Top 10 Martial Arts and Their Origins

Added by Edan Barak on Apr 26, 2021


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.


Krav Maga

Developed for the Israeli army by Israeli-Hungarian fighter Imrich Lichtenfeld, Krav Maga is considered an extremely efficient martial art, combining brutal attacks and aggresive threat neutralization in a style that is a combination of boxing, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu and wrestling. It is used extensively in the Israeli army as well as special forces such as Shin Bet and the Mossad, the Israeli secret service. Krav Maga came about as a way to deal with anti-semetic groups in Eastern Europe during the early days of World War 2, when Imrich would set out with a group of fighters to defend Jews who were being threatened or hurt.

Having been developed out of necessity for real-world situations, Krav Maga focuses on bringing combat to an end as quickly as possible by attacking the weakest parts of the body. Using Wing Chun as its primary base for defending against weapons gives Krav Mega an edge against armed opponent. The grappling from Jiu Jitsu and Judo help establish a balance between striking and takedowns while also enabling high power submissions to defeat the foe.

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