3 Popular Forms of Martial Arts in the United States

Jiu-Jitsu Arm Bar

With so many choices of martial arts available, it can be hard to choose a discipline that will best suit you, or your child, and help you to achieve your desired fitness goals. To give readers a better idea of the differences that can be found from one form of martial arts to another, here are three of the most popular that focus on completely different fighting aspects – taekwondo, jujitsu, and western boxing.

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1. Taekwondo

Taekwondo Martial ArtTaekwondo is a Korean martial art that translates to English to simply mean strike with foot and fist in a specific way. This art focuses the practitioner on stand-up striking with punches, kicks, elbows, and knees. In the early 1990s, taekwondo was leading the way as the world’s most popular martial art and has been a sport performed in the Olympic Games since 2000. Taekwondo is very similar to karate, kickboxing, and Muay Thai.


2. Jiu-Jitsu

Martial Art Jiu-JitsuJiu-Jitsu is a Japanese martial art that means gentle or flexible technique and was adopted during feudal Japan by the samurai nearly 1,000 years ago. This art is mainly focused on teaching grappling, including holds, throws, and joint locks. Brazilian jiu-Jitsu is a modification of the original Japanese sport to include punches, kicks, and other strikes. Jiu-Jitsu can be compared to collegian wrestling and judo, which is an Olympic event.


3. Boxing

Martial Art of BoxingWestern boxing, or simply boxing, is not often considered by most as a “martial art” due to the lack of kicks and throws; however, this sport most certainly is a form of combat style that in itself is an art. Boxing focuses entirely on fist strikes, including the jab, cross, uppercut, and hook punch. Boxing can be a very effective means to attack an opponent due to the fact that punches are quicker and less telegraphed than kicks. Boxing was first adopted into the Olympics during ancient Greek times, 688 BC.


Each of the aforementioned martial arts are great forms of cardiovascular exercise, are widely taught throughout the United States, and a great means of learning self-defense. With the recent rise in mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions, most fighters are learning stand-up and grappling disciplines to help become more rounded competitors.

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