Martial arts are practiced for various purposes, including self-defence, military and law enforcement applications, competitiveness, physical, mental, and spiritual development, entertainment, and preserving a nation’s intangible cultural heritage.
In simple terms, one can say that martial arts are also kind of a workout routine.
Although many famous martial arts have become associated with East Asian fighting systems, the term was first used to describe European combat methods in the 1550s. The term martial arts comes from the Latin word mars, which refers to the Roman god of war, Mars.
Fighting arts or combat systems, according to some experts, are more accurate because many martial arts were never actually “martial” in the first place.
There is a term called “martial artist.” Someone who does martial arts is known as a martial artist. The martial arts industry provides martial arts instruction and socialization skills to various people, many of whom are self-employed.
From Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan to Jean-Claude Van Damme, let’s discuss the best and most famous martial arts list by popularity.
History of Martial Arts:
People regard Asia to be the center of the world of martial arts. This does not imply, however, that martial arts originated in Asia. While martial art did not originate in Asia, the region is home to numerous popular styles. Hwa Ring, Kung Fu and Karate are some types of martial arts popular in Asia.
Many different causes impacted the acted martial arts, including historical revolutions, folklore, and ancient mythologies. Due to a lack of historical records, it is difficult to trace a martial art’s history and progress.
This is especially true of older martial arts such as Indonesia’s pentjak silat and Hawaii’s Lua. Revolutions and culture are two things that come to mind while thinking about martial arts.
On the other hand, based on the historical records that we do have, martial arts appear to have thrived. This is particularly true when martial arts from two different cultures are combined.
Around 2600 B.C, China became the world’s martial arts capital. Emperor Huang Di, a skilled wrestler and pole fighter who ruled China over 4000 years ago, was a skilled wrestler and pole fighter.
He made learning martial arts a necessity for his troops. Around 770 B.C., Mongolian barbarians introduced skull-bashing wrestling to China.
This art form is claimed to have spawned sumo. During the Qin and Han dynasties, this wrestling was combined with kemari to create shaku. In the Art of War, Sun Tsu emphasizes the importance of the arts in combat and life. The Silk Road, which began in 500 B.C., introduced Chinese martial arts to Asia Minor, Europe, and India.
Even though Chinese martial arts have a long history, contemporary martial arts began in India in 527 A.D. The 18 Buddhist Fists, which became the Five Animal Styles of Shaolin, taught Indian monk Ta Mo to the Shaolin Temple monks.
Tao Mo’s influence has impacted both Chinese and non-Chinese people.
So, what are the most popular martial arts in China and the world? Let’s find out, but before you go and try to become the next Ip Man by learning Wing Chun, it’s better to have a purpose for learning these arts. (Trying to become the lead role in one of the many famous martial arts movies does not count).
So here are some amazing benefits of learning martial arts-
Benefits of Martial Arts Training in Real Life-
There are a lot of benefits of Martial Arts in real life, such as:
Increases your sense of self-worth and self-esteem
Children’s confidence and self-esteem grow as they learn new abilities. They’ll have to collaborate with their classmates and perhaps demonstrate their abilities in front of an audience during grading or special events. This encourages self-sufficiency and confidence.
You will acquire acclimation to structure and direction by attending martial arts classes. In this atmosphere, you must focus on the task at hand and eliminate all distractions from your mind.
You’ll learn self-discipline and character development as your progress, which will help you in many aspects of your life.
Helps to Reduce Weight
As said before, martial art is a workout. It is a physical activity with high intensity that helps you burn calories. All the movements in a martial art are intense and help you burn calories faster.
One of the most obvious advantages of Martial Arts for kids is that it includes physical activity. It also increases your child’s growth.
Gaining Learning Skills
Respect for your instructor or teacher is an essential component of Martial Arts. To learn new moves and skills, children must listen to and follow instructions.
Types of martial arts and what is the best age to start martial arts-
Some children may show an interest in martial arts as young as three years old, while others may not show any interest until they are ten years old.
