Any history of martial arts must include information about how to train for combat. Although students may study martial arts for different purposes, learning how to defeat potential attackers is a shared goal. In addition to self-defense techniques, martial arts often relate to religions, including Shintoism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Additionally, martial arts frequently involve codes of honor.
Most people associate martial arts with Asia. However, European countries have also witnessed rich histories related to combative techniques known as “Historical European martial arts.” Savate is one example of a kicking technique developed in France. In the United States, Native Americans have their own traditional wrestling strategies. Hawaiian natives know how to perform traditional African joint manipulations called Capoeira.
All types of martial arts have certain things in common, especially as they relate to strategies involving combat. Known as sparring, students learn routines they can practice alone or with their partners. The historical root of the phrase “martial arts” is related to the Roman god of war known as Mars. Accordingly, martial arts relate to techniques or “arts” connected with fighting. Consequently, a martial arts practitioner is a person who has the experience and knowledge of an expert known as a “martial artist.”
Some martial arts strategies include striking, grappling, and weaponry. Striking involves boxing techniques, including how to punch or kick an opponent. Grappling involves wrestling techniques, including throwing, locking joints or pinning an opponent down. Weaponry includes fencing and Jukendo.
In addition to learning about the arts as they relate to fighting, martial arts often teach students various medical techniques. A knowledgeable martial arts practitioner may know how to set bones and perform acupuncture on people requiring therapeutic treatments.
Martial arts leagues enforce strict rules. For instance, the UFC and Shooto leagues do not permit strikes to a fighter’s face. In the Summer Olympic Games, participants specializing in martial arts techniques do not fight. Instead, they use martial arts strategies for performing in sports tournaments.