A Look at the Most Common Types of Martial Arts in Australia
Australia is a multicultural nation. And with a plethora of different nations that have embedded their culture into ours there has come a need for adaption, where old traditions of other nations have been warped and slightly altered to fit the ‘modern multicultural Australia’ mould. Today in Australia there are dozens of different types of martial arts, all which are slightly different from their traditional form, and are enjoyed by everyone from children to professional athletes. Amongst these is Krav Maga, another cultural import that is enjoying an explosion of popularity across the country. Each is different in their own way and some are quite similar. Let’s have a look at the most common types of martial arts in Australia.
Australia being as multicultural as it is, there are a quite a few choices when it comes to learning martial arts. Let’s take a look at the most common types of martial arts in Australia and how Krav Maga is different.
Judo – Japan
Developed in Japan in the late 19th century by Kano Jigoro, Judo is one of the more modern martial art forms out there. Because of this it borrows from many other forms, however Judo is distinct in its focus on throwing and grappling. The prefix of the word, ‘ju’ roughly translates to ‘soft method’ – or using an opponents weight against them in order to pin them down. They are then forced to submit with joint lock or by choking. In Judo there is less emphasis on striking or having overbearing applied force, although hand and feet are allowed in certain cases. Judo is a popular competitive sport in Australia and around the world.
Karate – Japan
Karate roughly translates to ’empty hand’ and the practice is very much inspired by this definition. It is about using the body as a weapon, that is, applying hands and feet in ways that will inflict the most damage to an opponent – i.e. ‘using them as spears’. Karate became very popular in the Western world following WWII and quickly permeated pop culture as the ‘art of choice’ by actors such as Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Today in Australia it is popular amongst young children.
Kung Fu – China
Kung Fu is a modern term that has become the umbrella of Chinese martial arts as a whole. Thousands of forms exists, some dating back almost 2,500 B.C., and because of this it’s often referred to as the oldest martial art in the world. Different styles are derived from geography, legends, religion, Chinese philosophies or animal mimicry. The word translates to ‘learning through hard work’. It is also found across many different facets of film and TV. Famous practitioners include Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Jackie Chan.
Taekwondo – Korea
Taekwondo is another martial art form popular amongst kids in Australia. It is also one of the more modern of the Asian martial arts. Dating back to around the 1940’s to 1950’s it is derived from karate and Chinese martial arts and also focuses on using hands and feet for attack and defence. Taekwondo literally means ‘the way of the fist and foot’ and also focuses on things like integrity, speed and discipline, following patterns and routines to progress through ranks or ‘belts’.
Muay Thai – Thailand
Although quite old (its origins are unclear) Muay Thai has seen a huge resurgence in recent times as a competitive sport. Similar to kickboxing, the Thai martial art focuses on using arms and legs to attack an opponent anywhere on the body. It’s often referred to as the ‘Art of the Eight Limbs’ (fists, elbows, knees and shins) and its an efficient, full-contact martial art, very much focused on striking with speed. Despite this there is still a strong mental and spiritual element to the practice.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) – Worldwide
MMA is a modern, full-contact sport containing elements of many styles of combat and martial arts but is partial to none. Massive popularity around the sport rose with the development of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993. Where other forms of martial arts are based in tradition, mental strength, spirituality or religion, MMA is a purely physical combat sport with limited rules and an emphasis on an entertainment element. It contains components from Judo, Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and many other forms and martial arts and it’s quite popular in Australia, though at a professional level is quite restricted.
Krav Maga is the most distinct of all the modern martial art forms, and in many ways may not even be considered a ‘martial art’ at all. It is exploding in popularity across Australia (and the world) at the moment, favoured over other martial arts because of its usefulness in real-life situations. Krav Maga is a modern, practical and proven system of self-defence for today’s volatile world. You will learn solutions to common assault scenarios using easy-to-learn techniques that are designed for a high level of proficiency in a short period of time. It’s the real deal, taught to soldiers and police around the world who don’t have a lot of time training before they’re in the field facing live situations and relying on Krav Maga to potentially save their life.
So much more than a traditional martial art. Krav Maga is your insurance policy against the unknown. There is also a great emphasis on physical and mental wellbeing, fitness, strength and self-confidence, making it great for all ages, genders and fitness levels.
Training with a certified Krav Maga instructor is critical to learning correct technique and tactics for peace of mind. If you’d like to train to be fit, strong and ready in life and the workplace, Urban Kombat founder Garth Montgomery is a globally certified instructor with Krav Maga Core International.
Book into a Krav Maga Induction class, or call Garth on 0408 864 851.