Martial Arts Systems of The World

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Martial Arts Systems of The World
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Aikido is considered to be a non-aggressive style, as the Aikido student does not instigate the attack. The basic principle of Aikido is “Do not fight force with force”. Aikido uses very few punches and kicks. Instead, the attackers force is redirected into throws, locks and restraining techniques. Size, weight, age and physical strength differences of the opponents play only a small role, as the skilled Aikido practitioner is able to redirect the attackers energy, keeping his attacker in a constant of unbalance.

To be effective, Aikido takes longer to learn than most other martial arts. Aikido can be practiced to a late age because this martial art does not rely on flexibility, muscle speed, or strength. Thus it has become especially popular with women and senior citizens.

Aikido training teaches the use of several martial arts weapons such as Tento, Jo andBokken. There is also a sport style of Aikido named Tomiki Aikdo.

Origin of Aikido: Japan

Founder of Aikido: Morihei Ueshiba 1883-1969

Popularised by: Movie star Steven Seagal, the first Western person to open an Aikido school in Japan.

Martial Arts: Boxing (Western Boxing)

Boxing is in principle a sport, more than a martial art. In both amateur boxing and professional boxing, the bouts are heavily regulated.

When it comes to punching technique and power, there are few martial arts that are as focused on fist strikes as is boxing, which makes boxers formidable opponents in mixed martial arts competitions (or on the street, for that matter).

Boxing is carried out in a series of rounds. Both boxers wear heavy gloves that protect their hands and their opponent from injury. Handwraps are used to stabilize the bones in the hand, allowing the boxers to throw very hard punches that otherwise wouldn’t be possible using bare closed-fist techniques.

Striking techniques of boxing

The jab. Executed with the leading arm, the jab is the most effective strike in boxing. It is a quick action, where the arm is quickly retracted after punching, and relies more on speed and reach than on power.

The cross. The most powerful strike, where using the body weight and body rotation, the rear fist is brought straight forward.

The hook. Typically performed with the lead hand, the hook is a small semi circular strike to circumvent the guard of the opponent. Most often targeted at the head, it can also be used for body strikes.

The uppercut. A strike famous in boxing. The fist is thrust upwards, often sliding through the opponents guard, typically aimed at connecting with the chin of the opponent.

History of boxing

Although the history of boxing (or rather, fist fighting) can be traced back to 1000s or years A.D., in modern times boxing became infamous in England, in the 18th century, where bare-knuckled prize fighting was popular.

Proponents of the art

In the United States of the 20th, there were many outstanding fighters that shaped how boxing was perceived. In the 1920s, Jack Dempsey became almost a folk hero for the American public, and was the first boxer to come to world fame, and to introduce boxing to a worldwide audience.

The heavy weight champions Muhammed Ali and later on Mike Tyson kept boxing in the headlines.

Martial Arts: Capoeira

Capoeira is an energetic, often acrobatic, dance-like style of martial art. Capoeira was first practiced by African slaves who were taken to work in Brazil. Capoeira is primarily based around kicking, as a slave’s hands were normally manacled.

In Capoeira, many movements are carried out while in a handstand position, often resembling modern Breakdance moves.

There are a variety of forms of Capoeira, including where two people “play” fight each other inside a circle formed by spectators, while other members of the group play instruments and sing. The music dictates the speed or tempo of the movements.

Origin: Brazil

artial Arts: Choy Li Fut Kung Fu

Choy Li Fut is a combination of many Chinese martial arts styles (including Southern and Northern styles), and includes the five animals - Tiger, Dragon, Crane, Leopard, Snake.

Choy Li Fut was developed in 1836 by Chan Heung, who learned martial arts from his uncle, a famous Shaolin Boxer. Chan Heung named his amalgation of Kung-Fu styles after his two teachers, Choy Fok and Li Yau-San. Fut means Buddha in Cantonese, and was added to the name of his new style as an acknowledgement of his uncle and Shaolin roots of the system.

Choy Li Fut is an effective self-defence system and contains a wide variety of techniques, including long and short range punches, kicks, sweeps and takedowns, lethal pressure point attacks, joint locks, and grappling. It also practices many of the traditional Kung Fu weapons.

Although rare outside of China, Choy Li Fut remains a very popular martial arts style in mainland China today.

Origin of Choy Li Fut Kung Fu: China

Founder of Choy Li Fut Kung Fu: Chan Heung, in 1836

Martial Arts: Dim Mak (Death Touch)

Dim Mak, also know as Death Touch, is the ancient martial art of striking vital points of an opponent’s body. These strikes are engineered to cause “knock-out”, death or delayed reaction in the opponent.

These vital points are the same as used for healing in acupuncture and other Asian healing arts. Dim Mak is an integral part of all martial arts. However, very few instructors know much of specific Dim Mak techniques, and those that do are reluctant to pass on this knowledge to their students.