However, before the child reaches the age of six, the child must enjoy himself with it. Other skills, such as avoiding peer pressure, are not appropriate to teach at this time.
On the other side, 180 and more than 180 martial arts are in the universe, and countless martial arts classes are there.
There is the list of the 10 most Famous Martial Arts:
Kickboxing is a karate-influenced martial art. It incorporates moves from full-contact karate, Muay Thai, and boxing, among other martial disciplines.
Even though the name implies that kicking is the primary contact method, this martial art employs both hands and feet. In kickboxing, both kicks and punches are used. Unlike Muay Thai, no elbows or knees are utilized, and only the hands and feet make contact.
Kickboxing, like MMA and boxing, is a popular professional sport. Kickboxing classes are available in many cities through martial arts studios. On the other hand, kickboxing is extremely popular among the general population due to its high-intensity atmosphere.
Karate is a Japanese martial art that originated as a form of self-defence for the Okinawan people. It dates back to the late 17th century, when it was founded in response to the samurai lords of Japan imposing a weapons embargo.
However, thanks to the efforts of the Japan Karate Association, which was created in 1948, karate did not become well known until after World War II.
The term “empty hand” is derived from a combination of two Japanese characters: kara, which means “empty,” and te, which means “hand.”
These phrases were chosen to characterize karate because it is a striking martial art that employs open-handed techniques and intricate movement sequences known as katas.
As you become a trained karate person, you are given belts. Black is the highest level of belt, although you can still get to a higher level.
A black belt signifies the blackness far beyond sunlight, and a student who has been granted a black belt wants to achieve a deeper and further grasp of the physical and mental principles of karate. Many people who are granted a black belt continue passing on their skills to assist others develop at their very own belt level.
It is a modern Japanese martial art that combines jacket grappling with other techniques. It often is known as “Kano Jiu-Jitsu” and was founded in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. It is now the most popular style of jacketed wrestling on the international stage.
The most noticeable component of this, which derives from jujutsu, is its competitive aspect, in which the goal is to either throw or takedown the opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue the opponent with a pin, or force the opponent to surrender with a joint lock or a choke.
Kano established hand and foot strikes as Judo atemi waza, which is still practiced today.
For the aim of conflict, boxing has systematized its training methods. Because it precisely meets the definition of a martial art, it is classified as one. It’s close-quarters combat expertise that can be employed for self-defence, fitness, or by the military.
Many people question whether boxing is a martial art or not, and in the current environment of what we see as a broadcast sport and the large sums of money that boxers receive, it may be considered a sport rather than a martial art.
On the other hand, the origins of boxing provide undeniable proof that it is a legitimate martial art.
5. Muay Thai
Thailand’s national sport and traditional martial art, which is often known as Thai boxing, It originated hundreds of years ago as a kind of close combat in which the full body is used as a weapon.
Much of the history of muay thai was lost when the Burmese ravaged Ayudhaya, Siam’s capital city in Thailand, in the 14th century.
The few salvaged volumes are now national treasures, maintained and protected as evidence of Thai culture and legacy.
Taekwondo is a Korean traditional martial art that teaches more than just physical combat skills. It is a discipline that demonstrates how to improve one’s spirit and life through exercising the body and mind.
Today, it is a globally recognized sport that is one of the Olympic Games’ official sports.
Let’s look at the definition of “Tae”, “Kwon”, “Do.” Although it is written in three parts in English, it is only one word in Korean. “Tae” refers to the “foot,” “leg,” or “to walk on”; “Kwon” refers to the “fist,” or “fight”; and “Do” refers to the “method” or “discipline.”
If we combine these three components, we obtain a new element, TAEKWONDO.
7. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
BJJ is a grappling and ground fighting martial art that emphasizes the ability to control one’s opponent by utilizing techniques that cause them to submit.
