainstream from the 1950s-60s. Due in part to Asian and Hollywood martial arts movies, most modern American martial arts are either Asian-derived or Asian influenced.
The term kickboxing
Kickboxing
Kickboxing refers to a group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai and western boxing....

 (キックボクシング) was created by the Japanese boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi for a variant of Muay Thai and Karate that he created in the 1950s. American kickboxing
American kickboxing
American Kickboxing, also known as Full-Contact Kickboxing or American Full Contact Karate, is a combat sport and a style of kickboxing in which two opponents of similar weight fight each other using full contact strikes with their fists and feet to attack the opponent, while keeping similar rules...

 was developed in the 1970s, as a combination of boxing and karate. Taekwondo
Taekwondo
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

 was developed in the context of the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 in the 1950s.

The later 1960s and 1970s witnessed an increased media interest in the Chinese fighting systems, influenced by martial artist and Hollywood actor Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee was a Chinese American, Hong Kong actor, martial arts instructor, philosopher, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and founder of the Jeet Kune Do martial arts movement...

. Jeet Kune Do
Jeet Kune Do
Jeet Kune Do is a hybrid martial arts system and life philosophy founded by martial artist Bruce Lee with direct, non classical and straightforward movements. Due to the way his style works they believe in minimal movement with maximum effect and extreme speed. The system works on the use of...

, the system he founded, has its roots in Wing Chun
Wing Chun
Wing Chun , also romanised as Ving Tsun or Wing Tsun, ; ; is a concept-based Chinese martial art and form of self-defense utilizing both striking and grappling while specializing in close-range combat.The alternative characters 永春 "eternal spring" are also...

, western boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

, savate
Savate
Savate , also known as boxe française, French boxing, French kickboxing or French footfighting, is a French martial art which uses the hands and feet as weapons combining elements of western boxing with graceful kicking techniques. Only foot kicks are allowed unlike some systems such as Muay...

 and fencing
Fencing
Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

. Bruce Lee is credited as one of the first instructors to openly teach Chinese martial arts to Westerners. World Judo Championships
World Judo Championships
The World Judo Championships are the highest level of international judo competition, along with the Olympic judo competition. The championships are held once every year by the International Judo Federation, and qualified judoka compete in their respective categories as representatives of their...

 have been held since 1956, Judo at the Summer Olympics
Judo at the Summer Olympics
Judo was first included in the Summer Olympic Games at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, Japan. After not being included in 1968, judo has been an Olympic sport in each Olympiad since then. Only male judoka participated until the 1988 Summer Olympics, when women participated as a demonstration sport...

 was introduced in 1964. Karate World Championships
Karate World Championships
The WKF Karate World Championships also known as the World Karate Championships; are the highest level of competition for Karate. The competition is held in a different Country every two years. The most recent events include Madrid in 2002; Monterrey in 2004; Tampere in 2006; Tokyo in 2008, and...

 were introduced in 1970.

Following the "kung fu wave" in Hong Kong action cinema
Hong Kong action cinema
Hong Kong action cinema is the principal source of the Hong Kong film industry's global fame. It combines elements from the action film, as codified by Hollywood, with Chinese storytelling and aesthetic traditions, to create a culturally distinctive form that nevertheless has a wide transcultural...

 in the 1970s, a number of mainstream films produced during the 1980s contributed significantly to the perception of martial arts in western popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

. These include The Karate Kid (1984) and Bloodsport
Bloodsport (film)
Bloodsport is a 1988 American martial arts film directed by Newt Arnold and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Donald Gibb and Leah Ayres. The film is based on the claimed adventures of Frank Dux, and was followed by three sequels Bloodsport II: The Next Kumite , Bloodsport III and Bloodsport 4: The...

(1988). This era produced some Hollywood action stars with martial arts background, such as Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg , professionally known as Jean-Claude Van Damme, is a Belgian martial artist and actor, best known for his martial arts action films, the most successful of which include Bloodsport , Kickboxer , Double Impact , Universal Soldier , Hard Target , Timecop ,...

 and Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris
Carlos Ray "Chuck" Norris is an American martial artist and actor. After serving in the United States Air Force, he began his rise to fame as a martial artist and has since founded his own school, Chun Kuk Do...

