Fencing is a family of sports and activities that feature armed combat involving cutting, stabbing, or bludgeoning weapons that are directly manipulated by hand, rather than shot, thrown or positioned. Examples
include swords, knives, pikes, bayonets, batons, clubs, and similar weapons. In contemporary common usage, fencing tends to refer specifically to European schools of swordsmanship and to the modern Olympic sport
that has evolved out of them.
Fencing is one of the four sports which has been featured at every modern Olympic Games and it is the only Spanish Olympic sport. Currently, three types of weapon are used in Olympic fencing:
Foil — a light thrusting weapon; the valid target is restricted to the torso, the chest, shoulders, and back; double touches are not allowed (see priority rules below). This weapon follows the rule of "right of way"
Épée — a heavy thrusting weapon; the valid target area covers the entire body; double touches are allowed. There is no "right of way"
Sabre — a light cutting and thrusting weapon; the valid target area is the saddle line, which is from one side of your hip to the other and up, this also includes the head. The target area does not include the hands. This
weapon follows "right of way"
The word fence was originally a shortening of the Middle English defens, which came from an Italian word, defensio, in origin a Latin word. The first known use of defens in reference to English swordsmanship is in
William Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor: "Alas sir, I cannot fence."
The origins of fencing date back to Egypt and ancient Greece around 1200 BC. Carvings found depict bouts being fought using protected tips on swords, masks, and judges. 
Main articles: Historical European Martial Arts and Dardi school
Fencing teachers and schools can be found in European historical records dating back at least to the 12th century. In later times some of these teachers were paid by rich nobles to produce books about their fighting
systems, called treatises.
The earliest known surviving treatise on fencing, stored at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, England, dates from around 1300 AD and is from Germany. It is known as I.33 and written in medieval Latin and
Middle High German and deals with an advanced system of using the sword and buckler (small shield) together. From 1400 AD onwards there are an increasing number of fencing treatises surviving from across
Europe, with the majority from the 15th century coming from Germany and Italy. In this period these arts were largely seen as reserved for the knighthood and the nobility – hence most of these treatises deal with the
knightly weapons, such as the rondel dagger, longsword, spear, pollaxe and armoured fighting mounted and on foot. Some treatises do cover the weapons more usually used by the common classes however, such as
großes Messer and sword and buckler. Wrestling, both with and without weapons, and armoured and unarmoured, is also featured heavily in the early fencing treatises.
clean up, please. ply with other people by the 16th century, with the widespread adoption of the printing press and the increase in the urban population, together with other social changes, the number of fencing treatises
being produced increased dramatically. Fencing schools had been forbidden in some European cities (particularly in England and France) during the medieval period, though court records show that such schools were
kept illegally. After around 1500 it seems to have become more socially and legally acceptable to carry swords openly in most parts of Europe, and the increasing fortunes of the middle classes meant that more men
were aspiring to carry swords, learn fencing and be seen as gentlemen. By the middle of the 16th century many European cities contained great numbers of fencing schools, often clustered together, such as in London in
"Hanging Sword Lane". Italian fencing masters were particularly popular in the 16th century and they went abroad and set up schools in many foreign cities. The Italian styles of fencing at this time, bringing concepts
of science to the art, were seen as revolutionary and new, and they appealed to the new Renaissance mindset.
In 16th century Germany compendia of older Fechtbücher techniques were produced, some of them printed, notably by Paulus Hector Mair (in the 1540s) and by Joachim Meyer (in the 1570s), based on the teachings
of the 14th century Liechtenauer tradition. In the 16th century German fencing developed sportive tendencies. Eventually the newer Italian attitude to fencing grew in popularity in Germany as well as elsewhere.
Today there are many groups around the world recreating the old fencing systems, using the surviving treatises. Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) are growing fast, bringing in people from many backgrounds,
including those who have taken part in modern sport fencing and Asian martial arts.
Early modern period
Further information: Rapier fencing, Destreza, and Joseph Swetnam
Strictly, the European dueling sword is a basket and cage hilted weapon specifically used in duels from the late 17th to the 19th century. It developed through several forms of the rapier to the smallsword — reflecting
the changes from a cutting style of swordplay to a thrusting style ('foining'). This was a result of increasing specialization in their use on the dueling field, and the social stigma attached to carrying and using swords too
obviously adapted to the actual "work" of warfare. The smallsword, and the last version of the rapier, were made possible only by metallurgical advances in the seventeenth century as high toughness steels became
more readily available.
