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Updated by RashmiRanjan Sahu on Sep 09, 2014
Headline for Top 12 Martial Arts in the World
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Top 12 Martial Arts in the World

From their early days hundreds of years ago to their prevalence on the big screen in the 1970s to their dominance in the UFC, it’s clear that martial arts have always been popular.

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Judo

Judo

Judo is a modern martial art, combat and Olympic sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground
Judo was founded by Japanese educator Kano Jigoro, who was bullied during his childhood in the 1860s and 1870s. Taking basic skills from other martial arts of the day, he added his own throws to create modern-day judo. The word’s prefix “ju” means “soft method,” which, loosely translated, means using the opponent’s strength against him. Due to this method of self-defense, judo practitioners need not have overpowering strength themselves. Judo’s primary focus is on throws and work on the ground, rather than striking. Submission-style attacks such as chokes and locks are also prevalent in this martial art, which is valuable for defending one’s self.

1

Aikido

Aikido

Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical strength, as the aikidōka (aikido practitioner) "leads" the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks.,Created in Japan in the early 1900s, aikido's followers learn how to use an assailant’s strength and energy against them. Students are taught to care for the well being of their potential attacker and are trained to disarm, but not seriously wound them. Weapons training is common in aikido, and followers are taught to defend themselves against staffs, swords and knives. Its founder, Morihei Ueshiba, said that in order to be successful followers of aikido must be, “willing to receive 99% of an opponent’s attack and stare death in the face.”

4

Krav Maga

Krav Maga

Krav Maga has a philosophy emphasizing threat neutralization, simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers, and aggression.[4] Krav Maga is used by Israeli Defense Forces, both regular and special forces, and several closely related variations have been developed and adopted by law enforcement and intelligence organizations, Mossad and Shin Bet. There are several organizations teaching variations of Krav Maga internationally.
Used by Israeli security forces, including the special police, this martial art is a rule-less, violent skill. Not practiced for sport, it emphasizes devastating attacks to the opponent’s vital areas, such as the groin and eyes, and encourages headbutts and the use of any available objects as weapons. This martial art features a three-step approach: Deal with the immediate threat, prevent the attacker from mounting a second offensive and then neutralize him.

5

Jujutsu

Jujutsu

"Jū" can be translated to mean "gentle, soft, supple, flexible, pliable, or yielding." "Jutsu" can be translated to mean "art" or "technique" and represents manipulating the opponent's force against himself rather than confronting it with one's own force.[1] Jujutsu developed among the samurai of feudal Japan as a method for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no weapon, or only a short weapon.[3] Because striking against an armored opponent proved ineffective, practitioners learned that the most efficient methods for neutralizing an enemy took the form of pins, joint locks, and throws. These techniques were developed around the principle of using an attacker's energy against him, rather than directly opposing it
When Japanese samurai found themselves disarmed, they turned to jujutsu, the “art of softness.” Like many of its country’s counterparts, jujutsu focuses on grappling, throws, rolls, and locks. Unlike some other martial arts, however, jujutsu is somewhat of an “anything-goes” sport. Students have traditionally been taught tactics such as gouging, biting and poking, which, if used in addition to the more standard practices, can be deadly. This martial art is popular today in North America, and valuable because it’s so effective in close-quarter combat.

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Ninjutsu

Ninjutsu

While there are several styles of modern ninjutsu, the historical lineage of these styles is disputed. Some schools and masters claim to be the only legitimate heir of the art, but ninjutsu is not centralized like modernized martial arts such as judo or karate. Togakure-ryū claims to be the oldest recorded form of ninjutsu, and claims to have survived past the 1500s.
Brought to the North American mainstream by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the historic followers of this mysterious Japanese martial art were guerrilla warriors and assassins. Likely considered criminals today, these ninjas used the art of stealth to surprise and defeat their opponents. Born in Japan’s feudal age, ninjutsu was developed to kill. Hands and feet are used in this martial art, but followers also take weapons training, using devices such as throwing stars, staffs, spears, swords, and explosives. More valuable during its heyday, ninjutsu is not specifically taught today, yet many martial arts use some of its elements.

