Martial arts (literally meaning arts of war but usually referred as fighting arts) are extensive systems of codified
practices and traditions of combat. Martial arts all have similar objectives: to physically defeat other persons or defend oneself or others from physical threat. Some martial arts are also linked to beliefs systems such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism or Shinto while others follow a secular code of honor. Martial arts are considered as both an art and a science. Many arts are also practiced competitively, most commonly as combat sports, but competitions may also take the form of "forms competition."
The term martial arts refers to the art of warfare (derived from Mars the Roman god of war) and comes from a 15th-century European term referring to what are now known as historical European martial arts specifically to what is today known as Historical Fencing, but is now most commonly associated with Asian fighting styles, especially the combat systems that originated in East Asia. The term both in its literal meaning however, and in its subsequent usage may be taken to refer to any codified combat system, regardless of origin, a practitioner of martial arts is referred to as a martial artist. Martial arts have originated and evolved in various cultures at various times. In the Americas, Native Americans have traditions of open-handed martial arts such as wrestling, while Hawaiians have historically practiced arts featuring small and large-joint manipulation. A mix of origins is found in the athletic movements of Capoeira, which African slaves developed in Brazil based on skills they had brought from Africa. While each style has unique facets that differentiate it from other martial arts, a common characteristic is the systematization of fighting techniques. Methods of training vary and may include sparring (simulated combat) or formal sets or routines of techniques known as forms or kata. Forms are especially common in the Asian and Asian-derived martial arts.
 Variation and scope
Martial arts vary widely, and may focus on a specific area or combination of areas, but they can be broadly grouped into focusing on strikes, grappling, or weapons. Below is a list of examples that make extensive use of one of these areas; it is not an exhaustive list of all arts covering the area, nor are these necessarily the only areas covered by the art but are the focus or best known part as examples of the area: Strikes
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Punching: Boxing (Western), Wing Chun, Kicking: Capoeira, Savate, Taekwondo, Kickboxing Other strikes: Karate, Muay Thai
Sambo Pinning Techniques: Judo. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Shuai Jiao. Hapkido. See also war dance
Main article: History of martial arts Further information: Martial arts timeline
 Historical martial arts
Main articles: History of Asian martial arts and Historical European martial arts Further information: History of boxing and History of fencing While martial arts evidently have roots in prehistory. philosophy. Sambo Joint lock/Chokes/Submission holds: Aikido. acupressure (tui na). Numerous systems are reputed to have been founded. Jujutsu. Many such martial arts incorporate music. Wrestling. Japanese styles like aikido. The foundation of modern Asian martial arts is likely a blend of early Chinese and Indian martial arts. For example. especially those from Asia. Silat. Martial arts can also be linked with religion and spirituality. hoplology and criminology. or practiced by monks or nuns. physics. This is particularly prevalent in traditional Chinese martial arts which may teach bone-setting. Kendo. 350
. Ky d Modern Weaponry: Jukendo
Many martial arts. such as for evoking ferocity in preparation for battle or showing off skill in a more stylized manner. also teach side disciplines which pertain to medicinal practices. the earliest evidence of systematic training in specific martial arts traditions emerges in antiquity (late 1st millennium BC) in both Asia and Europe. During the Warring States period of Chinese history (480-221 BC) extensive development in martial philosophy and strategy emerged. Some martial arts in various cultures can be performed in dance-like settings for various reasons. Judo. Fencing. qigong. and other aspects of traditional Chinese medicine.y y y
Throwing: Glima. have a strong philosophical belief of the flow of energy and peace. gatka is a weapon-based Indian martial art created by the Sikhs of the Panjab region of India and the Kshatriya caste of Hindus also have an ancient martial art named Shastra vidhya. The Martial Arts are considered both an art for its dynamics of body movement as well as a science for its systematic application in relation to anatomy. as described by Sun Tzu in The Art of War (c. disseminated. Sambo
Traditional Weaponry: Eskrima. acupuncture. Chin Na. especially strong percussive rhythms. Judo.
Asian martial arts become well-documented during the medieval period. The Romans produced gladiatorial combat as a public spectacle. This can clearly be seen in India after the full
. This includes such styles as sword and shield. Chinese martial arts with Ming era treatises such as Ji Xiao Xin Shu.BC). The most famous of these is Johannes Lichtenauer's Fechtbuch (Fencing book) of the 14th century.
