There are many different types of martial arts and whereas some require a high level of fitness to perform, others are suitable for people for everyone. Before starting any martial arts training program, it is important to understand the difference between offensive and defensive styles, as well as the health advantages of each if they are to be used as a form of therapy or as a way of staying in good physical condition.
The Japanese martial arts styles are among the best known of all and have a long history. Among the most popular are Karate, Judo, Kendo and Aikido. Most of the Japanese forms of martial arts are defensive, with the exception of Karate, and do not require a high level of physical fitness to learn. However, there are many benefits since they develop and train skills like self-discipline, balance and muscle control. Another great type of martial art from Japan is called Jiujutsu and it is also a defensive style that uses techniques that make use of the opponent’s own energy to control them. Such techniques include joint locking and throwing.
Taekwondo and Hapkido are two martial arts forms that originated in Korea and both are practiced by many around the world. They are very different from each other. Taekwondo is generally a physically strenuous form that requires strength and endurance, but Hapkido is a defensive style that concentrates more on the use pressure, throwing and joint locking techniques. This makes Hapkido suitable for people of all ages and condition levels, but if taken to high ranks it can also be a very physically demanding sport.
Martial arts from Japan and Korea are known around the world and even have professional competitions, but there are also other forms from other parts of the world that are becoming more popular. This includes the Brazilian martial art form Capoeira which contains elements of dance and requires the student to be flexible and the various types of Chinese Kung Fu. There are many styles of Kung Fu, like Five Animals or Tai Chi Chuan, and this diversity allows anyone interested to choose one that is suitable for them. Some types of Kung Fu are considered soft and can be learned by anyone, whereas others involve acrobatics and years of training to properly perform.