The History of Striking Arts

A woman punching during karate in Ann Arbor

Do you want to have strong kicks and punches?

Are you looking for a competitive hobby?

Fighting systems that use striking may be right for you!

What is Striking? 

Striking refers to stand-up fighting moves, like kicks, punches, palm strikes, and using the elbows and knees. Striking fighting techniques have been recorded since ancient Egypt and became popularized for competition in ancient Greece.

Here are a few fighting systems that use striking:

Karate – Karate is a Japanese martial art originated in Okinawa that utilizes punches, kicks, blocks, and strikes. Karate is a defensive martial art, only used for self-defense unless in a competition. Training can be broken up into three sections:

  • Kihon – Meaning “basics,” kihon includes stances, strikes, punches, kicks, and blocks. 
  • Kata – Kata means “form” and are prearranged movements meant to simulate a fight. Kata helps develop your form, flow, and muscle memory.
  • Kumite – Meaning “sparring,” kumite can be free practice fighting or structured fighting drills. 

Boxing – Boxing is a sport where two people strike each other above the belt as many times as possible with padded gloves until one competitor can’t fight any longer. The origin of boxing is not clear, but it was established as an Olympic game in 688 BC. There are many different types of boxing that may allow using the legs, knees, and elbows.

Muay Thai – Muay Thai is an explosive Thai martial art that uses punches, kicks, grappling by clinching the opponent, and the ability to use the knees and elbows. No padding is used, so fighters must toughen up their bodies to avoid injuries. 

Taekwondo – Taekwondo is a Korean martial art created in the 1940s. It focuses on punching and kicking, with an emphasis on high kicks. Taekwondo training includes:

  • Forms – Similar to karate kata, forms are prearranged movements used to help martial artists perfect the movements.
  • Sparring – There are many types of sparring, such as freestyle and point sparring, and padding must be used.
  • Breaking – Breaking boards, bricks, ice, or other materials for testing and demonstrations.

Krav Maga – Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art founded by Imre Lichtenfeld in 1940 and is used by the Israeli army. It focuses on strikes and blocks, but also features grappling moves for self-defense. It’s most useful for unarming opponents and turning the attack on them.

Study Karate in Ann Arbor

Does striking sound fun to you?

Start studying karate in Ann Arbor at JMAC!

Visit our dojo and watch a class with no obligation. Take two free intro lessons and sign up for our two-month trial membership before making commitment. 

Contact JMAC today!