list of martial arts

How Many Martial Arts Are There? [List of 190+ Martial Arts]

Martial arts exist for thousands of years. Many have remained only a part of history and lost in practice, while some new arts and techniques are still developed today. The question is, how many martial arts are there?

There are over 190 different martial arts in the world. Mostly, we differentiate numerous styles of a particular martial art as a separate art (for instance, karate differentiates Goju Ryu, Shotokan, Kenpo, etc.).

If you want to hear more about virtually every martial art in the world, you’re in the right place! Here’s the ultimate list of 190+ martial arts.

The order is alphabetical, based on the country/region of origin for each martial art.

African Martial Arts

Dambe

One of the old West African martial arts, Dambe, has been traditionally used in training for ancient African warriors in tribes across Nigeria, Chad, etc. The focus is on boxing, but kicks are allowed as well.

Laamb

The Senegalese martial art called Laamb is sort of a mixed martial arts style that utilizes elements from wrestling with punching.

Lutte Traditionnelle

French for “traditional wrestling,” Lutte Traditionnelle is a wrestling style originating in western Africa. It’s called Laamb in Senegal, Boreh in the Gambia, Evala in Togo, etc.

Ngolo

Ngolo or Engolo is a martial art that focuses on performing ritual combat, including kicks, sweeps, etc. It originates from southern Angola.

Nuba Fighting

Nuba Fighting originates from the tribes of the Nuba Mountains in southern Sudan. The traditional sport includes wrestling and stick-fighting.

Zulu Stick Fighting

Zulu Stick Fighting (also known as Nguni Stick Fighting) originates from the Zulu tribe that inhabited the South-African region. It’s based on weapon training, especially sticks, poles, etc. Famous practitioners of the art were Nelson Mandela and Shaka Zulu.

Australian Martial Arts

Coreeda

Coreeda is an old Australian Aboriginal grappling system, mainly focusing on wrestling techniques. Some techniques are allegedly thousands of years old, intending to push the opponent out of a circle, similar to Sumo wrestling.

American Martial Arts

American Kenpo

A new-age, hybrid martial art that uses rapid hand striking along with the elements of Kosho Shorei-Ryu Kenpo, Shaolin Kung Fu, and Karate (which is why it’s also known as Karate Kenpo).

Bojuka

Bojuka is a martial art developed in the 1990s that combines boxing, jujitsu, and karate (hence, the name Bojuka).

Danzan Ryu

Danzan Ryu is also known as Kodenkan. It’s a hybrid martial art that uses Japanese Jujutsu as a base but combines it with various styles and arts.

Budokon

Another hybrid martial art, Budokon, is only 20 years old. Its principles combine martial arts with yoga to help practitioners defend themselves physically and deal with their problems psychologically.

Combat Hapkido

The fairly new martial art Combat Hapkido is a spin on the traditional Korean martial art Hapkido. The new American 1990s version highlights self-defense and grappling more than the older Korean art.

Icho-Ryu

This martial art blended Goju Ryu Karate, Judo, Jujutsu, and Aikido and connected the techniques to be as effective as possible for law enforcement officers.

Jailhouse Rock

Jailhouse Rock, or JHR, is a self-defense system developed in the US prison system. It’s designed to be utilized in small surroundings and is a survival, no-holds-barred craft.

Jeet Kune Do

The famous American martial art Jeet Kune Do was developed by Bruce Lee. The style utilizes traditional stylized techniques but refines them to be effective in real combat. There are elements of Wing Chun, boxing, etc.

Kajukenbo

This hybrid martial art combines Judo, Karate, Eskrima, etc., in a way that’s not effective as a sport but highly effective for self-defense or street combat.

Kokondo

This technique combines Karate with Jujutsu, focusing on the self-defense aspect. It has no tournaments or bouts, like many other self-defense systems.

Marine Corps Martial Arts Program

The MCMAP is a program in the US military that every Marine has to get at least the first degree to become a US Marine. The combat system includes striking, grappling, locks, bayonet drills, and learning how to use force responsibly.

Okichitaw

Okichitaw is a Native American hybrid system that combines traditional Cree Indian fighting strategies with Taekwondo, Judo, and other martial arts.

US Army Combatives Program

This military system, also known as the Modern Army Combatives Program, teaches precise close combat techniques, submissions, etc. There are even Combatives Championships within the army.

