You don’t need me to tell you that there are many Different Martial Arts Styles and with the rise in popularity of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), you can see that many have come together over the years to get to this day where we almost have a unified sport to compete in. Different Martial Arts Styles range from the more traditional Chinese, Japanese and other Asian arts and even those in Russia. Traditional Asian Martial Arts tend to be much more formal and many of the styles in China for example were based on animals – Tiger, Crane, Dragon, Snake etc. These arts contained lots of forms designed to train both the technique and body. Around 15 years or so ago, very few people realized that there were Martial Arts practiced in Russia. Many had heard of Sambo and Combat Sambo and of course the arts taught to the Military, but few had heard of an art called Systema or literally translated ‘The System’. Systema was an art taught for real world self-defense and protection and was taught to the bodyguards of the successive Presidents. Thankfully over the years it has gained more popularity and awareness with people now practicing all over the world. We can break Martial Arts Styles into components – striking, grappling, weapons and a combination of all. If we look at Karate for example, we have many styles and systems and the primary emphasis is about striking, but grappling is learned as well. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the reverse of Karate, but you will still learn striking. In Indonesia and the Philippines you will find a lot of arts that teach weapons – Silat for example. Many people also believe that Thai Boxing is just a striking art – the ‘science of eight limbs’.
This is referring to the use of feet, knees, elbows and punches, but not many people are aware of the teaching of sword fighting and grappling, which makes Thai Boxing a much more complete art. There is also a form of kick boxing from France called Savate, which I think was invented as a sport from French sailors whilst in port and in need of competition and of course entertainment. If anyone out there wants to shed some light on this from personal experience than please contact me. There are too many Martial Arts Styles to cover here, but you can do your own research and a good way to start is to trace the history of your own art and whatever art you do, make sure you work hard and practice!