In England, it was not uncommon for fencing masters to take on other fencing masters in a fight, often to the death, often with intervals for medical staff to dress wounds. Such spectacles were generally held in
beargardens, particularly in the Southwark neighborhood near London.
The foil was invented in France as a training technique in the middle of the 18th century; it provided practice of fast and elegant thrust fencing with a smaller and safer weapon than an actual dueling sword. Fencers
blunted (or "foiled") its point by wrapping a foil around the blade or fastening a knob on the point ("blossom", French fleuret). In addition to practice, some fencers took away the protection and used the sharp foil for
duels. German students took up that practice and developed the Pariser ("Parisian") thrusting small sword for the Stoßmensur ("thrusting mensur"). After the dress sword was abolished, the Pariser became the only
weapon for thrust fencing in German colleges and universities.
"Pariser" small sword, derived from the French foil
Since thrust fencing with a sharply pointed blade of any kind is quite dangerous, many students died from (especially) pierced
lungs (Lungenfuchser). However, a counter movement had already started in Göttingen in the 1750s, with the invention of the
Göttinger Hieber, a predecessor of the modern Korbschläger, a new weapon for cut fencing. In the following years, the
Glockenschläger was invented in Eastern Germany universities, also for cut fencing.
1800 to 1918
Further information: Classical fencing and Academic fencing
Thrust fencing (using the Pariser), and cut fencing (using Korbschläger or Glockenschläger), existed in parallel in Germany
during the first decades of the 19th century, according to local preferences. Thrust fencing was especially popular in Jena,
Erlangen, Würzburg and Ingolstadt/Landshut, two towns where the predecessors of Munich University were located. The last
thrust Mensur is recorded to have taken place in Würzburg in 1860.
Until the first half of the 19th century all types of academic fencing can be seen as duels, since all fencing with sharp weapons
was about honour. No combat with sharp blades took place without a formal insult. For duels involving non-students, e.g. military officers, the academic sabre became usual, apparently being derived from the military
sabre. It was then a heavy weapon with a curved blade and a hilt similar to the Korbschläger.
The term "Classical Fencing" is a relatively new invention, retroactively applied to select periods and methods. As it is understood today, classical fencing derives most directly from the 19th and early-20th century
national fencing schools, especially in Italy and France, although other pre-World War II styles such as Russian and Hungarian are also considered classical. Masters and legendary fencing figures such as Giuseppe
Radaelli, Louis Rondelle, Masaniello Parise, the Greco brothers, Aldo Nadi and his rival Lucien Gaudin are today considered typical practitioners of this period.
Fencing was one of the disciplines at the very first Olympics Games in the summer of 1896. Épée and Sabre events have been held at every Summer Olympics; foil events have been held at every Summer Olympics
Scoring was done by means of four judges who determined whether a touch had been made. Two side judges stood behind and to the side of each fencer, and watched for hits made by that fencer on the opponent's
target. A director followed the fencing from a point several feet away from the centre of the action. At the end of each action, after calling "Halt!", the director would describe the action, and then poll the judges in turn.
If the judges differed, or abstained, the director could overrule them.
This method had serious limitations, though it was universally used. As described in an article in the London newspaper, The Daily Courier, on June 25, 1896: "Every one who has watched a bout with the foils knows
that the task of judging the hits is with a pair of amateurs difficult enough, and with a well-matched pair of maîtres d’escrime well-nigh impossible." There also were problems with bias: well-known fencers were often
given the benefit of mistakes (so-called "reputation touches"), and in some cases there was outright cheating. Aldo Nadi complained about this in his autobiography The Living Sword in regard to his famous match with
The Daily Courier article is an early description of a new invention, the electrical scoring machine, that would revolutionize fencing.
1918 to present
Dueling went into sharp decline after World War I. After World War II, dueling went out of use in Europe except for very rare exceptions. Training for duels, once fashionable for males of aristocratic backgrounds
(although fencing masters such as Hope suggest that many people had only taken one or two lessons, and thus considering themselves trained), all but disappeared, along with the classes themselves. Fencing continued
as a sport, with tournaments and championships. However, the need to actually prepare for a duel with "sharps" vanished, changing both training and technique.
