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What kinds of martial arts are out there? It's not just what you see in movies – there's a bunch of different styles with their own tricks and stories. In this guide, we'll take you on a journey to explore all these cool martial arts. It doesn't matter if you're already a pro or just starting out, or if you're just curious – we're here to show you the ropes. Get ready to learn about the old-school styles that have been around forever and the new ones that are popping up today. So, buckle up, and let's dive into the world of martial arts – it's not just about fighting, but also about keeping your mind and body strong!

What you will learn.

  • Key characteristics and origins of Asian, African, American, European, and Oceanic Martial Arts.

  • Specifics of individual Martial Arts like Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Karate, Capoeira, and more…

  • Unique aspects of European Martial Arts including Fencing, Savate and Dutch kickboxing.

  • Appreciation for the lifelong benefits of practicing Martial Arts, both physically and mentally.

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Alright, let's kick things off by checking out the various types of martial arts you can get into – there's something for everyone! Here are some of the main ones:

Muay Thai

  • Origin Thailand

  • It's all about powerful strikes using fists, elbows, knees, and shins. Thai warriors developed it for close-quarters combat.


  • Origin Korea

  • Picture high and fast kicks. Taekwondo is not just about kicks; it's also about discipline, respect, and mental strength.

Tai Chi

  • Origin China

  • Slow, graceful movements that promote relaxation, balance, and inner harmony. It's like a dance, but with a martial arts twist.


  • Origin Mix of boxing and karate (1960s)

  • Pouches and kicks combined. It's all about being agile and striking fast



  • Origin Okinawa, Japan

  • Powerful strikes, kicks, knee strikes, and open-hand techniques. It's got a history of being a secret self-defense art.

Kung Fu

  • Origin China

  • A mix of different styles – strikes, kicks, acrobatics, and fancy forms. It's like a martial arts buffet


  • Origin Japan

  • Redirecting and harmonizing your opponent's energy. It's like a dance where you control your opponent without hurting them.


  • Origin Japan

  • Throws and ground-based techniques. It's like a mix of wrestling and chess.


  • Origin Japan

  • Swordsmanship with bamboo swords. It's like stepping into a samurai movie.

Krav Maga

  • Origin Israel

  • Practical self-defense for real-world situations. It's all about neutralizing threats quickly and effectively.

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The journey of martial arts across the globe is a captivating tale of human history. From the ancient Silk Road, where trade routes doubled as corridors for cultural exchange, to the present-day interconnectedness of the digital era, these disciplines have transcended borders. Picture skilled practitioners, bearers of tradition, migrating across continents, introducing their artistry to new lands. Warriors on military campaigns imprinting their martial prowess on conquered territories, shaping the evolution of local practices. In the realm of diplomacy, martial arts became ambassadors, fostering understanding between nations. Enter the silver screen, where iconic figures like Bruce Lee turned martial arts into a global phenomenon, capturing hearts and sparking a widespread interest.

Today, organized competitions and the migration of masters continue the legacy, while the digital age propels martial arts into the homes and hearts of enthusiasts worldwide. The global odyssey of martial arts is a testament to its enduring allure and its ability to transcend cultural boundaries, connecting a diverse tapestry of individuals in a shared pursuit of discipline, respect, and self-mastery.

Brazilian Capoeira

  • Origin Brazil

  • It's not just about fighting; it's like a dance with acrobatics and music. It was even disguised as a dance by enslaved Africans.

Russian Sambo

  • Origin Russia

  •  A mix of throws and ground fighting. It's like judo but with a Russian twist.

Filipino Eskrima

  • Origin Philippines

  • Stick fighting! It's a cool way of using sticks for offense and defense.

Indian Kalaripayattu

  • Origin India

  • Ancient and dynamic. It's one of the oldest martial arts and involves strikes, kicks, and weaponry.

Turkish Oil Wrestling (Yağlı Güreş)

  • Origin Turkey

  • Wrestling covered in olive oil. It's both a sport and a cultural event.

African Nguni Stick Fighting

  • Origin Various African regions

  • Traditional stick fighting techniques passed down through generations.

Peruvian Vacón

  • Origin Peru

  • A combination of traditional wrestling and kickboxing. It's a fusion of different fighting styles.

Japanese Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu

  • Origin Japan

  • Ninjutsu techniques mixed with other Japanese martial arts. It's like stepping into the world of the ninja.

Vietnamese Vovinam

  • Origin Vietnam

  • A mix of traditional Vietnamese martial arts with modern techniques.

