Nowadays, mixed martial arts fighting are becoming more and more popular. Also because of being exposed on it, we are becoming familiar with different fighting styles. Different fighters around the globe have been demonstrating various combat fighting techniques, showing hand-to-hand combats, attack counters and self-defense methods. We become curious on how one differs from the other, on where does it originate and even on the meaning of the name of the fighting style.
This article is not about what martial art is the deadliest or which fighting style is the greatest. Any fighter as long as he knows how to effectively make an attack, defend oneself from an attacker, neutralize an enemy and have the proper virtue that a fighter should have makes him a good martial artist. It all depends on the fighter’s fighting skill and physical capabilities, and those can be attained through intense training.
Here’s the top ten lists of the World‘s Most Popular Martial Arts(Unordered List).
10 – Boxing
This probably is the most popular martial art and combat sport nowadays. In boxing, two people wearing gloves are exchanging punches inside a ring. A referee is also inside the ring to supervise every round, he is also the one who can deduct point/s to a player when he breaks a rule during the fight. A boxer may win when his opponent can no longer continue to fight, through decision/judges’ scorecards, when an opponent gets disqualified by breaking a rule and when someone from the opponent’s corner resign by throwing a towel inside the ring.
9 – Kung Fu
Kung Fu is one of the oldest martial arts in the world and this Chinese martial art is traditionally taught by Shaolin monks. Different fighting styles emerged and they can be classified in numerous aspects. Some were classified according to the school who teach a specific style, it can be identified as families and some can be classified according to traits. Speaking about traits, it includes philosophies, legends, religions and even animal mimicry. Lastly, one can also classify a fighting style by means of geographical association.
8 – Judo
This is a martial art and a combat sport which originated in Japan in the late nineteenth century. Jigoro Kano created such martial art with competitive element. Judo means “gentle way” and it focuses mainly in throwing opponents, taking enemies down to the ground, submission, joint locks and even chokes. When successfully initiated an attack, mostly opponents submit due to immobilization or being subdued. As years go by, judo became one of the martial arts that developed to be a model for other Japanese martial arts.
7 – Taekwondo
Taekwondo is Korea’s national sport and this martial art is also considered as the most popular martial arts in the world in terms of numbers who practice it. If judo means “gentle way”, Taekwondo is “the way of the fist and foot”. Practitioners were trained to thrust kicks and punches as well as blocking attacks. There are also techniques in taking down opponents, with this, practitioners should just not focus only on strength, and one should have flexibility, stamina and speed to successfully initiate attacks.
6 – Karate
Karate is also known as karate-do, a martial art which was developed in Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa, Japan). The person who is practicing karate is called “karateka”. Karate-do is a mixture of indigenous fighting styles and Chinese kenpo. Karate focuses on striking, take down, locks and even on grappling. Practitioners were also taught knee and elbow strikes and open-handed techniques. This martial art is greatly popularized by movies during the 1960s and 1970s, since then many karate schools emerged all over the world.
5 – Aikido
Aikido means “the Way of unifying life energy” or “the way of harmonious spirit” and this martial art originated in Japan. Morihei Ueshiba, Osensei which means Great Teacher developed aikido during the 1920s and 1930s. Aikido depicts his expression, his personal philosophy not just the creation of it from the various martial arts he trained. This martial art is not about fighting or opposing the attack, instead it is more on redirecting the attack of the attacker, making it look as a counter. Senior students of Ueshiba have different approaches on learning aikido, depending on when they learned the art. This is probably the reason why aikido can be found all over the world but some differ in interpretation and focus.
4 – Krav Maga
This fighting style was developed in Israel and it was developed by Imrich Lichtenfeld, a Hungaraian-Israeli boxer and wrestler. Krav Maga has a wide range of self-defense system, a mixture of boxing, muay thai, wrestling, grappling and even realistic fight training. This is a hand-to-hand system which focuses on real-life situations and about how to initiate brutal counter attacks. The main principles of this fighting style are the following: deal on the threat and neutralize it, defend yourself and attack upon defending, and completely neutralizing the attacker with aggression. Krav Maga is used by IDF or the Israeli Defense Forces on their regular and special forces and other similar style has been developed by other organizations.
3 – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
If you think Brazilian jiu jitsu was founded by a Brazilian, then you are wrong. A Japanese fighter named Mitsuyo Maeda is the founder of Brazilian jiu jitsu and started it in 1914. He was considered as the toughest man that ever lived because of the number of bouts he won, he won more than 2,000 bouts. This martial art with the fundamentals formed from Kodokan Judo focuses on grappling and ground fighting. Brazilian jiu jitsu’s concept is that size does not matter when one can successfully defend himself from an attacker. With the use of proper technique, one can defend himself by joint locks and chokeholds.
2 – Muay Thai
This combat martial art originated from Thailand and known as “the art of eight weapons” or “the art of eight the limbs”. Moves and techniques make use fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet while making stand-up strikes. Muay Thai started to become famous in the sixteenth century and in the late twentieth century, this combat fighting become widespread. Fighters were trained with very good physical preparation, they kick tree trunks in order to strengthen their shins, knees and feet. This way they will develop their legs and feel no pain (or less pain) when kicking opponents.
1 – Sambo
The word sambo was an acronym, its full meaning is “SAMooborona Bez Oruzhiya” which means “self-defense without weapons”. It is a martial art originated in Russia which began in the early 1920s and was developed by the Soviet Red Army. Sambo is a mixture of Judo, international styles of wrestling and folk styles of wrestling from different regions. At first it was only taught on the members of the Red army, but there was a time when crime rate rises it was also taught to bodyguards.