Most pressure points are located along the center line, an important concept of many Kung Fu styles including Wing Chun Kung Fu. Pressure points exist in the arms, legs, back and head, and they are also considered when protecting major striking targets along the centre line.

Origin of Dim Mak: China

Popularised by: George Dillman, through seminars books and videos

Martial Arts: Goju Kai Karate

Goju Kai Karate is very similar in techniques and Katas to Goju Ryu. Goju Kai tends to place more emphasis on the sport side of training rather than the body conditioning and supplementary exercises of Goju Ryu. The founder of Goju Kai, Yamaguchi Gogen, is credited for introducing free sparring to Karate. Previously, Okinawan Karate styles only used Katas and pre-defined attack/defense techniques in their training.

Many Goju Kai schools exist today all over the world, and the characteristic clenched fist logo of Gojo Kai can easily be recognized. The insignia was designed by the late Gogen Yamaguchi in 1932, founder of Goju-Kai Karate-Do. In fact, the clenched fist insignia is vigorously protected by U.S. and international trademark and patent laws by those that currently hold the rights for it.

Origin of Goju Kai: Japan, 1950

Founder of Goju Kai: Yamaguchi Gogen (The Cat) 1909-1989. His sons Gosei and Gosen brought Goju Kai to California, United States in the sixties.

Martial Arts: Goju Ryu Karate

Goju Ryu Karate is one of the four original Okinawan styles of Karate. Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate employs hard and soft techniques with circular and linear movements. Goju Ryu has a great variety of hand and foot techniques.

Emphasis in Goju Ryu is placed on strengthening the body and mind with supplementary exercises. Goju Ryu’s most famous exponent is Morio Higaonna - chief instructor of the International Okinawan Goju Ryu Karatedo Federation (I.O.G.K.F.).

Origin of Goju Ryu Karate: Okinawa

Founder of Goju Ryu: Chojun Miyagi 1888-1953

Martial Arts: Hapkido

Hapkido is a Korean martial art, and combines techniques from Karate, Aikido and Judo. It also draws influence from other native Korean martial arts. Characteristic for Hapkido are the wrist locks and throws that can look quite spectacular. Hapkido uniforms are available in white and black and have a characteristic diamond pattern.

Developed in the 1940s and 50s, its founder Grandmaster Choi had learned martial arts first in Japan, in a school of Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu, an ancient form of Jujutsuthat was practiced mostly by Samurai.

On Choi’s return to Korea, he added many techniques to defend against particular types of attacks, and borrowed heavily from other styles. The name of what is known as Hapkido today changed several times, and famous students of Choi such as Ji Han Jae continued to develop the art and were instrumental in bringing Hapkido to the west, where it was taught to FBI and other US government agencies.

During this time Ji Han Jae met Bruce Lee, who was very impressed with the techniques of Hapkido. Ji Han Jae coached Bruce Lee, who then went on and incorporated certain aspects of Hapkido into the development of his own emerging style, Jeet Kune Do.

Origin of Hapkido: Korea

Founder of Hapkido: Yong Shui Choi (also known as Choi Yong Sul)

Popularised by: Grandmaster Ji Han Jae (Founder of Sin Moo Hapkido) in the unfinished “Game of Death” movie by Bruce Lee

Martial Arts: Hsing (Hsing-I Chuan, Xing Yi Quan)

Hsing (Hsing-I Chuan, sometimes also spelled Xing Yi Quan or Hsing Yi Chuan), is known as Mind Boxing, or in another translation, Form-Will-Boxing. The pronouciation of Hsing-I is “Shing-ee”.

Hsing-I is characterised by five distinctive actions, namely the five fist elements. These elements are the Splitting Fist, Drilling Fist, Crushing Fist, Pounding Fist and the Crossing Fist. These five basic actions of splitting, drilling, pounding, crossing and crushing are related to the five elements of traditional Chinese medical theory and philosophy, ie. metal, water, fire, earth and wood, respectively.

In addition to these, Hsing also teaches the 12 styles of animal movements such as Dragon, Tiger, Horse, Cock, Turtle, Hawk, Swallow, Snake, Falcon, Eagle and Bear.

Each animal form has characteristic postures and stances, combined with a characteristic way of fighting.

Hsing-I belongs to the Chinese internal arts (together with Pa Kua and Tai-Chi), and shares some types of weapons training, namely the straight sword (Jen), the curved sword (Dao) and the long spear (Chiang). In contrast to Pa-Kua and Tai-Chi, movements in Hsing are more linear combined with a straight forward attack. The the emphasis is on developing very powerful strikes that are able to deliver inner energy (Chi) at the opponent.

Origin of Hsing: Northern China, also credited to General Yu Fei

Martial Arts: Iaido

Iaido is the art of sword drawing. The emphasis is on killing the opponent with a strike from drawing the sword. Practiced for centuries by the Japanese Samurai, Iaido is now practiced with specially made Iaido swords that resemble the original Japanese Katana. These swords are not sharpened, reducing the risk of injury to its practitioners.

