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Japanese Martial Arts

Written by Sierra Rein
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From the classic warrior traditions to modern fighting styles, Japanese martial arts have a long history and an honor going back for generations. From hand to hand and throwing self defense techniques to the graceful sword and blade traditions of the Samurai, the martial arts of Japan have attracted students of every age, sex, and nationality. Here is a short history of the classic techniques as well as a short list of a few of the most recognizable and popular forms of Budo (Japanese martial arts).

The koryu or "classic" Japanese techniques were created primarily during the feudal period, as warriors and Samurai were trained in many different ways to protect land and feudal lords. As it is today, protective gear was usually not utilized (efficiency is held in higher standard than safety). While weapons are a part of many martial arts from Japan, the hands are certainly considered as deadly as the bamboo Shirasaya Samurai sword!

Popular Japanese Martial Arts in the Western World

Perhaps the most recognizable of Japanese self defense styles currently taught in the United States (and elsewhere in the world) are Judo ("the gentle way"), Karate ("the way of the empty hand"), Kendo ("the way of the sword"), and Aikido ("the way of harmony of the spirit"). There are hundreds of thousands of schools that teach each one of these arts. The best schools incorporate the mental and philosophical teachings (like harmony, balance, focus, and inner power) as well as the physical strengths they demand.

If you know of a student of a Japanese martial art, purchasing martial arts gifts is a very easy task. You can choose to buy a Judo uniform or a few Karate training videos, for example, or perhaps a body opponent bag for single training time. If you have a computer, shopping online can save you both time and money in the long run and is a good alternative to driving to out of the way sports shops.


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