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Many people struggle to differentiate various types of martial arts. There are various types of martial arts with common ones including karate, taekwondo, and mixed martial arts. This article defines different types of martial arts. Therefore, next time you are asked about them, you will have an answer.


Developed in Japan, karate stresses striking styles such as knee and elbow strikes, punching, and kicking. It also applies open-handed styles like knife-hands. Its main focus is hand strikes. Some traditional karate styles include Shito Ryu, Wado Ryu, among others.


Taekwondo, which originated from Korea, is one of the oldest types of martial arts. Today, the martial art is practiced everywhere around the world. Taekwondo involves kicking, punching, and open-handed strikes. Other styles include take-downs, joint locks, and throws. All these strikes involve incredible strength, balance, speed, and flexibility.

Kung Fu

Kung Fu originated from Chinese, and it is mostly associated with Bruce Lee. The internal styles focus on harnessing of qi while external styles concentrate on fitness. Some common Kung Fu styles include Five Animals, Eagle Claw, Praying Mantis, among others.


Judo originated from Japan in 1882. Judo involves mainly throwing and taking-down the opponent to the ground. Once on the ground, the opponent is them immobilized or subdued by grappling maneuver, choke, joint lock, or even stranglehold.

Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed martial arts allow various styles to be used, which include martial and non-martial arts styles. Some of the styles allowed in mixed martial arts include grappling and striking.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a Chinese internal martial art known for its defense characteristics and health benefits. Some of the Tai Chi training involves slow movements.

These are some of the common types of martial arts. Now, in case anyone asks you the types of martial arts, you will have an answer.