Most of us know martial arts from the movies. Unless you have practised martial art, the films are only the tip of the iceberg. Martial art is a training of the mind and body and then expressing/applying the human body in fighting or war .Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practised for several reasons, such as self-defence; military and law enforcement applications; competition; physical, mental, and spiritual development. As well as entertainment; and the preservation of a nation’s intangible cultural heritage.
In this article we would be looking at the Definition, Types and Importance of Martial Arts.
Types Of Martial Arts
There are many types of Martial arts. We have African, Indian, Indonesia, and many others.
But these Martial arts are no more popular or in use.
In this modern-day of ours, we have four main types of Martial arts.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is another type of Martial arts.
Japanese Martial Arts
Japanese martial arts are Jiu-jitsu, Aikido, Judo, and Kendo.
Jiu-Jitsu is an ancient Martial art, but it is in use today. It simply means “the art of pliance.”
Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba of Japan, primarily during the late 1920s through the 1930s through the synthesis of the older martial arts he had studied.
Aikido consists primarily of body throws and joint-locking techniques. In addition to physical fitness and technique, mental training, controlled relaxation, and the development of “spirit” (ki) are emphasized in aikido training.
Judo is one of only two martial arts that are Olympic sports (the other is tae kwon do). In Judo, the object is to throw one’s opponent to the ground and immobilize or subdue the opponent using a grappling manoeuvre, joint lock or choke.
Kendo means “way of the sword” and this ancient martial art is over 650 years old.
Practitioners use swords of bamboo, called shinai. They wear protective clothing and engage in free sparring.
Chinese Martial Arts
Some famous practitioners of Chinese martial arts include Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and the late Bruce Lee.
Chinese martial arts are Karate and Tai Chi.
I know some will expect me to mention Kung Fu. But the term “kung fu” does not refer to a particular style of martial arts. It commonly refers to Chinese martial arts in general.
The term became popular in the late 1960s because of the Kung Fu TV series and Hong Kong films with Bruce Lee in particular.
Karate is a combination of both Chinese and Japanese martial arts and is known as striking art. In Japanese, it means “empty hands.”
The sport features punching, kicking, knee/elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques.
Karate may be practised for many reasons. For self-confidence, but was originally developed for self-defence.
Tai Chi or Tai Chi Chuan
It is commonly called “moving meditation.” Tai Chi is regarded as a martial art, and its traditional practitioners still teach it as one.
It has developed a worldwide following among thousands of people for health purposes and longevity.
Tai Chi theories and practices are centred on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Tai Chi is developed in China as a form of self-defence and has existed for about 2,000 years.
Korean Martial Arts
Martial arts have existed in Korea since the earliest times.
The Korean martial arts are taekwondo and Hapkido.
Taekwondo is one of the most widely practised martial arts in the world. It is one of the two martial arts represented at the Olympics (Judo is another one)
Although there are many technical differences among taekwondo organizations, the art plays an emphasis on kicks thrown from a mobile stance, using the leg’s greater reach and power to disable the opponent from a distance.
Taekwondo distinguishes itself from other martial arts like karate by its emphasis on kicking instead of the reliance on hand techniques of these other martial arts.
The practitioners of this art believe that the leg is the longest and most effective weapon in defeating an opponent.
Due to its circular flowing movements and philosophy of non-resistance, Hapkido bears striking resemblance to the Japanese martial art of aikido.
In reality, ‘hap’ means ‘harmony,’ or ‘co-ordination,’ “ki” describes strength, or energy, and ‘do” means “way” or “art.”
Thus, Hapkido, which shares the same Chinese characteristics as aikido, implies “the way of coordinated power.”
While some commentators claim Hapkido has a Japanese lineage, others state that its origin lies in indigenous Korean martial arts.
On the “hard-soft” scale of martial arts, Hapkido stands somewhere in the middle, employing “soft” techniques similar to Aikido and “hard” techniques related to that Taekwondo and Karate.
Brazilian Martial Arts
The Brazilian martial arts is a combat sport, and a self-defence system focuses on grappling and ground fighting.
The main Brazilian martial arts are Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Vale Tudo.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a form of Japanese jiu-jitsu that was developed from Judo ground fighting principles.
It is so much differentiated from other martial arts by its greater emphasis on grappling and especially ground fighting.
Since its origination in 1882, its parent art of Judo was separated from older systems of Japanese jiu-jitsu (its secondary parent art), by an important difference that was passed on to become Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
It is not only a martial art but also a sport. It is a way of promoting physical fitness and building character in young people.
Vale Tudo is a full-contact unarmed combat event. It has a limited number of rules.
It became popular in Brazil during the 20th century and then later began influence to the development of MMA.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows for striking and grappling techniques. The standing and ‘on the ground’ techniques, incorporate techniques from various martial arts and other combat sports.
The first use of the term ‘mixed martial arts was in a review of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993.
The UFC was originally assigned as a competition to find the most effective martial arts for real unarmed combat.
Later, it became clear that using a mixture of styles was the most effective.
Today, Mixed Martial Arts now rivals boxing and professional wrestling in popularity and acceptance.
Due to this popularity, most single-style martial arts schools have added the teaching of other styles of martial art to their curriculum.
Importance Of Martial Arts
Are martial arts important? Yes. Here are some of the importance of martial arts:
Martial art makes you more physically fit and healthy.
It relieves stress in the body.
It helps to develop self-discipline.
Learning self-defence skills.
It increases self-esteem.
It helps in building self-confidence.
Weight loss and burning of excessive fats during training.
It makes you a happier person.
It gives you the spirit of sportsmanship.
In Martial art school, you will get to know and train with famous people. You will also get to know how to work with others.
Surprisingly, martial art will boost your creative ability and improve your mental health.
Requirements To Become A Martial Art Trainee
Kids (Ages 3 – 9)
Teens (Ages 13 – 17)
Adults (Ages 17+)
People with very poor health conditions cannot be enrolled, but this can only be decided by the particular school.
I hope you find this article helpful as well as interesting.