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Brief Guide to Other Martial Arts

AIKIDO: Founded by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) in Japan and means “The Way of Harmony”, he stated that "all movements are circular in aikido and are a function of ki".

CAPOEIRA: Is a gymnastic dance, a Brazilian martial art specialising in spinning kicks from cart heels and somersaults etc. It is considered more of a game than an art by Brazilians.

ESCRIMA: A weapon system, commonly known as stick fighting, from the Philippines. This art was popularised by Bruce Lee when he discovered it and includes moves from it in his film Enter the Dragon.

IAIDO: Meaning “The Way OF the Sword” and can be traced back through Japanese history as far back as AD 940.

JYU JITTSU: Meaning "The way of softness", which is a very misleading meaning, comes from Japan but as with many arts has got a strong Chinese influence. It's founder was Tatemi Katuchi as long ago as AD712.

JUDO: Not genuinely a martial art but more of a sport, means “The Gentle Way” which Jiguro Kano took from Jyu Jittsu in 1881.

KALARIPYAIT: From India this fighting system has much bowing to gods and alters. It is in its way similar to karate but is incredibly energetic and all practitioners have to be extremely supple. Its focus is on the 108 vital target points about the body, detailed in the ancient Sastras documents.

KENDO: The earliest records of this noble art meaning “The Art of Swordsmanship” can be traced back through China to AD 789, was formerly known as Ken Jittsu.

KICK BOXING: A probable derivative of Thai boxing, is a sport that was developed in the USA in the 1970's.

KUNG FU: There are many different styles of Kung Fu, they fall into two categories, either hard styles or soft styles. There are too many styles to list here but beneath are but a few. To do this Chinese art justice a separate study must be undertaken.

  • WING CHUN is probably the most commonly practiced hard form, if not the most commonly practiced martial art of all - practiced by millions of Chinese daily. It means "beautiful springtime" and was named after Yim Wing Chun its 17th Century founder.

  • CHOI LEE FUT is another commonly practiced hard style and was founded in the 19 th Century by Chan Heung.

  • JEET KUNE DO is a very well known style developed and popularised by Bruce Lee.

  • Amongst other hard styles are Shaolin, Mok Gar, Hung Gar, Lee Gar, Lau Gar, Hu Gar, Wu Shu, Bok Hok Pai, Preying Mantis and White Crane.

  • Of the soft styles TAI CHI CHUAN is the best known and most widely practiced. It's meaning is "The supreme fist” and was founded by Chang San Feng in 1247.

  • Other popular soft styles of kung fu include Pa Kua (Eight Tigrams or Points of the Compass) and Hsing-I meaning "My mind or my will" and can both be traced back to the 12tyh century.

KYODO: Means “The way of the bo” and is Japanese archery but as with all arts from Japan is steeped in tradition and formal rituals.

MUAY THAI: Otherwise known as Thai boxing, coming from Thailand (formerly known as the Kingdom of Siam), it is a very traditional ritualistic art form that can be traced back to the first Century.

NINJITSU: More commonly referred to as just Ninjas, who really are just the practitioners of Ninjitsu. It means “Stealth art” and originated in Japan.

SHINTO RYU: Coming from Europe, is a copy of miscellaneous arts and means “Nature way” was founded as recently as the 1970's.

SHORINJI KEMPO: Meaning "Shaolin Fist" comes from Japan and is commonly thought of as a form of Kung Fu but most definitely is not.

SUMO: Indigenous Japanese specialist art form with specific philosophies and traditions.

TAE KWON DO: Coming from Korea, meaning "The way of the fist" was founded by Won Qwang in the 8th Century.

TANG SOO DO: Korean form of Karate, very similar to Shotokan that was developed by Hwang Kee (1914-2002) from a fighting system stylised with a mix of indigenous art forms and from what he took from the Japanese when they ruled Southern provinces of Korea. It was formalised and became a recognised art in 1945.

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