.

Also during the 20th century, a number of martial arts systems were adapted for self-defense
Self-defense
Self-defense, self-defence or private defense is a countermeasure that involves defending oneself, one's property or the well-being of another from physical harm. The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many...

 purposes for military hand-to-hand combat. World War II combatives
World War II combatives
,World War II combatives are close quarters combat techniques, including hand-to-hand, advanced firearm point shooting methods, and weapons techniques that were taught to allied special forces in World War II by such famous instructors as Rex Applegate and William Ewart Fairbairn.Distinctions...

, Kapap
Kapap
Kapap , short for Krav Panim el Panim, translated as "face to face combat", was a combat system of defensive tactics, hand-to-hand combat and self defense...

(1930s) and Krav Maga
Krav Maga
Krav Maga is a noncompetitive eclectic self-defense system developed in Europe that involves striking techniques, wrestling and grappling. Krav Maga is known for its focus on real-world situations and extremely efficient, brutal counter-attacks...

(1950s) in Israel, Systema
Systema
Systema is a Russian martial art. Training includes: hand to hand combat, grappling, knife fighting and fire arms training as well. Training involves drills and sparring without set kata. It focuses mainly on controlling the six body levers through pressure point application, striking and weapon...

(Soviet era Russia), San Shou
San shou
Sanshou or Sanda or an "unsanctioned fight" is a Chinese hand-to-hand self-defense system and combat sport. Sanshou is a martial art which was originally developed by the Chinese military based upon the intense study and practices of traditional Kung Fu and modern combat fighting techniques; it...

(People's Republic of China). The US military de-emphasized hand-to-hand combat training during the Cold War period, but revived it with the introduction of LINE in 1989.

1990 to present
During the 1990s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting...

 became popular and proved to be effective in mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts
Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, judo and other styles. The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be...

 competitions such as the UFC and PRIDE.

The K-1
K-1
K-1 is a defunct world-wide kickboxing promotion based in Tokyo, Japan founded by Kazuyoshi Ishii, a formerKyokushin karate practitioner. K-1 combines stand up techniques from Muay Thai, Karate, Taekwondo, Savate, San Shou, kickboxing, western-style boxing, and other martial arts...

 rules of kickboxing were introduced in 1993, based on 1980s Seidokaikan
Seidokaikan
is a style of full contact karate, or Knockdown karate, founded by Kazuyoshi Ishii in 1980.-History:First formed in 1980 by Kazuyoshi Ishii, a former Kyokushin Karate practitioner who began his training under Hideyuki Ashihara in 1969...

 karate.

Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan, SBS, MBE is a Hong Kong actor, action choreographer, comedian, director, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer and stunt performer. In his movies, he is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts...

 and Jet Li
Jet Li
The fame gained by his sports winnings led to a career as a martial arts film star, beginning in mainland China and then continuing into Hong Kong. Li acquired his screen name in 1982 in the Philippines when a publicity company thought his real name was too hard to pronounce...

 are prominent movie figures who have been responsible for promoting Chinese martial arts in recent years.

With the continual discovery of "new" Medieval and Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 fighting manuals, the practice of Historical European Martial Arts
Historical European martial arts
Historical European martial arts is a neologism describing martial arts of European origin, used particularly to refer to arts formerly practised, but having since died out or evolved into very different forms...

 and other Western Martial Arts
Western Martial Arts
Western Martial Arts refers to formalized fighting techniques and skills of European or generally Western origin, as distinct from those originating in Asia....

 are growing in popularity across the United States and Europe.

Testing and competition

Testing or evaluation is important to martial art practitioners of many disciplines who wish to determine their progression or own level of skill in specific contexts. Students within individual martial art systems often undergo periodic testing and grading by their own teacher in order to advance to a higher level of recognized achievement, such as a different belt
Belt (clothing)
A belt is a flexible band or strap, typically made of leather or heavy cloth, and worn around the waist. A belt supports trousers or other articles of clothing.-History:...

 color or title. The type of testing used varies from system to system but may include forms or sparring
Sparring
Sparring is a form of training common to many martial arts. Although the precise form varies, it is essentially relatively 'free-form' fighting, with enough rules, customs, or agreements to make injuries unlikely...

