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Marial Arts

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Martial Arts Overview

Anytime an individual decides to learn how to protect themselves, learn self
defense, or become a better person, one thing comes to mind -- martial arts.
Martial arts are very common these days, being practiced all over the world.

The martial arts have been used for many centuries, although they really became
famous around the time of Bruce Lee. Bruce invented the style of Jeet Kune Do,
which involves very fast strikes with amazing counter defenses. Once people
began to see just how fast Bruce Lee could move, they began to look into
martial arts and see just how it could benefit them.

Martial arts are broken down into specific styles. The style all depends on
where and what you study. A lot of cultures and countries offer martial arts
that they originated, developed, and perfected. Brazil offers Brazilian
Jui-Jitsu, Japan has Karate, Thailand has Muay Thai, France has Savate, and
China has Shaolin. Keep in mind that each style will vary in techniques and
what it has to offer you.

Although many people think of martial arts as being just for self defense
purposes, this isn't always the case. Martial arts are used in tournaments and
competitions as well, which can include sparring, floor routines, and even
block and brick breaking demonstrations. All across the world, there are
competitions and chances for fighters to prove themselves and their knowledge.

In general, all martial arts will teach you how to defend yourself and above
all else -- help you develop self control. Once you begin to study a martial
art, you'll quickly start to develop a much better state of mind. No matter
what style of martial art you study, the instructors will drill self control
into your head.

Those of you who have a bad temper or just need to learn self control, martial
arts can be very beneficial to study. Not only will you learn self control,
you'll also learn how to defend yourself in the most drastic of situations.
Self control is very important, as martial arts can be very deadly if they are
taught to the wrong person -- with the wrong intentions.

Over the last decade, there have been a lot of mainstream competitions that
showcase martial arts, such as Extreme Fighting, King of the cage, and the most
popular of all, the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). The UFC has come a
long way over the years, sparking interest from all over the world. It pairs
stylists from all over the world together, to test their skills and see who is
the better fighter.

With the UFC, a lot of people have gotten the wrong idea about martial arts. A
martial art is great to learn, although if it works in the UFC, it doesn't
always mean that it will protect you out on the streets. Karate for example,
teaching blocking and striking, with little to no emphasis on grappling
techniques. If you get in close, Karate really doesn't help. With some distance
however, Karate can be very devastating.

No matter how you look at it, martial arts can be great to learn if you learn
it for the right reasons. Each style will vary in technique and what it has to
offer you, which is why you should pick the best style for your needs and what
you hope to accomplish. Martial arts can teach you a lot about self defense and
yourself -- all you have to do is give it a try.

Choosing The Best Martial Arts Style

For anyone who wants to learn a martial art, there is a lot to know in regards
to the many different styles. Of course there is the question of finding the
best martial art, which is a question a lot of people ask With so many martial
arts styles to choose from, it can be very complicated to pick one to learn.

No matter you may hear or what others have to say, it is quite impossible to
name one style of martial arts as the ultimate best. Actually, there are
several factors that come into play, which makes a statement about a style
being the best impossible. Even though one style may beat another in a
competition or a fight, doesn't always mean that the winning style is the best.

Before deciding to rush out there and learn a martial art, there are several
things that you should decide first. Martial arts are great to learn, no matter
which style you decide on. A martial art can teach you self discipline, self
defense, and several other traits that will help you no matter where you decide
to go in life.

Self defense All over the world, there are several martial arts schools and
dojo's that emphasize self defense a lot more than others. Schools that focus
on kata, forms, or light sparring are less than likely to teach you what you
need to protect yourself on the street. If you are looking for street self
defense, then you'll want a style that trains hard and doesn't let up.

Fitness Even though martial arts can improve your fitness level, it isn't the
goal behind a lot of the martial arts styles. Several styles, such as Tae Bo,
are based purely on martial arts and doesn't include a lot of physical fitness
training. If you are looking for fitness as your main goal, then you should be
looking into something other than martial arts.

Fighting ability This will vary among the many different martial arts styles.
Self defense schools will most often take advantage of fighting skills,
teaching you everything you need to survive. Most martial arts styles are slow
in theory, teaching you kata, movements, and forms. Self defense schools on the
other hand, teach you how to inflict the most amounts of damage in the least
amount of time.

Competition Competition based martial arts are all about winning trophies and
showing the world your style of martial arts. The competition that you have
chosen, will greatly impact your style of martial arts. You'll need to decide
if you will be fighting or showcasing display kata, light or heavy contact, or
focusing on grappling or striking.

Before you decide on a martial arts style, you should always research the
schools and dojo's in your area and see what all they offer you. The best
schools will allow you to participate in a few free classes, or offer you
discounts on your first few months. They will answer any questions that you
have, and work with you to help you learn as much as you can.

Martial arts can be a very fun and exciting learning experience. There are
hundreds of different martial arts styles out there, although you may be
limited in choice, depending on what all is offered in your area. Karate, Tae
Kwon Do, Kickboxing, and Jiu-Jitsu and some of the most common types of martial
arts, and normally offered just about everywhere. The more distinct styles, such
as Kung Fu, Shootfighting, Kenpo, and Shaolin styles are a bit hard to harder to
find.

If you do your homework on some of the styles that are offered in your area,
you'll find one that best fits your reasons to study. Martial arts can change
your outlook on life -- all you have to do it devote yourself to learning all
you can about the philosophy of your martial art.

Sparring

Sparring is something that all martial arts use. There are numerous sports,
such as boxing and wrestling that use sparring as well. It is a very useful
technique, helping students become better with their techniques and what they
have learned. By practicing with other people, students learn their arts better
and become more apt at performing the techniques quickly and efficiently.

If you are studying martial arts in a dojo, you'll find sparring to be very
exciting as well as beneficial to your training. The instructors and teachers
will be right there watching and guiding students, making sure that no one gets
hurt. Students use full body gear, including headgear, to ensure safety during
practice.

Depending on your skill level and martial art you are studying, you may end up
using no protective gear. Students that are very skilled won't normally need
protective equipment, as they are good enough with sparring and their
techniques that they can go a few rounds with other skilled students and not
make any type of contact at all.

Martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, that focus on grappling, make the
most use of sparring, as it is needed to properly execute the techniques.
Martial arts that focus mainly on grappling use joint locks and submission
techniques, which will need to be practiced quite a bit before they can be used
effectively during a competition or even as self defense.

During sparring, students go back and forth, competing with each other and
testing each other. The rounds will vary, although most last several minutes.
Students will also receive help and insight from their instructors to let them
know how they are doing and if they need to change anything they are doing.
This also gives instructors the chance to see just how well you are progressing
in training and what areas you need to work more on.

Sometimes, sparring is done by yourself, without anyone else working with you.
If you are sparring by yourself, you'll use equipment such as punching bags,
tackling dummies, or other forms of equipment that will help you with your
martial art.

The foam or rubber dummies are most often used with grappling techniques or
punching on the ground, as they represent the opponent that you are trying to
pummel into submission.

All in all, sparring is an excellent way to practice the skills you have
learned against equipment or other students. Students are fun to spar against,
especially if they are at a higher level of skill than you are. You can use
sparring to your advantage, learning what others do and how they react to your
movements and techniques. The longer you spar and practice your moves -- the
better you will get in your training, speed, and the execution of your skills.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship

It's no secret that martial arts has indeed come a long way over the years.
Many years ago, Bruce Lee helped the arts become even more famous, when he
developed his style of Jeet Kune Do. He participated in several movies, showing
the world his speed and finesse. Since then, movies have been a popular way to
showcase martial arts skills.