Boxing was practiced in the ancient Mediterranean. In Europe. A number of historical combat manuals have survived from the European Middle Ages. and developed into sport fencing during the 19th century. Europe's colonization of Asian countries also brought about a decline in local martial arts. to China. Legendary accounts link the origin of Shaolin Kung Fu to the spread of Buddhism from India during the early 5th century AD. Indian martial arts in medieval texts such as the Agni Purana and the Malla Purana. see also Kory ). the earliest sources of martial arts traditions date to Classical Antiquity. especially with the introduction of firearms. European swordsmanship was trained for duels until the Napoleonic era. Boxing (pygme. "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. Wrestling (pale) and Pankration were represented in the Ancient Olympic Games. Modern boxing originates with Jack Broughton's rules in the 18th century. pyx). Japanese martial arts beginning with the establishment of the samurai nobility in the 12th century. and reaches its present form with the Marquess of Queensberry Rules of 1867. two-handed swordfighting and other types of melee weapons besides unarmed combat. which today forms the basis of the German school of swordsmanship. with the figure of Bodhidharma. and Korean martial arts with Joseon era texts such as Muyejebo (1598). Likewise.
in South and Southwest Asia IndoPersian Pehlwani.
. the same period marks the formation of the modern forms of judo. thus. Western interest in Asian martial arts arises towards the end of the 19th century. and in some cases also stick fighting. Similar phenomena occurred in Southeast Asian colonies such as Malaysia. rooted in local culture and folklore. Modern Muay Thai rules date to the 1920s. and kendo (among others) based on revivals of old schools of Edo period martial arts which had been suppressed during the Meiji Restoration. in Europe. Khmer or Mongolian wrestling and Japanese Sumo. there are Icelandic. was the first man known to have taught Asian martial arts in Europe. karate. In China. which in turn came to be practiced worldwide and contributed significantly to modern hybrid styles like kickboxing and mixed martial arts. In Japan. considering it to be mere performance.
 Folk styles
Main article: Folk wrestling All over the world. a railway engineer who had studied jujitsu while working in Japan between 1894±97. Relatively few Westerners actually practiced the arts. there are traditional styles of folk wrestling. Edward William BartonWright. jujitsu. Vietnam and the Philippines. They are rather contemporary regional sports that coexist with the modern forms of martial arts sports as they have developed since the 19th century. He also founded an eclectic style named Bartitsu which combined jujutsu. the traditional Thai style of Muay Boran developed into the modern national sport of Muay Thai. this concerns the developments of boxing and fencing as sports. In East and Southeast Asia. Tatar) styles. African folk wrestling includes the West African style of Lutte Traditionnelle. FILA Wrestling World Championships and Boxing at the Summer Olympics were introduced in 1904. Indonesia. While these arts are based on historical traditions of folklore. in Central and Western Asia Turkic (Uzbek. In Europe. Fencing and Greco-Roman wrestling was included in the 1896 Summer Olympics. the modern history of martial arts begins in the Nanjing decade (1930s) following the foundation of the Central Guoshu Institute in 1928 under the Kuomintang government. often including cross-fertilization between sports and folk styles.
 Modern history
Further information: Modern history of East Asian martial arts 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. boxing.establishment of British Raj in the 19th century. they are not "historical" in the sense that they reconstruct or preserve a historical system from a specific era. savate and stick fighting. judo. Swiss and various English wrestling traditions. due to the increase in trade between the United States with China and Japan. these are forms such as Korean.
World War II combatives. savate and fencing. Following the "kung fu wave" in Hong Kong action cinema in the 1970s. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This era produced some Hollywood action stars with martial arts background. Judo at the Summer Olympics was introduced in 1964. Jeet Kune Do. These include The Karate Kid (1984) and Bloodsport (1988). a number of martial arts systems were adapted for self-defense purposes for military hand-to-hand combat. influenced by martial artist and Hollywood actor Bruce Lee. The later 1960s and 1970s witnessed an increased media interest in the Chinese fighting systems. The US military de-emphasized hand-to-hand combat training during the Cold War period. World Fencing Championships have been held since 1921. Bruce Lee is credited as one of the first instructors to openly teach Chinese martial arts to Westerners. most modern American martial arts are either Asian-derived or Asian influenced. Karate World Championships were introduced in 1970. is an adaptation of pre±World War II judo developed by the brothers Carlos and Hélio Gracie. Taekwondo was developed in the context of the Korean War in the 1950s. judo and karate first became popular among the mainstream from the 1950s-60s. introduced in 1909. the system he founded. but revived it with the introduction of LINE in 1989.The tradition of awarding championship belts in wrestling and boxing can be traced to the Lonsdale Belt. 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 and were exposed to local fighting styles. Jujutsu. 1990 to present During the 1990s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu became popular and proved to be effective in mixed martial arts competitions such as the UFC and PRIDE. 20th century (1914 to 1989) The International Boxing Association was established in 1920. who restructured the art into a sport with a large focus on groundwork. has its roots in Wing Chun. Also during the 20th century. American kickboxing was developed in the 1970s. World Judo Championships have been held since 1956. western boxing. as a combination of boxing and karate. San Shou (People's Republic of China). Systema (Soviet era Russia). Due in part to Asian and Hollywood martial arts movies. Kapap (1930s) and Krav Maga (1950s) in Israel. The term kickboxing ( ) was created by the Japanese boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi for a variant of Muay Thai and Karate that he created in the 1950s. such as Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris.