.
Various forms and sparring are commonly used in martial art exhibitions and tournaments. Some competitions pit practitioners of different disciplines against each other using a common set of rules, these are referred to as mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts
Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, judo and other styles. The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be...

 competitions. Rules for sparring vary between art and organization but can generally be divided into light-contact, medium-contact, and full-contact variants, reflecting the amount of force that should be used on an opponent.

Light- and medium-contact

These types of sparring restrict the amount of force that may be used to hit an opponent, in the case of light sparring this is usual to 'touch' contact, e.g. a punch should be 'pulled' as soon as or before contact is made. In medium-contact (sometimes referred to as semi-contact) the punch would not be 'pulled' but not hit with full force. As the amount of force used is restricted, the aim of these types of sparring is not to knock out an opponent; a point system is used in competitions.

A referee acts to monitor for fouls and to control the match, while judges mark down scores, as in boxing. Particular targets may be prohibited , certain techniques may be forbidden (such as headbutting or groin hits), and fighters may be required to wear protective equipment
Personal protective equipment
Personal protective equipment refers to protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garment or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury by blunt impacts, electrical hazards, heat, chemicals, and infection, for job-related occupational safety and health purposes, and in...

 on their head, hands, chest, groin, shins or feet. In grappling arts aikido uses a similar method of compliant training that is equivalent to light or medium contact.

In some styles (such as fencing and some styles of Taekwondo sparring), competitors score points based on the landing of a single technique or strike as judged by the referee, whereupon the referee will briefly stop the match, award a point, then restart the match. Alternatively, sparring may continue with the point noted by the judges. Some critics of point sparring feel that this method of training teaches habits that result in lower combat effectiveness. Lighter-contact sparring may be used exclusively, for children or in other situations when heavy contact would be inappropriate (such as beginners), medium-contact sparring is often used as training for full contact

Full-contact

Full-contact sparring or competition, where strikes are not pulled but thrown with full force as the name implies, has a number of tactical differences from light and medium-contact sparring. It is considered by some to be requisite in learning realistic unarmed combat.

In full-contact sparring, the aim of a competitive match is either to knock out the opponent or to force the opponent to submit
Submission wrestling
Submission wrestling or Combat wrestling in Japan, is a formula of competition and a general term describing the aspect of martial arts and combat sports that focus on clinch and ground fighting with the aim of obtaining a submission using submission holds...

.
Where scoring takes place it may be a subsidiary measure, only used if no clear winner has been established by other means; in some competitions, such as the UFC 1
UFC 1
The Ultimate Fighting Championship was the first mixed martial arts event by the Ultimate Fighting Championship , held at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado, on November 12, 1993...

, there was no scoring, though most now use some form of judging as a backup. Due to these factors, full-contact matches tend to be more aggressive in character, but rule sets may still mandate the use of protective equipment, or limit the techniques allowed.

Nearly all mixed martial arts organizations such as UFC, Pancrase
Pancrase
Pancrase is a mixed martial arts promotion company founded in Japan in 1993 by professional wrestlers Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki. Pancrase is taken from Pankration, a sport in the ancient Olympic games. Suzuki and Funaki are particularly skilled in the art of catch wrestling and based the...

, Shooto
Shooto
Shooto is a mixed martial arts organization that is governed by the Shooto Association and the International Shooto Commission. Shooto was originally formed in 1985, as an organization and as a particular fighting system derived from shoot wrestling. Practitioners are referred to as shooters,...

 use a form of full-contact rules, as do professional boxing
Professional Boxing
Professional boxing, or prizefighting, emerged in the early twentieth century as boxing gradually attained legitimacy and became a regulated, sanctioned sport. Professional boxing bouts are fought for a purse which is divided among the fighters and promoters as determined by contract...

 organizations and K-1
K-1
K-1 is a defunct world-wide kickboxing promotion based in Tokyo, Japan founded by Kazuyoshi Ishii, a formerKyokushin karate practitioner. K-1 combines stand up techniques from Muay Thai, Karate, Taekwondo, Savate, San Shou, kickboxing, western-style boxing, and other martial arts...