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Asian martial arts embody a profound philosophy and cultural significance that extends far beyond physical combat. Rooted in Eastern philosophies such as Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, these arts emphasize principles of discipline, respect, and holistic development. Practitioners engage in a journey of continuous self-improvement, striving for mastery of both physical techniques and inner character. The connection to nature, drawing inspiration from animals or natural forces, adds a unique dimension.

Martial arts serve as a cultural heritage, reflecting historical stories, traditions, and values. Concepts of harmony, balance, and the efficient use of energy are paramount, along with the instillation of moral and ethical principles like humility and integrity. Ceremonial practices, such as bowing, symbolize respect and humility, fostering a deep connection between the practitioner, the art, and the cultural roots. Asian martial arts go beyond combat, encouraging the application of learned principles in daily life, making them profound cultural practices that shape individuals on physical, mental, and spiritual levels.


Japanese Judo

  • Origin Japan

  • Throws, ground-based techniques, and a philosophy of maximum efficiency with minimal effort.

Chinese Kung Fu (Wushu)

  • Origin China

  • A vast umbrella covering various styles like Wing Chun, Tai Chi, and Shaolin Kung Fu. It's a fusion of combat and philosophy.

Korean Taekwondo

  • Origin Korea

  • High, fast kicks, discipline, and mental strength. It's both an art and a sport.

Indian Kalaripayattu

  • Origin India

  • Considered one of the oldest fighting systems, involving strikes, kicks, and weaponry.

Filipino Eskrima

  • Origin Philippines

  • Focuses on stick fighting techniques, emphasizing both offense and defense.

Indonesian Pencak Silat

  • Origin Indonesia

  • A collective term for various martial arts styles, incorporating strikes, throws, and weaponry.

Thai Muay Thai

  • Origin Thailand

  • Known as the "Art of Eight Limbs," involving fists, elbows, knees, and shins. It's a powerful and dynamic striking art.

Chinese Wing Chun

  • Origin China

  • Known for close-range combat and rapid strikes. It's a style that Bruce Lee famously practiced.

Japanese Aikido

  • Origin Japan

  • Focuses on redirecting an opponent's energy through joint locks and throws. It's often seen as a defensive art.

South Korean Hwa Rang Do

  • Origin Korea

  • A comprehensive martial art system incorporating strikes, kicks, throws, and joint locks.

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African Capoeira

  • Origin Brazil (with African Roots)

  • Capoeira is not just a martial art; it's a cultural expression. Emerging from the African diaspora in Brazil, Capoeira combines martial arts, dance, and music in a mesmerizing blend. Characterized by fluid, rhythmic movements, acrobatics, and music, Capoeira tells a story of resilience and defiance.

  • Historical Context Capoeira originated in the 16th century among enslaved Africans in Brazil. It served as a form of resistance against oppression, disguised as a dance to avoid detection. The rhythmic music accompanying Capoeira reflects its African origins, making it a celebration of cultural resilience.

American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)

  • Origin Brazil (Adopted and Popularized in the United States)

  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, though born in Brazil, has found a significant home in the United States. Grounded in judo and traditional Japanese jujutsu, BJJ stands out for its emphasis on ground-based grappling and submissions. It's a martial art that welcomes practitioners of all sizes, focusing on leverage and technique over sheer strength.

  • Origins and Evolution BJJ traces its roots to Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese judoka who brought the art to Brazil. In the United States, BJJ gained prominence through the Gracie family. The global appeal of BJJ lies in its adaptability, drawing practitioners from various cultural backgrounds and creating a diverse community.

  • Community and Competition Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has evolved into a global community, with practitioners participating in international competitions and fostering camaraderie. The art's accessibility and emphasis on technique have made it a welcoming space for diverse participants.

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European martial arts, deeply rooted in historical traditions and chivalric codes, carry a distinct philosophy and cultural significance. Reflecting the spirit of medieval knighthood, these arts are often associated with honor, duty, and the quest for personal excellence. Fencing, for instance, evolved as a refined skill of the European nobility, emphasizing precision, strategy, and elegance. Savate, originating in France, combines elements of self-defense with a touch of artistic flair. Dutch kickboxing, a more recent addition, fuses traditional martial arts with a dynamic, modern approach, showcasing a blend of power, speed, and tactical precision.

European martial arts are intertwined with the continent's rich history, from the battlefields of knights to the dueling practices of the Renaissance. These arts embody a cultural legacy, preserving the martial heritage of different regions. The focus on technique, strategy, and adherence to codes of conduct adds a layer of cultural depth. While European martial arts may not share the same spiritual aspects as their Asian counterparts, they remain a testament to the historical and cultural identity of the continent, offering insights into the mindset and values of past societies.


