Asian woman kick boxing isolated on black.

The Different Types of Martial Arts: A Basic Guide

One of the coolest facts about martial arts is that there are over 13,000 trained instructors across the United States.

Whether you’ve been watching Bruce Lee films and have gotten inspired or want to spice up your daily habits, martial arts is the way to go. With so many different styles to choose from, it can be intimidating to decide which is right for you.

Keep reading to learn all about some of the different types of martial arts.


One of the most popular kinds of martial arts is Judo. This form originated from Japan and involves the dedication of both the mind and spirit. There are many Judo competitions across the world, including in Australia.

Lots of Judo involves besting your opponent by leveraging your strength to lift and throw them. There can often be bouts of grappling on the ground that might put you in mind of American UFC, but there isn’t any punching in this case.

Be sure to check out some awesome mixed martial arts classes.


When it comes to martial arts training, Karate is one of the few that has made its way outside of the ring and inside the philosophy of many people. This is due to the fact that Karate comes with a set of values that can be used to enhance your overall life and not just your physical shape, for instance.

The word Karate can roughly translate into the phrase “empty-handed.” Instead of using weapons, Karate is all about self-defense with an empty or open hand.


Learning martial arts doesn’t have to be all about philosophy and self-defense. The Korean style of Hapkido involves all kinds of cool and fun weapons, such as nunchucks, swords, staffs, and even rope.

This is one of the more combat-oriented martial arts so you can expect to land some serious strikes when sparing with your classmates.

Tai Chi

Studying martial arts can be done by anyone, no matter your age or walk of life. While Hapkido may not be for everyone, Tai Chi is something that is low-key and doesn’t involve any violence.

In fact, it’s much more meditative and is used in elderly communities to boost physical activity and mental health. There’s an emphasis on breathing and movements of the arms. Of course, it should be noted that this slower version of Tai Chi is westernized.

Ready to Choose Between Types of Martial Arts?

Now that you’ve learned all about the different types of martial arts, you can start down the path of mastering one of them. Not only do martial arts allow you to defend yourself, but it’s also a great way to get exercise and reduce your overall stress.

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