. or Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. a number of mainstream films produced during the 1980s contributed significantly to the perception of martial arts in western popular culture.
these are referred to as mixed martial arts competitions. The type of testing used varies from system to system but may include forms or sparring. e. a punch should be 'pulled' as soon as or before contact is made. As the amount of force used is restricted. the practice of Historical European Martial Arts and other Western Martial Arts are growing in popularity across the United States and Europe. Rules for sparring vary between art and organization but can generally be divided into light-contact. Jackie Chan and Jet Li are prominent movie figures who have been responsible for promoting Chinese martial arts in recent years. In medium-contact (sometimes referred to as semi-contact) the punch would not be 'pulled' but not hit with full force. a point system is used in competitions.and medium-contact
These types of sparring restrict the amount of force that may be used to hit an opponent. 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. in the case of light sparring this is usual to 'touch' contact.
. Some competitions pit practitioners of different disciplines against each other using a common set of rules.
 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. such as a different belt color or title. With the continual discovery of "new" Medieval and Renaissance fighting manuals. reflecting the amount of force that should be used on an opponent. based on 1980s Seidokaikan karate.g.
Steven Ho executing a Jump Spin Hook Kick Various forms and sparring are commonly used in martial art exhibitions and tournaments. the aim of these types of sparring is not to knock out an opponent.The K-1 rules of kickboxing were introduced in 1993. medium-contact. and fullcontact variants.
In some styles (such as fencing and some styles of Taekwondo sparring). such as the UFC 1. Some critics of point sparring feel that this method of training teaches habits that result in lower combat effectiveness. only used if no clear winner has been established by other means. the aim of a competitive match is either to knock out the opponent or to force the opponent to submit. for children or in other situations when heavy contact would be inappropriate (such as beginners). has a number of tactical differences from light and medium-contact sparring. there was no scoring. groin. Particular targets may be prohibited (such as headbutting or groin hits).
 Martial sport
Main article: Combat sport
. but rule sets may still mandate the use of protective equipment limit the techniques allowed. whereupon the referee will briefly stop the match. full-contact sparring while wearing only a karate gi and groin protector but does not allow punches to the face. It is considered by some to be requisite in learning realistic unarmed combat. hands.A referee acts to monitor for fouls and to control the match. chest. Alternatively. though most now use some form of judging as a backup. shins or feet. as do professional boxing organizations and K-1. full-contact matches tend to be more aggressive in character. then restart the match. as in boxing. where strikes are not pulled but thrown with full force as the name implies. In grappling arts aikido uses a similar method of compliant training that is equivalent to light or medium contact. only kicks and knees. medium-contact sparring is often used as training for full contact
Further information: Full-contact Full-contact sparring or competition. Shooto use a form of fullcontact rules. in some competitions. certain techniques may be forbidden. award a point. Nearly all mixed martial arts organisations such as UFC. while judges mark down scores. Where scoring takes place it may be a subsidiary measure. Lighter-contact sparring may be used exclusively. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and judo matches do not allow striking. competitors score points based on the landing of a single technique or strike as judged by the referee. Due to these factors. Pancrase. sparring may continue with the point noted by the judges. Kyokushin karate requires advanced practitioners to engage in bare-knuckled. In full-contact sparring. and fighters may be required to wear protective equipment on their head. but are full-contact in the sense that full force is applied in the permitted grappling and submission techniques.