7

Taekwondo

Taekwondo

Translated as “the way of the fist and foot,” taekwondo flourished after World War II, when Japan ended its occupation of Korea. Known for its kicks, this martial art combines physical skills with mental strength, often shown when the follower breaks boards with a foot or hand. An Olympic event, taekwondo is considered the world’s most popular martial art: It’s practiced in more than 100 countries and has 30 million followers -- three million with black belts. Taekwondo practitioners are skilled in strength, stamina, speed, balance, and flexibility.

8

Kung fu

Kung fu

Kung fu, a Chinese martial art that literally means an accomplishment gained through hard, long work, is one of the oldest martial arts in the world. Chinese Yellow Emperor Huangdi, who took the throne in 2,698 BC, is said to have introduced martial arts to the country during his reign; tens of thousands of forms of kung fu have existed since then. Traditionally taught by Shaolin monks, philosophy and morality are important to the practitioners of this martial art, with virtues such as humility, respect, trust, and patience being emphasized. As is the case with most martial arts, kung fu’s worth lies in its health benefits and self-defense knowledge.

2

Karate

Karate

Derived from a Japanese word meaning “empty hand,” karate is just that -- a martial art in which no weapons are used. Karate’s early styles are believed to have originated as early as the 1300s, but the father of modern karate, Anko Itosu, wrote the "10 Precepts of Karate” in 1908, giving birth to the martial art’s code. Karate consists of weapon-less striking in which the legs and hands become spears, claimed Itosu. The martial art is supremely valuable because of not only its health benefits, but also its role as a self-defense tool. According to the precepts, it can also be used, “... as a way of avoiding a fight should one be confronted by a villain or ruffian.”

9

Kalarippayattu

Kalarippayattu

Kalarippayattu is a famous Indian martial art from land of attraction Kerala and one of the oldest fighting systems in existence. It is practiced in most of the part of south India. A kalari is the school or training hall where martial arts are taught. It includes strikes, kicks and some weapon based practiced, Footwork patterns is most important key in Kalarippayattu. It is the best Indian martial art that has been used in many movies to make it popular, like Ashoka and The myth.

10

Jiu-jitsu

Jiu-jitsu

Despite its country of origin, the founding father of Brazilian jiu-jitsu was Japanese. Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese fighter, winner of more than 2,000 bouts and considered the toughest man to have ever lived, arrived in Brazil in 1914, with the aim of spreading martial arts. There, he met the Gracie family, which is today regarded as the first family of the sport, with its descendants being popular in the UFC and its schools across the world. Like traditional jujutsu and judo, the Brazilian form emphasizes throws and groundwork, making it a popular tool for today’s mixed-martial-artists.

11

Muay Thai

Muay Thai

The national sport of Thailand is similar to kickboxing, but unlike its close relative, blows below the belt, elbows and knees are all legal. Like many martial arts, it’s unclear exactly when Muay Thai was born, mainly because many of its elements are common in both Japanese and Indian counterparts. It gained huge popularity in Thailand in the late 1800s, but has seen a significant surge in popularity across the world in the last decade. The sport traditionally was very structured, with fighters performing strict, choreographed displays of respect before each bout. More recently, it has become focused on the body’s many weapons, including fists, feet, shins, knees, and more, to defeat an opponent. Muay Thai is valuable because it teaches its followers that almost every body part can be a weapon.

12

Capoeira

Capoeira

Usually when you see people dancing, it's for pure enjoyment. But if you took a longer glance at such activities in Brazil, you might see something different. Dance moves with purpose. And that is the foundation of the martial arts style known as Capoeira, one with a history that includes strong ties to Africa, slavery, and Brazil.

  • Rashmiranjan has several years of experience with Designing.
    Designer by nature and a multimedia specialist by profession
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    MBA in Project management from sikkim manipal university by academic qualification,
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    Other interests areas in which Rashmiranjan dabbles are Photography,
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