We tell you about the some popular varieties of Martial arts that originated chiefly in Japan, Korea and China as forms of self-defense or attack. 

Martial arts may be traditional or modern.  They all employ similar techniques such as striking, kicking, sweeping and evasion tactics for self-defence.  Read on, to learn about some popular varieties.

#1 Muay Thai (Origin: Thailand)
Also popularly known as kickboxing, this uses fist and foot movements as well as elbow and knee strikes. Kickboxing involves plenty of sparring (blows to hips and shoulders) and clinching (a form of stand-up grappling technique). These are excellent core building moves.

#2 Kung Fu (Origin: China)
This close-combat form of martial art is marked by a unique stance. Kung Fu uses very few kicking techniques, since the focus is on the use of forearms instead. Various fighting styles come into play, in Kung Fu.  These range from different animal movements, to techniques practiced by the school of its origin such as Shaolin and Tai Chi. The practice of Kung Fu improves the concentration.

#3 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Origin: Brazil)
This ground-grappling technique became popular in the early 1900s, when it branched out from Judo. Jiu-Jitsu uses rolling, which is similar to wrestling.  Practitioners are meant to hold up their opponent in an ‘iron grip’, which inflicts extreme pain or push him to submit. But Jiu-Jitsu isn’t the best self-defence technique around, so  it’s generally just practiced as a sport.

#4 Tae Kwon Do (Origin: Korea)
The oldest and most commonly studied disciplines of martial arts, Tae Kwon Do is considered a sport by the Olympics. This dynamic sport involves a variety of movements consisting of kicks, punches, blocks, and throws. Though practitioners wear full protective gear, the chances of injury are, ironically, lower than those associated with other martial arts.

#5 Judo (Origin: Japan)
Dating back to the 1800s, this style of combat uses  throws and chokes, instead of taking down the opponent with strikes. Judo is considered a great self-defence technique.