Shaolin Kempo Karate

Shaolin Kempo Karate, or Villari Kenpo, was developed in the US in the 1970s. It’s a hybrid martial art combining Shaolin Kung Fu, Karate, Judo, and other Asian martial arts.

Shuri-Ryu

The martial art of Shuri-Ryu started in the 1940s in America as a combination of Karate and Kung Fu.

Siljun Dobup

Siljun Dobup was created in the United States, stemming from traditional Japanese and Korean sword-fighting systems. It also incorporates fluid motions similar to Kenpo.

Small Circle Jujitsu

Another hybrid grappling system developed in the United States is called Small Circle Jujitsu. It uses modified techniques from Jujutsu, Judo, BJJ, and others and allows small joint locks.

Special Combat Aggressive Reactionary System

The SCARS system was taught to the US Navy Seals as a special combat strategy in the 1980s and 1990s.

To-Shin Do

To-Shin Do is a new version of Ninjutsu developed in the late 1990s by Stephen K. Hayes. It uses old Ninjutsu principles but implements modern techniques, such as defending yourself against a gun, etc.

Xtreme Martial Arts

XMA, or Xtreme Martial Arts, is a system that combines traditional martial art forms with gymnastics and acrobatics. It’s designed more for showmanship than actual combat, as most of the moves wouldn’t be effective in a real fight.

Bangladeshi Martial Arts

Butthan

Originating in Bangladesh, Butthan is a martial art that emphasizes meditation first. It can be used only as self-defense, and the training also includes weapons, Siddha medicine, etc.

Lathi Khela

Lathi Khela is a form of stick-fighting martial arts developed in Bangladesh, using a specific weapon known as the Lathi.

Brazilian Martial Arts

BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu)

While BJJ stems from Japanese Jujitsu, it’s a completely separate martial art that focuses on holds and submission pins on the ground to defeat the opponent. Also known as one of the most effective grappling martial arts in existence.

Capoeira

Capoeira is one of the most beautiful martial arts globally, as it combines acrobatic moves, dance moves, and martial arts in one incredible fluid motion.

Luta Livre

Luta Livre is another elite grappling martial art from Brazil. The name Luta Livre roughly translates to Free Fighting and utilizes both punches and kicks.

Vale Tudo

The Brazilian Vale Tudo is the predecessor of modern MMA. It had no weight categories and even fewer rules than MMA. Vale Tudo means “anything goes,” meaning there were almost no rules.

Burmese (Myanmar) Martial Arts

Bando

Bando was developed in Burma (today’s Myanmar) but is mostly utilized in America today. It consists of hand-to-hand combat and weapons such as knives, spears, sticks, and swords.

Lethwei

Lethwei is a Burmese style of kickboxing, similar to Muay Thai. However, the rules are very lenient, meaning you can use headbutts, etc.

Cambodian Martial Arts

Bokator

An ancient Cambodian martial art meant not for sports use but soldiers on the battlefield. Many believe Bokator is a predecessor of many Kickboxing styles, and it included kicks, elbows, grappling, and even weapons, but in short-range hand-to-hand combat.

Pradal Serey

The Pradal Serey is considered to be a Cambodian version of kickboxing or Muay Thai. It emphasizes kicks, but elbows are the go-to way to win fights.

Chinese Martial Arts

Bagua Zhang

Bagua Zhang is not as well-known by its name, but it is quite recognizable for its circular walking. Also known as Eight Trigram Palm, it is one of the three most famous Wudang Kung Fu styles.

Bajiquan

Bajiquan is one of the most vicious Kung Fu styles, meaning “Eight Extremities Fist.” It got its name due to the high usage of knees and elbow strikes, delivered with high power and explosiveness.

Bak Mei

Also known as the White Eyebrows Kung Fu, this style emphasizes a particular form while utilizing striking as the primary weapon.

Bao Quan

Bao Quan is also known as Leopard Kung Fu. One of the most recognizable sub-styles and one of the five animal styles.

Chang Quan

Chang Quan is a technique that emphasizes the full extension of the extremities while striking, which is why the style is often referred to as the Long Fist.

Choy Li Fut

Also known as Cai Li Fo, this substyle of Kung Fu highlights the combination and change of long-range and short-range techniques, emphasizing striking.