. Kyokushin
Kyokushin
is a style of stand-up, full contact karate, founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese karate master, who was born under the name Choi Young-Eui . Kyokushinkai is Japanese for "the society of the ultimate truth". Kyokushin is rooted in a philosophy of self-improvement, discipline and hard training...

 karate
Karate
is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed from indigenous fighting methods called and Chinese kenpō. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands. Grappling, locks,...

 requires advanced practitioners to engage in bare-knuckled, full-contact sparring while wearing only a karate gi and groin protector but does not allow punches to the face, only kicks and knees. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and judo matches do not allow striking, but are full-contact in the sense that full force is applied in the permitted grappling and submission techniques.

Martial Sport

Martial arts have crossed over into sports when forms of sparring
Sparring
Sparring is a form of training common to many martial arts. Although the precise form varies, it is essentially relatively 'free-form' fighting, with enough rules, customs, or agreements to make injuries unlikely...

 become competitive, becoming a sport in its own right that is dissociated from the original combative origin, such as with western fencing. The Summer Olympic Games includes JuDo, TaeKwonDo, western archery, boxing, javelin, wrestling and fencing as events, while Chinese Wushu
Wushu (sport)
The sport of wushu is both an exhibition and a full-contact sport derived from traditional Chinese martial arts. It was created in the People's Republic of China after 1949, in an attempt to nationalize the practice of traditional Chinese martial arts...

 recently failed in its bid to be included, but is still actively performed in tournaments across the world. Practitioners in some arts such as kickboxing
Kickboxing
Kickboxing refers to a group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai and western boxing....

 and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu often train for sport matches, whereas those in other arts such as akido
Akido
aKido is the pseudonym of Canadian electronic rock musician and composer Kim Gaboury. Gaboury assembles a live band to tour with; this live component is generally considered a separate entity from aKido in the recording studio....

 and Wing Chun
Wing Chun
Wing Chun , also romanised as Ving Tsun or Wing Tsun, ; ; is a concept-based Chinese martial art and form of self-defense utilizing both striking and grappling while specializing in close-range combat.The alternative characters 永春 "eternal spring" are also...

 generally spurn such competitions. Some schools believe that competition breeds better and more efficient practitioners, and gives a sense of good sportsmanship. Others believe that the rules under which competition takes place have diminished the combat effectiveness of martial arts or encourage a kind of practice which focuses on winning trophies rather than a focus such as cultivating a particular moral character.

The question of "which is the best Martial Art" has led to new forms of competition; the original Ultimate Fighting Championship
Ultimate Fighting Championship
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the largest mixed martial arts promotion company in the world that hosts most of the top-ranked fighters in the sport...

 in the U.S. was fought under very few rules allowing all fighting styles to enter and be less limited by the rule set. This has now become one of many combat "sports" known as mixed Martial Arts
Mixed martial arts
Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, judo and other styles. The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be...

 (MMA). Similar competitions such as Pancrase
Pancrase
Pancrase is a mixed martial arts promotion company founded in Japan in 1993 by professional wrestlers Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki. Pancrase is taken from Pankration, a sport in the ancient Olympic games. Suzuki and Funaki are particularly skilled in the art of catch wrestling and based the...

, DREAM
DREAM (mixed martial arts)
Dream is a mixed martial arts organization promoted by former PRIDE FC executives and K-1 promoter Fighting and Entertainment Group. DREAM replaced FEG's previous-run mixed martial arts fight series, Hero's. The series retains many of the stylistic flourishes and personnel from Pride FC...

, and Shooto
Shooto
Shooto is a mixed martial arts organization that is governed by the Shooto Association and the International Shooto Commission. Shooto was originally formed in 1985, as an organization and as a particular fighting system derived from shoot wrestling. Practitioners are referred to as shooters,...

 have also taken place in Japan.

Some martial artists compete in non-sparring competitions such as breaking
Breaking (martial arts)
Breaking is a martial arts technique that is used in competition, demonstration and testing. Breaking is an action where a martial artist uses a striking surface to break one or more objects using the skills honed in their art form. The striking surface is usually a hand or a foot, but may also be...

 or choreographed routines of techniques such as poomse, kata
Kata
is a Japanese word describing detailed choreographed patterns of movements practised either solo or in pairs. The term form is used for the corresponding concept in non-Japanese martial arts in general....

 and aka
Aka (Burmese)
Aka are pre-arranged sets of movement or "forms" in the Burmese martial arts. They serve as a straightforward way of passing down all of a style's techniques unto the student...

