Wrestling is a sport as old as mankind itself. Since the dawn of time men have been pitted against each other in physical hand-to-hand combat, making this almost certainly the most ancient of Olympic sports. Greeks immortalized wrestling on their coins and first introduced it as an event in their Olympic Games in 776 BCE. Turkish mercenaries taught the Persians the finer points of wrestling during the early middle ages. Dubbed “koresh” its various techniques quickly spread throughout the Islamic nations. Europe and Brittany modified these early forms of wrestling to suit their own preferences of the day and Medieval knights even added wrestling to their fighting repertoire. It's a simple concept. Two men or women wrestle until one is declared the winner. Over the years, wrestling techniques have become more sophisticated and generally speaking the winner of any wrestling bout is the person who has the better technique, strength and overall fitness. Wrestling is split into Greco-Roman and Freestyle disciplines. In Freestyle wrestling the competitors have a much greater freedom. They can use not only their arms and bodies, but also their legs and can take a hold of their opponent anywhere that allows them to overpower and gain total control of them.
In Greco-Roman Wrestling, it is strictly forbidden to grasp the opponent below the belt line, or to trip him or to use the legs actively to perform any action. In Free Style wrestling, however, it is permissible to grasp the legs of the opponent, to trip him and to use the legs actively to perform any action. Female wrestling follows the rules of freestyle, forbidding however the Double Nelsons.
Various styles of wrestling for which British Wrestling is the national governing body are:
- Freestyle (Male and Female)
- Greco-Roman (Male)
- Cornish Wrestling
- Cumberland & Westmorland
Boxing is often labeled as old-school in nature. The perseverance and mental fortitude required from a successful fighter is unique from other sports. When a boxer demonstrates courage and tenacity inside the ring, he is often labeled as a "throwback" to the golden days of boxing.
Boxing is an explosive, anaerobic sport. The act of throwing punches, round after round, while contending with an attacking opponent is a daunting task. It is perhaps the most physically demanding sport of all. The sport has been estimated as approximately 70-80% anaerobic and 20-30% aerobic. Anaerobic means to conduct an activity without oxygen. Anaerobic exercise, like boxing, stresses the muscles at a high intensity for short periods of time. As a boxer, one must punch, slip, and block with split second movements and reactions. A boxer must be prepared to fight with intensity, round after round. The body must be conditioned to throw the same explosive punches in the last round that you started with in round one.
Muay Thai is usually regarded as a very hard, external style. However, especially because of its roots in heavily Buddhist Thailand, some consider it to have a spiritual aspect as well. Thai boxers typically perform some Buddhist rituals before beginning a match. Practicing Muay Thai is a vigorous workout and produces tremendous cardiovascular endurance.
Muay Thai involves boxing techniques, hard kicking, and knee and elbow strikes. Low kicks to the thighs are a very distinguishing technique used frequently in Muay Thai. Stand up grappling is also used and allowed in the ring. Muay Thai practitioners develop a very high level of physical conditioning developed by its practitioners.
Krav Maga is a self-defense system developed by the Israeli army. In Hebrew, the Krav Maga literally means "contact combat." Developed by Hungarian boxer and wrestler Imrich Lichtenfeld in the 1930s, the technique was first used by Israeli underground paramilitary organizations such as Haganah. When Israel became an official country in 1948, Lichtenfeld was appointed Chief Instructor and Combat Trainer for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Since then, Krav Maga has spread, and it's now practiced in over 30 countries around the world. At first view, Krav Maga may look like a martial art, but it's actually a form of combat with no rules and no limitations. Martial arts such as Judo, Karate, and even wrestling are considered sports; Krav Maga, on the other hand, is a regulated form of combat. In fact, the point of Krav Maga is to take the enemy down as quickly as possible. Some teachers of Krav Maga explain it as "the art of going home alive," which means that groin strikes, choking, and headbutts are considered acceptable moves.