Starting with épée in the 1930s, side judges were replaced by an electrical scoring apparatus, with an audible tone and a red or green light indicating when a touch landed. Foil was electrified in the 1950s, sabre in the
1980s. The scoring box reduced the bias in judging, and permitted more accurate scoring of faster actions, lighter touches, and more touches to the back and flank than were possible with human judges. 
Forms of fencing
Contemporary fencing is divided in three broad categories:
Fencing as a Western martial art
Other forms of fencing
There are numerous inter-related forms of competitive fencing in practice, all of which approach the activity as a sport, with varying degrees of connectedness to its historic past.
Olympic fencing (or simply "fencing") refers to the fencing seen in most competitions, including the Olympic Games and the World Cup. Competitions are conducted according to rules laid down by the Fédération
Internationale d'Escrime (FIE), the international governing body. These rules evolved from a set of conventions developed in Europe between mid 17th and early 20th century with the specific purpose of regulating
competitive activity. The three weapons used in Olympic fencing are foil, épée, and sabre. In competition, the validity of touches is determined by the electronic scoring apparatus and a set of rules called right of way,
so as to minimize human error and bias in refereeing. In the United States, athletes compete at a local and national level. At a local level, athletes register for tournaments in their division via a website called
"Askfred.net." At a national level, athletes compete in tournaments called "North American Cups", or NAC's for short. At these tournaments, competitors fence each other depending on what age group or division
they are in. Some of the age groups are Y12 (Youth 12, or 12 or younger), Y14, Junior (18 or younger), and Cadet (16 or younger). In fencing, your rating represents how good you are in general. Fencers are rated E
through A, U if they do not have a rating, or are unrated. E being the lowest, and A being the highest. In certain competitions, fencers may be of any age, but must meet the rating criteria in order to fence. Division I
fencing requires fencers to have a rating C through A. Division II requires fencers to have a rating of C or lower. And Division III requires fencers to have a rating D or lower. In tournaments, fencers first fence 5 or 6
other fencers in what are called "pools." Depending on how the fencer does within that pool, the fencer is then put into a table chart with the other fencers of the tournament. In a NAC setting, if that fencer was one of
the fencers in the bottom 20%, than that fencer must go home immediately. If not, that fencer must fence the opponent they are paired with, and if they win, they advance in the table chart, if they lose, they must go
home. This is why this table chart phase is called "Direct Elimination", or DE for short.
Wheelchair fencing, also known as jousting, an original Paralympic sport, was developed in post-World War II England. Minor modifications to the FIE rules allow disabled fencers to fence all three weapons. The
most apparent change is that each fencer sits in a wheelchair fastened to a frame. Footwork is replaced by torso or arm movement, depending on the fencer's disability. The proximity of the two fencers tends to increase
the pace of bouts, which require considerable skill. The weapons are identical to those used in Olympic fencing.
Other variants include one-hit épée (one of the five events which constitute modern pentathlon) and the various types of competitive fencing, whose rules are similar but not identical to the FIE rules. One example of
this is the American Fencing League (distinct from the United States Fencing Association): the format of competitions is different, there is no electronic scoring, and the priority rules are interpreted in a different way.
In a number of countries, the accepted practice at school and university level deviates slightly from the FIE format.
Fencing as a Western martial art
Some practitioners of fencing approach it as a Western martial art, with the goal being to train for a theoretical duel. The element of sport is absent (or nearly so) from these forms of fencing, but they all share a
common origin with each other and with competitive fencing.
Classical fencing is differentiated from competitive fencing as being theoretically closer to swordplay as a martial art. Those who call themselves classical fencers may advocate the use of what they see as more
authentic practices, including little or no emphasis on sport competition. There is strong interest within the classical fencing community in reviving the European fencing practices of the 19th and early 20th century,
when fencers were expected to be able to fight a duel using their training. Weapons used are the standard (non-electric) foil, standard épée (often equipped with pointe d'arret), and the blunted dueling sabre. AFL
fencing is often referred to as classical fencing, but this is a misnomer.
Historical fencing is a type of historical martial arts reconstruction based on surviving texts and traditions. Predictably, historical fencers study an extremely wide array of weapons from different regions and periods.
