History of Martial Arts: Guide & Resources Directory



Welcome to our Martial Arts website. In this website, we have provided you with important facts and information about the Martial Arts. We have gathered information about the history of various styles of the art. Here is an example of the type of questions we will be answering.



Where was martial arts originated?

According to legend, Martial arts was originated in Honan, where they were introduced by Bodhidharma, who was said to be a wondering monkwho came over the mountains from India. He brought with him the fighting techniques and philosophy of his home land. However, it is likely that rudimentary martial arts were being practiced long before that for self defence and good health. In the present, the number of styles of martial arts has increased immensely, and nowhere more than in the Orient. There are some styles that will only be taught to Chinese. But the culture of secrecy which was necessary when China was a world of warring factions is almost gone and the number of styles available to the Westerner is enormous.


What kind of Martial Arts are there?



There are many ways in which martial arts can be divided. To find out what they are, click on the following links. They might be useful to use in defining Martial Arts and discussing them. It is also useful to remember that very few of these martial arts are just one way or another they are all mixtures of these elements in various degrees.

Soft vs. Hard

Soft styles tend to redirect energy, channeling and diverting momentum to unbalance an opponent, or to move them into striking range. They tend to be lower commitment and use less force. Thus, they are less likely to be unbalanced and can recover from redirection easier. Examples are Tai Chi, Aikido, Ninjutsu, or many Kung Fu styles and sub-styles. Hard styles tend to direct energy outward and meet energy with energy. They will tend to strike more, and deliver more force with each strike. Hard stylists will often damage with their blocks, turning them into attacks. They deliver more power and are harder to turn aside, but they are higher commitment, and don't recover as well from mistakes. Examples are Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, Muay Thai, and some Kung Fu styles and sub-styles.

Internal vs. External

Internal styles are styles that emphasize the more non tangible elements of the arts. They utilize chi/ki/qi flow, rooting, and those elements which some people consider mystical. They tend to emphasize meditation, body control, perception, mind control of one's self, and pressure points. Most internal styles are soft. Tai Chi is an internal style. External styles tend to emphasize body mechanics, leverage, and applied force. They tend to use weight, strength, positioning, and anatomy to optimal advantage. External styles, to most people, are considered hard. Muay Thai is an external style.

Sport vs Fighting Art vs. Exercise vs. Philosophy

These are usually non useful comparisons because people tend to be very strongly opinionated on this matter. Most people want to think their art is an ancient fighting art and thus can be applied on the street. Some styles truly are all four, and to some degree all styles contain all four elements.

Linear vs. Circular

This distinction refers to lines of movement, attack and defense. Circular styles use circular movements to block, attack, or move. Around and aside. Linear styles use direct, straight on movements, attacks, or head on blocks. In and out. Styles can, and sometimes do, mix circular blocks with linear attacks.


If you are interested in learning more about Martial Arts, click here.




Click on the following links to find out more information about Martial Arts.

Who was Bodhidharma?

What is a Martial Art?

What is Koryu Bujutsu?

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

What is Shaolin Ch'uan Fa?

What is the Praying Mantis?