Aikido (Japanese: 合気道 Hepburn: aikidō) [aikiꜜdoː] is a modern Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. Aikido is often translated as “the way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the way of harmonious spirit”.
Aikido’s techniques include: irimi (entering), and tenkan (turning) movements (that redirect the opponent’s attack momentum), various types of throws and joint locks.
Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba’s involvement with the Ōmoto-kyō religion. Ueshiba’s early students’ documents bear the term aiki-jūjutsu.
Baguazhang (Chinese: 八卦掌; pinyin: Bāguà Zhǎng) is one of the three main Chinese martial arts of the Wudang school, the other two being Taijiquan and Xing Yi Quan. It is more broadly grouped as an internal practice (or neijia quan). Bāguà zhǎng literally means “eight trigram palm,” referring to the trigrams of the I Ching (Yijing), one of the canons of Taoism.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu (/dʒuːˈdʒɪtsuː/; Portuguese: [ˈʒiw ˈʒit(i)su], [ˈʒu ˈʒit(i)su], [dʒiˈu dʒit(i)ˈsu]) (BJJ; Portuguese: jiu-jitsu brasileiro) is a martial art and combat sport system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. Brazilian jiu-jitsu was formed from Kodokan judo ground fighting (newaza) fundamentals that were taught by a number of Japanese individuals including Takeo Yano, Mitsuyo Maeda, Soshihiro Satake, and Isao Okano. Brazilian jiu-jitsu eventually came to be its own combat sport when Judo mainstream took an Olympic turn, and through the experiments, practices, and adaptation of judo, jujutsu and wrestling through Carlos and Hélio Gracie (who passed their knowledge on to their extended family) as well as other instructors who were likely students of the Judoka Maeda, such as Luiz França, and their later successors in Brazil and elsewhere.
BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves or another against a bigger, stronger, heavier assailant by using proper technique, leverage, and most notably, taking the fight to the ground, and then applying joint locks and chokeholds to defeat the opponent. BJJ training can be used for sport grappling tournaments and in self-defense situations.
Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu (大東流合気柔術), originally called Daitō-ryū Jujutsu (大東流柔術 Daitō-ryū Jūjutsu), is a Japanese martial art that first became widely known in the early 20th century under the headmastership of Takeda Sōkaku. Takeda had extensive training in several martial arts (including Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryū and sumo) and referred to the style he taught as “Daitō-ryū” (literally, “Great Eastern School”). Although the school’s traditions claim to extend back centuries in Japanese history there are no known extant records regarding the ryū before Takeda. Whether Takeda is regarded as either the restorer or the founder of the art, the known history of Daitō-ryū begins with him. Takeda’s best-known student was Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido
Hapkido (UK: /ˌhæpkiːˈdoʊ/ HAP-kee-DOH, US: /hɑːpˈkiːdoʊ/ hahp-KEE-doh, also spelled hap ki do or hapki-do; from Korean hapgido [hap̚.k͈i.do]) is a highly eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, grappling, and throwing techniques similar to those of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks. It also teaches the use of traditional weapons, including knife, sword, rope, ssang juhl bong (nunchaku), cane (ji pang ee), short stick (dan bong), and middle-length staff (joong bong, gun (analogous to the Japanese jō), and bō (Japanese)), which vary in emphasis depending on the particular tradition examined.
Hapkido employs both long-range and close-range fighting techniques, utilizing jumping kicks and percussive hand strikes at longer ranges, and pressure point strikes, joint locks, and throws at closer fighting distances. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, redirection of force, and control of the opponent. Practitioners seek to gain advantage over their opponents through footwork and body positioning to incorporate the use of leverage, avoiding the use of brute strength against brute strength.
The art was adapted from Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu as it was taught by Choi Yong-Sool (최용술) when he returned to Korea after World War II after having lived in Japan for 30 years. This system was later combined by Choi´s disciples with kicking and striking techniques of indigenous and contemporary arts such as taekkyeon, and Tang Soo Do; as well as various throwing techniques and ground fighting from Japanese Judo.
Iaidō (居合道), abbreviated with iai (居合), is a Japanese martial art that emphasizes being aware and capable of quickly drawing the sword and responding to a sudden attack.
Iaido is associated with the smooth, controlled movements of drawing the sword from its scabbard (or saya), striking or cutting an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then replacing the sword in the scabbard. While beginning practitioners of iaido may start learning with a wooden sword (bokken) depending on the teaching style of a particular instructor, most of the practitioners use the blunt edged sword, called iaitō. Few, more experienced, iaido practitioners use a sharp edged sword (shinken).