They may work with bucklers, daggers, polearms, navajas, bludgeoning weapons, etc. One main preoccupation of historical fencers is with weapons of realistic weight, which demand a different way of manipulating
them from what is the norm in modern Fencing. For example, light weapons can be manipulated through the use of the fingers (more flexibility), but more realistically-weighted weapons must be controlled more
through the wrist and elbow. This difference is great and can lead to drastic changes even in the carriage of the body and footwork in combat. There is considerable overlap between classical and historical fencing,
especially with regard to 19th-century fencing practices.
Other forms of fencing
This circa 1900 painting illustrates a typical mensur bout in Heidelberg, Germany. The combatants begin the mensur from a static position, either in the
"verhängte Auslage" (hanging guard) or in the "steile Auslage" (steep ward), with their swords high in the air. While neck, arms and torso are protected with
thickly padded leather gear and, more recently mail shirts, the head typically remains uncovered except for the "Paukbrille", metal goggles to protect the
eyes and nose. Different sets of rules (Comments) regulating the Mensur in different cities may admit additional protective gear for lower face, ears, or
Finally, there are several other forms of fencing which have little in common besides history with either of the other two classifications.
Academic fencing, or mensur, is a German student tradition that has become mostly extinct but is still sometimes practiced in Germany, Switzerland and
Austria as well as in Flanders, Poland and Latvia. The combat, which uses a cutting weapon known as the schläger, uses sharpened blades and takes place
between members of student corporations - "Studentenverbindungen" - in accordance with a strictly delineated set of conventions. It uses special protective
gear that leaves most of the head and face, excluding the eyes, unprotected. (The special goggles are called Paukbrille.) The ultimate goal is to develop
personal character, therefore there is no winner or loser and flinching is not allowed. Acquiring a proper cut on the face with the sharp blade, called a
Schmiss (German for "smite"), was considered a visible sign of manly courage and status as "Akademiker", or member of the professional upper class.
However, tales of cuts being intentionally manipulated by sewing in horsehairs or rubbing wounds with vinegar or salt have been discredited as popular
myths since the 1880s.
Stage fencing seeks to achieve maximum theatrical impact in representing a wide range of styles, including both modern and historical forms of fencing. Theatrical fight scenes are choreographed by a Fight Director,
and fencing actions are amended so that an audience with no understanding of the minutiae of fencing techniques can follow the narrative of the action, both physical and dramatic.
Recreational roleplaying often incorporates fencing in the context of historical or fantasy themes in the Society for Creative Anachronism or live-action roleplaying games. Technique and scoring systems vary widely
from one group to the next, as do the weapons. Depending on local conventions, participants may use modern sport fencing weapons, period weapons, or weapons invented specifically for the purpose, such as boffers.
The Japanese sport of Kendo has no historic links to western fencing but is an example of parallel evolution, where a sport has developed for sword combat training.
Three weapons survive in modern competitive fencing: foil, épée, and sabre. The spadroon and the heavy cavalry-style sabre, both of which saw widespread competitive use in the 19th century, fell into disfavour in the
early 20th century with the rising popularity of the lighter and faster weapon used today. The singlestick was featured in the 1904 Olympic Games, but it was already declining in popularity at that time. Bayonet fencing
experienced a somewhat slower decline, with competitions organized by some armed forces as late as the 1940s and 1950s.
While the weapons fencers use differ in shape and purpose, their basic construction remains similar across the disciplines. Every weapon has a blade and a hilt. The tip of the blade is generally referred to as the point.
The hilt consists of a guard and a grip. The guard (also known as the coquille, the bell, or the bellguard) is a metal shell designed to protect the fingers. The grip is the weapon's actual handle. There are a number of
commonly used variants. In foil and épée the more traditional French grip is approximately straight and usually terminates with a pommel (a heavy nut intended to act as a counterweight for the blade and to hold the
handle on the weapon). Some modern designs of French grip do not use a heavy pommel nut, in an effort to construct the lightest épée possible.
The French grip has been entirely replaced in higher level foil fencing, and partially replaced in épée fencing, by a variety of ergonomic designs, called as a group pistol grips or orthopaedic grips. All of the weapons
used for modern competition have electrical wiring which allows them to register a touch on the opponent.
International valid foil target - the torso, and the portion of the bib 1.5-2cm below chin level. Note that the USFA does not use the bib target in the United States.
