Top 10 Types of Martial Arts You Should Know About!

martial art, types of martial arts

People have been practicing martial arts for a long time. All different types of martial arts didn’t originate in a day. Some of the martial arts styles grew gradually, while some grew much later.

Martial arts are not only for defeating enemies but for boosting your inner peace and self-improvement also.

If you are passionate about martial arts or want to learn them, then it is way too best to find out the different styles of martial arts available.

In this post, you will discover the 10 most popular martial arts styles. So, continue reading until the end.

How Many Types of Martial Arts are There?

Over 190 types of martial arts are available. You should set your goals and find what you want to achieve. 

When you are done with setting your goals, now you can choose a martial arts type that fits your goals best. Listed below are the top martial arts styles you can choose from.

Top 10 Types of Martial Arts

Listed below, you will discover 10 different martial arts types available. These most common martial arts are also prevalent. Go through each martial art style and enrich your knowledge.

1. Taekwondo (Korea)

It is the most scientific and systematic traditional Korean martial art type.

Taekwondo traces its roots in 600 AD royal court and tribal fighting systems but modern Taekwondo began back in 1940’s.

Taekwondo introduced many different & superb kicking techniques and styles to the combat world. Kicks of taekwondo evolve into fun or flashy techniques. Practitioners who are professional in “Tricking” perform these techniques.

This style of martial arts can adapt to a unique style that matches other types of fighting. But due to its nature, different taekwondo schools or training institutes teach taekwondo making it considerably less threatening.

2. Kung Fu (China)

Kung Fu refers to Chinese martial art. It is designed to purify the mind and body.

The Shaolin Temple is the birthplace of Kung Fu. At this place, monks practiced it for self-defense and health while they were in their search for enlightenment.

Kung Fu has different styles and variations, such as Shaolin, Tai Chi, Wing Chun, etc. All the styles of Kung Fu differ in their techniques.

However, all the styles stick to the same root principle. In Kung Fu, it is vital to strike fast & hard. You will have to combine your power with speed to defeat your enemies quickly.

The practitioners of Kung Fu also learn different weapon skills. They discover the use of various weapons such as spears, staffs, swords, and so on.

3. Judo (Japan)

Judo is a type of martial art. It is a dynamic and tremendous combat sport demanding mental discipline and physical prowess.

Combining Jujitsu Judo was founded in 1882. Originating in Japan, Judo is now recognized worldwide as a sport in the Olympics.

Judo has many different styles as well. All the Judo styles use different takedowns and throws to defeat the enemies and neutralize any aggressive situation. Though Judo derives from the Jiu-Jitsu, it specializes in chokes, trips, joint locks, throws, and sweeps.

The Judo techniques don’t include any deadly methods. Therefore it is one of the safest martial arts for sports. If you want to learn self-defense, Judo can be the best type of martial art intended for you.

Still, you will find some moderate striking methods, but don’t worry if you face any practical combat situation; a basic Judo throw can weaken your enemy. It is also the best type of martial arts you can learn.

4. Aikido (Japan)

It is a non-aggressive, modern form of martial art that originated in Japan.

In the early 20th Century Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba. It doesn’t involve any offensive moves.

The mildest form of martial arts is Aikido. It specializes in neutralizing a combative situation but won’t cause any harm.

So, how does Aikido work? It works by setting up the control of your enemy with the wrist lock. Also, it attempts many different takedowns and throws.

While practicing Aikido, you and your opponent will need to eliminate all types of resistance. Why? It is to avoid any wound with the throws and locks.

In practice, Aikido is amazing to witness. It includes incredible meditative properties. However, the combat effectiveness of Aikido doesn’t match other forms of martial arts.

This is because Aikido doesn’t focus on making someone #1 or champion rather it insists on helping someone reaching his own highest level. Most importantly, martial arts don’t prioritize on making you a winner but growing your inner self. 

5. Karate (Japan)

It is another martial art type. Karate is a self-defense and unarmed combat system that focuses on the weak parts of the attacker’s body.

Karate began its journey back in 1900’s. Though it was developed in Japan, Chinese martial arts influenced it most.  In 1950’s Karate was spread out worldwide.

To defeat the opponent, Karate uses different kicks and punches. When you practice Karate, you will learn different techniques such as staff and swords. Different variations of Karate are available.

Each variation prioritizes various Karate aspects like weapon training or Katas. However, all the variations will teach several fundamental techniques of Karate that are very powerful.