, or modern variations of the martial arts which include dance-influenced competitions such as tricking
Tricking
Tricking is the informal name of a type of physical activity derived from the martial arts that includes techniques found in gymnastics, B-boying, and similar disciplines. Examples of incorporated techniques include the 540 kick from Taekwondo, the butterfly twist from Wushu, and the double leg...

. Martial traditions have been influenced by governments to become more sport-like for political purposes; the central impetus for the attempt by the People's Republic of China in transforming Chinese martial arts into the committee-regulated sport of wushu
Wushu (sport)
The sport of wushu is both an exhibition and a full-contact sport derived from traditional Chinese martial arts. It was created in the People's Republic of China after 1949, in an attempt to nationalize the practice of traditional Chinese martial arts...

 was suppressing what they saw as the potentially subversive
Subversion (politics)
Subversion refers to an attempt to transform the established social order, its structures of power, authority, and hierarchy; examples of such structures include the State. In this context, a "subversive" is sometimes called a "traitor" with respect to the government in-power. A subversive is...

 aspects of martial training, especially under the traditional system of family lineages.

Health and fitness benefits

Training in martial arts imparts many benefits to the trainee, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Through systematic practice in the martial arts a person's physical fitness
Physical fitness
Physical fitness comprises two related concepts: general fitness , and specific fitness...

 may be boosted (strength, stamina, flexibility, movement coordination, etc.,) as the whole body is exercised and the entire muscular system is activated.
Beyond contributing to physical fitness, martial arts training also has benefits for mental health
Mental health
Mental health describes either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and...

, contributing to self-esteem
Self-esteem
Self-esteem is a term in psychology to reflect a person's overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame: some would distinguish how 'the self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, the...

, self-control, emotional and spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 well-being. For this reason, a number of martial arts schools have focused purely on therapeutic aspects, de-emphasizing the historical aspect of self-defense or combat completely.

According to Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee was a Chinese American, Hong Kong actor, martial arts instructor, philosopher, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and founder of the Jeet Kune Do martial arts movement...

, martial arts also have the nature of an art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

, since there is emotional communication and complete emotional expression.

Self-defense, military and law enforcement applications

Some traditional martial concepts have seen new use within modern military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 training. Perhaps the most recent example of this is point shooting
Point shooting
Point shooting, also called threat focused shooting, is a method of shooting a firearm that relies on a shooter's instinctive reactions, kinematics, and the use of biomechanics that can be employed effectively in life-threatening emergencies to quickly engage close targets.This method of shooting...

 which relies on muscle memory
Muscle memory
Muscle memory has been used synonymously with motor learning, which is a form of procedural memory that involves consolidating a specific motor task into memory through repetition. When a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle memory is created for that task, eventually allowing it to...

 to more effectively utilize a firearm
Firearm
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

 in a variety of awkward situations, much the way an iaido
Iaido
is a modern Japanese martial art associated with the smooth, controlled movements of drawing the sword from its scabbard, striking or cutting an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then replacing the sword in the scabbard...

ka would master movements with their sword.

During the World War II era William E. Fairbairn
William E. Fairbairn
William Ewart Fairbairn was a British soldier, police officer and exponent of hand-to-hand combat method, the close combat, for the Shanghai Police between the world wars, and allied special forces in World War II. He developed his own fighting system known as Defendu, as well as other weapons...

 and Eric A. Sykes
Eric A. Sykes
Eric Anthony Sykes , born Eric Anthony Schwabe in Barton on Irwell, Manchester, England. He is most famous for his work with William E. Fairbairn in the development of the eponymous Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife and modern British Close Quarters Battle martial arts during World War II...

 were recruited by the Special Operations Executive
Special Operations Executive
The Special Operations Executive was a World War II organisation of the United Kingdom. It was officially formed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton on 22 July 1940, to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Axis powers and to instruct and aid local...