The foil is a light and flexible weapon, originally developed in the mid 17th century as a training weapon for the small sword, a light one-handed sword designed almost exclusively for thrusting.
In modern competitive fencing, 'electric' weapons are used. These have a push-button on the point of the blade, which allows hits to be registered by the electronic
scoring apparatus. In order to register, the button must be depressed with a force of at least 4.90 newtons (500 grams-force) for at least 15 milliseconds. Foil fencers
wear conductive (lamé) jackets covering their target area, which allow the scoring apparatus to differentiate between on- and off-target hits.
The target area is restricted to the torso, including the front and back. When fencing with electrical equipment, there is an area around each armpit that is not covered by the lamé, and is
thus effectively not legal target as well.
A modification in FIE rules from 1 January 2009 onwards means that the valid target area includes that part of the bib below a straight line drawn between the shoulders; prior to this, the bib
of the mask was not a valid target. The wisdom of this rule is currently widely disputed; the prevailing attitude in the US is that the rule will lead to a great increase in equipment failures and
costs, while European opinion is that this will help prevent fencers from covering target.
This rule has not been implemented uniformly in all National fencing organizations. European fencing organizations have generally decided on September 1, 2009 as the date for all
competitions to use the new rule.
As of September 1, 2009, the USFA has decided not to implement the bib as target for foil. After reviewing international competitions, it was observed that very few hits were actually scored
under the new rules. Given the expense of having to replace equipment, as well as the safety concerns of allowing hits in the region of the throat, the USFA rejected the change. All domestic
competitions in the US will not require the bib target; however, international events such as Junior or Senior World Cup Events will require the bib target. There are currently no plans to
adopt the rule in the future.
The target must be hit with the tip of the foil; a touch with any other part of the foil it has no effect whatsoever and fencing continues uninterrupted. A touch on an off-target area stops the bout but does not score a point.
Foil fencing also features rules of right of way or priority, which determine which fencer's hit will prevail when both fencers have hit. The basic principle of priority is that the hit of the fencer who begins an offensive
action first will prevail over his/her opponent's hit, unless the action of the former fails. A fencer's action fails when it falls short of his/her opponent, when it misses, or when it is parried. When one fencer's action fails,
the other's current or next offensive action gains priority, unless they delay too long (longer than one period of "fencing time", the time taken to perform one action at the current tempo of the exchange), in which case
the previously defending fencer loses priority. If priority cannot be determined when both fencers have hit each other, no point is awarded. The original idea behind the rules of foil fencing was to encourage fencers to
defend and attack vital areas, and to fight in a methodical way with initiative passing back and forth between the combatants, thus minimizing the risk of a double death.
When an exchange ends in a hit, the referee will call "halt", and fencing will cease. The referee will then analyse the exchange and phrase it in official terminology. The first offensive action is called the attack. All
defensive actions successfully deflecting an opponent's blade are called parries. An offensive action of a parrying fencer directly following the parry is called a riposte. An offensive action of a fencer, who attacks
without first withdrawing the arm directly after being parried, is called a remise. An offensive action of a fencer from the on-guard position, after being parried and then returning to the on-guard position, is called a
reprise. An offensive action of a fencer after his/her opponent has lost the right to riposte via inaction is called a redouble. An offensive action begun by a fencer who is being attacked by his/her
opponent is called a counter-attack.
Valid target area at Épée (the entire body).
Épée, as the sporting weapon known today, was invented in the second half of the 19th century by a group of French students, who felt that the conventions of foil were too restrictive, and the
weapon itself too light; they wanted an experience closer to that of an actual duel. At the point of its conception, the épée was, essentially, an exact copy of a small sword but without the
needle-sharp point. Instead, the blade terminated in a point d'arrêt, a three-pronged tip which would snag on the clothing without penetrating the flesh.
Like the foil, the épée is a thrusting weapon: to score a valid hit, the fencer must fix the point of his weapon on his opponent's target. However, the target area
covers the entire body, and there are no rules regarding who can hit when (unlike in foil and sabre, where there are priority rules). In the event of both fencers making a
touch within 40 milliseconds of each other, both are awarded a point (a double hit), except when the score is equal and the point would mean the win for both, such as in modern pentathlon's
one-hit épée, where neither fencer receives a point. Otherwise, the first to hit always receives the point, regardless of what happened earlier in the phrase. Also épées are the heaviest of the
weapons. However, with today's techniques, we see some épée blades as light as 150g. An épée is composed of a blade, a point, a bell guard, and a handle or grip (french or pistol grip).