Judo (wikt:柔道 jūdō, meaning “gentle way”) was created as a physical, mental and moral pedagogy in Japan, in 1882, by Jigoro Kano (嘉納治五郎). It is generally categorized as a modern martial art which later evolved into a combat and Olympic sport. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke. Strikes and thrusts by hands and feet as well as weapons defenses are a part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms (kata, 形) and are not allowed in judo competition or free practice (randori, 乱取り). A judo practitioner is called a judoka
Jujutsu (/dʒuːˈdʒuːtsuː/ joo-JOOT-soo; Japanese: 柔術, jūjutsu About this soundlisten (help·info)), also known as Jujitsu or Jiu-Jitsu, is a Japanese martial art and a method of close combat for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses either a short weapon or none.
“Jū” can be translated to mean “gentle, soft, supple, flexible, pliable, or yielding”. “Jutsu” can be translated to mean “art” or “technique” and represents manipulating the opponent’s force against themselves rather than confronting it with one’s own force. Jujutsu developed to combat the samurai of feudal Japan as a method for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no weapon, or only a short weapon. Because striking against an armored opponent proved ineffective, practitioners learned that the most efficient methods for neutralizing an enemy took the form of pins, joint locks, and throws. These techniques were developed around the principle of using an attacker’s energy against him, rather than directly opposing it.
There are many variations of the art, which leads to a diversity of approaches. Jujutsu schools (ryū) may utilize all forms of grappling techniques to some degree (i.e. throwing, trapping, joint locks, holds, gouging, biting, disengagements, striking, and kicking). In addition to jujutsu, many schools teach the use of weapons. Today, Jujutsu is practiced in both traditional and modern sports forms. Derived sport forms include the Olympic sport and martial art of judo, which was developed by Kanō Jigorō in the late 19th century from several traditional styles of jujutsu, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which was derived from earlier (pre–World War II) versions of Kodokan judo.
Karate (空手) (/kəˈrɑːti/; Japanese pronunciation: [kaɾate] (About this soundlisten); Okinawan pronunciation: [kaɽati]) is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom. It developed from the indigenous Ryukyuan martial arts (called te (手), “hand”; tii in Okinawan) under the influence of Chinese Kung Fu, particularly Fujian White Crane. Karate is now predominantly a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open-hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands and palm-heel strikes. Historically, and in some modern styles, grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints and vital-point strikes are also taught. A karate practitioner is called a karateka (空手家).
The Ryukyu Kingdom was annexed by Japan in 1879. Karate was brought to Japanese archipelago in the early 20th century during a time of migration as Ryukyuans, especially from Okinawa, looked for work in Japan. It was systematically taught in Japan after the Taishō era. In 1922, the Japanese Ministry of Education invited Gichin Funakoshi to Tokyo to give a karate demonstration. In 1924 Keio University established the first university karate club in mainland Japan and by 1932, major Japanese universities had karate clubs. In this era of escalating Japanese militarism, the name was changed from 唐手 (“Chinese hand” or “Tang hand”) to 空手 (“empty hand”) – both of which are pronounced karate in Japanese – to indicate that the Japanese wished to develop the combat form in Japanese style. After World War II, Okinawa became an important United States military site and karate became popular among servicemen stationed there.
Kenpō (拳法) is the name of several Japanese martial arts. The word kenpō is a Japanese translation of the Chinese word “quánfǎ”. This term is often informally transliterated as “kempo”, as a result of applying Traditional Hepburn romanization, but failing to use a macron to indicate the long vowel. The generic nature of the term combined with its widespread, cross-cultural adoption in the martial arts community has led to many divergent definitions. The word Kenpō translates thus: “Ken” meaning ‘Fist’ and “Po” meaning ‘Method’ or ‘Law’ as in ‘Law of gravity’, a correct interpretation of the word Kenpō would be ‘Fist Method’, the same meaning as ‘Quanfa’. However, it is often times misinterpreted as ‘the Law Of The Fist' , which appeals to those looking for a more ‘imposing’ or aggressive sounding name.
