Five of the Different Types of Martial Arts

Martial arts, while broad in terminology, are hard to define. In simple terms, martial arts are traditions of combat used both for offensive and defensive purposes. However, the umbrella term martial arts includes a wide variety of combat styles, and many of the specifics are unknown to the general population. Give yourself a rundown of the basics with a look at five of the different types of martial arts.


Less about striking and more about diverting, aikido practitioners—known as aikidoka—learn to redirect their opponent’s kinetic energy to gain the upper hand. Aikido is on the tougher side to learn; it can take a while for aikidokas to master this martial art. Once they do, however, they can gain unparalleled control over any duel.


Known more for its showy, applause-garnering battles, judo is all about the art of the throw. It was founded as a sport rather than as a type of combat, making it one of the most fascinating types of martial arts you can practice. By honing their skill, even much smaller participants can defeat larger opponents.


Meant for the scrappiest of fighters, jujitsu is a martial art that one uses against an armed opponent when one does not have a weapon. Pins and throws are used to neutralize the enemy and redirect energy, allowing the practitioner to gain the upper hand.


Possibly the most well-known martial art, karate has loyal and dedicated practitioners—called karateka—around the world. Developed in Japan at a time when weapons were banned, karate is both physical and philosophical. Strong kicks and punches strike the opponent, while skillful self-defense moves keep karatekas safe. Its key principles, which include discipline and respect for others, makes karate an all-encompassing practice.

Tae Kwon Do

Once you learn tae kwon do, there’s no end to what you can do. This Korean self-defense art has been around for over 2,000 years, but its popularity hasn’t waned. Kicking is the main move practiced in tae kwon do; this movement establishes a great amount of strength in disciples of this type of martial arts.

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Written by Logan Voss

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