Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do is a type of martial art, precisely a technique of unarmed combat, which is used for self defense. It involves a skillful and tactical combination of techniques such as blocking, dodging, jumping kicks and parrying actions with the help of both hands and feet. It carries more than just physical fighting because it requires a serious thought pattern and discipline.

Tae Kwon Do as it is known today, is a skill that has evolved to combine different styles from a wide range of martial arts but the original form began in Korea about 50 B.C. Its growth and adoption in Korea is credited to the Silla’s Howrang warrioirs, who were constantly under attack by Japanese pirates.

As it stands today, the art is a system which focuses on training the body and the mind for a more intellectual moral character. It has spread to major parts of the world and has been adopted as a sporting event. There is a World Tae Kwon Do Federation today, which is tasked with the responsibility of organizing international competitions and standardizing various tournament rules.

In summary, Tae Kwon Do is more than a physical martial Art. While it began as a physical combat mechanism, it has grown into a sport and defense mechanism that focuses on holistics development of physical strength and moral character.

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Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art form attributed to the populous South American nation. The sport focuses on grappling, and is quite popular as a combat sport and a form of self defense. Carlos and Helio Gracie are considered the official founders of BJJ. The pair introduced various styles and principles that made it the unique form of martial art it is today.

The Origin Of Brazilian Jiu Jutsu

One of the leading experts in Kokodan was Mitsuyo Maeda, who left Japan in 1904 to give judo demonstrations around the world by taking on wrestlers, boxers and other kinds of fighters. He entered Brazil in 1914; and in 1916, Maeda participated in shows at the American Circus, partly owned by Gastao Gracie. Carlos Gracie, the son of Gastao Gracie, saw one of the performances and decided to learn the art, and Maeda decided to take him as a student.

Gracie Family Influences

Later, when Gracie went to teach the martial art form in the US, he used the name Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Its strong links to the Gracie family also earned it the name “Gracie jiu-jitsu”. The Gracie family took it from there, and oriented the sports towards the principles it is known for today. Generally, the sport promotes the concept that even a small and weak person can defend himself against a much stronger and bigger opponent.

In BJJ, this is achieved through superior fighting techniques. They include leveraging the opponent’s strength against himself, and using ground fighting techniques such as chokeholds and joint-locks to overcome an opponent. The skills taught in BJJ can be used in other forms of combat, including mixed martial arts and self defense – or even physical lines of work, such as construction, tree service, bouncing, personal training, and more!

At the end of the day, a BJJ expert should be able to use leverage to amplify and use force more effectively. This form of martial arts also emphasizes the skills needed to fight when one is lying on their back. Again, this is a means to give the weaker opponent an edge, since they are more likely to find themselves in such a position during a duel.

Links To Other Forms Of Martial Art

Even today, BJJ has strong links to judo. In fact, all the rules of judo are allowed in this form of martial arts, including its scoring rules. Forms of takedown used in wrestling and sambo are also permitted in BJJ. However, Kokodan judo, on which this form of martial art was based, has become increasingly restrictive when it comes to the rules, which means many rules currently used in BJJ would not work in judo tournaments.

Ranking System

The grading system for BJJ was borrowed from the judo ranking system, but it has grown to include a number of modifications. For instance, there is a difference between youth and adult belts in BJJ, which is not the case with judo. To get a BJJ black belt, it takes about 8 to 10 years of regular training.

Awarding Points

In BJJ sporting, points are earned when one of the fighters attains a superior position. Such positions make it easier to defend and strike. Real-life evidence has proven that this form of fighting is more effective for self-defense as well.

BJJ Today

Even today, BJJ is undergoing numerous modifications by many of its popular practitioners. For instance, Rose Gracie is promoting a BJJ fighting style that marks a departure from point and advantage-based scoring during tournaments. However, the initial changes introduced by Helio and Carlos are still dominant today.

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The Martial Arts System (Takenouchi-Ryu) founded in 1532 is considered as the creation of Japanese Jujitsu practices. Judo was derived from Jujitsu. While studying ancient methods of self-defence in 1882, Dr. Jigoro Kano, the father of martial arts incorporated the best of these styles into a sport now known as Kodokan Judo. Judo breaks down to ‘ju’ meaning gentle and ‘do’ meaning way, and thus, ’the gentle way’.

Judo versus other forms of Martial Arts

There are so many forms of martial arts most of which more or less look the same to a non-observant eye. Various schools tend to differentiate these forms on their own but the standard differences are as follows.

Tae-Kwon-Do involves a lot of physical contacts. It includes throws, pins and submissions and knife hands unlike judo which involves mostly kicks.

Jujitsu involves using the attacker’s strength and energy against them. It involves use of pins, submission holds, joint locks and holds to defeat the opponent.

Karate unlike Judo involves heavy use of punches, kicks, elbow strikes and knife-hands to subdue the opponent.

Kung-Fu involves use of movements and styles that mimic an animal’s movement. Kung Fu also incorporates internal styles that focus on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness.

Mixed Martial Arts involves a lot of physical contact, strikes and grappling techniques, whether standing or on the ground.


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Karate is a dynamic martial art which originated in Okinawa, Japan. It aims to sharpen defensive and counterattacking body movements in an individual. This means that fighting and self-defense are very important to karate. Trainees are expected to be highly disciplined, dedicated and persistent if they are to succeed. You don’t want to mess with someone who is skilled in karate. I once watched a single karate black belt destroy a car so badly, using just his bare hands, that they had to call a towing service. Just imagine what someone like that could do to a person if they were provoked! When learning any martial art, you must use your new skills with great caution and responsibility. Never for the purpose of showing off or hurting people, but in defense only.

Gini Funakoshi (1868-1957) is considered to be the father of modern karate. He hailed from Ryukyu Islands, now Okinawa. In 1922, he was invited to Tokyo by the Japanese Ministry of Education for the purposes of giving a demonstration. Two years later, Keio University set up the first karate club in mainland Japan. By 1932, the game had spread to all major Japanese Universities.

There are many other different styles of martial arts such as taekwondo, jiu jitsu, kung fu, judo and many more. They all have some similarities to karate because they share many techniques. The difference comes in where karate is highly specialized; it has a smaller subset of techniques but which are highly specialized and streamlined. The Japanese borrowed a number of moves from other martial arts and later modified them. So karate may have a shorter curriculum, but it requires a higher level of discipline to master the specialized techniques.

Jiu Jitsu (Japanese/traditional)

Martial arts have had so many developments around the world. Some have been there for thousands of years, while others have evolved and developed from the older ones. An example of this evolution is the Japanese (Traditional) Jiu Jitsu.

This martial art is hundreds of years old, though it is not an original art. It has evolved from the original samurai art. When samurai soldiers were fighting, they incorporated all the things needed in a battlefield. Here, the assumption was that soldiers were strong and big and that they had full armor together with a katana (samurai sword).

As years passed by, the art was passed to newer generations but this time round it was a bit safer. It evolved to weaponless self-defense and spiritual growth. It incorporates on gentler aspects of fighting and it is recommendable for the weaker and smaller people. Usually, schools concentrate on techniques such as throwing an opponent, controlling him, blocking him and less is down on striking unless participants want to set up for grappling techniques.

Another martial art that can be compared with the Traditional Jiu Jitsu is the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. While the former is more streety and focuses on throws and locks that may be dangerous to exercise under complete resistance, the latter is sportier and concentrates on safe and effective ground techniques for big guys and gives more intellectual contentment.

Both arts can be thorough and effective so long as you understand the trade-off between them and you try to provide yourself with the best on both the Traditional and Brazilian worlds.

Come back next week for more about the wide world of Martial Arts!

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