It is called the “gentle art” because it allows a smaller, weaker individual to defend himself against a larger opponent by using leverage and submissions (chokes, locks).
With roots in Judo (Newaza) and Japanese Jujut su, Carlos Gracie and his family have since changed and refined the martial arts to become what they are today.
Because of the growing popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA), (BJJ) has seen continuous growth in popularity. “Rear naked choke,” “armbar,” and other typical BJJ lingo.
8. Krav Maga
Krav Maga is a martial method developed in the mid-nineteenth century to train the Israeli Army.
It is based on a scientific and realistic approach to battle, in which the major objectives in a dangerous scenario are to protect yourself and your partners.
The impediment must be neutralized in the shortest amount of time and with the least physical exertion possible.
To do this, it is necessary to strike sensitive spots on the aggressor’s body, which are categorized according to the severity of the harm caused.
Ninjutsu (or Ninp in Japanese) is a Japanese martial arts technique that emphasizes stealth and deception to defend oneself or accomplish a goal. Ninjutsu is a Japanese martial art that is often connected with Shinobi (or Ninjas).
Takedowns, ninjutsu weapons (such as the Shuriken, Kunai, Shuko, and Kyoketsu-Shoge), and stealth are all used in this martial arts discipline (for purposes of defence, information gathering, and other tasks).
Wushu, or Chinese martial arts, is an integral component of traditional Chinese culture. It is perhaps one of the first and longest-lasting sports that combine both brawn and brainpower.
Unlike self-defence and boxing, kung fu is a more holistic martial art that combines internal discipline with external technique.
Kung fu theory is based on ancient Chinese philosophy. It has evolved into a unique blend of exercise, practical self-defence, self-discipline, and art over its lengthy history.
Chinese Kung Fu is thought to trace back to prehistoric times. Cudgels were employed to fight wild monsters during the time.
Chinese Kung Fu is thought to have originated in prehistoric times. People used cudgels to fight wild monsters during the time.
They gradually gained self-defence experience. Hunting was regarded as an important measure of kung fu training when the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC) began.
Famous martial arts actors like Sammo Hung and Wesley Snipes have also trained themselves in high degrees of kung fu.
MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)
MMA is one of the world’s most famous full contact combat sports. Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a sport in which combatants from various martial arts disciplines fight under laws that allow kicking, punching, and wrestling techniques, both standing and on the ground.
It is normally contested in a cage, a classic boxing ring, or in amateur tournaments, a plain matting area. Fighting has been around for a long time, dating back to ancient Greece, when a sport called Pankration was popular, combining grappling and striking tactics.
Throughout history, similar fighting methods have existed, but none has gained international recognition until the USA’s Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993.
It was a TV smash that helped spread the word about MMA throughout the globe. The UFC is now the world’s biggest MMA organization, with fight nights all around the world.
There is no one regulatory organization for MMA and no universal set of regulations, so many of the hundreds of federations, promoters, and associations throughout the world may have somewhat varied interpretations of MMA rules.
Many state commissions around the US joined together to produce the Unified Rules of MMA, which are now used by combat companies worldwide, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Popular MMA rulebooks, even those who do not adhere to them, will almost definitely employ a close variant.
Apart from these 10 types of martial arts that we have mentioned, many more have been identified over the years, for example, aikido and Abir.
Many actors like Chuck Norris, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, and Steven Seagal have inspired fans to engage in martial training through movies like Yip Man and The Karate Kid.
Martial arts are a key to fitness, and it also builds self-esteem. But only great instructors and masters teach you the best life, the importance of martial arts training, and life’s well-being.
Martial arts emphasize unarmed combat, self-defense, and physical development as a primary focus. Today, if you want to stay both physically and mentally fit, the gym is not the only answer.
Martial arts can keep you equally fit and strong. Moreover, it keeps your mind calm and composed. It is not just a matter of training the body, but the mind as well.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article on martial arts and feel motivated to engage yourself in training.