Martial arts, which basically mean the arts of fighting, are the result of individual combat teaching methods that have evolved, in most cases, over many centuries. Although their are deviations, hybrid styles, and more modern independent styles, the oldest martial arts systems such as Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, and Jujitsu were developed in Asia. Often, these martial arts fighting systems developed as a way for to fight better armed foes using no weapons or improvised ones. In the Western tradition, boxing, archery, and wrestling could be described as types of martial arts, although these fighting forms have evolved much more loosely than Asian martial arts training traditions.
Some martial arts fighting systems such as kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do, and Capoeira may focus on kicks, while others suck as Karate may place more emphasis on fist or elbow strikes. Others, such as Kung Fu, are an equal mix or kicks and strikes. Some martial arts are based on grappling with an opponent such as Jujutsu, Judo, and Aikido, and still others such as Kendo and Ninjitsu teach the use of martial arts weapons such as staffs, nun chucks, and/or swords. Some martial arts training systems such as mixed martial arts and kickboxing blend several styles and others, such as traditional Karate and Kung Fu, are self-contained, all encompassing martial arts systems. Still other styles, such as Shaolin Kung Fu, are confined to a single martial arts academy.
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