Chuo Jiao

Chuo Jiao (or Chuojiao) is a Chinese martial art that uses various jumps, fast punching, and high-tempo attacking, never to give the opponent a chance to recover or set up a counter.

Duan Quan

This form of Kung fu emphasizes close combat and boxing. Punches are preferred to kicks.

Eagle Claw Kung Fu

The Eagle Claw is a Kung Fu style that doesn’t emphasize circular motion and flashy striking as it does grips, takedowns, and pressure point attacks.

Fu Jow Pai

Fu Jow Pai is another spectacular Chinese style made famous due to the flashy Tiger Claw stance it implements into the techniques.

Hou Quan

Hou Quan is more well-known as Monkey Kung Fu. The unorthodox version of Kung Fu utilizes acrobatic attacks from awkward angles to confuse and hinder the opponent.

Hung Ga

This south-Chinese style combines the five animal styles – Dragon, Leopard, Tiger, Snake, and Crane.

Kung Fu

Kung Fu is one of the most famous martial arts in history. It’s an umbrella term that covers dozens of different styles, all based on striking.

Kuntao

Kuntao originated centuries ago in southern China, but it quickly spread to other countries, where sub-styles of the art were formed.

Lama Pai

Lama Pai is a technique that stems from traditional Tibetan art known as the Lion’s Roar. It combines animal movement with precision striking and ape-like grabs.

Lau Gar

Developed at Kuel Ling Temple in Guang Xi, China, Lau Gar is a martial art that evolved from Chinese boxing/punching martial arts.

Liu He Ba Fa

Due to its principles and steps, Liu He Ba Fa (or Liuhebafa Quan) translates to Six Harmonies Eight Methods Boxing. It uses punching and weapons training but highlights the spiritual aspect of the art.

Long Quan

More often referred to as Dragon Kung Fu, Long Quan is another specific Kung Fu style.

Mei Hua Quan

Yet another style of Kung Fu, the Mei Hua Quan, is known as the Plum Flower Fist style.

Mizongyi

The Mizongyi, or Mizong, is a style that highlights mobility and deceptiveness instead of direct, face-to-face attacking. The style has many sub-branches.

Mok Gar

Mok Gar is a Chinese martial art that encapsulates many aspects, including grappling, weapon training, low kicks, close-combat striking techniques, etc.

Nan Quan

Nan Quan is an umbrella term referring to all the Chinese martial art styles originating south of the Yangtze River in the late Ming/early Qing dynasty. The styles include Choy Li Fut, Wuzuquan, etc.

Praying Mantis Kung Fu

This Kung Fu sub-style manipulates the opponent’s movement with redirections, joint manipulations, trapping, and pressure point attacking.

San Soo

Focusing on self-defense, San Soo teaches short-range combat and heavily relies on the 5 Family Fist techniques.

Sanshou

Sanshou uses Kung Fu and refines it with self-defense techniques and grappling to create a style developed for the Chinese military.

Shaolin Kung Fu

Shaolin Kung Fu is probably the most popular Kung Fu style that Shaolin monks developed. It includes physical and mental exercise and incorporates it into flashy, quick, and effective combat techniques.

Shuai Jiao

This old Chinese martial art focuses on wrestling and grappling, although some strikes are legal.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a contactless, “gentle” martial art stemming from ancient China. It implements slow, almost ritualistic movement to improve health, reduce stress, and get a certain calmness of the mind while also learning basic self-defense strategies.

Wing Chun

Wing Chun is one of the most well-known Kung Fu techniques with highly popular techniques, such as the one-inch punch.

Wudang Quan

Wudang Quan is a class term for many Chinese martial arts. The term originates from the Wudang mountains in China and mostly covers boxing-type martial arts in that region.

Wushu

Wushu developed in the 1950s to unify dozens of Chinese traditional styles into one national martial art. It’s a modern, sport version of Kung Fu.

Zui Quan

The Zui Quan style, known as the Drunken Fist, imitates a drunk person’s movement. The opponent hence underestimates your abilities, giving you the advantage to counter-attack devastatingly.

Dutch Martial Arts

Nunchaku Do

The Nunchaku Do is a sport created in the 1980s in the Netherlands, utilizing basic Nunchaku skills based on the traditional Nunchaku Jutsu. The sport is about scoring points while wearing padded guards.

