Top 10 Martial Arts and Their Origins

Added by Edan Barak on May 16, 2018


Sambo was developed by the Soviet Red Army in the early 90s in order to improve the army's hand-to-hand combat abilities. In fact the word Sambo is a Russian acronym which means "self-defence without weapons". The martial art attempts to take the most effective techniques of other martial arts and combine them into a deadly mix, lending strategies from Judo, Karate and international wrestling styles.

Often paired with Systema for a more balanced combat style, Sambo is considered a great art for both striking and grappling, making it effective both from a distance and in close-combat and ground-combat situations. Similarly to Judo, Samba makes use of throws, leg locks and arm locks, and relies heavily on upper body strength.



Kali is a weapons-based art originating in the Philippines at around the 8th century AD according to records held by the Malay Sri Vishaya Empire. The Spaniards encountered the martial art during the Spanish colonisation of the Philippines. At that time Magellan the pirate wreaked havoc on the Philippine country-folk, whose cheftain Lapu Lapu helped lead the rebellion against the Spanish pirate using homemade lances, pieces of rattan, and fire-hardened sticks. Magellan was defeated and a statue was created to honor the great chieftain for defending his people.

Being primarily a weapons-based martial art, Kali is well suited to fighting multiple opponents, while still retaining a strong striking and grappling foundation for unarmed combat. Sticks, knives and other bladed weapons are the weapons of choice for Kali fighters, although they're also trained in empty handed combat. Today, Kali is used as a combat art to defend against weapons-based attacks in the Phillipines special forces and military, as well as the US military.

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