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 The Top 10 Asian Martial Arts

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Posts : 1635
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Join date : 2011-08-09
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PostSubject: The Top 10 Asian Martial Arts   Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:00 am

Martial arts have been a part of Asian culture for over two millenium with China, India, Korea, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam being important centers for their development and eventual spread throughout the Far East. Ironically though, many of the most popular Asian martial arts today were developed only in the 19th or 20th centuries but the principles they incorporate have origins that back to the very first Asian martial arts. In fact and if you are interested in martial arts, you will probably find an Asian martial art that will suit both your taste and physical stamina.

Hence, here is my list of the top 10 Asian martial arts:

1. Taekwondo (Korea). Easily the world’s most popular martial art in terms of the number of practitioners, Taekwondo was actually developed in the 1950s by the South Korean Army. Taekwondo loosely translates as “the art of the foot [kicks] and fist [punches].”

2. Muay Thai (Thailand). Also known as Thai Kickboxing, Muay Thai is often known as the “art of eight limbs” because it makes use of elbows, feet, fists, hands, knee strikes, kicks and punches.

3. Judo (Japan). Meaning “gentle way” or “way of softness,” Judo is a grappling martial art that was developed in Japan at the end of the 19th century. Today, Judo is an Olympic sport and popular throughout the world.

4. Karate (Okinawa). Originating from Okinawa, Karate, which literally means “empty hand,” combines pre-existing Okinawan martial arts and Chinese martial arts.

5. Aikido (Japan). Developed in the early 1900s, Aikido is know for its “striking”, “throwing” and “joint locking” techniques as well as for its fluidity where a practitioner blends in with their attacker. In addition, Aikido also emphasizes the spiritual and philosophical development of its practitioners.

6. Jujutsu (Japan). Meaning the “art of pliance,” Jujutsu emphasizes the use of indirect force such throwing techniques as opposed to direct force in the form of kicks or punches.

7. Wushu (Japan). Created after the Chinese Revolution in an attempt to nationalize and standardize Chinese martial arts, Wushu has two disciplines: 1) Taolu, which incorporates specific maneuvers or patterns; and 2) Sanda, which is more like kickboxing. However, most Wushu routines are actually based on ancient Chinese martial art routines.

8. Pradal serey (Cambodia). A form of kickboxing from Cambodia, pradal serey differs from other forms of kickboxing at it emphasizes the use of elbows along with more elusive fighting stances.

9. Eskrima, arnis and kali (Philippines). The terms eskrima, arnis and kali are umbrella terms for Filipino martial arts which tend to emphasize the use of weapons such as sticks, knives or other bladed weapons. Today, there are probably as many forms of Filipino martial arts as there are islands in the Philippines.

10. Silat (Malaysia/Indonesia). The term Silat is used to describe martial arts that originated on the Malay Peninsula and archipelago, including what is now Indonesia. Silat martial arts emphasize strikes, throws, joint manipulation and bladed weaponry as well as some combination of all of these martial art techniques.

(photo: Jennifer Murawski)



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