Martial Arts Descriptions


Systems and traditions of generally combat practices, used for a variety of reasons from self defense, competition, health, entertainment, as well as physical and spiritual development.


A Japanese martial art performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it directly. This requires very little physical strength, as the practitioner redirects the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks.


A martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique, taking the fight to the ground – most notably by applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person.


A dynamic and highly eclectic Korean martial art which uses joint locks, grappling and throwing techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches and strikes. Traditional weapons such as knife, sword, rope, nunchaku, cane, short stick and staff are also used, although their emphasis varies. Hapkido contains both long and close range fighting techniques with an emphasis on circular motions, redirecting force, controlling the opponent, using footwork and body positioning to gain leverage, and avoiding the use of strength against strength.


A relatively modern Japanese competitive martial art literally defined as "gentle way". The goal of judo is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground and immobilize or subdue them with a joint lock or choke. Strikes and thrusts by hands and feet or weapons are a part of judo, but are only allowed in pre-arranged forms (kata), and are not allowed in competition or free practice.


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. Practitioners neutralize an enemy with pins, joint locks, and throws by using an attacker's energy against him, rather than directly opposing it (as with other martial arts such as karate). The main areas of emphasis include throwing, immobilizing and pinning, joint locking, choking and strangling techniques.


A martial art developed in Okinawa, Japan. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open hand techniques suck as knife hands (karate chop). In comparison to taekwondo, karate tends to focus more on hand strikes, whereas taekwondo emphasizes kicking techniques. The major traditional styles of karate are shotokan, shito ryu, goju ryu, and wado ryu.


A self defense system developed for the military in Israel that consists of a wide combination of techniques from boxing, savate, muay thai, wing chun, judo, jujutsu, wrestling, grappling and realistic fight training. Krav Maga is known for focus on real world situations, and extremely efficient and brutal counter-attacks used to keep the practitioner safe and to incapacitate the opponent by any means necessary. Its philosophy emphasizes threat neutralization, simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuveres, and aggression.


There are a number of fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. There are common themes to the various styles, which are usually classified by families, schools, or sects. Some styles include physical exercises that mimic animal movements, while others are inspired by Chinese philosophies, religions, and legends. Internal styles focus mainly on harnessing of qi, while external styles concentrate on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness. Some of the more common styles include eagle claw, hung gar, five animals (shaolin kung fu), monkey, praying mantis, and wing chun.


A full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, from a variety of other combat sports. The early years of the sport saw a wide variety of traditional styles used, but as the sport evolved with new rules, a mixed approach was adopted. It is now common for fighters to train in multiple styles, creating a more balanced skill set.


Translated as thai boxing, is a combat sport martial art form from Thailand which uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. It makes prominent use of punches, kicks, elbow strikes, and knee strikes, using eight points of contact, in contrast to the hands and feet (four contact points) more often relied upon in other martial arts. Numerous techniques associated with muay thai can be found in modern MMA.


A general umbrella term to describe the grouping of martial arts found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, and the Southern Philippines. Practitioners often utilize the following methods: evasion, striking, kicking, locking, throwing, ground fighting, weapons, spiritual and societal training. It has a strong focus on the use of bladed weapons.


A Russian martial art and combat sport literally translated as "self-defense without weapons". Sambo is relatively modern since its development in the early 1920s by the Soviet Army to improve their hand-to-hand combat abilities. Intended to be a combination of the most effective techniques of other martial arts, sambo has roots in judo, international styles of wrestling, plus traditional folk styles of wrestling.


The Korean art of combat and self-defense. Training involves learning a system of blocks, kicks, punches, and open-handed strikes, as well as varying forms of take-downs, throws, and joint locks, all of which develop strength, speed, balance, flexibility, and stamina. Taekwondo is known for its emphasis on kicking techniques, as compared to other martial arts such as karate. In addition to self-defense training, students learn prearranged sequences of techniques known as forms or poomse.


An internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and health benefits. A multitude of training forms exist, including the westernized, standardized version of tai chi, which has visual similarities to the Chinese tai chi, without the martial arts aspect. Some forms are particularly well known because of their slow movement. Medical research has found evidence that tai chi is helpful for improving balance and for general psychological health benefits.