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Martial Arts Types

A Complete List of Types of Martial Arts Practiced Throughout Asia

Martial arts are basically a fusion of various practices and traditions, which are used in training for combat. Here we discuss the types of martial arts.
SportsAspire Staff
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
Defense is the key objective of those who are into martial arts. Most of these arts have taken the form of combat sports, and some of the form of dancing. They consist of punching, kicking, working on the elbows and knees, open-hand combat, throwing, joint locks, pinning, and the use of modern and traditional weapons.

Japanese Martial Arts
The medieval era of Japan witnessed the upcoming of Japanese martial arts. Then, it was a state of war, fighting and survival, and these arts were mainly in practice by the Samurai (a Japanese warrior who was a member of the feudal military aristocracy) class. During the period when these martial arts evolved, people who were acquainted with the knowledge of these arts mainly applied them for combat, rather than for sports. It can be considered that these techniques provided a safe and secure way for the common people of Japan to protect themselves from enemy attacks.

Major Japanese martial arts types are Karate, Aikido, Juijutsu, Judo, and Kendo. Karate is primarily an open-handed combat, and the name itself signifies the art being unarmed. Aikido is a self-defensive art, wherein one overpowers an enemy without much strength and without causing much injury to either. Joint locks and throwing techniques are involved in Juijutsu, which is also known as the gentle art. Judo is adapted from Aikido techniques, and is an unarmed combative sport, while Kendo is about using swords of split bamboo.

Korean Martial Arts
Korean martial arts can be observed to bear the influence of those that originated in China and Japan. These were adapted and modified in Korea. The most common of them are Taekwondo and Hapkido. There were many techniques which were modified in Korean martial arts, and the popular ones are Sin Moo Hapkido, Haidong Gumdo,Han Pul, Han Mu Do. Kung Sul, Kong Soo Do, and Yudo. Some more types include Tang Soo Do, Soo Bahk Do, Hoshinsul, Kumdo, Tae Soo Do, Hwarang Do, Tae Kyon, Ship Pal Ki, Yu Sool, etc. Such techniques are considered among the most popular self-defense techniques, which also involve strength training and training of the mind.

Chinese Martial Arts
Having existed before the 12th century, Chinese martial arts are considered to be the most traditional and ancient. Strength training, staff sparring, fencing, and eight methods of Shaolin, are the basic and key emphasis of these martial arts. The different forms of arts which are now established in places such as Japan, Korea, and Tibet, are believed to have their origin in China. The most common types which are practiced even now include Hsing I, Kung Fu, Lau Gar, Monkey, Bagua, White Crane, Eagle Claw, and Tai Chi Chuan. Others which are also popular are Hung Gar, Praying Mantis, and Drunken Boxingand Wing Chun.

Talking about the best martial art, it would not be appropriate to judge one art from another, given the fact that the types are different and unique in their own way. They might come to some similarities at some point. However, they bear certain characteristics which give them a distinguishing mark from each other. Although different, all these techniques have been evolved with the primary motive of defense and protection against physical threat.

Indian Martial Arts
  • Gatka
  • Inbuan Wrestling
  • Kalaripayat
  • Lathi
  • Malla-Yuddha
  • Musti Yuddha
  • Mukna
  • Sarit Sarak
  • Silambam
  • Thang-Ta
Korean Martial Arts
  • Taekwondo
  • Taekkyeon
  • Sul Ki Do
  • Subak
  • GongKwon Yusul
  • Gwonbeop
  • Choi Kwang-Do
  • Chung Suk Kuhapdo
  • Gyongdang
  • Haidong Gumdo
  • Han Mu Do
  • Hankido
  • Hapkido
  • Yusul
  • Tang Soo Do
  • Hoi Jeon Moo Sool
  • Hwa Rang Do
Indonesian Martial Arts
  • Pencak Silat
  • Pencak Silat
  • Silat
  • Sindo
Japanese Martial Arts
  • Battojutsu
  • Bojutsu
  • Bujinkan
  • Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu
  • Dakentaijutsu
  • Genbukan
  • Goshin Jujitsu
  • Hakku-Ryu
  • Iaido
  • Japanese Kickboxing
  • Jinenkan
  • Jodo
  • Judo
  • BudukanGensei-ryu
  • Genwakai
  • Kokondo
  • Kyokushin kaikan
  • Ninjutsu
  • Nanbudo
  • Seido Juku
  • Seidokaikan
  • Yoseikan-ryu
  • Hayashi-Ha Karate
  • Wado-Ryu
  • Yoseikan Budo
  • Kosho Shorei Ryu Kempo
  • Sumo Wrestling
  • Taijutsu
  • Shootfighting
Philippines Martial Arts
  • Kali Sikaran
  • Arnis
  • Buno
  • Modern Arnis
  • Yawyan
  • Pangamut
  • Pananjakman
  • Kombatan
  • Espada y Daga
  • Pangamut
  • Eskrima (Kali)
  • Panantukan
No matter how much you learn about martial arts, the spirit remains untouched and unknown, unless you get to know about them up close and personal. Inculcating such practices in one's life helps a person to lead a better and disciplined life.
Front kick
Sumo Wrestler
Training tips
Aikido fighter with sword
Little girl in white kimono
Kendo fighter
Martial Arts
Handling the kamas
Self defence
Martial Arts sport training in gym
Woman training Haidong Gumdo
Taekwando Fighting
Traditional Bo
Aikido on the beach