The History and Philosophy of Martial Arts


Martial Arts

Martial arts originated in East Asia more than 2,000 years ago and have since grown to about 200 individual types practiced by about 100 million people worldwide. The Web will help you learn about the different martial arts so you can choose which one suits you best; it will assist you in finding instruction in the martial art you choose; it will provide you with forums and community Web sites so you can share your zeal with others on martial arts techniques and movies; and it can be a place to buy the equipment and apparel you need.

The History and Philosophy of Martial Arts

Martial arts are practiced all over the world, and styles vary from region to region. As such, there are thousands of styles and it can be difficult for the unacquainted to understand the diverse world of martial arts. This section includes sites that introduce you to martial arts and then sites to help you explore them through articles and video.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Since there are so many martial arts, and each was formed at a different point in time, we did not include a section in this guide on the history of martial arts in general. You can find histories of the individual martial arts in the subsection on the different types of martial arts below. For a brief overview on the history of martial arts in general, look at the martial arts “History” section of Encarta Encyclopedia. 
  • The phrases Kung Fu and Wushu have both come to indicate Chinese “martial arts.” But technically, Kung Fu refers to accomplishing a skill, while Wushu refers to warlike techniques, or martial arts in general.
  • Do and Jutso are two common Japanese suffixes for martial arts. Do literally means “the way of,” while Jutsu translates to “martial method.” At first, all martial arts were considered Jutsu in Japan, because they were used against an enemy. But by the end of the 19th century spirituality had become more important, and now the names of martial arts that focus more on meditation finish in Do.
  • When you read through these Web sites you will frequently encounter the acronym MMA. This stands for mixed martial arts, which is a combination of various forms of martial arts and street fighting. If you want more in-depth information on mixed martial arts, take a look at the findingDulcinea Mixed Martial Arts Web Guide.

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