What Are The Different Types Of Martial Arts?

What Are The Different Types Of Martial Arts?

The following article was submitted to Fight Quality by Asen from fighterculture.com.

Many people contemplate getting involved in martial arts, but hesitate to do so because they do not know where to begin. Your best option will be to start with research. You really cannot go wrong with research, as it will provide you with everything you need to know about the types, accessibility, availability, and requirements.

In the meantime, below you can learn about the different types of martial arts, including jiu-jitsu, taekwondo, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), and karate.

Types Of Martial Arts

It cannot be stressed enough that not all martial arts are a good fit for everyone. You must find one that suits your needs and preferences, which is never an easy task. To help you make the right decision on the first go-round, a list is provided in the article below.

Here we’ll take a look at the traditional forms of martial art, all of which have been around for quite some time, and the more modern forms that have arisen in recent times.

Traditional Martial Arts

Kung Fu

Without a doubt one of the most popular martial art forms ever, the Kung Fu is generally divided into two schools based on a fighter’s area of focus.

There is the first school which focuses mainly on arm work (close-quarter punches), and a second school with a focus on acrobatics and leg work.

Kung Fu also places major emphasis on philosophy and understanding one’s opponents, though different schools may choose to achieve this aim in different ways.

For instance some schools encourage force and strength as the ultimate path, while some choose the way of relaxation and visualization.


Karate originates from Okinawa, Japan. It was primarily utilized for discipline and self-defense. It is now utilized as a part of combat sports. In any case, if you are looking for a new form of entertainment, hobby, or workout, you really cannot go wrong with karate.

Karate is one of the most popular forms of martial arts. While it is more commonly utilized in Japan, it is growing in popularity all around the globe. Today, it is not unusual to see a facility that offers karate lessons in just about every American city and town. In some cases, there are more than one of these facilities. So, access should not be an issue unless you reside in a very rural area.

This form of martial arts utilizes a variety of striking techniques. These include kicking, punching, kneeing, elbowing, and open-handed. People who practice karate must learn to utilize every inch of their body to perform all of the previously mentioned striking techniques.

This is one of the reasons karate is gaining popularity in the fitness industry. Today, many commercial gyms offer karate lessons two to three times a week for a small fee.


Jiu-Jitsu, also known as jujitsu, is not as well known as karate but it is growing awareness all around the world. This is another martial arts that originated from Japan. The primary purpose of this martial arts was for self-defense and discipline, karate and other forms of martial arts.

It is utilized in combat sports as well. If you are a fan of MMA, you are probably familiar with jiu jitsu. MMA organizations, such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Bellator, combine jiu-jitsu with boxing and other forms of martial arts.

Jiu-jitsu practitioners may or may not utilize weapons. When weapons are utilized, they are generally short, no bigger than 12 inches in length. One short weapon that is commonly utilized by jiu-jitsu practitioners is known as the short keychain. This weapon is primarily utilized for close-quarter self-defense.


Aikido means “the way for harmony,” a martial art form with a specific focus on the philosophy of channeling and unifying the spirit energy.

Aikido is also a particularly fascinating form of martial arts thanks to its ultimate aim of non aggression, but utilizing an opponent’s movement and momentum against him.

It is also known as the way of non-resistance.


Judo is a martial art form that originated from Japan. The objective of judo, which is to ultimately pin an opponent to the ground, is achieved through clever movements and throws. It is an official Olympic sport.


Taekwondo originates from Korea where it is described as “one of the oldest” martial arts disciplines. The Koreans developed Taekwondo specifically for self-defense. Today, it is utilized by MMA fighters and other martial arts practitioners. If you are looking for a martial arts for working out, this may be it.

Taekwondo utilizes a variety of striking techniques, which are combined with a system of blocks and take-downs. Some people have tried this form of martial arts and found it too difficult to master because of its complexity.

Today, athletes and other individuals are utilizing taekwondo as part of their strength and speed training. When you practice taekwondo, you can accomplish more than two other types of martial arts combined. At least, this is what some martial arts practitioners tend to preach.

Modernized Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

MMA has become immensely popular practice among kids, teens and young adults. It was primarily established as part of combat sports. And, very commonly utilized by UFC and Bellator fighters in cage fighting competitions. Unlike karate and jiu-jitsu, MMA was not created for self-defense or discipline. However, it is utilized for self-defense in cage fighting competitions.

MMA utilizes a variety of grappling and striking techniques. You must be a well-rounded fighter to be successful in this full-combat sport. Well-rounded means you must have both good stand-up and ground defense.


Boxing is one of the most popular, and most celebrated, forms of martial arts in history. Many have called it a “sweet science” thanks to its emphasis on calculation and accuracy.

It utilizes head movements and footworks, along with super targeted punches for efficiency.

Despite the fact that it’s been around for a long time, boxing is still regarded as a modernized form of martial arts thanks to its continuous adaptation, which, again, is a major part of its strengths.

Muay Thai

Even though Muay Thai was developed hundreds of years ago, it has fast become one of the most popular martial art forms in the world, thanks in large part to its effectiveness and raw simplicity.

Along with these, it also places emphasis on power, achieved through kicks, punches, knees and elbows. Although there is undeniably an underlying rawness to Muay Thai, its true masters are those who are able to convey this raw power with as much grace and fluidity as possible.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga was developed by the Israeli Defense Force. Its meaning translates literally to “battle combat” and it utilizes hand-to-hand combat, along with wrestling and grappling, as its major combat strategy.

An important aspect of this martial art form is the willingness and ability to utilise objects lying around the environment to defeat an opponent, especially those with bigger size and strength.

So Which Type of Martial Art is Best For You?

Because there is such a broad and differing range of martial arts the first step is to determine just what you want to get out of martial arts. Do you want to compete? Doing it for the physical benefits? Maybe it’s just a hobby. What is it you want out of martial arts is what you need to decide first before jumping in.

It is always a good idea to sit in on a few practices, get a feel for what you may be in for. Most martial arts facilities are open to the public. So, you should be able to watch for free.


Asen is a martial arts and fitness enthusiast who has been training in the sport of martial arts since he was 12 years old. He now shares his knowledge with those who want to learn.


The views and opinions in this article are those of the guest author and are not necessarily representative of Fight Quality’s own views. We welcome guest posts from knowledgeable and passionate writers, but have no affiliation with the author or connected companies/products.

2 thoughts on “What Are The Different Types Of Martial Arts?

  1. My favorite article is where you mentioned that karate is initially created for discipline and self-defense. It is also the main reason why I wanted to learn forms of martial arts so I can keep myself safe at night as a woman. If I were to learn karate, I’ll be sure to explore other fields as well like Kobudo in order to widen my expertise.

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