 (SOE) to teach their martial art of defendu
Defendu
Defendu is a modern martial art developed by William E. Fairbairn and Eric A. Sykes prior to World War II. It is a hand-to-hand combat system based on practical experience mixed with jujutsu and boxing that was developed to train the Shanghai Municipal Police, and was later taught in expanded form...

 (itself drawing on jujutsu and Western boxing) and pistol shooting to UK, US, and Canadian special forces. The book Kill or Get Killed, written by Colonel Rex Applegate
Rex Applegate
Rex Applegate was an American military officer who worked for the Office of Strategic Services, where he trained Allied special forces personnel in close-quarters combat during World War II. He held the rank of colonel....

, was based on the defendu taught by Sykes and Fairbairn. Both Fairbairn's Get Tough and Appelgate's Kill or Get Killed became classic works on hand-to-hand combat.

Traditional hand-to-hand, knife, and spear techniques continue to see use in the composite systems developed for today's wars. Examples of this include European Unifight
Unifight
Unifight is a competitive training system with military applications. The competition is formed of two consecutive stages: the first stage is an obstacle course with close quarters battle - any missed obstacle disqualifies the contestant; the second stage is a bout of full contact hand to hand...

, the US Army's Combatives
Combatives
Combatives is a United States Army term for hand-to-hand combat training and techniques.-History:Militaries have long taught unarmed combat, both as physical conditioning and as a supplement to armed combat. Among the samurai of Japan, such combatives were known as Bujutsu...

 system developed by Matt Larsen
Matt Larsen
Matt Larsen is a United States Army Ranger and Combatives instructor known as "The Father of Modern Combatives" for creating the United States Army's modern combatives doctrine and establishing the U.S. Army Combatives School...

, the Israeli army's kapap
Kapap
Kapap , short for Krav Panim el Panim, translated as "face to face combat", was a combat system of defensive tactics, hand-to-hand combat and self defense...

 and Krav Maga
Krav Maga
Krav Maga is a noncompetitive eclectic self-defense system developed in Europe that involves striking techniques, wrestling and grappling. Krav Maga is known for its focus on real-world situations and extremely efficient, brutal counter-attacks...

, and the US Marine Corps's Marine Corps Martial Arts Program
Marine Corps Martial Arts Program
The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program is a combat system developed by the United States Marine Corps to combine existing and new hand-to-hand and close quarters combat techniques with morale and team-building functions and instruction in what the Marine Corps calls the "Warrior Ethos". The...

(MCMAP).

Unarmed dagger defenses identical to those found in the manual of Fiore dei Liberi
Fiore dei Liberi
Fiore Furlano de Civida d'Austria delli Liberi da Premariacco was a Medieval master of arms and the earliest Italian master from whom we have an martial arts manual...

 and the Codex Wallerstein
Codex Wallerstein
The Codex Wallerstein is a 16th century fechtbuch. The titleVom Baumans Fechtbuch appears on the first page, together with the date 1549. The Codex came in the possession of Paulus Hector Mair in 1556...

 were integrated into the U.S. Army's training manual
Training manual
A training manual is a book or booklet of instructions, designed to improve the quality of a performed task. Training manuals are widely used, including in business and the military.A training manual may be particularly useful as:...

s in 1942
and continue to influence today's systems along with other traditional systems such as eskrima
Eskrima
Eskrima is the umbrella term for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines, which emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives and other bladed weapons, and various improvised weapons...

 and silat
Silat
Silat Melayu is a blanket term for the types of silat created in peninsular Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei and Singapore. The silat tradition has deep roots in Malay culture and can trace its origin to the dawn of Malay civilization, 2000 years ago...

.

The rifle-mounted bayonet
Bayonet
A bayonet is a knife, dagger, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit in, on, over or underneath the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar weapon, effectively turning the gun into a spear...

, which has its origin in the spear
Spear
A spear is a pole weapon consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a pointed head.The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with bamboo spears, or it may be made of a more durable material fastened to the shaft, such as flint, obsidian, iron, steel or...

, has seen use by the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

, the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

, and the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 as recently as the Iraq War.

Martial arts industry

Martial arts since the 1970s has become a significant industry, a subset of the wider sport industry
Sport industry
Sport industry is the manufacturing of sport related goods, services, and ideasthrough the combination of sport activities with business, mass media, and politics. Unlike...

