Combat sports have been a part of human culture for centuries, and as a result of such there are at least a hundred forms of them. But what are the most common? Boxing, kickboxing, MMA, Karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai are some of the most well known sports. Do you know them all?
Boxing is perhaps the most well-known combat sport. It involves two competitors wearing gloves and throwing punches at each other in a ring. Points are awarded for clean punches that land on the opponent's head or torso, and the match ends when one fighter is knocked out or the referee stops the fight due to safety concerns. Boxing has a long and rich history, dating back to ancient Greece, and it remains an Olympic sport to this day.
Kickboxing is a hybrid of traditional boxing and martial arts, incorporating both punches and kicks. It emerged in the United States in the 1970s and quickly gained popularity around the world. Kickboxing matches are similar to boxing matches, with competitors facing off in a ring and earning points for strikes landed. However, unlike boxing, kickboxing allows for both punches and kicks to be thrown, making for a more dynamic and varied contest.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows for a wide range of techniques, including strikes, grappling, and submissions. MMA originated in Brazil in the early 1990s and has since become one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Competitors in MMA fights typically wear gloves and fight in a cage, and the match can be won by knockout, submission, or decision. MMA fighters must be well-rounded and skilled in multiple disciplines, including boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Karate is a martial art that originated in Okinawa, Japan, and is now practiced all over the world. It focuses on strikes and kicks, as well as throws and joint locks. Karate competitions are scored based on the number of successful strikes, with points awarded for punches, kicks, and other techniques. Karate is also practiced for self-defense, and many schools emphasize discipline, respect, and self-control as core values.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling-based martial art that originated in Brazil in the early 20th century. It emphasizes technique and leverage over strength and power, making it a popular choice for smaller or weaker athletes. BJJ competitions take place on a mat and can be won by submitting an opponent with a chokehold or joint lock or by earning points for takedowns, dominant positions, and submission attempts.
Muay Thai is a martial art that originated in Thailand and is known for its use of striking techniques such as punches, kicks, elbows, and knees. It is often referred to as the "art of eight limbs" because of the eight points of contact that fighters can use. Muay Thai matches are scored based on the number and quality of strikes landed, and the match can be won by knockout or decision. Muay Thai has gained popularity around the world and is now an Olympic sport.
Combat sports offer a thrilling and challenging way to test one's physical and mental capabilities. Boxing, kickboxing, MMA, karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and muay thai are just a few of the many disciplines that athletes can pursue, each with its unique rules, techniques, and histories. Whether competing in the ring or practicing for self-defense, these sports provide a way for individuals to push themselves to their limits and achieve new levels of skill and confidence. Which one is your favorite?