Egyptian Martial Arts

Boxing

While boxing techniques are used in numerous ancient martial arts, the earliest evidence dates to 3000 BC in Egypt. The art uses only punches to incapacitate the opponent, with limited clinching and no leg strikes allowed.

Tahtib

The Egyptian martial art Tahtib is trained with a 4-foot wooden stick and emphasizes the stick fighting in actual combat.

English/British Martial Arts

Bartitsu

Bartitsu is an old English hybrid martial art, combining boxing, jujitsu, cane fighting, etc. Sherlock Holmes is a master of Bartitsu in the books, so interest in this martial art rose dramatically over the past few decades.

Catch wrestling

Originally called Catch-as-catch-can, catch wrestling is a British hybrid grappling style that combines many martial arts techniques – from wrestling, judo, jujitsu, etc.

Defendu

Defendu is a self-defense and combat system used in Britain to train Allied troops and the Office of Strategic Services agents in WW2.

Shin Kicking

This combat sport was created in England, and yes, it’s just what it sounds like. The contestants kick each other in the shin until one of them quits.

Singlestick

Singlestick is an ancient English martial art designed for sailors. It’s based on the use of a wooden rod for fighting.

Filipino Martial Arts

Dumog

The old Filipino-style Dumog has its roots in wrestling. The grappling techniques are done in stand-up instead of the ground.

Eskrima

Eskrima originates in the Philippines and is also known as Kali or Arnis. It highlights the use of a long weapon such as a stick, staff, or blade.

Kino Mutai

The Filipino martial art called Kino Mutai is a style that uses unconventional, no-rule tactics such as bites, eye-gouges, groin shots, etc.

Panantukan

This fighting style isn’t a sport but a street fighting system that emphasizes boxing. It’s created in the Philippines and is also known as Pangamot, Pakamot, or Suntukan.

Sikaran

Sikaran uses kicks almost exclusively – you use your arms only for blocking, but no punches are allowed. Some trademark kicks, such as the Biakid kick, target the back of the head instead of the side.

Yaw Yan

The Filipino kickboxing martial art Yaw Yan also utilizes some grappling elements while teaching defense against weapons.

French Martial Arts

Canne de Combat

The French martial art Canne de Combat derives from classic cane fighting arts. It’s a version that emphasizes the sports side of the craft. IT combines boxing, jujutsu, wrestling, etc.

Kinomichi

Kinomichi was developed by a French martial artist studying Aikido and refining the techniques to create this new style.

Savate

Savate is also known as French Kickboxing, and it emphasizes the use of punches and kicks. It began as a street-fighting technique emphasizing low kicks, which is why kicks are still highly used in Combat Savate.

Greek Martial Arts

MMA

If you look only at modern-day MMA, it began in the 90s in America. However, if you trace back the first Mixed Martial Arts match in history, they date back to Ancient Greece and their Olympics, where the only rules of the sport were no biting and no eye-gouging.

Pankration

Pankration originates back to the first Olympics in Ancient Greece. The name stems from Greek “pan” and “Kratos,” roughly meaning “all powers.” This art is considered the first form of MMA, as the only rules were no eye-gouging and no biting.

Wrestling

Traditional wrestling dates back to Ancient Greece and the Olympics. The style that was used back then is called the Greco-Roman style, still used today. Some depictions of wrestling are even older, dating back to French cave drawings, and then later Egypt, Babylon, etc.

Hawaiian Martial Arts

Lua

Lua is an ancient Hawaiian martial art that’s been used as a self-defense system. The striking focuses on boxing and using weapons, while grappling emphasizes wrestling and bone-breaking grips. There are also pokes, bites, etc.

Indian Martial Arts

Gatka

Gatka is an old Indian martial art that is well-known for the prolific and extensive use of weapons. It can be sticks and canes, but the most common weapon is a sword.

Malla Yuddha

The Indian grappling martial art called Malla Yuddha focuses on combat wrestling. It quickly spread across Southeast Asia.

Huyen Langlon

The style originates in northeastern India and includes non-armed and armed combat. The weapons include swords, spears, axes, shields, etc.

Kalaripayattu

Originating in India, Kalaripayattu combines elements of yoga and healing techniques with hand-to-hand and weapon combat.