Back in the early 1990s, something known as the UFC (Ultimate Fighting
Championship) came along to take things one step further. Even though there
have been other competitions similar to the UFC, none of them had the flair and
the dedication as UFC did. When it first began, the UFC paired different styles
and different weight classes.

The result were exciting fights with varying results. The first ever champion
was a man from Brazil named Royce Gracie. Gracie was the first to introduce
Brazilian Jui-Jitsu in this way, opening up the eyes of everyone who witness
him fight. After the first UFC tournament, Brazilian Jui-Jitsu was instantly
viewed as the best martial art. Royce weighed under 200 pounds, and he was
completely dominating people nearly 3 times his size.

Gracie would go on to win UFC 2 and 4 as well. He was the most dominating in
the sport, and opened the eyes of everyone across the world. In UFC 3, he
didn't lose, although he ran into a very tough fighter who nearly beat him.
Gracie came back in UFC 5 for a superfight match up with Ken Shamrock, which
would go the distance and end in a draw.

Other fighters have done exceptionally well in the UFC, although none of them
had the impact as Royce Gracie. Fighters like Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Oleg
Taktarov, Matt Hughes, and Matt Sylivia have also done very well. Matt Hughes
is also regarded as one of the best, as he fights in the Welterweight class and
is considered pound for pound to be the best fighter in the world.

In the world of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), the UFC has made a big impact. In the
beginning, there were no rules and no judges, just one on one fights until
someone either tapped out, got knocked out, or the ref through in the towel.
Fighters also fought in a tournament style as well, which took 3 fights to win
the championship.

Over the years, there were several changes. The UFC would start with judges
after a few years, along with eliminating the tournaments. The fights would
eventually go to one on one, which was great for the fans. Although the fights
didn't have time limits in the beginning, they do now. The non title fights are
three 5 minute rounds, while the title fights are five 5 minute rounds.

If a fight goes to the judges, the judges decide the winner. There are three
judges, which normally change with each different UFC. Judges are there do
determine the winner if there is no knockout or submission, while the ref is
there to protect the fighters. The referee can stop a fight as well, if a
fighter is unable to defend themselves.

With all the changes in the rules of the UFC, it's only a matter of time before
the UFC gains a lot more popularity. It is more popular today than it ever has
been, which tells you that martial arts have come a long way. Martial arts is
very popular these days, with competitions such as the UFC being one of the
most popular sports in the world.

Chinese Martial Arts

Throughout the world, Chinese martial arts are well known and well respected.
China is a pioneer to martial arts, founding several excellent styles. Although
Kung Fu is the most well known Chinese martial art, there are others that are
just as good. Below, we will look at some of the other Chinese martial arts
that aren't as well known as Kung Fu.

HSING-I This is actually one of the internal styles of Kung Fu, very closely in
relation to Tai Chi. It teaches students to subordinate their bodies, creating
powerful movements with a very little expense of energy. HSING-I isn't well
known about, although it is very powerful and well known throughout China. The
United States and other areas aren't that familiar with it, with little to no
schools or dojo's out there that teach it.

Just like Tai Chi, HSING-I has deep roots in Chinese medicine and the Chinese
perceptions of nature. The blows that come from HSING-I come from the five
elements of the Chinese -- metal, fire, earth, water, and wood. Similar to
other forms that originate from Kung Fu, HSING-I offers complex, dance like
movements that are adapted from the way animals react and move. Due to the
training being so demanding and rigorous, and the breathing exercises being so
demanding, those who practice this martial art have astounding physical skills
and amazing endurance.

Tai Chi To those who live outside of China, Tai Chi resembles more of a dance.
The slow and calm movements it teaches are balanced and exact, performed while
the stylist is in a deep state of relaxation. While in this deep state of
relaxation, the stylist will be fully aware of what he is doing and his
movements, although he will appear to those around him to be asleep.

In reality, Tai Chi is an energy exercise that promotes strength, stamina, and
flexibility. By using the deep state of relaxation, Tai Chi enables stylists to
benefit emotionally and spiritually as well. Tai Chi also uses deep states of
mediation as well, helping stylists to learn how to reach their high level of
peace.

Chinese martial arts Even though Kung Fu is the best martial art in China,
there are many different forms and styles that originate from it. There is the
Shaolin style as well, which offers several different styles of Kung Fu as
well, including the world famous "5 animals system". The five animals system is
among the most popular in China and well known around the world for their
devastating techniques and amazing power when used in combat.

Along with Kung Fu, both HSING-I and Tai Chi are great martial arts that help
with endurance training and flexibility. A lot of Kung Fu students in China
choose to study one of these arts as well, as it helps to add to their physical
and emotional power. Students who study Tai Chi or HSING-I as well as Kung Fu,
have a higher state of endurance and spirituality that simply cannot be matched.

All around the world, China is well known for martial arts. China brought Kung
Fu and Tai Chi to the world, which is something we are all thankful for. Even
though Japan offers their unique blend of martial arts, many consider China to
be the founding father of martial arts. The Chinese have been using martial
arts for hundreds of years -- providing just how dominant it can be as a means
of self defense and a way to live your life in a peaceful manner.

A Close Look At Belts

With most types of martial arts, the color of the belt that you have will
signify your rank within your style of martial arts. The belts that are used
with martial arts signify your rank within that style, although they have no
universal means or ranking within the martial arts world. More or less, they
tell others how much you know about your specific martial art.

The use of belt colors in martial arts is an old practice, dating back hundreds
of years. Belts and their use in martial arts all started by a man known as
Jigoro Kano, who created the style known as Kodokan Judo. Kano started out by
using only white and black belts to signify rank within his style of martial
arts. His reason for using belts, was to specify which students could compete
in different activities. For example, those with white belts couldn't compete
in the same activities as those with black belts.

Shortly after Kano introduced his idea of using belts, other belt colors were
introduced to the world of martial arts. Over the years, it became a great way
of telling what experience a student had in his style -- just by the look of
his belt.

Other styles began to use this system as well over the years, including Karate,
Taekwondo, and several others.

The only problem with using belts to signify ranking, is the fact that one
school may have different requirements from another school. Even though they
both may teach the same style of martial arts, their ranking system and
requirements to get a certain ranking may be totally different. This can cause
confusion in ranks, especially if a black belt from one school isn't as versed
in the style as a black belt from another school. Even though most schools
stick to the same criteria, there are schools that choose to incorporate their
own unique style as well.

Although most martial arts styles use belts to signify rank, there are some
martial arts out there such as Shootfighting that don't use belts at all. The
styles that choose not to use belts don't go by rankings either, as they are
more or less for self defense purposes. Pitfighting is another style that
doesn't use belts either. These styles are great to learn for protecting
yourself -- although they differ from the traditional sense of martial arts.

All things aside, belts are an innovation to martial arts. They give students
something to aim for, and a reason to keep practicing. Most students that study
martial arts aim for getting the black belt, which is the most prestige belt in
martial arts. A black belt takes years of practice to obtain, as the student
will move through many lower ranked belts before getting the opportunity to try
and earn the black belt.

The Techniques Of Muay Thai

A majority of the offensive techniques that are used in Muay Thai utilize a
students hands, feet, elbows, and knees to strike an opponent. In order to bind
the opponent for both defensive and offensive reasons, there is a small amount
of grappling on the feet that is used -- the clinch.

