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Martial art

Martial arts are fighting[?] styles; often intended for self-defense. They are the earliest, most available form of weapon. In common usage, the term refers to the fighting disciplines developed in Asia, such as Kung Fu (also transliterated 'Gung Fu'), and Budo disciplines such as Judo, Karate, Kendo or Aikido.

Martial Arts are, simply put, systems of fighting. There are many styles and schools of martial arts; however, they share a common goal - to defend oneself. Certain martial arts, such as tai chi chuan may also be used to improve health and, allegedly, the flow of 'qi'.

Not all Martial Arts were developed in Asia. Savate, for example, was developed as a form of kickboxing in France. Capoeira's athletic movements were developed in Brazil.

Martial arts may include disciplines of striking (i.e. boxing, karate), kicking (taekwondo, kickboxing, karate), grappling (judo, jiu jitsu, wrestling), weaponry (iaijutsu, kendo, naginata-do, jodo, fencing), or some combination of those three (many types of ju-jutsu).

The different styles of martial art are divided into two major groups. There are the Hard styles like karate and kickboxing which favour an aggressive offense in order to quickly defeat an opponent. On the other hand, there are the Soft styles like judo or aikido which favour a less aggressive approach which often includes using an opponent's aggressive movement against them.

The history of martial arts is a long one. Systems of fighting have likely been in development since learning became transferable among humans, along with the strategies of conflict and war. Some of the oldest written material on the subject is from the European 1400s, and written by notable teachers like Hans Talhoffer[?] and George Silver. Some transcripts of yet older texts have survived, the oldest being a manuscript going by the name of I.33[?] and dating from the late 1200s.

On the subject of competition, martial artists differ in view. Some arts, such as boxing and taekwondo, put an emphasis on contact sparring and competition, whereas the common forms of aikido and krav maga actively spurn competition. The reasons for this disparity varies. Many of the competetive arts hold that competition breeds better and more efficient techniques. Some non-competetive schools, however, holds that the ruleset under which competition takes place forms the art so that it is no longer applicable in real situations.

In recent times, various attempts at reviving historical martial arts have been done. Examples of such historical martial arts reconstruction are pankration and the shao lin school, where no continuous tradition exist.

Martial Arts developed in Asia:

Martial Arts developed in Europe:

Krav Maga
Greco-Roman fighting[?]
Leonese fighting[?]
Historical fencing

Martial Arts developed in South America:

Brazilian jujutsu

Martial Arts developed in Africa:

Zulu stick fighting
Canarian fighting[?]

Martial Arts developed in the North America:

Full Contact[?]
Jeet Kune Do (of asian descent) by Bruce Lee
American Kenpo[?] also see Ed Parker[?]

Martial arts weapons:

See also: Martial arts film budo gendai budo koryu internal martial arts Mixed martial arts military technology and equipment

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