A common misconception about martial artists is that they are perceived to be very violent people, as compared to athletes of any other sport. It is incorrect for two reasons: one, there are many reasons why one would take up martial arts as a sport, amongst which include self-defense, discipline, to reduce stress or even for health issues. And two, martial artists tend to be more aware that with power comes responsibility and are hence more careful when it comes to using their skill against someone else. That said, there are many different types of martial arts, designed for all sorts of people with different objectives in mind. Among the more popular martial arts are Kung Fu, Karate, and Judo.
Kung Fu (功夫) in actually brings the meaning of an activity or a study that requires time, patience, and skill to learn and master, not necessarily martial arts. However, nowadays, especially in the West, it is used to describe Chinese martial arts, which in Mandarin, would be called Wu Shu (武术). There are many different types of Kung Fu, including Shaolin, Tai Qi, and Qi Gong. Different styles of Kung Fu are suitable for different people. However, Kung Fu would be amazingly ideal for people who value peace, as Kung Fu teachings and the generations of martial artists who have trained it are upheld by the prevailing philosophy of maintaining order.
Karate, on the other hand, was first introduced to the world by the people of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which was later integrated into Japan. The word ‘Karate’ actually means empty hand, even though weapons are sometimes necessary during training some Karate styles. Typically Karate training can be divided into three sub-types: Kata, Kihon, and Kumite. Kata is a sequence of movements meant to simulate a fight; Kihon is the application of two or more techniques at the same time; and lastly, Kumite is hand-to-hand combat in Karate, otherwise known as sparring. Traditionally, Karate martial artists placed more emphasis on self-development, but new Karate teachings also place importance on the psychological elements, such as attitude. Hence, Karate would be perfect for those looking to develop themselves regarding discipline, attitude, patience, etc.
Next up, Judo was developed by a Japanese man who was said to have been bullied as a child. He then used some martial arts training and added some of his throws, which eventually led to modern day Judo. The ‘Ju’ in Judo has the meaning of ‘Soft method,’ which also means to use the opponent’s strength against them. Judo is perfect for people who don’t want to hurt or get hurt, as one of the first lessons in Judo is to learn how to break a fall, hence minimizing the possibility of any grievous wounds. Besides that, during a match in Judo, an Ippon is considered a knockout, even though the person receiving the Ippon won’t be hurt.
There are Many More Martial Arts
WIn conclusion, there are many kinds of martial arts out there, and each has many different styles under them, which would emphasize different concepts and fit different people. To find the best form of martial arts, a clear understanding of what one wants from the martial arts and further research must be done.