Top 10 Most Popular Martial Arts in The History

Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Most Popular Martial Arts in The History until 2017. Martial art has been in practice over the past hundred years. They were used for self-defense and combat. Over the recent past martial art has developed to sport and even a course that can be studied. Martial arts entail mental strength and millions of people around the world practice it. Martial arts originated from Asia but have become more popular in North America.

Martial arts are studied for numerous reasons that may include fitness, sport, combat skills, self-defense, mental discipline, building self-confidence and meditation or all of the above. Below is a list of the top ten most popular martial arts until 2017.

List of Top 10 Most Popular Martial Arts in The History until 2017

10. Jeet Kune Do

Jeet Kune Do Top Most Martial Arts in The History 2018

This martial art was developed by the legend himself, Bruce lee. The literal meaning of Jeet Kune Do is way of intercepting the fist. The combat philosophy of Jeet Kune Do is not considered to be a traditional martial art. This is because it involves many characteristics and traits from various fighting techniques including fencing and even western boxing. This martial art gives a student the freedom to experiment since there are no solo forms of training.

9. Krav Maga


This is a combat system of martial art that the police forces and military personnel around the world have adopted for some time. It was developed in Israel and this can be used effectively for self-defense in real life situations and not as a sport. Krav Maga is very effective as students learn on how to ignore distractions and at the same time inflict the maximum damage.

8. Muay Thai


Just as the baseball means to the U.S, that is the same that Muay Thai is in Thailand. It is the national sport in Thailand. In Muay Thai, fighters can use feet, fists, shins, elbows and knees to strike and this makes it more a more brutal form of kickboxing compared to the western kickboxing. Over the recent past, this sport has grown and proof is that all over the world you are likely to find schools that teach this sport.

7. Arnis / Kali / Escrima

Arnis, Kali, Escrima Top 10 Most Popular Martial Arts in The History 2017

This Filipino form of martial arts is well known around the word. Fighters here are known to use various weapons that include knives, rattan sticks and even swords. To make it effective enough fighters use stances, blocking, and footwork and disarm to kick out their opponents.

6. Capoeira

Capoeira Top Popular Martial Arts in The History 2018

Unlike other martial art techniques, this comes from Brazil. African slaves created this form of martial art in the 19th century. It was effectively used to disguise martial art as a form of a dance. To set the rhythm of the game, drums and other instruments were used to provide music. Capoeira includes two or more participants that use acrobatic play, sweeps, kicks and head butts. The key elements to ensure the sport is well-played are the strategy and technique.

5. Kung Fu


Many people often assume that Kung Fu means Chinese martial art, however this is not the case as it means ability or skill to do something. The modern word for Chinese martial arts is “Wushu”. A Buddhist monk by the name of Bodhidharma is believed to have created this form of martial art a thousand years ago to help his students during meditation. Some of the famous forms of Kung Fu today include Tai Chi, Shaolin and Wing Chun. The important virtues that are largely emphasized include respect, humility, patience and trust. The worth of Kung Fu just as is the case with other forms of martial arts largely lies in self-defense knowledge and health benefits. Some of the famous martial artists associated with this are Jackie Chan and Jet Li.

4. Judo

Judo Top Most Famous Martial Arts in The History 2019

This is a modern form of martial art originating from japan in the nineteen century. The word judo means gentle way and Jigoro Kano was the founder. As a youth Kano was frequently picked and bullied by big students. He tried Jujutsu and because he was not satisfied, he decided to develop a system with throws and sweeps. This would later show that strength and size were not relevant in combat and as a result he would beat up the bullies. Today judo is a sport that is included in Olympic Games as is Tae Kwon Do.

Throwing an opponent on the ground and making him submit is the main goal in the competition. This can be accomplished by use of either a choke-hold or joint lock. This is a very popular form of martial art for many artistes for its ground fighting and balance between standing.

3. Karate

Karate Top 10 Most Popular Martial Arts in The History

The word karate comes from a Japanese word that simply means empty hand. In this form of martial art there is no use of weapons. In 1908 the father of karate, Anko Itosu introduced martial arts code in his 10 precepts of karate. In karate, according to Itosu the weapons that are involved are the legs and hands. Karate plays a very big role in self-defense and has health benefits. Famous users of the karate include Bruce Lee, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren.

2. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Most Popular Martial Arts in The History 2017

The founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu hails not from Brazil but from japan. In 1914, Mitsuyo Maeda went to Brazil with sole aim to spread martial arts. He won more than 2,000 bouts and this led to him being considered as one of the toughest man to ever live. It is more popular with mixed martial artistes for it emphasizes more on groundwork and throws.

1. Tae Kwon Do


It is a Korean word simply meaning “the way of the hand and foot”. Powerful kicks compared to hand strikes clearly differentiates Tae Kwon Do from other martial arts. The legs are considered to be the best weapons because of their strength. It is already an Olympic sport all thanks to the many students across the world.

These are the Top 10 Most Popular Martial Arts in The History until 2017.Finally, it is highly recommended that everyone should at least one of the above martial art. Not only will be used for self-defense it will also have health benefit into your life.