The Various Types of Martial Arts Styles Out There

The term “martial arts” is used to describe different traditions and systems for training and combat. These activities are practiced for several reasons, including in law enforcement, the military, for competition, and as a source of self-defense.

If you are interested in learning martial arts, learning about some of the most common martial arts styles is a good first step.


When you hear someone has earned their black belt, there’s a good chance it’s in Karate.

This is the most well-known martial arts style and features powerful punches, blocks, kicks, and impressive movements.

Karate came from Japan and was started in the early 20th century. The term “karate” actually translates to “empty-handed.”

Krav Maga

In Hebrew, Krav Maga means “contact combat.” It is the national martial art of Israel.

This martial arts style has borrowed features from other forms, which include knee techniques and kicks from Karate, traditional boxing punches, and ground fighting, which is seen in Jujutsu.

While a Jewish wrestler first developed the fighting style in the 1930s to teach his neighbors how they could defend themselves, it gained popularity among the country’s special police and security forces.

It is considered one of the more violent marital arts styles since there are no real rules for it.

Kung Fu

When it comes to Chinese martial arts, there are several styles. While this is true, Kung Fu has been adopted as an umbrella term for these forms, some more modern while others are ancient styles.

This is a popular type of martial art and has gained popularity thanks to television and film. Practitioners of this style of well-known martial arts include Jet Li, Bruce Lee, and Jackie Chan.


Judo is considered a more modern type of martial arts. This means that it has been influenced by other types that came before it.

This is a competitive sport around the world that requires physical prowess and mental discipline.

Some of the techniques used in Judo involve throwing your opponent on their back and leveraging your strength against them.

Muay Thai

Considered the cultural martial art of Thailand, Muay Thai, which is also called Thai Boxing, was started in the 13th century. It was developed as a type of close combat.

This is a full-contact style of martial arts that requires you to use hitting, cinching, and kicking techniques along with grappling while striking your opponent.

Now You Know the Most Popular Martial Arts Styles

When it comes to martial arts styles, there are more than a few to choose from. Each of the options above requires physical strength and mental prowess to succeed.

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