The exact date or time of when martial arts started is unknown, as even the cavemen practised some form of fighting- a primitive style of martial art. If a calculated guess was taken you could perhaps point to China as the place where it originated; the Chinese are amongst some of the best fighters in the world today. It is thought that martial art is a mix of ancient Indian and Chinese fighting techniques, as evidence of it exists in various scrolls and texts that have been found.
In current times, martial art is very popular, with it being witnessed in nearly every single country in the world. A lot of armies in the world practise martial art to improve the fighting skills of their soldiers; this helps not just on the battle field but it also ensures that their soldiers are physically fit. In the past martial art was not well practised in the United States of America; however after the Americans fought in Japan, Korea and Vietnam they picked it up and now it is a vital part of their daily regime.
There are many types of martial art- some of the most popular versions include judo and tae kwon do. There are also types of martial sport, with the likes of archery, javelin throw and fencing all vital parts of the Summer Olympic Games. There are also war dances related to martial art with examples including the Hawaiian Hula and New Zealand’s Haka.
Martial art can be practised in a variety of ways, the most common one is kata. Kata can be performed in pairs or alone, and describes a series of movements. Although kata is mainly used to help practise karate, it is also used in activities such as kendo (Japanese fencing) and jujutsu (Japanese martial art involving grappling).
Because there are so many different types of martial art, the moves performed in each can have large differences to the next martial art. While mainly punching is used in western boxing and the Chinese Wing Chun, kicking is used in tae kwon do and capoeira (African martial art). The act of throwing is used in jujutsu and judo, while jujutsu also allows grappling, although with Japanese Aikido and Korean Hapkido.
Martial art in which weapons are used are common as well. As mentioned above, the Japanese kendo uses bamboo swords, while standard fencing also uses swords. Other types of martial art with weapons include Jukendo (Japanese martial art involving bayonet fighting), Gakta (a Sikh martial art that involves swords, sticks of bamboo and chains) and Eskrima (Filipino martial art that involves stick and sword fighting). While all sorts of martial art can be appreciated, the most common one is the western boxing, which can be viewed nearly every night on TV screens across the world.