In addition to using their bodies to fight, practitioners of Krav Maga are taught to use the environment as a weapon. This means learning to use any object nearby, from bottles to baseball bats, as a gun-substitute. The objective of Krav Maga is to avoid injury in real-life scenarios, such as fights, street attacks, and violent encounters. Advanced students of Krav Maga learn to defend themselves from gun and knife attacks, multiple attacker scenarios, headlocks, and ground fighting. Most self-defense classes today teach some variation of Krav Maga. Military training in Krav Maga is more extreme, including manual killing techniques, defense against grenades, and disarmament of the enemy. All military and police offices in Israel are trained in Krav Maga, and so are many Special Forces Units around the world. In the US, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Marine Corps, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) Anti-terrorism Specialty Team all learn Krav Maga as part of their physical training.
A Korean martial art that involves a lot of kicking.
Tae = means to jump, kick or smash with the foot.
Kwon = means to punch or destroy with the hand or fist.
Do = means art, way or method.
In short Tae Kwon Do means Foot, Hand, Way.
Grand Master Jhoon Rhee is a world-renowned 10th Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Karate may be defined as a weaponless means of self defense. It consists of dynamic offensive and defensive techniques using all parts of the body to their maximum advantage. Karate practice is divided into: Kihon (drilling of stances, blocks, punches, strikes and kicks), Kata (pre-arranged forms simulating combat situations), and Kumite (sparring). In each category, the beginner is given instruction at the most basic level until the techniques become spontaneous. As the student progresses technically, he or she progresses physically as well, and advanced practices demand greater stamina. At this stage, the student becomes involved with more intricate and difficult katas and more dynamic forms of kumite. As the student approaches black belt level, technique, stamina, speed, and coordination become natural as a result of strong practice. It is at this stage that the serious student discovers that his or her study of karate has only just begun. The object of true karate practice is the perfection of oneself through the perfection of the art.
Karate is one of the most dynamic of all the martial arts. A trained karateka is able to coordinate mind and body perfectly, thereby allowing the unleashing of tremendous physical power at will. Therefore, it is not the possession of great physical strength that makes a strong karateka; rather it is the ability to coordinate mind and body. Upon developing this ability, even the smallest person finds that he or she has within himself or herself the power to deliver a devastating blow to any would-be attacker. In our everyday lives we often forget the value of exercise to both our physical and mental health. The practice of karate tones the body, develops coordination, quickens reflexes, and builds stamina. Also, the serious practice of karate develops composure, a clearer thought process, deeper insight into one's mental capabilities, and more self-confidence. In this, karate is not an end, but a means to an end. It is an activity in which advancing age is not a hindrance. Rather it encourages proficiency in the keen coordination of mind and body.
Judo is a Japanese word meaning "gentle way," and is a type of martial art that comes from the ancient Japanese martial art of jujitsu, meaning "yielding way." In 1882, Dr. Jigoro Kano, president of Tokyo's University of Education, incorporated what he thought to be the best jujitsu techniques into what is now the sport of judo. Judo emphasizes using balance, leverage, and movement in all of its skills, especially throws. Practitioners of judo wear a cotton uniform called a judogi, meaning "judo uniform," and sometimes referred to simply as a gi. These uniforms are usually white but can also be blue. They consist of loose drawstring pants and a quilted jacket which is fastened by an obi, or belt. The uniforms were originally created for judo but are now used for many different types of martial arts. The most noticeable thing to someone watching judo would likely be the variety of powerful throwing techniques. Grappling techniques are also important to learn, and include various control holds, arm and joint locks, pins, and choking techniques. Safety is emphasized in practice, and judo places importance both on fighting done standing and on the ground.
Judo prizes the idea of flexibility in the techniques, tailoring the technique to what is required in a particular moment. Strength is not as important as technique and skill, as well as timing. This enables judo techniques to be performed effectively by a smaller person on a much stronger person. Judo is popular today with people of all ages, throughout the world. It is an excellent way to stay in shape, as well as increase self-confidence and learn self defense. Body control is developed, as well as quick reflexes, balance, and effective self-defense should the need arise. Judo is also a competitive sport, introduced as such at the 1964 Olympics. This Olympic sport was only open to men until 1988, when it was a women's demonstration sport; in 1992, judo became an official Olympic medal event for women. There are also collegiate judo competitions in the United States. The system of ranks found in many martial arts, usually identified by belts of different colors, was first used in judo. The ranks recognize hard work, as well as increased knowledge and ability of the martial art. There are separate junior ranks for children under 17 than there are for adults. Black belts are the highest ranks in judo, with ten different degrees of black belt.