Niyuddha

The ancient Indian martial art Niyuddha focuses mostly on striking, especially kicks. Grappling is used almost solely for throws, not ground combat.

Pehlwani

The Indian system Pehlwani focuses on finishing fights with grappling, using locks, pins, and submission holds.

Silambam

Silambam is an Indian martial art that teaches how to use a staff for fighting.

Indonesian Martial Arts

Pencak Silat

Pencak Silat has several forms, and the same name refers to different Indonesian Martial arts. The term Pencak Silat was coined to identify all Indonesian martial arts – over 800 styles and systems.

Silat

Although Silat is a martial arts style that originated in the southeastern Asian region (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.), it’s attributed to Indonesian Martial Arts, as it resembles their native styles the most.

Iranian Martial Arts

Kung Fu To’a

The old Iranian martial art Kung Fu To’a combines the concepts of Kung Fu and Yoga into a unique system.

Irish Martial Arts

Bataireacht

Bataireacht is also known as Irish Stick Fighting, which is self-explanatory – practitioners use sticks in combat.

Israeli Martial Arts

KAPAP

KAPAP is a similar self-defense strategy to Krav Maga but far less popular. Elite military units in Israel use the style.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga is not formally a martial art but rather a self-defense strategy using joint locks, “cheap shots,” and other means of defending yourself from damage in a street fight or a life-or-death situation. The Israeli military teaches it.

Japanese Martial Arts

Aikido

Aikido is a martial art that focuses on using the attacker’s momentum to your advantage and redirecting the attack elsewhere using joint locks, throws, etc. Sometimes, traditional Japanese weapons are used as well, as the art originates in Japan.

Aikijujitsu

As a sub-style of traditional Japanese jujitsu, Aikijujitsu can be described as a bit more aggressive form of Aikido that blends in with Jujitsu techniques. It includes a wider spectrum of striking techniques, ground game, and chokes.

Araki Ryu

While most martial arts emphasize hand-to-hand combat, Araki Ryu is a traditional Japanese martial art that emphasizes training with traditional Japanese weapons, such as a spear, a sword, a wooden staff, etc.

Bajutsu

Many Japanese martial arts and styles stem from military use. Bajutsu is no different, utilizing traditional Japanese weapons and hand-to-hand combat, but usually while mounted on horseback.

Bojutsu

Traditional Japanese martial art focusing on the use of a weapon called Bo, or the long staff.

Bujutsu

Bujutsu is a Japanese martial art believed to be the art of the Samurai. It includes weapons training as well as hand-to-hand combat (striking and grappling).

Byakuren Kaikan

Byakuren Kaikan originates from Shorinji Kempo (more on that below). It focuses on full contact sparring, where practitioners learn how to take hits and deliver them.

Daido Juku Kudo

This Japanese martial art is virtually a mixed martial arts technique, but while wearing a traditional gi. Sparring is done in full contact with very specific protective equipment.

Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu

This traditional technique emphasizes throws, joint locks, and strikes to vital areas, such as the throat, eyes, liver, groin, etc.

Enshin Kaikan

Enshin Kaikan is a style that teaches how to use the attacker’s power against him at every moment. That’s why it includes a lot of sweeps, throws, and counter-strikes.

Goju-Ryu Karate

Goju-Ryu is one of the major sub-styles of Karate; it includes kata and bunkai, which is the practical application of the kata.

Hanbojutsu

A style that teaches the practitioner how to use the Hanbo, a short version of the long staff Bo.

Hojojutsu

A craft called Hojojutsu utilizes a rope to incapacitate and restraining the opponent without inflicting or taking damage.

Iaido

Iaido stems from Iaijutsu and is a martial art that focuses on the techniques to connect the drawing of your sword with an effective, quick attack.

Iaijutsu

This Japanese craft is the combat version of Iaido, which focuses more on technique and kata. It’s a sword-drawing and cutting technique that requires a Katana or Wakazashi to perform.

Isshin-Ryu

Isshin-Ryu evolved into one of the main Karate styles in the 1950s, combining Goju-Ryu and Shorin-Ryu Karate elements, emphasizing striking and weapons.

Itto-Ryu

Itto-Ryu is a major Japanese sword-fighting martial art with many sub-styles that influenced other popular martial arts, most notably Kendo.

