When deciding what sport to take up, many people find themselves unable to resist martial arts. But there are so many different options available, from karate and kung fu to judo, taekwondo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Since you can’t really try all of them, how do you go about choosing the right discipline for yourself? Well, chances are you’re going to love one of the main three martial arts – karate, judo or kung fu. So here’s what you should know about them in order to make an informed decision!
Do you know that the word “karate” actually means something? In Japanese, it’s the term for “empty hand”. This martial art is called that way simply because it refers to a method of defense in which you use nothing but your hands. If you decide to start training karate, your typical session will include drills, position practices and sparring. And if you can easily imagine yourself kicking and punching, this might be the right martial art for you. But there are still two more great options to read about!
Another Japanese martial art, judo derives its name from the term for “gentle way”. It was developed on the combat methods used by samurais, Japanese warriors from the feudal era. Unlike karate and kung fu, however, this martial art doesn’t involve kicking or punching. Instead, it’s based on fighting your opponent by using the power of balance. So if you like grappling and throwing more than direct punches, go for judo!
This is not the original name of the martial art in question. It was first named “ch’uan fa” which means “way of the fist” in Chinese. The first people to ever practice kung fu were Chinese monks, and they believed it to be the road to enlightenment. When training this martial art, you actually do two things – practicing hard or external arts, which are designed to teach you defense and combat skills, and soft or internal arts, in which you focus on strengthening your character. When it comes to movements, kung fu is based on kicking and punching, just like karate!