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Martial arts refers to all types of combat practices, often associated with hand to hand combat. Some of these arts are based on spirituality and mental strength, some are focused on sport and technique and some are designed to be practical and applicable to real life situations. All martial arts are generally a combination of these core elements. There are various styles of martial arts and each style has unique aspects which makes it differ from other varieties. The following is a list of different forms of martial arts.
A Japanese martial art which is defensive in nature, aikido is about moving with the attacker. The art does not require you to be physically strong as you simply move with the attacker instead of attacking head on.
A Korean martial art which employs the use of weapons like swords, rope and staffs. It is similar to aikido in nature. The moves in this art also follow the flow of the attacker and work on gaining leverage in an attempt to defeat the opponent.
A competitive Japanese martial art that involves fighting from a standing position and employing techniques that allow you to lift and throw your opponents onto their backs. It also teaches techniques that allow you to pin, control and apply various chokeholds and joint locks on your opponents from the ground. It has a more offensive style of fighting and sometimes involves the use of weapons.
Kung Fu refers to the Chinese martial arts which are either focused on Chinese philosophies or animal movements. Many Kung Fu forms mimic animal movements which makes it a very interesting kind of martial art.
Krav Maga is a type of martial art which takes a realistic approach at fighting and was developed by the Israeli military. It is known for its realism and how it takes the worst situations into consideration. It draws influences from many other fighting sports but is a highly unique form self defence because it removes the sporting element and focuses on functional, situational combat.
Karate is a Japanese martial art which is highly offensive in nature and focuses on striking techniques. Karate emphasises on landing punches and other hand strikes rather than leg moves.
Muay Thai is a Thai martial art which focuses on using all the contact points of the body and creating full contact to deliver high impact moves. It is well known for its utilisation of strikes originating from knees and elbows in combination with punches and kicks.
Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial art which is used for self defense and is also one of the oldest forms of martial arts. The moves in Tae Kwon Do focus more on leg strikes and have a high emphasis on the flexibility, strength, and stamina of the body.
Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art known primarily for it's health benefits as well as it's defence techniques. Over time Tai Chi has gained popularity as a way to alleviate stress and anxiety, a form of meditation in motion if you will. Tai Chi is also a good way to learn self defence skills in a more relaxed fashion.