The clinch occurs when someone gets in your circle of radius, inside of your
comfort zone. To execute knees and short kicks from the inside, the clinch can
be very useful. The Thai fighter makes great use of the clinch, tying up on
opponent on the feet then pounding his stomach, ribs, knees, and legs with
brutal knees. Knees are very popular techniques with Muay Thai, as Thai
fighters spend a lot of time training their strikes -- especially knees and
elbows.

Although high kicks to the opponents head looks amazing during the fights,
experienced Thai fighters always say that knees and elbows have a lot more
impact, and they do the most damage to the body. If a Thai fighter is very
experienced and has enough power in his strikes, he can quickly and easily kill
someone with his techniques.

In all Muay Thai techniques, two in particular have become very popular with
other styles of martial arts.

The roundhouse kick The roundhouse Thai kick is a very useful technique for
both self defense and competitions, proving to be very efficient when it is
executed properly. Thai stylists execute the roundhouse kick by a straight leg
and the entire body rotating out from the hip. The hip is locked shortly before
the thrown leg makes impact with the opponent. If executed properly, the
roundhouse kick can easily render someone unconscious.

The low kick The low kick is a common Muay Thai attack, that involves a
circular movement from the stylist's body to kick the opponent in his upper
shin area. If the low kick isn't blocked or defended, it can quickly lead to
fight being ended. After a few well placed low kicks, the opponent will be
unable to put pressure on his legs due to the bruising, and will eventually
crumble.

With other martial arts styles, such as Tae Kwon Do, stylists use snapping
kicks that are indeed faster to execute, although they have less power. Muay
Thai on the other hand, teaches stylists to follow through with kicks, using
the shin instead of the foot. Nearly all of the techniques involved with Muay
Thai emphasis movement with the entire body, which means rotating the hip each
time the stylist kicks, punches, or blocks. The techniques are slower, although
they are far more powerful that techniques found in Tae Kwon Do and even Karate.

As a lot of people already know, the training and conditioning training found
in Muay Thai is nothing short of legendary for the intensity and rigorous
training. The training in Muay Thai aims to harden the weapons used in the
martial art to a high degree. Students who have been training in Muay Thai for
many years can absorb a beating, yet if they land a shin kick it will feel as
if you have just been hit with a sledgehammer.

All in all, Muay Thai is a very dangerous martial art that teaches punishing
blows with very little grappling. Thai stylists are physical strong, capable of
taking an opponent out with just one well placed strike. Muay Thai is also one
of the most well known and most popular styles in the world today -- which is
why you shouldn't hesitate to study.

The Speed Of Kempo

Throughout the world of martial arts, the style known as Kempo is one of the
best. Kempo uses extremely fast strikes, which is the area it is most known
for. Kempo has been around for many years, originating from Japan. It was
tested on the ancient battlegrounds, using punches, kicks, and very little
grappling. Kempo employs weapons as well, including disarming techniques
against opponents who are using weapons.

What many don't realize, is that Kempo is actually an older form of Karate. To
be more specific, Kempo mainly uses the forbidden techniques of sport karate
and kickboxing to create a devastating means of self defense. Throughout this
deadly martial art, stylists will be taught that every block is a counter, and
ever counter is a block. Instead of simply blocking an attack, stylists will
learn how to block in a way that executes a strike.

The most well known aspect of Kempo is speed. If you've ever seen it in action
by someone who has been studying for many years, the hand speed of the stylist
is simply amazing. Those that have been practicing for many years, including
black belts, are able to execute techniques with blinding speed. Often times, a
Kempo stylist can land many strikes before you can even get the chance to
counter -- or block.

The hand speed in Kempo comes from something known as "speed striking".
Although Kempo uses weapons and weapons training, it is more an unarmed martial
art that teaches students how to defend themselves in any situation. This style
isn't about just going around and hurting people though, as stylists learn a
lot in terms of self control, and only to react when they are given no other
option.

The speed striking in Kempo takes many years to master. Students of the art
will practice forms on a daily basis, which helps with the speed. By practicing
a certain movement over and over again, students will get faster and faster.
They will practice with other students, the instructors, and also with
equipment such as punching bags. Over time, students will get amazingly quick
and able to execute strikes with amazing speed and precision.

Shadow boxing is also essential to developing speed with Kempo. Students will
spend quite a bit of time shadow boxing, learning their own movements. As a
result of shadow boxing, students will learn physical resistance as well as
improve their levels of fitness. This also helps with technique as well, as
students will be engaging in practice with themselves.

The main exercise where speed striking will really come into play is with
sparring. When sparring, students will test their knowledge and skills against
other students. The instructors will pay close attention during this exercise,
to see just how well the students are learning. Sparring can be very fun to
watch, especially when there are two black belts squaring off. The more time a
student spends sparring, the faster he will develop in the art of speed
striking.

Throughout the years, Kempo has proved to be a martial art with very fast
strikes. It is one of the fastest striking martial arts in existence, although
it teaches students self control and how to avoid confrontations. Kempo is
taught all around the world, making it an excellent martial art for children as
well. From adults to children, the martial art known as Kempo can teach self
defense, harmony, self control, self confidence -- and how students can help
others in the world live a better life.

A Look At Kung Fu

The martial art of Kung Fu is an exchange of culture, a type of exercise, and
also a way of defending yourself. The art is very popular throughout the world,
also being known as Gung Fu, Wu Shu, and even Kuo Shu. It shares some common
traits with Karate, such as using both hand and foot techniques. Kung Fu is one
of the most popular forms of martial arts -- and also one of the oldest.

Within Kung Fu, there are several styles and variances, although the most
popular are those that have their roots in the well known Shaolin Temple. What
most people aren't aware of however, is the fact that Kung Fu was practiced in
China years before the first Shaolin temple was even though of.

A majority of martial arts enthusiasts think of self defense as being the
ultimate goal of any martial art, including Kung Fu. While self defense is
involved with Kung Fu, the martial is so much more than just fighting and
defense -- it is a true art, one that develops the mind, body, and the soul.

Kung Fu doesn't teach students to overcome others, as it teaches students to
look within themselves and learn to have complete and total control over their
emotions. Kung Fu is an art of harmony, that teaches to students to remain at
peace and avoid confrontations. If a situation threatens bodily harm to the
student, then he must rise to the occasion -- becoming the warrior and
defending himself.

Just like other types of martial arts, Kung Fun teaches the balance that is
crucial for executing techniques and the proper movement. The basic concept
behind the balance is that same balance that the Chinese believe keeps the
balance between heaven and earth. This concept of balance can be achieved by
students if they completely focus their thoughts and empty their minds free
from any type of distractions.

Kung Fu is a martial art that can be learned by anyone. It does take a strong
desire, just like any other martial art. It has a rich heritage, and a proud
legacy. Kung Fu is indeed a deadly martial art, if used in the wrong ways.
There are variations of Kung Fu as well, which include the infamous five
animals -- Tiger, Dragon, Eagle Claw, Crane, and the Snake.

Adapted by the animals in which they are named after, the five animals style is
some of the most impressive in martial arts. Tiger Claw is by far the deadliest
of the five animals, teaching students to strike just like the dreaded tiger.
This style teaches the student power in his hands, so that when he strikes, he
tears the flesh. Tiger Claw is very deadly, although it is very hard to find
instructors that teach this style now days.

