Martial Arts of the World

Welcome to our glossary on some of the Martial Arts of the World


‘Martial Arts’ is a loose term that encompasses many types of combat training (mainly unarmed) that have been developed or systematized. Generally, these different systems or styles have all been designed for one purpose: To enable a user to utilize that system to physically defeat (an) opponent/s and/or to defend against violent physical threats to their person.  Thanks to the onscreen brilliance of Hong Kong cinema legends such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li, the majority of people think of Asia when they hear the term ‘martial arts’.  However, there is far more to Martial Arts than just Karate or Kung Fu.In fact, numerous arranged and systemized methods of combat are practiced right around the world today. 

Transportation of ideas

Many of the Martial styles today are hybrids of other fighting arts that have existed or do still exist.  International travel in the ancient and the modern world allowed the transportation of ideas.  This included knowledge of martial arts techniques.  Knowledge of techniques originally developed in one country would be adopted (and in some cases improved upon) by neighboring countries.  Over time these new systems branched out in their own way, becoming unique, martial arts in their own right.

Each martial art has something different to offer. While some styles are very traditional and steeped in history, others are much more contemporary.

Please enjoy our A-Z of Martial Arts of the World.  Granted this list is far from expansive but we hope to add more over the course of time.

In-Depth Guides to the Fighting Arts

To be added soon: European Fighting Arts. North American Combat Systems. South American Fighting Styles. 

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