Jojutsu

Like Bojutsu and Hanbojutsu, Jojutsu (or Jodo) emphasizes using a staff, only this one (Jo) is the shortest.

Judo

Judo is an ancient Japanese martial art and an Olympic sport highlighting grappling, joint locks, and throws. It’s performed in a gi.

Jujutsu

Jujutsu (Jujitsu, Jiu-Jitsu) is one of the older Japanese grappling martial arts that include throws, holds, joint locks, etc. You must learn how to use the opponent’s momentum against them. BJJ has roots in this old Japanese art.

Jukendo

This military martial art sub-style focuses on handling and utilizing the bayonet. Wooden rifles are used for practice, and the Japanese military still uses the style.

Juttejutsu

Juttejutsu is a martial art that requires the use of a weapon called Jutte.

Karate

When you say Karate, it’s a very broad term, as it has tons of sub-styles and derivations. Still, the unified rules that made it an Olympic sport for the first time are simply known as Karate.

Keijojutsu

The martial art Keijojutsu is a style focusing on the use of batons (police sticks).

Kendo

Kendo is an ancient military martial art in which the practitioners wear protective armor while learning sword fighting techniques.

Kenjutsu

Kenjutsu is a style that emphasizes prolific sword techniques. Kata and technique development are far more important than sparring.

Kickboxing

There are numerous styles of Kickboxing today, including K-1, Dutch, and American Kickboxing. They all stem from the traditional Japanese Kickboxing, which allows only punches and kicks without elbows and knees.

Kobudo

Kobudo is a collective term encapsulating techniques using weapons such as the Bo, Sai, Nunchaku, and Tonfa.

Kyokushin Karate

Also known as the “hard” karate style, Kyokushin emphasizes full contact sparring without protective gear. Basically, it’s full contact karate without gloves.

Kyudo

Kyudo is a Japanese martial art that focuses on archery, similar to the Korean Gungsol.

Kyujutsu

This is yet another form of archery martial art, but using the Yumi, a special Japanese bow. It focuses on the traditional use of the bow in warfare instead of the sports side.

Kyusho Jitsu

Kyusho Jitsu is a martial art that specializes in targeting the pressure points on the opponent’s body to apply maximum damage with minimum force.

Naginatajutsu

Naginatajutsu got its name from the weapon used to develop the technique; a long pole/staff called the Naginata.

Ninjutsu

This martial art is a specific system that emphasizes stealth movement, silent combat, agility, and quickness. The Japanese ninjas developed Ninjutsu.

Nippon Kempo

Nippon Kempo uses grappling as a center technique and utilizes punches, kicks, and joint locks.

Niten Ichi-Ryu

This specific martial arts system formed by a famous samurai Myamoto Musashi focuses on using two smaller swords in combat.

Nunchaku Jutsu

This is a traditional Japanese martial art that teaches how to use Nunchaku in combat. The “sport” Nunchaku Do was developed based on Nunchaku Jutsu in the Netherlands.

Shindo Jinen-Ryu

This form of Karate was developed in the 1930s in Japan by Yasuhiro Konishi. It uses Karate as a base and combines it with Jujutsu and Aikido.

Shintaido

Shintaido combines Karate, Kenjutsu, and Bojutsu, as it often utilizes the Bo and Bokuto weapons in training. It highlights the spiritual and self-developing aspect of martial arts.

Shito-Ryu Karate

Shito-Ryu is yet another major sub-style school of Karate. It’s a bit newer, though, originating in the 1930s. It combines soft and hard styles, like circular movements and powerful striking.

Shootfighting

This highly popular Japanese combat sport is a hybrid between Muay Thai and submission grappling. It’s similar to MMA, but it has much more lenient rules. For instance, soccer kicks are allowed.

Shooto

Shooto is similar to Shootfighting and MMA. Saturo Sayama developed this combat style in Japan.

Shorinji Kempo

Some call Shorinji Kempo the Japanese version of Shaolin Kung Fu. It has similar elements, and it combines self-defense skills with spirituality and personal growth.

Shorin-Ryu Karate

This was one of the first Karate styles developed in Okinawa, Japan. It stems from Shaolin Kung Fu, implementing new techniques and refining the existing ones.

Shotokan Karate

One of the largest and most popular Karate sub-style, Shotokan, was developed in Okinawa, Japan, and used for military purposes. It uses kata and various high-speed striking techniques but highlights spirituality, calmness, and meditation.