Unlike other martial arts, there really are no competitions for Kung Fu.
Stylists can compete it other competitions, although there really aren't any
that are for only Kung Fu. It is an ancient martial art, that is to be used
only in instances were there is no other option than to fight back. When
provoked, the stylist should try everything he or she can to avoid
confrontations.

Kung Fu aims to teach the lessons of respect, fairness to others, harmony of
the spirit, and total self control no matter what. These characteristics, when
paired together, allow students to achieve success in a hard to deal with
society. Kung Fu is all about developing the student's overall well being --
and following the straight path to mental and physical toughness.

The Many Styles Of Kung Fu

The martial art known as Kung Fu is very old, yet very powerful. There are
several different forms involved with Kung Fu, that only add to the power and
mystique. Below, we will go over a majority of the different styles and forms
that make up Kung Fu.

White Crane style The spirit of the White Crane has led to what many martial
artists consider to be the most graceful system of Kung Fu. The pattern for the
White Crane style was patterned after a crane bird often found in marshes and
open plains. The White Crane defense forms and attacks are nothing short of
amazing, often known as "deadly beauty".

Although the techniques within the White Crane style can take years to properly
master, they simple and to the point. White Crane stylists are masters of self
defense, although they are taught to avoid confrontations. Even though a
stylist can handle himself in any situation, he will avoid a fight at all costs
and only react with physical action when he is left with no choice.

Wing Chun From a Chinese standpoint, Wing Chun is the essence that the opponent
will attack, absorb, and then neutralize the attack. Then, the opponent or
attacker will back off, pursue, then counter -- disengage his restriction from
arms, and then retaliate with a deadly and penetrating force.

This philosophy will take years to fully understand, and years of practice to
master. Technically speaking, Wing Chun uses a steady and never ending forward
flow of energy that's based on the principle that a straight line is the
shortest distance between two points.

Offensively, Wing Chun is all about a combination of intercepting and straight
lines with deflecting arcs. In general, it is an aggressive close quarter style
that pushes offensive attacks and takes the fight right to the attacker. In
other words -- Wing Chun doesn't care nor does it put a lot of time towards the
more traditional block and counter routines.

Hung Gar Hung Gar is more or less an adaptation of the Tiger system of Shaolin
that emphasizes close quarter techniques. Hung Gar isn't much on distance
fighting, although it is very effective in close quarter situations, such as
alleys and in small rooms. It is a very strong system, teaching stylists to
handle themselves properly in areas where other martial arts seem to fail.

Praying Mantis Nearly 400 years ago, a man named Wang had a vision. Using a
praying mantis that he was able to capture, Wang studied it's movements. By
using what he saw, he created and founded the style of Praying Mantis. Wang
perfected his own martial art style by continuing to observe both the offensive
and defensive movements of the praying mantis, and using them with his style.

The Monkey style Even though it is thought of a comical approach to martial
arts, the Monkey style is actually one of the deadliest martial arts systems in
the world. This style dates back to the 1840s, when missionaries were first
allowed passage into China.

The Monkey style all began when a peaceful maned named See resisted arrested
after accidentally killing an officer of the law. See was sentenced to prison
for his crime, where he spent all of his time watching the prison apes. He
found them amazing, and would watch them from his cell, which his also helped
to pass the time.

Over his ten year prison sentence, he studied the way the apes moved, paying
very close attention to how they defended themselves and fought each other.
Then, when he was released from prison, he adapted his style, becoming known as
the Monkey Master. A lot of people joined him along the way, and began to learn
his Monkey system which is still very effective today.

The 5 Animals Of Kung Fu

Also known as the Kung Fu fist forms, the 5 animals of Kung Fu are known all
across the world, and are some of the deadliest martial arts you can study.
There are other specific fist styles in Kung Fu, although none of them are as
powerful or as well known as the 5 animal styles. As the name implies, these
forms were derived from the animals in which they got their names from.

The Dragon Claw The Dragon Claw is very well known, with the Chinese believing
that this style comes directly from the ancient dragon. This style uses an open
hand technique that is used for controlling the opponent through grabbing and
throwing. Using an open hand technique, stylists may also use the fingers to
poke as well. Dragon Claw is very fast, very hard to defend against -- and
nearly impossible to predict.

The Leopard Claw The Leopard Claw style utilizes a half opened fist. The ideal
striking method with Leopard is the ridge of the hand, which is formed by
folding the fingers towards the palm of the hand, with the palm being the
backup or secondary striking method. Leopard Claw is very fast as well, and
very lethal if the stylist has enough technique and power behind his strikes.

The Tiger Claw Tiger Claw uses an open hand movement that is used for tearing
and grabbing. Tiger Claw is the most well known of the 5 animal system, and
also one of the most well known forms of Kung Fu as well. It isn't affected by
simply grabbing and gripping with the hand, but from the digging of the
fingernails deep into the skin. Once the fingernails have been embedded in the
opponent's skin, the Tiger Claw stylist can shred the skin right off the bone,
tearing the opponent apart. Tiger Claw is very powerful -- and one of the
deadliest forms in the world of martial arts.

The Snake Head Snake Head resembles the attack of a snake in combat, using an
open hand technique which requires the fingers to be held together tight, fully
extended. The tips of the finger form a very hard surface, used to attack the
softest and most vital areas of the opponent. In order to be effective, both
hands need to be used together at the same time.

The Crane Beak Crane involves the fingers being pressed together tightly,
forming a striking surface at the base of the stylist's fingertips. Although
the fingers can be conditioned to a high level of strength, most attacks using
the Crane technique are focused towards the most vital areas of an opponent.

The 5 animal styles of Kung Fu are very popular, and very deadly. Martial
artists that know any of these forms are very deadly -- and more than capable
of defending themselves against anything that comes their way.




The Belt Colors Of Taekwondo

The belts and their colors that are used with Taekwondo aren't just a random
assortment of colors that are used to separate the ranks in the martial art. In
Taekwondo, each belt color has a meaning that lets fighters known about their
advancement and increasing knowledge. Belts are also great for the stylist, as
they let the stylist know just how far they have progressed.

The colors of the belts found in Taekwondo vary, as they represent the
advancement of rank, as well as the growth of the student. It can take a long
time for students to move up the ranks, all depending on their knowledge and
how quite they adapt to the techniques and forms of the art.

Below, are the colors and belts of Taekwondo, along with their meaning.

* White belt: A white belt is the symbol of birth, or the beginning for the
stylist. Students that wear white belts are just starting out, searching for
the knowledge to continue Taekwondo.

* Yellow belt: A yellow belt is the first ray of light that shines on the 
student, giving them new strength to the Taekwondo martial art. Students that 
have yellow belts have taken a great step in learning, and have opened their 
mind to new techniques.

* Green belt: A green belt is the symbol of growth, or a seed as it sprouts 
from the ground and begins to grow into a plant. Students with green belts are
continuing along the path of Taekwondo, learning to develop further and
redefine every technique they have been taught.

* Blue belt: A blue belt represents a blue sky, with the plant continuing to 
grow upwards, heading for the sky. Students with blue belts continue to move 
higher in ranks, as the plant continues to grow taller. Students at this stage 
will also be given additional knowledge of Taekwondo so that their mind and 
body can continue to grow and develop.

* Red belt: The red belt is the heat of the sun, with the plant continuing the
path upwards toward the sun. Students that possess red belts are higher in
rank, as they have acquired a lot of the knowledge in the art of Taekwondo. Red
belts also tell the students to be cautious, as they gain more knowledge and
their physical techniques increase.

