From Martial Arts, MMA, Karate, Kungfu Information Source
The general term referring to combat systems that developed from ancient fighting styles in Asia and around the world. As of today, martial arts are being practiced by people not only for combat purposes but also as form of recreation, physical fitness, sport, law enforcement and spiritual development. Martial arts have grown its diversity in form and discipline according to the instructor, environment, and specialty. Even a single branch of martial art has different styles; technique specialization based on the interpretation o its single philosophy; and attitudes toward enemies/foe. However, despite of its wide variety, generally all martial arts have one goal: defeating a person or defending oneself from a threat of danger.
Martial arts possess a common characteristic and that is having a systematized fighting techniques. It also has a shared traditional training method that is practiced with a partner or alone.
It is important to note that martial arts are not confined only in the East Asian cultures. Although it did not enjoy the same level of popularity that the former received, there are European and South American forms of martial arts that developed through time like the capoeira.
Martial Arts in Asia
Martial arts historians have a little agreement on the origins and history of martial arts. Records have been uncovered that similar fighting methods have been in existence from at least 2000BC, specifically from Asian styles that have come from China, India and Tibet. Martial arts have flourished in China and have spread in all throughout the Asian mainland, primarily because of the fact that it had a more organized cultural system and a superior military force. Japan was the last to have acquired it because of its geographical isolation, however it has prospered there.
Most of the east Asian martial arts have elements of Confucian philosophy where hierarchical structures are evident. In kung fu, student with more seniority or possesses more skill is considered and older vrother or sister regardless of age. This kind of delineation is done to develop acknowledgment, kindness and respect towards another person, patience and perseverance, and most importantly focus and discipline. Along with the development of East Asian Martial Arts, certain styles and techniques were also developed in the area's adjacent regions. Countries like Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines developed their own martial arts in the form of war dances and religious ceremonies. A perfect example of this martial art are the Muay Thai and Jendo who are now enjoying an international status as a sport.
A number of martial arts were developed in ancient India, including Mallayuddha, Kuttu Varisai (empty hand combat),Varma Kalai (the art of vital points), Adithada (kickboxing) and Kalari Payattu (way of the arena). In the present, certain kinds of fighting styles are emerging such as Indonesia's Kateda and Sunta which some say came from Silat. However pinning down the origins these kinds of martial arts is difficult because practitioners claim that they are indigenous, but experts claim that they originated from Qigong, and Shaolin Kung Fu.
Martial Arts in Europe and the West
Ancent martial arts in the western world is not well documented but it is as rich as in the Asian tradition. Early records of western martial arts is found in Greece where sports is incorporated in their way of life, as exemplified in their Ancient Olympic Games. Boxing and Wrestling is a spectacle during these times, and it was furthermore developed when gladiators started to use these fighting styles in their combat during the supremacy of the Roman Empire.
In the recent years, martial art movements in Europe started to emerge in order to reconstruct some ancient European fighting styles. These styles of combat usually involved sword and shield fighting, two-handed sword fighting, jousting and other types melee weapons combat. Some weapon systems have also survived as folk sports and as self-defense methods, including stick-fighting systems such as Jogo do Pau of Portugal, and the Juego del Palo style(s) of the Canary Islands.
Capoeira, with roots in Africa, is a martial art originating in Brazil that involves a high degree of flexibility and endurance. It consists of kicks, elbow strikes, headbutts, and sweeps, although in its more combat-oriented forms it also includes hand strikes such as the asfixiante, a punch to the throat. Another Brazilian martial art is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The pre-war years saw many Japanese people emigrate to Brazil, some of whom were proficient in Judo. Carlos Gracie and his brother Hélio Gracie adopted this system of fighting and refined it into a more comprehensive groundfighting system. The system, known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, has become a popular martial art and proved to be extremely successful in mixed martial arts competitions such as the UFC.Wola-Do Martial Art from Togo West-Africa Invented by grand-master Hukporti, Aloedzi Wolasime this consist of high degree of meditation, flexibility and endurance, turn your body unto weapon.
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