The Summer Olympic Games includes judo. 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. This has now become a separate combat sport known as mixed martial arts (MMA).S. Some schools believe that competition breeds better and more efficient practitioners. and Shooto have also taken place in Japan. are Olympic sports. kata and aka. such as with western fencing. such as Judo. especially under the traditional system of family lineages. Similar competitions such as Pancrase. wrestling and fencing as events. 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 was suppressing what they saw as the potentially subversive aspects of martial training. javelin. western archery. or modern variations of the martial arts which include dance-influenced competitions such as tricking. the original Ultimate Fighting Championship in the U. Martial arts have crossed over into sports when forms of sparring become competitive.
 Health and fitness benefits
Training in martial arts imparts many benefits to the trainee. Martial traditions have been influenced by governments to become more sport-like for political purposes. Practitioners in some arts such as kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu often train for sport matches. physical. while Chinese wushu recently failed in its bid to be included. boxing. taekwondo. becoming a sport in its own right that is dissociated from the original combative origin. whereas those in other arts such as aikido and Wing Chun generally spurn such competitions. Some martial artists compete in non-sparring competitions such as breaking or choreographed routines of techniques such as poomse.Several martial arts. The question of "which is the best martial art" has led to new forms of competition.
. mental and spiritual. was fought under very few rules allowing all fighting styles to enter and not be limited by the rule set. DREAM. and gives a sense of good sportsmanship. but is still actively performed in tournaments across the world.
since there is emotional communication and complete emotional expression. contributing to self-esteem.) as the whole body is exercised and the entire muscular system is activated. Perhaps the most recent example of this is point shooting which relies on muscle memory to more effectively utilize a firearm in a variety of awkward situations. Army Combatives instructor Matt Larsen demonstrates a chokehold. For this reason. a number of martial arts schools have focussed purely on therapeutic aspects. movement coordination. stamina. de-emphasizing the historical aspect of self-defense or combat completely. written by Colonel Rex
. flexibility. U.Through systematic practice in the martial arts a person's physical fitness may be boosted (strength. According to Bruce Lee. a British police officer working in Shanghai and a leading Western expert on Asian fighting techniques. and Canadian special forces.. This fighting method was called defendu. Beyond contributing to physical fitness. much the way an iaidoka would master movements with their sword. self-control. emotional and spiritual well-being. etc. was recruited by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to teach Jujutsu to UK.S.S. martial arts also have the nature of an art.
 Self-defense. During the World War II era William E. Fairbairn. The book Kill or Get Killed. military and law enforcement applications
Main articles: Hand to hand combat and Self-defense
U. martial arts training also has benefits for mental health. Some traditional martial concepts have seen new use within modern military training.
A.9 million (ages 6 or older. Fueled by fictional depictions in martial arts movies. The wholesale value of martial arts related sporting equipment shipped in the United States was estimated at 314 million USD in 2007. parodied in Penn & Teller: Bullshit! episode "Martial Arts". about 90% of the entire Mixed Martial Arts industry. has seen use by the United States Army. CEO of Martial Arts Channel. and the rising demand resulted in numerous low quality or fraudulent schools. Army's training manuals in 1942 and continue to influence today's systems along with other traditional systems such as Eskrima. the US Army's Combatives system developed by Matt Larsen. 2% of US population). the United States Marine Corps.4 billion. Ultimate Fighting Championship generated a revenue of about USD 250 million in 2008. Traditional hand-to-hand. a subset of the wider sport industry (including cinema and sports television).Applegate. participation in the same year was estimated at 6. and the US Marine Corps's Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). and the British Army as recently as the Iraq War. 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. The South Korean government in 2009 published an estimate that Taekwondo is practiced by 70 million people in 190 countries. World Wrestling Entertainment had a revenue of USD 1. and "colored belt" systems were adopted in many martial arts degree mills (also known as "McDojos". Asian martial arts experienced a surge of popularity in the west during the 1970s.S. Court. The rifle-mounted bayonet. and spear techniques continue to see use in the composite systems developed for today's wars. which has its origin in the spear. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide practice some form of martial art. knife. June 2010). The rank system introduced for judo in the 1880s proved commercially viable. was based on defendu taught by Sykes and Fairburn. Examples of this include European Unifight.
. Web Japan (sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs) claims there are 50 million karate practitioners worldwide. the Israeli army's kapap and Krav Maga. R. this led to the "ninja craze" of the 1980s United States. Unarmed dagger defenses identical to that found in the manual of Fiore dei Liberi and the Codex Wallerstein were integrated into the U. Both Fairburns' Get Tough and Kill or Get Killed became classics of military treatise on hand-to-hand combat.
 Martial arts industry
Martial arts since the 1970s has become a significant industry.