* Black belt: A black belt is the best of the best. It symbolizes the darkness
that is out there beyond the light of the sun. Once the student is given a
black belt and begins to train other students, he will teach all that has been
taught to him. Black belts recognize the best students, as they continue to
teach others the art of Taekwondo, and continue the never ending cycle of
training.

The Basics Of Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do is a modern martial art, well known all around the world for it's
lightning fast, often high, spectacular spin kicks. Tae Kwon Do has been around
for many years, originally founded in Korea. It translates to "the are of
punching and kicking", or the "art of unarmed combat".

The martial art Tae Kwon Do has four disciplines -- patters, self defense,
break test, and sparring. It isn't just one of these disciplines that make up
the art, but a combination of them. All 4 of them are important, especially for
those looking to advance in belt ranking. To advance in a belt, there are
certain tests that students need to pass.

One of the great things about Tae Kwon Do is the fact that there are no age
limits, and it can easily be learned by young children. Children of all ages
will quickly learn fast reactions playing games, learn respect, and they will
also learn their abilities as well as their disabilities.

The competitions however, are a bit different for children than they are for
the adults. Even though the participants will wear full body protection,
children can only kick and punch to the body, as no shots to the head are
allowed. The competitions in Tae Kwon Do is what makes the art so very
dominating. A majority of students that practice this martial art do so because
of the competitions.

The competitions can be very exciting to watch, as they can get very
competitive. Contrary to what many may think, the competitions aren't deadly,
nor are they anywhere close to being as dangerous as Muay Thai fights.
Competitors will wear full protection, including head gear. For adults, kicks
to the head are allowed, although a majority of stylists can block them before
they make impact.

In order to participate in the competitions, stylists will need to have a
certain level of experience. It can take years to become good enough,
especially for those who win. Competitions are a great way to learn, especially
if there are participating fighters from other areas of the world. The skill of
a stylist is a very important factor with the competitions and tournaments. If
you have a black belt fighter going against a white belt -- the results will
normally be quite obvious.

All things aside, the art of Tae Kwon Do is a great martial art. Stylists can
learn kicking, punching, blocking, and the spectacular movements the art is
known for. Tae Kwon Do is practiced all around the world, meaning that there
are just as many places to learn this art as there are Karate. For an art that
won't disappoint -- Tae Kwon Do teaches self defense and a whole lot more.

The Basics Of Judo

The martial art style Judo can mean a lot of things to different people. In
reality, it is a fun and exciting sport, an art, a discipline, an activity, a
way to protect yourself, and quite simply a way of life. Although you may hear
many different meanings, the word Judo actually means all of the above and
several more.

Original founded back in 1882, Judo comes from the feudal Japan fighting
system. Upon founding, Judo was a refinement of the martial art jujutsu.
Jujutsu is one of the oldest martial arts styles, dating back hundreds of years.

Judo made the biggest impact in 1964 when it was first introduced into the
Olympic Games. Now, it is practiced by millions of people all across the world.
Judo can help students stay in shape, excel in all areas of competition, stay
protected with self defense, and several other things. For a majority of
students, Judo is practiced just for fun. Although it starts out as fun for
many, it quickly turns into a way of life, a burning passion if you will.

Similar to other martial arts styles, Judo has rules that ensure the safety of
those competing in the competitions.   Students of Judo who are looking to test
their skills will enjoy the competition levels, which range from club meets to
national tournaments, and on up to the well known and best level of competition
-- the Olympic Games.

Judo is known best for it's amazing throw techniques. What many aren't aware
of, is the fact that Judo is more than just throws. It also involves grappling
on the ground, controlling holds, arm locks, leg locks, and even choking
techniques. Judo teaches all aspects of self defense, from a grappler's
standpoint.

Another great thing about Judo is the fact that anyone can study, male or
female, and even those that are disabled. Judo is also inexpensive to
participate in, taught throughout the year, and it appeals to everyone. This
martial art is also unique in the sense that even the elderly enjoy practicing
it on a daily basis.

Judo also helps students learn and develop respect and self discipline. It
offers the chance to learn self confidence, leadership skills, power,
flexibility, and physical prowess. Judo has evolved quite a bit over the years,
going from a fighting art to competition status. These days, there are separate
Judo ranks for kids, adults, and seniors.

The martial art Judo, which means "gentle way" teaches you the applications
that you need for self defense as well as competition. Judo is unlike other
martial arts, in the sense that it combines the best of grappling with awesome
throws that require little to no strength -- but more of the way you position
your body. This is an excellent martial art -- that anyone can enjoy.

The Art Of Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient martial art, one that was practiced for centuries in
China as an exercise, a martial art, and a way to improve the internal flow of
energy in the body. It emphasis correct form and feeling with each and every
movement, which is why it is always taught to be practiced in a slow and gentle
fashion.

By involving the entire body with little to no impact, Tai Chi promotes
strength, flexibility, and stamina. With the entire body being taught to move
as a whole, Tai Chi cultivates the link among the mind and the body, helping to
enhance one's coordination and balance. It can also help with the joints as
well, especially if an individual is very stiff in the joints.

Although it was developed to be a martial art, it involves very little
striking, offensive, or even defense techniques. Tai Chi is a movement and
breathing art that works all of the major muscles and joints in the body,
helping to circulate internal energy, or chi. The Chinese believe that internal
energy, or chi is what prevents or stops diseases.

When practicing the art, the body will remain very soft and relaxed, just like
it was suspended from the top of the head with the joints being similar to that
of a puppet. The mind of the student is focused on each movement, focusing on
the flow of energy. By being relaxed and focused, you allow the energy to flow
through your entire body.

Even though you are soft and relaxed, you are still constantly moving. The
energy that flows through your body never stops, it keeps you moving. When you
move in reality, it takes little to no energy to make a movement. By using your
chi, everything you do seems as if it is weightless.

In combat, the Tai Chi student uses his opponent's energy against him. The
stylist is very relaxed, believing that the energy of the opponent can be used
against him. There is little to no strength involved. When the opponent becomes
weak and tires himself out -- the stylist attacks. This way, there is very
little energy left for defense or even attacking.

Tai Chi is one of the oldest styles of martial arts, and one of the hardest to
find these days. Just like other martial arts, such as Tiger Claw and Ninjutsu,
it can be very hard to find a dojo that teaches the art. If you can find a dojo
that teaches the art of Tai Chi, you really shouldn't pass it up. It can teach
you a lot about internal energy and your spiritual well being -- learning more
about yourself than you ever thought possible in the process.

The Art Of Shootfighting

Although it can be a very provocative martial art, Shootfighting is still one
of the most popular martial arts styles in the world. The art of Shootfighting
is very old, originating from Japan as a way of self defense. Even though it is
great to use for self defense purposes, this martial art is more popular as a
ring sport in competitions such as the Vale Tudo and the professional
Shootfighting leagues found throughout Japan.

In Japan Shootfighting is a sport that is very popular. The bouts take place in
a ring that is similar to wrestling, ropes and all intact. There are normally
rounds, as well as a referee who is there to call the bout and stop it if need
be. Fighters will wear gloves and go at it full contact. Submission and
grappling is legal as well, which makes the fights more interesting. Fighters
can test their skills in Shootfighting against some of the best Japan has to
offer with these bouts.