6. Muay Thai (Thailand)

Muay Thai is a martial art style based on strikes. It uses the feet, shins, knees, elbows and hands for striking. It is also called Thai boxing.

Muay Thai began its journey thousands of years ago. It was practiced to protect the country against invaders. Muay Boran is called the predecessor of Muay Thai.

Muay Thai is a powerful style of stand-up striking. Many fighters in different divisions of MMA organizations highly appreciate the effectiveness of Muay Thai.

They use it as the initial striking method.

When you practice Muay Thai, you’ll have to use eight body parts. Why and what are these? It is because Muay Thai helps you to deliver some robust strikes. You will use your elbows, knees, legs and hands.

Besides strikes, you will learn about high-pressure techniques for clinching in Muay Thai. Clinching techniques will deteriorate an average person when messed up with a pro.

The practitioners of Muay Thai also get training in takedowns and sweeps to counteract kicks and earn points in the matches.

7. Jeet Kune Do (China)

Jeet kune Do is a “street combat” system or martial art. It offers technical and philosophical knowledge.

Jeet Kune Do was popularized by Bruce Lee back in 1969.

Do you know who developed Jeet Kune Do? Can you guess? Yes, you are right! It’s Bruce Lee who developed it.

Jeet Kune Do combines techniques and principles of Karate, Judo, Wing Chun, and Boxing. This combination is highly powerful in producing a spontaneous and active fighting style.

The term Jeet Kune Do means “The way to intercept fists.” This style of martial arts heavily concentrates on combining offense and defense as well.

It prioritizes the quickest counterattacks. The strategies and styles of Jeet Kune Do match the philosophy of Bruce Lee. The students of Jeet Kune Do learn how to respond to any situation instead of living with it.

8. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Brazil)

It is a form of self-defense or martial art that depends on wrestling/grappling and techniques of submission to overcome an opponent.

BJJ originated from Judo in 1882. Jigoro Kano coined this style of martial art.

The term BJJ or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is derived from Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. It is a unique martial arts form that was developed to pick the most practical and valuable techniques. In contrast to Judo or Jiu-Jitsu, throws and takedowns are not too crucial in BJJ.

However, this different martial arts form will prepare you to use the size of your opponents against them. It is a good style in combat scenarios.

You can neutralize your opponents by using choke and joint locks. BJJ helps you get prepared to defend yourself from any attack on the back. Also, it discovers exceptional methods to execute a reversal so as to get a dominant position.

9. Kendo (Japan)

Kendo is a Japanese martial art closely related to the Samurai.

Kendo started its journey over 200 years ago. It was developed by the Samurais who used “nihonto” (swords) in combat.

Kendo is a style of martial arts that teaches you how to make use of Katana. Katana is a Japanese blade mainly used in wars. You will learn how to use Katana in different sequences and ranges.

You will need protective gear and a bamboo-made sword while getting training on Kendo.

The word Kendo originated from Kenjutsu. Kenjutsu was very popular in Japan throughout the Edo era. With time Kendo has evolved into a popular sport.

In competitions, Kendo has a point system also. Above all, Kendo keeps kenjutsu’s spirit alive. How? It teaches the practitioners about lethal sword skills. The brave samurai once used these fatal sword skills.

10. Krav Maga (Israel)

Krav Maga is a dynamic, modern and effective fighting and self-defense system developed in Israel. People of all ages, sizes and shapes can practice it.

Imi Lichtenfeld back in 1930’s developed Krav Maga. It is a type of military tactic for self-defense.

The Israeli Defense Forces of Israel developed Krav Maga. This style is highly effective for professional fighters and ordinary citizens.

Krav Maga makes its practitioners ready for different types of threatening scenarios such as ground situations, multiple attackers, knife threats, and many others.

It also blends different styles of Judo, Wrestling, and Boxing. Different Street fighting fundamentals are also included in Krav Maga. It is a versatile form of martial arts. It is not a spot exactly, but it makes you prepared for any situation.

Final Thoughts

Listed above are the top 10 types of martial arts, but there are some others as well. All the styles of martial arts are highly effective.

Make sure you choose the best ones to learn. You can learn any martial arts style alone, but you should get training from a professional.

I believe this post has helped you gain some special knowledge about types of martial arts. It’s time to share this piece of valuable content on social media.

Also, you can let me know your precious thoughts via the comment section below.

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Span Chen
Span Chen
I have been practicing karate for more than 6 years, and now at the sixth level (green belt) of the Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karatedo Kugekai. Though I haven’t earned my Black Belt yet, I am deeply passionate about my training.