Study Martial Arts, Martial Arts Schools
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What do Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris have in common aside from being movie stars? The answer is they are all practitioners of one form of martial arts or another. Bruce Lee introduced to the world Jeet Kune do, Jet Li is a member of the Beijing National Wushu Champion Team, Steven Seagal is an Aikido master, Chuck Norris was the World Middleweight Karate Champion in the 60s. It is actually because of their exposure to martial arts that paved the way of their trip to Hollywood and movie stardom.
Martial Arts is actually a codified set of movements designed for combat and defensive purposes. Those engaging in Martial Arts are more or less referred to as martial artists. As popularized by Bruce Lee, Martial Arts connotes the idea that it originated exclusively from China, his homeland, but actually it is not. Surprisingly, from almost any corner of the world, there is actually a form of martial arts developed way long ago even before Bruce Lee appeared on betamax tapes. Slaves in Brazil have developed Capoeira which specializes in kicks, sweeps and head butts. The Russians have Sambo, when translated from vernacular would mean self defense without weapons, is a mix of Judo and wrestling styles derived from the different regions in Russia. The Israelis have developed what is known now as Krav Maga. Krav Maga is used mainly in close combat situations and the aim is to survive hence giving emphasis to neutralizing threats and how to escape quickly from potentially dangerous situations. It is really not surprising to find a local form of martial arts at almost any part of the globe. This may be attributed to the different circumstances that a culture or individual were subjected to. Martial Arts technically came about out of survival or necessity.
As it is known that martial arts comes in many forms, a common denominator is that there is a system of progression and that mastery can only be achieved through patience, hard work and perseverance. Before becoming an expert, one must be prepared to undergo years of mental and physical training. Martial Arts is not limited to hand-to-hand combat. The efficient handling of hand weapon like knives, sticks, sword, and spears are also included in its scope.
Martial Arts can be subdivided into three basic categories, depending on what area of focus a particular style namely: striking, grappling and weapons training. Capoeira, Boxing, Wing Chun, Muay Thai, Karate, Kung-Fu are examples of disciplines specializing in striking. Sambo, Judo, Aikido, Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling are forms of Martial Arts that are those whose forte is grappling. Fencing, Kendo, and Arnis De Mano (stick fighting) are the arts that wield weapons as their specialty. Usually, all form of Martial Arts would fall into any of those category mentioned.
Martial Arts is not what it is regarded then, a self-defense style that imitates the movement of an animal as depicted by typical Chinese action movies. Now, Martial Arts is regarded truly as an art in a truest sense with physical, mental and, for some, spiritual development as the main objective of those interested in learning.