Shootfighting is popular in the United States as well, although it is more
popular throughout Japan. There are American fighters such as Ken Shamrock and
Bart Vale who are experts in Shootfighting and travel to Japan on a frequent
basis to compete in tournaments and bouts. The atmosphere in Japan is very
high, as they show a lot of passion and desire for the matches over there.

In technique and form, Shootfighting is a mix of striking and grappling. It
teaches students to be prepared for anything, standing or on the ground. There
are a lot of bone breaking moves taught with this art, from arm locks to ankle
locks. Most of the techniques that are taught to the student use a mixture of
strength and technique -- bringing very drastic results.

Even though a lot of people classify Shootfighting as being a form of pit
fighting, it is actually quite a bit more. Shootfighting does incorporate a lot
of stand up fighting, in the form of punches, elbows, and kicks. On their feet
or on the ground, stylists can execute moves that will end a fight quickly. The
submission locks are the deadliest forms of defense and attack with this martial
art, as they target a specific limb and focus on breaking it in two.

As a martial art, Shootfighting is very hard to beat. It teaches students to be
aggressive in battle and end the fight as quickly as possible. It also teaches
students self control and self esteem as well. There are no belt classes with
Shootfighting, as it is more or less a self defense system that was originally
designed for the streets. It has proven to be very effective over the years,
both on the streets and in competition.

The Art Of Hapkido

The martial art known as Hapkido is an art of complete self defense. Those who
study it are more than capable of defending themselves in any type of
situation, being more than able to apply their confidence and discipline from
the art to enhance their lives, protecting themselves and those that they love
as well.

Hapkido teaches students to use minimal force with any stronger opponent.
Contrary to other martial arts, it doesn't involve strength to execute the
techniques. To control the opponent and take him down, Hapkido focuses on
pressure points and the impact they have on opponents. It also involves a very
powerful arsenal of thrusts, spin kicks, and sweeps. If they are executed
properly, the moves from this martial art can be very effective against
opponents and attackers.

Along with kicks, punches, and pressure point attacks; Hapkido also uses wrist
and joint manipulation locks, along with several throwing techniques. All
together, there are nearly 300 categories of special movements in Hapkido that
involve nearly 3,500 techniques.

Hapkido is a very popular martial art, which is mainly due to the fact that
just about anyone, regardless of age or weight can practice the techniques. The
martial art also involves systematic training and stamina exercise, which can
improve your health. You don't need to be in the best shape either, as Hapkido
can actually help your body as well as your health.

Studying Hapkido will also help with developing your muscles, along with your
posture, controlling your weight, developing confidence, self control, even
fulfilling your spirit. Although it is mainly based in self defense techniques,
it also teaches you how to become a better person and get yourself back in
health and in touch with your spirit.

Throughout the style, the linear techniques work together to form a solid base
in which all of the circular techniques can be perfected. Everything in Hapkido
is tried and tested, in order to come up with a balanced blend of techniques and
skills that are apt for any situation. With Hapkido being a martial art of self
defense, there is a lot of practice involved blocking attacks in many different
situations. This way, the stylist can be more prepared for any situation he
finds himself in.

Today, Hapkido is practiced by men and women of all ages, even little children.
It is a very beneficial martial art, one that can be utilized from nearly any
position or direction, such as lying, sitting, and standing. It is an art of
self defense, and can even be deadly if the stylist is proficient with the
techniques. What makes it even more deadly though -- is the fact that a lot of
people aren't familiar with it.

An Introduction To Muay Thai

All across the world, people have heard about it and possibly even witnessed it
first hand or on television -- the furious punches, bone crushing elbows, lethal
and piercing kicks, and the unforgettable knees. Although watching it on
television is great, nothing begins to compare to seeing these moves executed
live -- with thousands of fans cheering the fighters on.

This is the wonderful world of Muay Thai kickboxing. Muay Thai is a martial art
that is unlike any other, rich in the proud heritage of an entire nation. The
style is interwoven into the well known history of the Thai people. Even though
they are gentle and fun loving people, they've had to defend both themselves and
their land for many years against the aggressive powers and thieves.

To protect what they had, the Thai people developed a fighting system of close
combat techniques that were suited to the type of rough terrain they would be
fighting in. Over the years, it eventually become a rite of passage for all
Thai men to train in this amazing martial art.

In the beginning, Muay Thai proved to be a dangerous and deadly art, with the
fighters having no safety gear or protection -- all they had were lengths of
cords in which they would wrap around their fists as gloves. As the years
progressed, rules were written into the equation to establish some protection
for the fighters.

Over the years, Muay Thai has progressed as both a martial art and a style,
attracting people from all over the world. There are training facilities in
Russia and the United States, with qualified instructors to help teach Muay
Thai to interested students.

These days, Muay Thai is one of the most popular sports in the world. There are
a lot of television networks that broadcast Thai bouts on a weekly basis,
pleasing avid fighting fans from all over the world. International boxing is
another popular sport, although most successful International boxers got their
start in Muay Thai. This goes to show why Muay Thai training is so popular --
and so lethal as well.

Normally, Thai bouts are fought with 5 three minute rounds, with a two minute
rest period in between the rounds. All fights are preceded by a dance, which
gives the contestants the opportunity to pay homage to their teachers. The
dance is an excellent exercise to warm up with, with plenty of symbolic meaning
towards the style.

During the fights and even with training, you'll see that each Thai boxers
wears armbands and a headband. The headband that fighters wear is believed to
have been blessed by a monk or teacher, and will bestow luck upon the fighter.
Thai boxers take a lot of pride in their training and fighting, with the
headband being a source of inspiration and pride for the fighter.

During training, Thai fighters will learn a lot about their spiritual well
being, the history of Muay Thai, and the skills they need to survive. Fighters
that plan to compete in Thai fights will need to practice a lot, as the fights
can be very demanding. Thai training can be very brutal, all depending on where
you study. If you are studying the ancient arts of Thai boxing, you can count on
the training to be very rigorous and demanding.

Although Muay Thai can be a tough art to practice, it is one of the best
martial arts that you can study. The techniques are lethal, the training is
tough -- yet the competitions make it all worth while!

An Introduction To Capoeira

The martial art of Capoeira was originally created over 400 years ago in Brazil
by the African slaves. This martial art is unlike any of the other martial arts
there anywhere in the world, and possesses a blend of power, beauty, mental
balance, physical power, music, and an overwhelming sense of art and finesse.

Upon it's creation, Capoeira proved to the world that it can be practiced by
anyone, regardless of size, weight, or age. The style is more than a martial
art, but also a social event that is rich in tradition and history. Capoeira is
a truly powerful martial art, resembling a collaboration of music, dance, and
exotic movements -- and even a game.

Those who witness Capoeira games will note the music. Both the music and the
lyrics play a big part in the way that the game (known as jogo) is conducted.
For the players, there are several different rhythms that call for different
speeds. When watching the game played, spectators are normally in awe from the
movements. The jogo consists of a circle, with the players in the middle and
the musicians at the foot of the circle.

Players that enter the game will enter into the circle, with a spring,
cartwheel, or other type of visually stunning movement. Upon entering the
circle, players will complete back and forth with various combinations of
poetic movements and breathtaking aerial displays. It takes years of practice
and hard work to become great at the jogo, as it requires precision, fast
movement, and flawless application of the Capoeira techniques.

From a defensive standpoint, Capoeira is flashy, very creative, and also very
useful, as the techniques seem to come out of nowhere and can be very hard to
defend against. The opponent or attacker has no clue what to expect from the
student. The Capoeira student defends himself through the use of dancing
movements and acrobatic techniques, executing perfect movements that up until
Capoeira were only dreamt of.

