The Origins of Martial Arts

There are many ideas on the origins of modern day martial arts. Some support the notion that each culture established their own while others focus on the idea that martial arts began some other place and moved through traveling practitioners that taught their skills to locals, like how Jiu Jitsu was introduced to Brazil by the Japanese. We know for certain how martial arts traveled in the last 100 years but we can't say for sure how they it reached each place.

We do understand that Buddhism which was developed in India spread throughout Asia but most notably China by monks and holy men. It's believed that they became developed a form of self-defense to protect themselves as they traveled from place to place introducing their faith to new places. Along with bringing Buddhism to China they brought their martial arts with them.

Once introduced, the martial arts flourished in China. Certainly the introduction occurred over many centuries and involved many practitioners but legend has it that one practitioner from India established the Shaolin Temple, which is the 'birthplace of Shaolin Kung Fu. Whether the story is real or not is not important but traveler martial artist has been a widely accepted theory on how martial arts spread. Despite whether martial arts came from a 'Parent' Martial Art or not, martial arts could have influenced others because of diverse groups interacted with each other.

The independent theory says that any society that needs protection from its neighbors will create a martial art form; mainly because all communities will use what was available to them at the time and during ancient times people have few farming tools and their own bodies. Martial Arts like Muay Thai don't have the same lineage as Kung Fu or Karate does so the idea that the Thai created Muay Thai Kickboxing independently as a way to defend themselves during warfare seems to make perfect sense, but there's still so much that we don't know about these martial arts and may not know since ancient martial art practitioners kept their training a secret.

But no matter if they all stemmed from the same place each martial art has unique benefits and advantages for the martial artist training, including spiritual.


Karate is a Japanese martial art meaning “empty hands” in Japanese. It is a striking form that uses punching and kicking to fight an competitor. Grappling, locks, restraints, throws, and vital point strikes are taught in forms.

Karate gained world recognition in the 1960s and 1970s when martial arts movies gained popularity North America and the United Kingdom.


Judo is another martial art from Japan that is popular as a self-defense style. It educates students on how to throw an opponent using balance and leverage. Judo means “gentle way” and that's just what it is. The ideological for judo became the model for other modern Japanese martial arts in dojos. Even though it's less 'offensive' it is a very powerful martial art and has a lot of offers practitioners.

Kung Fu

Kung Fu is challenging, world renown and diverse style of martial art that involves steady smooth movements. It originates from China and has many different forms and styles. Kung Fu can often involve a lot of quick movements, and has a long history since.


Taekwondo is an empty handed martial art developed in Korea after the Japanese occupation of WII ended. It is a striking combat style that uses kicking and punching to help fighters defeat a challenger. Taekwondo fuses sport, exercise, combat, self-defense, and in some cases meditation and philosophy. Taekwondo is one of the more popular martial arts on the globe with quite a few nations practicing it. For many reasons including its popularity Taekwondo is an Olympic sport.

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