Kenpo has also been used as a modern term: a name for multiple martial arts that developed in Hawaii due to cross-cultural exchange between practitioners of Okinawan martial arts, Chinese martial arts, Filipino martial arts, Japanese martial arts and multiple additional influences. In the United States, kenpo is often referred to as Kenpo Karate. The most widespread styles have their origin in the teachings of James Mitose and William Kwai Sun Chow. Mitose spent most of his early years training in Japan learning his family style, Kosho-Ryū (Old pine tree school). James Mitose would later bring that style to Hawaii where he would teach Chow, who would go on to instruct Ed Parker and Bobby Lowe. The system of kenpo taught by Mitose employed hard linear strikes and kicks, pressure point manipulation, circular movement patterns, and joint locking and breaking.
Parker is the most prominent name in the Mitose lineage. A student of Chow in Hawaii for nearly six years, Parker moved to the US mainland to attend Brigham Young University. In 1957, he began teaching the kenpo that he had learned from Chow, and throughout his life modified and refined the art until it became Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. It employs a blend of circular movements and hard linear movements. Parker created techniques with names such as Thundering Hammers, Five Swords, Prance Of The Tiger, and Flashing Mace to provide a memorisation tool to the student.
Okinawan Kobudō (沖縄古武道), literally “old martial way of Okinawa”, is the weapon systems of Okinawan martial arts. These systems can have from one to as many as a dozen weapons in their curriculum, among the rokushakubo (six foot staff, known as the “bō”), sai (dagger-shaped truncheon), tonfa (handled club), kama (sickle), and nunchaku (chained sticks), but also the tekko (steelknuckle), tinbe-rochin (shield and spear), and surujin (weighted chain). Less common Okinawan weapons include the tambo (short stick), the hanbō (middle length staff) and the eku (boat oar of traditional Okinawan design).
Okinawan kobudō should not be confused with the term Kobudō, which is described in the article Koryū, because the term Kobudō refers not to a weapon system but a concept of moral from the feudal Japan.
Kobudō (古武道) is a Japanese term for a system that can be translated as 古 (old) 武 (martial) 道 (way) “old martial art”; the term appeared in the first half of the seventeenth century. Kobudō marks the beginning of the Tokugawa period (1603–1868) also called the Edo period, when the total power was consolidated by the ruling Tokugawa clan.
The system of kobudō is considered in following priorities order: 1) morals, 2) discipline 3) aesthetic form.
Krav Maga (/krɑːv məˈɡɑː/; Hebrew: קְרַב מַגָּע [ˈkʁav maˈɡa], lit. “contact-combat”) is a military self-defence and fighting system developed for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli security forces that derived from a combination of techniques sourced from boxing, wrestling, Aikido, judo, and karate, along with realistic fight training.
Krav Maga is known for its focus on real-world situations and its extreme efficiency. It was derived from the street-fighting experience of Hungarian-Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld, who made use of his training as a boxer and wrestler while defending the Jewish quarter against fascist groups in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, during the mid-to-late 1930s. In the late 1940s, following his migration to Israel, he began to provide lessons on combat training to what was to become the IDF.From the outset, the original concept of Krav Maga was to take the most simple and practical techniques of other fighting styles (originally European boxing, wrestling, and street fighting) and to make them rapidly teachable to military conscripts.
Chinese martial arts, often named under the umbrella terms kung fu (/ˈkʊŋ ˈfuː/; Chinese: 功夫; pinyin: gōngfu; Cantonese Yale: gūng fū) and wushu (武術; wǔshù), are the several hundred fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. These fighting styles are often classified according to common traits, identified as “families” (家; jiā), “sects” (派; pài) or “schools” (門; mén) of martial arts. Examples of such traits include Shaolinquan (少林拳) physical exercises involving Five Animals (五形) mimicry, or training methods inspired by Old Chinese philosophies, religions and legends. Styles that focus on qi manipulation are called internal (内家拳; nèijiāquán), while others that concentrate on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness are called “external” (外家拳; wàijiāquán). Geographical association, as in northern (北拳; běiquán) and “southern” (南拳; nánquán), is another popular classification method.