Sojutsu

Sojutsu is a Japanese martial art style that focuses on the use of a traditional spear for fighting.

Spochan

Spochan, or Sports Chanbara, is a combat sport that uses airsoft weapons to practice sword and stick fighting. It’s very fun to play and can be played in teams of 50 vs. 50, which is why children enjoy it.

Sumo

Sumo (or Sumo Wrestling) is a traditional Japanese martial art that includes entertainment and wrestling, intending to push the opponent out of the circle. Sumo wrestlers are highly respected in Japan.

Taido

Taido is an attractive Japanese martial art style that combines classic Karate elements and strikes with body maneuvers, gymnastic moves, etc.

Taiho Jutsu

Taiho Jutsu is a very old Japanese martial art designed to teach the feudal police how to fight and arrest armed criminals while using hand combat.

Tanto Jutsu

The Tanto Jutsu style is taught as a part of several Japanese martial arts, such as Kenjutsu, Ninjutsu, or Aikido, but it’s also learned as a separate martial art. It highlights the use of the Japanese knife Tanto.

Tessenjutsu

Like many other weapon-based Japanese martial arts, Tessenjutsu specializes in the use of Tessen (or war fans) in combat.

Wado-Ryu Karate

Another well-known Karate sub-style that came into existence in the 1890s, Wado-Ryu, avoids hard contact while emphasizing evasion, body shifting, and control to avoid or minimize the incoming attacks completely.

Yabusame

Yabusame is a very specific Japanese martial art that focuses on archery while riding horseback. It requires a lot of skill and focus.

Yamanni-Ryu

The art of Yamanni-Ryu lies in using traditional Okinawan weapons, such as the Bo, Tonfa, Sai, etc. It’s a common part of Kobudo training.

Yoseikan Budo

This style combines numerous Japanese martial arts with boxing, including Aikido, Judo, Karate, and even Kobudo (weapons training).

Korean Martial Arts

Gongkwon Yusul

The craft of Gongkwon Yusul was developed in Korea in 1996. The martial arts is a hybrid of Hapkido, Jujutsu, Judo, and Boxing.

Gungsol

Gungsol is a Korean martial art that incorporates close combat techniques and archery. It’s also known as Gungdo.

Haidong Gumdo

This old martial art focuses on sword fighting and has some Kanjutsu elements as well.

Han Mu Do

Han Mu Do is a more fluid version of Hapkido. Although weapons are used in training, the highlight of this style is the open hand concept.

Hapkido

Hapkido is an old Korean craft that emphasizes striking and joint locking while using circular and perpetual motion to control and defeat the opponent. Sometimes the training includes weapons.

Hwa Rang Do

The art of Hwa Rang Do is similar to Taekwondo, but it utilizes more grappling and even weapons training.

Kuk Sool Won

The Kuk Sool Won technique embraces all kinds of strikes, joint locks, and grappling, but what makes it special is the learning of healing techniques in training.

Kumdo

This martial art is very similar to the Japanese Kendo, utilizing a sword to complete the techniques.

Kyuk Too Ki

Kyuk Too Ki is a Korean striking martial art that combines Muay Thai and Taekwondo. It’s also known as Korean Kickboxing.

Sibpalki

Sibpalki teaches close combat techniques. It was mostly used in the 1700s, but some schools in Korea still teach it today.

Soo Bahk Do

The Soo Bahk Do style developed from the older Tang Soo Do (read more on Tang Soo Do below).

Ssireum

Ssireum is a martial art that uses wrestling as the primary force. It’s also a traditional national sport in South Korea with the objective to force any part of the opponent’s body above the knee to touch the ground to win a match.

Taekkyeon

Taekkyeon is a kicking martial art that emphasizes low kicks, sweeps, and trips.

Taekwondo

Probably the most popular Korean martial art globally, Taekwondo focuses on fast, repetitive kicks to score points and win matches, but it also uses blocks, punches, etc.

Tang Soo Do

Tang Soo Do is a Korean martial art that uses similar techniques like taekwondo and karate, but one could say it’s a bit more flashy. Chuck Norris studied it, refined the techniques, and developed the Chuck Norris System from it.