 (including cinema and sports television).

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide practice some form of martial art.
Web Japan (sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs) claims there are 50 million karate practitioners worldwide.
The South Korean government in 2009 published an estimate that Taekwondo is practiced by 70 million people in 190 countries.

The wholesale value of martial arts related sporting equipment shipped in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 was estimated at 314 million USD in 2007; participation in the same year was estimated at 6.9 million (ages 6 or older, 2% of US population).
R. A. Court, CEO of Martial Arts Channel, stated the total revenue of the US martial arts industry at USD 40 billion and the number of US practitioners at 30 million in 2003.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Ultimate Fighting Championship
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the largest mixed martial arts promotion company in the world that hosts most of the top-ranked fighters in the sport...

 generated a revenue of about USD 250 million in 2008, about 90% of the entire Mixed Martial Arts
Mixed martial arts
Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, judo and other styles. The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be...

 industry. World Wrestling Entertainment had a revenue of USD 1.4 billion.
Asian martial arts experienced a surge of popularity in the west during the 1970s, and the rising demand resulted in numerous low quality or fraudulent schools. Fueled by fictional depictions in martial arts movies, this led to the "ninja craze" of the 1980s United States.
The rank system
Dan (rank)
The ranking system is a Japanese mark of level, which is used in modern fine arts and martial arts. Originally invented in a Go school in the Edo period, this system was applied to martial arts by Kanō Jigorō, the founder of judo and later introduced to other East Asia countries.In the modern...

 introduced for judo
Judo
is a modern martial art and combat sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw or takedown one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an...

 in the 1880s proved commercially viable, and "colored belt" systems were adopted in many martial arts degree mills (also known as "McDojos"; parodied in Penn & Teller: Bullshit! episode "Martial Arts", June 2010).

See also

  • For a time line of martial arts historical milestones, see Martial arts timeline
    Martial arts timeline
    This martial arts timeline is designed to help describe the history of the martial arts in a linear fashion. Many of the articles for particular styles have discussions of their history...

  • For a detailed history of martial arts see: History of martial arts
    History of martial arts
    The early history of martial arts is difficult to reconstruct. Inherent patterns of human aggression which inspire practice of mock combat and optimization of serious close combat as cultural universals are doubtlessly inherited from the pre-human stage, and were made into an "art" from the...

  • For a detailed list of fictional martial arts, see List of fictional martial arts

Equipment

  • Breaking boards
  • Dummy partners such as the wooden dummy
    Muk Yan Jong
    Mu ren zhuang is a wooden dummy used in Chinese martial arts training. It is associated with the martial art of Wing Chun and other kung fu styles of Southern China...

  • Hojo undō
    Hojo undo
    Hojo undō is a Japanese language term, translated as "supplementary exercises", that refers to the conditioning exercises specifically used in martial arts. Hojo undō training was designed to develop ambidextrous physical strength, stamina, muscle coordination, speed, and posture...

    , specialized conditioning equipment
  • List of martial arts weapons
  • Protective equipment
    Personal protective equipment
    Personal protective equipment refers to protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garment or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury by blunt impacts, electrical hazards, heat, chemicals, and infection, for job-related occupational safety and health purposes, and in...

     for sparring and competition for example Boxing gloves
    Boxing gloves
    Boxing gloves are cushioned gloves that fighters wear on their hands during boxing matches. The term also refers to gloves used in training, though these often differ from competition gloves...

     and Headgear
    Headgear (martial arts)
    Headgear is padded helmet worn during sparring in the martial arts.-Boxing:Headgear is a padded helmet, worn on the head by contestants in Amateur and Olympic boxing. It effectively protects against cuts, scrapes, and swelling, but does not protect very well against concussions. It will not protect...

  • Targets such as punching bag
    Punching bag
    A punching bag or punch-bag is a sturdy bag designed to be repeatedly punched. It's used for conditioning, physical exercise, and stress relief...

    s and the makiwara
    Makiwara
    The makiwara is a padded striking post used as a training tool in various styles of traditional karate. It is thought to be uniquely Okinawan in origin...


External links

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