History of Martial Arts

History of Martial Arts

Article by Mariana Palacio

History of Martial Arts

Martial arts are systems of codified practices and traditions of training for combat. Though studied for various reasons, they share a single objective: to defeat a person physically or to defend oneself from physical threat.

KarateKarate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed from indigenous fighting methods called te and Chinese kenp?. Karate uses weaponless techniques such as punching and kicking to overcome the opponent.Karate can be practiced as an art (bud?), as sport, as a combat sport, or as self defense training. Traditional karate places emphasis on self development (bud?). Modern Japanese style training emphasizes the psychological elements incorporated into a proper kokoro (attitude) such as perseverance, fearlessness, virtue, and leadership skills. Sport karate places emphasis on exercise and competition.It is widely recognized as a sport and an art of self-defense. While there are many extensive physical aspects of this art, it also incorporates psychological elements and leadership techniques.

AikidoAikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as “the Way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the Way of harmonious spirit.” Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.Aikido is a pure physical art form and a Japanese martial art. Most of the throws and joint locks that are performed in Aikido are derivatives of Jujitsu and Kenjutsu. Aikido has been described as a spiritual journey, a self-defense technique, and an exercise for physical health and overall well-being.Aikido focuses not on punching or kicking opponents, but rather on using their own energy to gain control of them or to throw them away from you. It is not a static art, but places great emphasis on motion and the dynamics of movement.

JudoJudo is a modern martial art and combat sport created in Japan in 1882 by Kano Jigoro. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw or takedown one’s opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one’s opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an opponent to submit by joint locking or by executing a strangle hold or choke.Kano focused on two versatile phases of combat, which includes the standing phase and the ground phase. Each phase of Judo has its own strategies, special training, and techniques.Judo is also considered a sport. It was inducted into the Olympics in 1932 for the first time and became an official Olympic sport in 1964.

TaekwondoTaekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. As many other arts, it combines combat techniques, self-defense, sport, exercise, and in some cases meditation and philosophy. In 1989, Taekwondo was claimed as the world’s most popular martial art in terms of number of practitioners.It is considered to be a defense-style martial art, combative technique, a sport, philosophy and exercise.Although many people think of Taekwondo as a sport, there are many valuable self-defense techniques that can be learned. The aerobic-like work-out includes many different types of kicks including roundhouse kicks, front kicks, sidekicks, hook kicks, axe kicks, jump kicks and spin kicks.

Summarizing these four types of martial arts can all be used as self defense techniques, sport and exercise, each one has its own rules and contributes with different benefits, but at the same time they satisfy the need of protection and personal security. While each style has unique facets that make it different from others, a common characteristic is the systemization of fighting techniques.

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