Teukgong Moosool

This unique martial art system was created in the South Korean military’s special forces unit, using traditional Korean martial arts such as Taekwondo and Hapkido as a backbone.

Wong Hwa Do

Wong Hwa Do has elements similar to Taekwondo, Tang Soo Do, and others, but it’s best known for its circular techniques in the fighters’ movement and striking.

Yongmudo

Yongmudo combines several traditional Korean martial arts elements, including Judo, Ssireum, and Taekwondo, to create a more well-rounded, effective combat system.

Mongolian Martial Arts

Bokh

Bokh is better known as Mongolian Wrestling. It’s a very old grappling martial art that Mongol warriors practiced. It’s believed that Bokh made them so deadly at hand-to-hand combat.

New Zealand Martial Arts

Mau Rakau

The traditional martial art called Mau Rakau was created by the native people of New Zealand, Maori. It’s based heavily on weapons training.

Russian Martial Arts

Sambo

Sambo is a martial art that spread across Europe fast, especially France, where it was further developed. However, it originated in the Russian military. The two varieties are Combat and Sports Sambo.

Systema

As the name indicated, Systema is a military combat system used by the Russian special forces, including Spetsnaz. It teaches weapon defense, grappling, etc.

Samoan Martial Arts

LimaLama

The LimaLama is a self-defense system based on boxing and street fighting developed by a member of the Samoan royal family.

Scandinavian Martial Arts

Defendo Alliance

Defendo Alliance is more of a self-defense system rather than a martial art, similar to Krav Maga. It was created in Finland but spread across Europe and the world quickly.

Glima

This one is a Scandinavian version of wrestling, but a lot more hard and rigid. It originates from the Vikings that used it as a close combat technique.

Spanish Martial Arts

(Historic) Fencing

Although fencing nowadays is hardly considered a martial art, many traditional arts used weapons in training. That’s why there’s a branch called historical fencing, originating in Spain, which highlights the craft more as a martial art rather than a sport.

Keysi Fighting Method

The Keysi Fighting Method (KFM) was developed in the 1980s in Spain, is a self-defense method that utilizes intuition, instinct, and reaction. It was made popular when guys like Christian Bale (Batman) and Tom Cruis (Jack Reacher) used it on the big screen.

Sri Lankan Martial Arts

Angampora

Stemming from centuries ago in Sri Lanka, Angampora utilizes many traditional non-striking techniques such as pressure points, grappling, close unarmed combat, etc.

Swiss Martial Arts

Schwingen

Schwingen originates from Switzerland. The martial art style highlights grappling and has no weight classes. It’s performed in 12-meter rings covered with sawdust.

Thailand Martial Arts

Krabi-Krabong

This weapon-based martial art originated in Thailand. It utilizes close combat techniques with weapon training.

Lerdrit

The martial art Lerdrit is a military fighting system of the Royal Thai Army. It’s refined to be highly effective in combat, meaning it emphasizes self-defense and weapon training.

Muay Boran

Muay Boran is a predecessor to Muay Thai. It’s an ancient martial art that emphasized maximum damage, including elbows, knees, and headbutts.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is one of the most popular striking martial arts in the world, originating in Thailand. It’s a version of kickboxing that highlights the use of elbows and knees, along with clinch combat.

Ukrainian Martial Arts

Combat Hopak

Also known as Boyovyy Hopak, this martial art stems from the Cossack military traditions and training in Ukraine.

Vietnamese Martial Arts

Cuong Nhu

The Vietnamese Grandmaster Ngo Dong developed Cuong Nhu in the 1960s and brought it to America, where it continued to evolve. It includes Aikido, Shotokan Karate, Judo, Wing Chun, and other martial arts.

Nam Hong Son

This 20th-century Vietnamese martial art combines traditional Vietnamese and Chinese fighting styles into a new system.

Nhat Nam

Nhat Nam is a hybrid martial art that combines many older Vietnamese martial arts. The style spread across Europe through Russia to Lithuania, Switzerland, UK, etc.

Qwan Ki Do

The martial arts style was designed in the 1960s and incorporates striking, sweeps, traditional weapon training, etc., but highlights the spiritual part of martial arts, especially meditation.

Vovinam

Vovinam is based on hand-to-hand combat, but training often includes weapons. Grappling is a key part of the art, and you learn kata to progress, similar to Karate.