Where do the martial arts come from?

Martial arts, which is broadly defined as traditions and practices of fighting or combat, have origins around the globe. The martial arts of Eastern Asia – such as karate, kung fu, and judo, are more commonly associated with the term “martial arts” today, although types of systematic martial practices, (martial meaning war- or warrior-related) practices still taught were part of nearly every ancient culture, from Europe to the Middle East to Africa and the Mediterranean. Here’s a brief list of commonly taught martial art disciplines and their country of origin:

  • Japan – karate (Okinawa), jiu-jitsu, judo, kendo
  • China – Kung Fu
  • Korea – Taekwondo
  • Brazil – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Israel – Krav Maga
  • Greece – boxing
  • United Kingdom – modern boxing
  • Thailand – Muay Thai (parent of modern kick boxing)