Chinese martial arts can be split into various categories to differentiate them: For example, external (外家拳) and internal (内家拳). Chinese martial arts can also be categorized by location, as in northern (北拳) and southern (南拳) as well, referring to what part of China the styles originated from, separated by the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang); Chinese martial arts may even be classified according to their province or city. The main perceived difference between northern and southern styles is that the northern styles tend to emphasize fast and powerful kicks, high jumps and generally fluid and rapid movement, while the southern styles focus more on strong arm and hand techniques, and stable, immovable stances and fast footwork. Examples of the northern styles include changquan and xingyiquan. Examples of the southern styles include Bak Mei, Wuzuquan, Choy Li Fut, Ng Ying Kungfu (Chinese: 五形功夫) and Wing Chun. Chinese martial arts can also be divided according to religion, imitative-styles (象形拳), and family styles such as Hung Gar (洪家). There are distinctive differences in the training between different groups of the Chinese martial arts regardless of the type of classification. However, few experienced martial artists make a clear distinction between internal and external styles, or subscribe to the idea of northern systems being predominantly kick-based and southern systems relying more heavily on upper-body techniques. Most styles contain both hard and soft elements, regardless of their internal nomenclature.
White Crane Style (in Chinese: 白鶴拳) is a Southern Chinese martial art that originated in Fujian (福建) province. According to oral tradition, the style was developed by Fang Qīniáng (方七娘; Amoy Min Nan: Hng Chhit-niâ), a female martial artist. It is associated with traditional fighting techniques, including long range, but is most similar to close-quarter or hand-to-hand combat. It is most recognizable by the way the fighter imitates a bird’s pecking or flapping of wings. While some white crane styles make use of traditional weapons, others have discontinued the use of weaponry.
Fujian White Crane is a type of Shaolin Boxing that imitates characteristics of the white Crane. An entire system of fighting was developed from observing the crane’s movements, methods of attack and spirit. It is one of the six well-known schools of Shaolin Boxing.
Taekwondo (Korean 태권도/跆拳道 [tʰɛ.k͈wʌn.do] (About this soundlisten), often mispronounced as /ˌtaɪkwɒnˈdoʊ/, or /ˌtaɪˈkwɒndoʊ/) is a Korean martial art, characterized by its emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks, and fast kicking techniques.
Taekwondo was developed during the 1940s and 1950s by Korean martial artists with experience in martial arts such as karate, Chinese martial arts, and indigenous Korean martial arts traditions such as Taekkyeon, Subak, and Gwonbeop. The oldest governing body for taekwondo is the Korea Taekwondo Association (KTA), formed in 1959 through a collaborative effort by representatives from the nine original kwans, or martial arts schools, in Korea. The main international organisational bodies for taekwondo today are the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), founded by Choi Hong Hi in 1966, and the partnership of the Kukkiwon and World Taekwondo (WT, formerly WTF), founded in 1972 and 1973 respectively by the Korea Taekwondo Association. Gyeorugi ([kjʌɾuɡi]), a type of full-contact sparring, has been an Olympic event since 2000. The governing body for taekwondo in the Olympics and Paralympics is World Taekwondo.
Tai chi (taiji), short for T’ai chi ch’üan, or Tai ji quan (pinyin: tàijíquán; 太极拳), is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. The term taiji refers to a philosophy of the forces of yin and yang, related to the moves. Though originally conceived as a martial art, it is also typically practiced for a variety of other personal reasons: competitive wrestling in the format of pushing hands (tui shou), demonstration competitions and achieving greater longevity. As a result, a multitude of training forms exist, both traditional and modern, which correspond to those aims with differing emphasis. Some training forms of tàijíquán are especially known for being practiced with relatively slow movements.
Today, tai chi has spread worldwide. Most modern styles of tai chi trace their development to at least one of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang, Wu (Hao), Wu and Sun. All of the former, in turn, trace their historical origins to Chen Village.
Xing Yi Quan (Chinese: 形意拳; pinyin: Xíng Yì Quán; Wade–Giles: Hsing I Ch’üan) is classified as one of the Wudang styles of Chinese martial arts. The name of the art translates approximately to “Form-Intention Fist”, or “Shape-Will Fist”.
Xing Yi is characterized by aggressive, seemingly linear movements and explosive power that’s most often applied from a short range. A practitioner of Xing Yi uses coordinated movements to generate bursts of power intended to overwhelm the opponent, simultaneously attacking and defending. Methods vary from school to school, but always include bare-handed fighting training (mostly in single movements/combinations and sometimes in forms) and the training of weapons usage with similar or identical body mechanics to that used for bare-handed fighting. The most basic notions of movement and body mechanics in the art were heavily influenced by the practice of staffs and spears. Historically and technically related martial arts include Dai Xin Yi Liu He Quan, Liu He Xin Yi Quan and Yi Quan.
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