Capoeira and the jogo game are really big in Brazil, with hundreds of students
learning the martial art. It isn't one of the most popular in the United
States, although it is offered. In South America it is more of a lifestyle,
with jogo games being played on a daily basis. A lot of martial arts students
don't want to learn Capoeira for the simple fact that the movements can be a
bit of a risk. Once you see how the style is performed, it can make you cringe
at any second.

Over the last couple of decades, the art has grown a lot. In 1974, the art of
Capoeira became the national sport of Brazil, proving that just about everyone
in Brazil had accepted it. As time continues to pass, you can count on more and
more competitions and dojo's to surface -- introducing this truly excellent
martial art to newer generations.

An Introduction To Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Even though it has been around for many years, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was made
famous in the United States by Royce Gracie in the Ultimate Fighting
Championship. Many people weren't all that familiar with the style until Gracie
entered the UFC and continued to dominate fighters of all styles and weight
classes one after the other. Once people began to see how quickly Gracie could
defeat an opponent, they quickly became interested in the art of Brazilian
Jiu-Jitsu.

As many now know, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an art that is utilized with ground
grappling, with very little stand up skills involved. A majority of the
techniques used with the martial art are executed on the ground. The techniques
involve very little strength from the stylist, as most of them are all about the
technique behind the move. With Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu stylists that weight 100 lbs
or less can quickly put a submission lock on someone who is 2 -- 3 times their
weight and size.

Even though Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is great for tournament fighting, isn't so
great against multiple attackers. With one on one fights it is very dominant,
although if you are against multiple attackers it will be very hard to pull off
one of the choke holds or arm locks. You simply won't have the time to do it, as
the other attackers will be trying to take your head off.

From the ground, utilizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the stylist will have many
options that he can utilize. He can pull off choke holds, arm locks, leg locks,
and dozens of other techniques that can take someone out of the picture in a
matter of seconds. When the stylist is on his back with the opponent on top of
him he has the guard, which is where he wraps his legs around the attacker.
From the guard position, the stylist can execute dozens of techniques -- even
though it may appear that he doesn't stand a chance.

The mount, side control, and back mount are primary positions, along with the
guard. The mount position is where the stylist is mounted on top of the
attacker on the ground -- a position where he can punch or execute a submission
hold. With side control, the stylist is laying on the opponent's chest, a
position where he can easily execute an arm lock. Back mount is among the most
dangerous positions -- where the stylist is on the opponents back and really do
some damage if the opponent has no Jiu-Jitsu experience.

With Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the ranks start out at white belt, then move on to
blue, purple, brown, and the highest color -- black belt. To move through the
ranks it takes a lot of practice and dedication, usually around 2 -- 3 years
per belt. Once a student reaches the black belt, he is capable of teaching
other students what he knows. It takes a long time to reach this point, more
than 10 years -- although it is well worth it.

In the world of martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is very effective. It is one
of the best martial arts for ground fighting, especially in tournaments. Ground
grappling is very common with tournaments these days, which is why it pays to be
a well rounded stylist. Very few martial arts styles can compete with Brazilian
Jiu-Jitsu on the ground, which is why so many people are deciding to study it.
If you've decided to start studying this exceptional ground based martial art
-- you can pat yourself on the back for making a decision you won't regret.

An Introduction To Aikido

There's no mistaken the fact that Aikido is one of the best and most popular
martial art in the United States today. The art of Aikido is best associated
with actor Steven Seagal, who made it even more popular with his movies. Aikido
is rich and history in tradition, an art that originally started in Japan back
in the 1940s.

Aikido's founder, Morihei Ueshiba, was born on December 14, 1883. As he was
growing up in modern Japan, Ueshiba witnessed the local thugs vandalize his
father. The young boy decided that he would make himself strong in order to
seek revenge against the thugs. Ueshiba was strong willed, and devoted every
waking moment to physical training and martial arts.

He received a lot of certificates in jujitsu, spear fighting, and fencing. Even
though he was very impressive with his abilities, he found himself not happy
with his skills. He knew that there was more to it, and began to look into
religion, hoping that he would find a greater significance with life --
pursuing martial arts all the while.

Ueshiba founded the martial art of Aikido by combining both his religious
beliefs and his training in martial arts. At that time, the style was known as
aikibudo, it wasn't until 1942 that he decided to go with the name Aikido. The
style was quite different indeed, incorporating several different styles of
jujitsu, aiki-jujitsu, and spear and sword fighting techniques as well.

Even though a lot of us think of Aikido as the ultimate martial art, it is an
art that is based on religion and harmony. Aikido uses joint locks, weight
manipulation, and throws to achieve it's purpose. The martial art is very
effective, which were the intentions of Ueshiba from the start. Aikido consists
of many techniques, and it is the result of Ueshiba's creative innovation.

Aside from what many think, there really is no unified belief or philosophy in
the martial art of Aikido. While Aikido is indeed rich in heritage and
religion, it believes in harmony and peace of the spirit. By achieving a higher
spiritual power, Ueshiba has always believed that the human body is capable of
anything. Even though he wanted revenge, he still stated that Aikido wasn't
about fighting, but rather a way to reconcile with the world and make every
human being on giant family.

Over the years, Aikido was introduced in America with amazing results. Steven
Seagal is by far the most popular, showing the world the power and harmony of
Aikido through his many movies. There are a lot of martial arts dojo's around
North America that offer Aikido to study, possibly even some in your area. Not
only will Aikido teach you self defense, but it will also teach you harmony of
the spirit and how to find inner peace as well.

An In Depth Look At Muay Thai

Also known around the world as Thai boxing, Muay Thai is an ancient art of self
defense that was created and tested in battle by the fearless warriors of
ancient Thailand. Today, Muay Thai is used all around the world. The United
States Navy SEALs, Thai military, and even the CIA takes full advantage of the
devastating and bone crushing techniques this martial art offers.

Unlike other martial arts, students of Thai don't earn belts for their skills
and their progression. Instead, their skills are tested in the ring. Since Thai
fighting first began, the only things that the fighters themselves are
interested in are the championship belts which showcase their dominance in Muay
Thai fighting.

The skills that are taught with Muay Thai are far more dominant to other
striking based martial arts. Muay Thai uses very little grappling, but focuses
more on crushing kicks, punches, and bone shattering elbows. Students of Thai
fighting can often take an opponent down with just one shot, often times
breaking bones and sometimes even killing them with just one lethal kick or
elbow.

The reason why Muay Thai didn't utilize ground grappling or submission holds is
because it was developed in ancient battlegrounds where there were always
multiple attackers. These attackers were knowledgeable in sword fighting
skills, which made the need for a dependable martial art more or less a
necessity.

Muay Thai used swords, spears, sticks, and hard strikes. In this type of
environment, you didn't want the fight to go to the ground. The strikes and
weapon movements needed be fast, hard, and very precise. With these types of
conditions and the type of environment, Muay Thai needed be a very fast
responsive martial art with an excellent weapons system.

Even though grappling and submissions were planned for Muay Thai, the martial
art became more of a ring sport before grappling could be implemented. With
Thai originally being a martial art for striking purposes, a lot of martial
artists have started using the techniques that have been proven time and time
again with time boxing.

Although there are other martial arts that put a lot of emphasis on striking,
Muay Thai is quite different. The first area in which Muay Thai differs is the
effective use of both elbows and knees. The elbows and knees that are used with
most Thai techniques are feared all around the world by boxers and other
stylists.

