Martial arts

The martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practices, which are practiced for a variety of reasons: self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental, physical, and spiritual development. The earliest forms of martial arts can be traced back to ancient China, more than 4000 years ago, during the Xia Dynasty. The term martial art has become heavily associated with the fighting arts of eastern Asia, but was originally used in regard to the combat systems of Europe as early as the 1550s. An English fencing manual of 1639 used the term in reference specifically to the "Science and Art" of swordplay. The term is ultimately derived from Latin, and means "Arts of Mars," where Mars is the Roman god of war.[1] Some martial arts are considered 'traditional' and are tied to an ethnic, cultural or religious background, while others are modern systems developed either by a founder or an association.Variation and scope Martial arts may be categorized along a variety of criteria, including: Traditional or historical arts and contemporary styles of folk wrestling vs. modern hybrid martial arts. Regional origin, especially Eastern Martial Arts vs. Western Martial Arts Techniques taught: Armed vs. unarmed, and within these groups by type of weapon (swordsmanship, stick fighting etc.) and by type of combat (grappling vs. striking; stand-up fighting vs. ground fighting) By application or intent: self-defense, combat sport, choreography or demonstration of forms, physical fitness, meditation, etc. Within Chinese tradition: "external" vs. "internal" styles [edit]By technical focus Unarmed Unarmed martial arts can be broadly grouped into focusing on strikes, those focusing on grappling and those that cover both fields, often described as hybrid martial arts. Strikes Punching: Boxing (Western), Wing Chun Kicking: Capoeira, Kickboxing, Taekwondo, Tang Soo Do, Savate Others

using strikes: Karate, Muay Thai, Sanshou, Vale Tudo, Wushu, Tomoi Grappling Throwing: Jujutsu, Aikido, Glima, Hapkido, Judo, Sambo Joint lock/Chokes/Submission holds: Judo, Jujutsu, Aikido, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Hapkido Pinning Techniques: Jujutsu, Judo, Wrestling, Sambo Another key delineation of unarmed martial arts is the use of power and strength-based techniques (as found in boxing, kickboxing, karate, taekwondo and so on) vs. techniques that almost exclusively use the opponent's own energy/balance against them (as in T'ai chi ch'uan, aikido, hapkido and aiki jiu jitsu and similar). Another way to view this division is to consider the differences between arts where Power and Speed are the main keys to success vs. arts that rely to a much greater extent on correct body-mechanics and the balance of the practitioners energy with that of the opponent. In all such delineations, aspects of many arts, if not most, can fall within both camps, regardless of which way the defining line is viewed (striking vs. grappling or power vs. energy/balance). Most arts have features on both sides of any such dividing line. Weapon-based Those traditional martial arts which train armed combat often encompass a wide spectrum of melee weapons, including bladed weapons and polearms. Such traditions include eskrima, silat, Kalarippayattu, kobudo, and historical European martial arts, especially those of the German Renaissance. Many forms of Chinese martial arts also feature weapons as part of their curriculum. Sometimes, training with one specific weapon will be considered a style of martial arts in its own right, which is especially the case in Japanese martial arts with disciplines such as kenjutsu and kendo (sword), bojutsu (staff), and kyudo (archery). Similarly, modern Western martial arts and sports include modern fencing, stick-fighting systems like canne de combat or singlestick, and modern competitive archery.