Origin of Iaido: Japan

Martial Arts: Jeet Kune Do

Jeet Kune Do is a relatively new martial art, developed by the martial arts master, Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee began his martial arts career studying Wing Chun Kung Fuunder grandmaster Yip Man in Hong Kong, and then taught his art in the U.S. as Jun Fan Kung Fu.

Lee began by taking the best and most practical aspects of Wing Chun and combining these with elements of western boxing; trapping and grappling; and influences from a variety of other martial arts. This developed into a fighting style that he named Jeet Kune Do, the “Way of the Intercepting Fist”.

Jeet Kune Do is not a new style of kung-fu orkarate. Bruce Lee did not invent a new or composite style, nor did he modify a style to set it apart from any existing method. His concept was to free his followers from clinging to any style, pattern, or mold.

The effect Jeet Kune Do had was to expose the Chinese martial arts to the world, which subsequently created a worldwide rush by westerners to learn these martial arts. It also stimulated interest in the other martial arts including Japanese, Okinawan and Korean. No other man has had more influence on the spread of martial arts to the world than Bruce Lee.

Origin of Jeet Kune Do: U.S.

Founder of Jeet Kune Do: Bruce Lee - late 1960s

Famous students are Dan Insonato, Larry Hartsell

Martial Arts: Judo

Judo is a martial art that makes use of throws, strangles and joint locks. There is no kicking or punching in Judo. Judo was originally developed from Jujutsu and was accepted as an Olympic sport in 1966.

The lethal techniques and strikes of Jujutsu have been removed from the syllabus, and Judo’s founder Kano designed a syllabus that was meant to aid in the physical fitness of the Japanese people as well as their character development. As such, Judo was always designed more to be a sport than a self-defence system.

The black belt system, that pertains until today in many martial arts (also see: Goju Ryu Karate Belt System) is said to have first developed in Judo. Whereas in the West, great value is placed on the coveted achievement of a black belt, Japanese instructors see the black belt as a stage of the student when the real study of the martial art begins. Judo Uniforms are typically made of heavy material to withstand the pulling and grabbing associated with this martial art.

Origin of Judo: Japan

Founder of Judo: Jigoro Kano - 1882

Martial Arts: Jujutsu (Jujitsu)

Ju Jitsu (also often referred to as Jujutsu) is a fighting system that employs a wide range of techniques - including strikes, kicks, throws, joint locks and choking. In addition to this Jujitsu also teaches weapons technique. Techniques and influences from Jujitsu can be found in almost all of the martial arts.

Jujitsu developed in many independent schools in Japan over many centuries and as such does not have a clear lineage. As the syllabus of techniques in Jujutsu is very large, invidivual schools today may teach variations and/or a subset of the vast range of existing Jujutsu techniques.

As Jujutsu also provides many practical arm lock and submission techniques, jujutsu techniques have been popular with Police forces all over the world.

Origin of Jujutsu: Japan

Founded early 1600

Martial Arts: Kali (Escrima)

Kali, Escrima and Arnis are all essentially the same martial art, all originating from different areas of the Philippines. All of these utilise weapons such as sticks, knives, and swords. The typical Kali/Escrima weapon is the Escrima sticks. Techniques without weapons also taught include kicking, striking and grappling.

Kali was originally used as a method of fighting off the invading Spanish. Kali is now widely practiced both in the Philippines and abroad.

Origin of Kali: Philippines

Popularised by: Dan Inosanto, Escrima Master and friend and student of Bruce Lee

Martial Arts: Karate

Karate translates, as is generally accepted, to Empty Hand in Japanese. Karate is a martial art that uses weaponless techniques such as punching and kicking to overcome the opponent. Typically, fighters wear a white Karate Uniform (Gi) and abelt that indicates their skill level and rank.

The development of Karate began in Okinawa, an island south of Japan. Okinawans travelled to China, where they learnt the Chinese martial arts. On their return to Okinawa they set about blending their own martial arts (initially simply called Te, “Hands”) with what they had learnt in China and called it To-De, Chinese Hands.

From this, 4 main styles of Karate developed - Goju RyuShorin RyuUechi Ryuand Shorei Ryu. Gichin Funakoshi, who trained under several Okinawan Karate masters, developed his own style of Karate that he named Shotokan.

Funakoshi introduced Shotokan to Japan in the early 20th century. Other Okinawan masters soon followed him - Chojun Miyagi with Goju Ryu and Kenwa Mabuni withShito Ryu. From these masters many new styles were soon developed. For example Kyokushinkai by Mas Oyama, Goju Kai by Gogen Yamaguchi, Wado Ryuby Hinonori Ohtsuka.

There are now hundreds of different styles of karate across the world, but all
can be traced back to the original four from Okinawa.

Origin of Karate: Okinawa

Karate was founded in the 16th century and formalised into different styles in the early 20th century