Kicking and kneeing is the main objects in Muay Thai. In order to become
efficient with kicking, the shins need to be conditioned -- which can be quite
painful. Once the Thai stylist has conditioned the nerves in his shins for
impact, the shins can be used just like a club or a baseball bat. This is
something you should really see for yourself in action -- as the sound of the
impact alone can send chills down your back.

Through years of training and conditioning, Muay Thai fighters can become
lethal and deadly weapons. A properly trained fighter can make deadly impact,
meaning that his knees, shins, and elbows are quite possibly deadlier than a
gun or other type of weapon. For this very reason -- Muay Thai is one of the
deadliest and most feared martial arts in the world.

All in all, Muay Thai is a great martial art for defense and competition. Thai
is one of the best martial arts in the world, proving it time and time again --
in both ancient times and anytime it is used today.

A Look At Wing Chun

Up until the turn of the twentieth century, the martial art known as Wing Chun
was very obscure not known much about. Back then, Wing Chun was just getting
started, not practiced by a lot of martial artists. Over the years, it became a
very dominant force in China, becoming one of the most prominent martial arts in
existence. Even today, hundreds of martial artists study Wing Chun and
everything it provides them with.

The first thing that students are taught when studying Wing Chun is that they
should always use force to counter force. By using force against force, weaker
and smaller fighters can easily and quickly take out bigger and stronger
opponents. Whenever they get in a confrontation, Wing Chun stylists will use
their brains -- and use an opponents strength and force against him.

Throughout training, a lot of emphasis is put into that very concept. Students
will learn all about force and strength, and how they can properly counter it.
What many don't realize, is the fact that countering force requires very little
strength from the stylist. Even the weakest Wing Chun stylist can take down an
opponent 3 -- 4 times his size if he uses the proper technique and his
opponents force against him.

Wing Chun teaches other techniques as well, such as punching, kicking, and a
few grappling holds. It doesn't teach much grappling though, as most of the
techniques use force against force through throwing and striking. The strikes
that are taught with this martial art are very fast, and aimed at vital areas
on the body of the opponent.

A majority of the most vital areas on the human body are found along the center
line, the very area that Wing Chun teaches stylists to protect as well as attack
with their techniques. This line is the most vital in battle, which is why
martial artists should always aim their attacks for any area that exists along
this line. Most of the vital points found in the center line can be the end of
the encounter if the stylist is able to land one powerful blow.

As Wing Chun emphasizes time and time again, the shortest straw between the
stylist and the opponent is the center line, which is where a majority of
movement takes place. Due to the linear fashion of Wing Chun, students will
spend a lot of their training learning how to direct attacks as well as
opposing force towards the center line.

Wing Chun is an exceptional martial art, teaching students how to use force
against force in any type of encounter. There aren't that many grappling holds
or weapons used with Wing Chun, although the techniques and moves that are
taught are tried, proven, and above all -- very effective for self defense.

A Look At Ninjutsu

The martial art known as Ninjutsu is very secret, with a very clouded history.
The history isn't documented all that well, as most of what is known about the
martial art is that which has been passed down from generation to generation.
There are a lot of historical records that state families from the Koga region
as being the creators to this very secret style.

Over 70 different Ninjutsu Ryu have been identified and discovered over the
years, however most of them have died out. A majority of them were created
around a set of specific techniques and skills, although when those skills of a
specific Ryu were no longer needed or wanted, the Ryu seems to die out and fade
away from existence.

The art of Ninjutsu is best associated with the ninja's from ancient Japan. The
ninja's are well known all around the world, for their stealth and very secreted
life. The ninja is known to have went through very tough and demanding training,
which hardly anyone really knows about. Those that were actual ninja's are
either dead, or not allowed to let anyone know their true identity.

During the 1980's, when the ninja trend really hit the United States, the
instructors of Ninjutsu popped out all over the place, making black a very
happening color. Years later, the trend seemed to die out, and there aren't
that many people trying to learn the art.

In regards to the art, the term of Ninjutsu doesn't actually refer to any
certain style, but rather a group of the martial arts, with each one having
it's own view that's expressed with each of the different Ryu. The Ryu vary,
meaning that one may focus on one certain physical dynamic, while the next may
be focused on redirection.

What many people aren't aware of, is the fact that Ninjutsu involves both
unarmed and armed fighting skills, along with philosophy, strategy, and
history. There are a few dojo's that offer the art, many of them being quite
comprehensive with the way they teach.

During combat, Ninjutsu focuses on distance, posture, and flow. Stylists are
taught to react to every movement, and respond in ways that will place them in
the advantage position. From being in a position of advantage, the stylist can
effectively change the outcome of the encounter -- quickly going from negative
to positive.

Those that practice the martial art of Ninjutsu are instructed and trained to
use their entire body for everything they do, which provides the most leverage
and power. Ninjutsu is well known in Japan, and for good reason. It is a very
secretive martial art, yet very powerful. The techniques can be used or self
defense, along with stealth. It can be a great martial art to learn -- if you
can find a dojo that teaches it.

Martial Arts For Children

These days, martial arts are something that everyone should know. With crime at
an all time high, knowing how to defend yourself is essential. For the children,
martial arts can mean a lot of things. Even though martial arts is great for
adults to know and practice as well, it is also a great way for children to
stay in shape and learn how to defend themselves from attackers.

Although martial arts can teach children how to defend themselves, it will also
teach them self control and self confidence as well. If your child has a bad
temper or low self esteem, learning a martial art can actually help them to get
back on the right path. Martial arts will help children with life in general --
which will take them a lot farther in life.

The first thing you will need to do when getting your child involved in martial
arts is pick a style that they will enjoy. With several different styles to
choose from, it can be a very difficult choice to make. Among the most popular
for children are Karate, Taekwondo, Judo, Muay Thai, and Jiu-Jitsu. When making
the decision, you should go by what your child has interests in, such as
punching and kicking, or ground grappling and submission.

Once you have a style in mind, you'll need to start checking out the local
martial arts centers and dojo's. If you live in a big city, you'll have a lot
more to choose from than those who live in smaller areas or rural towns. Those
who live in smaller towns or rural areas may be very limited on the choices
available for themselves and their children.

Rural and smaller towns are limited in choice, although what they offer is
normally among the best styles of martial arts. The instructors are black belts
and above, with the highest ranked students helping them instruct classes. If
the classes are small in attendance, the instructors and student teachers can
spend a lot of hands on time with the kids to help them improve in their
weakest areas.

When you decide to enroll your child in martial arts, you should always check
out the dojo or classes first. You don't want your child to be in a class that
isn't goal focused, nor do you want them to have a teacher who doesn't know
what he is teaching. The environment is also important, as you want to be sure
that the dojo and equipment are clean, and that everything is up to the latest
and greatest standards.

Even though a martial art may be beneficial to your child, it won't do them any 
good unless the facilities and the instructors are good. You want to make sure 
you get the best available to you, which is why it always pays to look around. 
If you look at all of your available choices, you'll normally be able to find 
the best for both you and your child.

When it comes to children and their future, martial arts is a great way for
them to start. Martial arts can help them improve in many different areas, not
just self defense. A martial art can help a child develop a lot of essential
areas, including self control and responsibility. The longer a child studies a
martial art, the more goal oriented and responsible they will become. Martial
arts are a great investment for parents and children -- which is why they are
so very popular.






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