What is the Best Martial Art?

What are Martial Arts? What are the Different Types of Martial Arts? Which one is the Oldest? What is the Best Martial Art? 
What is the best martial art?

In today’s world where mob attacks and crime attacks are growing, self-defense has become crucial irrespective of gender. Learning self-defense will give you the confidence and skill to help you come out of an unfavorable situation instead of getting frightened and becoming frozen. So, what is the best martial art? Are you interested in learning some martial arts for fun and defense? If so, there are various forms of martial arts in practice. You will get to know what are martial arts and what is the best martial art for self-defense. Continue reading the article to know all of them including what is the oldest martial art.

1. What are Martial Arts?

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Martial arts are a combination of various sports in the form of attack and self-defense. Martial art originated in eastern countries such as Japan, Korea, and China. Apart from defense, martial art is a technique that serves as an activity through which one could train their body and mind. It helps you to relieve your stress, release pent-up energy, and stay active as you age. They can also be defined as traditional and codified combats which are practiced for various reasons of life like self-defense, spiritual and mental development, etc.

The word martial arts was derived from the Latin Martialis meaning arts of mars, about the Roman God of war. Despite, the term being associated with fighting styles from East Asia, the word was originally associated with fighting styles that originated in early 1500s Europe. (See What is Marathon Distance?)

2. What are the Different Types of Martial Arts?

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Martial arts don’t belong to East Asia alone. But most of them originated in Korea, Japan, and China to nurture philosophies and techniques. There are more than one hundred and seventy (170) martial arts in the world and they are the result of some major historic events. The combat techniques in each martial art vary. Some train you in leg fighting techniques, some on chokeholds, throws, and joint lock, and others in open-handed strikes.

It is important to choose what kind of combat techniques you want to learn before choosing one of its types. Before you got the answer to what is the best martial art, these are some of the popular martial arts that are eagerly learned by people all over the world. (See Why do people fight?)

  • Kung Fu of China: Kung Fu is an umbrella term used for various martial arts that originated in China. Kung Fu includes multiple martial arts that are developed over the period in China. Kung Fu fighting styles are inspired by old Chinese philosophy, religions, and legends. This martial art gained its popularity through television and movies owing to the famous people who practice this art are Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, etc.
  • Karate of Japan: Originated in 20th century Japan, this martial art is one of the most well-known and famous combat techniques. The word Karate translates to empty-handed in Japanese. Apart from featuring powerful punches, blocks, and kicks, it also spreads the philosophy of one should follow the principles such as respect and discipline while implementing them both in everyday life and combat practice. Also, check out the article on Ninja vs Samurai.
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu of Brazil: This is a modified version of the Japanese Jiu-Jitsu created by the Gracie family in 1925. In this version, participants try to gain a superior position over the opponent through chokes, holds, joint locks, and manipulations and make them submit.
  • Judo of Japan: Judo is one of the modern martial arts i.e, influenced and developed from other forms. This martial art is popular in Australia. This martial art involves techniques that require physical strength and mental discipline. It involves chokeholds, and joint locks and allows participants to use their opponents’ strength as leverage to throw them onto their backs.
  • Krav Maga of Israel: The national sport of Israel Krav Maga which originated in the 1930s is one of the most violent and brutal martial arts. Why? Because there are no rules in this. The sole aim of this martial art is to defend yourself from your opponent. This technique was developed by a Jewish Wrestler when he taught his neighbors to defend themselves from attackers. This technique is popular among Israeli special police and security forces. This technique borrows the fighting style from various other forms like ground fighting from Jiu-Jitsu, knee techniques from Karate, etc. The word Krav Maga means contact combat in Hebrew. Continue reading and get a complete idea about what is the best martial art and the oldest one. (See How many games are there in the NBA regular season?)

4. What is the Oldest Martial Art?

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Owing to its origin in South India thousands of years ago, Kalaripayattu or Kalari is the oldest known martial art in the world. The word Kalaripayattu means the art of the battlefield. This technique is referred to as the mother of all martial arts. The first reference to this martial art dates to the 3rd century B.C around the same time when the Great Wall of China was constructed. You might wonder, what is the best martial art? Read the next segment to know about it. (See The Art of Teaching Art)

5. What is the Best Martial Art for Self Defense?

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Now that you know various popular martial art techniques, you can choose what is best for you. But everyone looks for the best in anything. So what is the best martial art? Which martial art is more effective? This depends on what you are looking for. Most martial art focuses on self-defense. So, it depends on your personality and strongest body parts like hand strength, body build, leg strength, etc.

Since Krav Maga has no rules, this technique can be deadly. But throughout the world, Muay Thai is considered the best martial art in the world as it is effective at all striking ranges. This technique was built on versatile and devastating attacks. This fighting style is also called the Art of Eight Limbs as it uses all the extremities in the human body like fists, elbows, feet, and knees. (Also read Why do people love Ninjas?)

So, if you got an idea about what are martial arts and learned what is the best martial art, then what are you waiting for? Go on! Start your martial arts lesson soon and become a master in self-defense. (See What is a Slam Dunk?)

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