  • Fencing is a distinguished European martial art that has evolved over centuries. It is known for its emphasis on swordsmanship and dueling techniques. Fencing has a deep-rooted history, often associated with the European aristocracy and the art of personal combat. Today, it is practiced both as a sport and as a traditional martial art.

  • Historical Context Fencing has its roots in the training methods of European swordsmen, dating back to the Renaissance. Over time, it transformed into a refined sport with standardized rules and competitions.


  • Savate, also known as French Kickboxing, is a unique martial art originating from France. It combines elements of Western boxing with graceful kicks, incorporating both hand and foot techniques. Savate has its roots in street fighting and self-defense and has evolved into a regulated sport.

  • Historical Context Savate emerged in the early 19th century in the streets of France, where self-defense was a crucial skill. It later developed into a formalized discipline with a focus on agility, speed, and precision.

Dutch Kickboxing

  • Dutch kickboxing, while sharing similarities with other kickboxing styles, has its distinct characteristics. Originating in the Netherlands, Dutch kickboxing places a strong emphasis on continuous movement, strategic combinations, and powerful strikes. It has gained prominence in the world of martial arts and kickboxing competitions.

  • Historical Context Dutch kickboxing emerged in the late 20th century, influenced by traditional Muay Thai and Western kickboxing. It has since become a global phenomenon, known for its effective and dynamic fighting style.

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The uniqueness of oceanic arts lies in their deep connection to the cultural heritage, ancient practices, and natural surroundings of the Pacific islands. Unlike some Asian or European martial arts that may focus on formalized techniques or competitive aspects, many Oceanic martial arts intertwine with traditional dance, music, and spiritual beliefs. For example, Lua from Hawaii incorporates movements that simulate nature, utilizing the agility of animals. Mau Rakau from New Zealand draws inspiration from Maori weaponry and the warrior traditions of the indigenous people.

The cultural significance of these martial arts goes beyond combat skills, encompassing storytelling, community bonding, and the preservation of ancestral wisdom. Additionally, the holistic approach of Oceanic martial arts often integrates physical, mental, and spiritual elements, reflecting a harmonious connection with nature and the environment. In essence, Oceanic martial arts provide a unique glimpse into the cultural tapestry of the Pacific islands, offering a holistic and multifaceted expression of self-defense deeply rooted in tradition and identity.


  • Origin Hawaii

  • Lua, originating from the Hawaiian Islands, is a traditional martial art encompassing a variety of combat techniques. It holds cultural significance, having been practiced by the ancient warriors of Hawaii. Lua emphasizes strikes, joint manipulation, and battlefield tactics.

Mau Rakau

  • Origin New Zealand

  • Mau Rakau, hailing from New Zealand, is a Maori martial art that incorporates traditional weaponry and hand-to-hand combat. The Maori people, known for their rich cultural heritage, have preserved Mau Rakau as a way of connecting with their ancestors and maintaining their martial traditions.

  • Characteristics Mau Rakau includes the use of weapons like the taiaha (spear) and mere (short club), showcasing the Maori people's resourcefulness and strategic prowess. The art also involves intricate footwork and defensive techniques.



Martial Arts Philosophy

  • Mind-Body Connection At its core, martial arts seek harmony between the mind and body. Techniques are not just physical actions but a manifestation of mental focus, discipline, and control.

Discipline and Respect

  • Practitioners are instilled with discipline, respecting their instructors, peers, and the art itself. This culture of respect extends beyond the training space into daily life.

  • Continuous Self-Improvement Martial arts emphasize the journey of self-improvement. Through consistent practice, practitioners aim to enhance physical abilities, mental resilience, and emotional well-being.

Martial Arts for Personal Growth

  • Physical Fitness Martial arts offer a dynamic way to stay fit. Conditioning, flexibility, and strength are integral components of training, contributing to overall physical health.

  • Stress Relief The focus required during training acts as a form of meditation, reducing stress and promoting mental clarity. Many practitioners find solace in the disciplined routine of martial arts.

  • Character Development Beyond combat skills, martial arts shape character. Values like perseverance, humility, and self-control are cultivated, fostering personal growth.

Choosing the Right Martial Art

  • When embarking on a martial arts journey, selecting the right discipline is crucial. Consider personal goals, interests, and physical attributes. Whether it's the striking techniques of Muay Thai, the flowing movements of Tai Chi, or the ground-based.

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Martial arts offer a lifelong journey of growth and well-being. Whether you're introducing a child to discipline, helping a teen build confidence, maintaining fitness as an adult, or enjoying the mental and physical benefits as a senior, martial arts cater to a diverse audience, making it a valuable pursuit at any age.


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Explore our webshop now and let your martial arts journey begin!

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