The 'electric' épée, used in modern competitive fencing, terminates in a push-button, similar to the one on the 'electric' foil. In order for the scoring apparatus to register a hit, it must arrive with
a force of at least 7.35 newtons (750 grams-force) (a higher threshold than the foil's 4.9 newtons), and the push-button must remain fully depressed for 1 millisecond. All hits register as valid,
unless they land on a grounded metal surface, such as a part of the opponent's weapon, in which case they do not register at all. At large events, grounded conductive pistes are often used in
order to prevent the registration of hits against the floor. At smaller events and in club fencing, it is generally the responsibility of the referee to watch out for floor hits. These often happen
by accident, when an épéeist tries to hit the opponent's foot and misses. This results in a pause in the action but no points. However, deliberate hits against the floor are treated as "dishonest
fencing," and penalized accordingly.
Épée has less restrictive rules for footwork and physical contact than the other two weapons. In Épée, a corps-à-corps (collision between fencers) is not penalized unless initialized with
intent to harm or if it is excessively violent. There are no restrictions on crossing of the feet or use of the flèche attack in épée; if the fencers pass each other, the attacking fencer may score
until he passes his opponent. The defending fencer has the right to one continuous riposte, and may still score after the attacker has passed.
The counterattack is very important in épée; direct, unprepared attacks are vulnerable to counterattacks to the hand or arm, or to the body if the attacker is shorter than his opponent. High level
épée is often a game of provocation, with each player trying to lure the other into an attack. Distance in épée is even more important than in the conventional weapons.
Valid target at sabre (everything above the waist, excepting the hands and the back of the head).
Sabre is the 'cutting' weapon: points may be scored with edges and surfaces of the blade, as well as the point. Although the current design with a light and flexible blade (marginally stiffer than a foil blade which bends
easily up and down while a sabre blade bends easier side to side) appeared around the turn of the 19th and 20th century, similar sporting weapons with more substantial blades had been used throughout the Victorian
There is some debate as to whether the modern fencing sabre is descended from the cavalry sabres of Turkic origin, which became popular in Central and Western Europe around the time of Napoleonic Wars, or one of
Europe's indigenous edged duelling weapons, such as the cutting rapier. In practice, it is likely to be a hybrid of the two. Most of the conventions and vocabulary of modern sabre fencing were developed by late 19th
and early 20th century masters from Italy and Hungary, perhaps most notable among them being Italo Santelli (1866–1945).
The sabre target covers everything above the waist, except the hands (wrists are included) and the back of the head. Today, any contact between any part of the blade and any part of the target counts as a valid touch.
This was not always the case, and earlier conventions stipulated that a valid touch must be made with the point or either the front or back cutting edge, and that a point attack must not merely graze the target and slip
along (pass) the opponent's body. These requirements had to be abandoned, because of technical difficulties, shortly after electronic scoring was introduced into sabre fencing in late 1980s.
Like foil, sabre is subject to right of way rules, but there are differences in the definition of a correctly executed attack and parry. These differences, together with a much greater scoring surface (the whole of the blade,
rather than the point alone), make sabre parries more difficult to execute effectively. As a result, sabre tactics rely much more heavily on footwork with blade contact kept to a minimum. Also, play is not halted by an
off-target (hands/below the waist) hit in sabre. To prevent both fencers from immediately charging each other at the beginning of fencing action, crossing of the feet is not allowed, which also prohibits use of the flèche.
This results in a penalty against the offending fencer (a warning, followed by awarding a penalty touch if the offense is repeated). A maneuver called a 'Flunge' is sometimes used as a replacement for the outlawed
flèche: the fencer leaps at the opponent, being sure to keep his rear foot behind his front as long as possible. Safely landing following this move requires crossing the feet, thus the hit must be scored while airborne.
Sabre matches are often decided very quickly compared to the other weapons.
The clothing which is worn in modern fencing is made of tough cotton or nylon. Kevlar was added to top level uniform pieces (jacket, breeches, underarm protector, lamé, and the bib of the mask) following the
Smirnov incident at the 1982 World Championships in Rome. However, kevlar breaks down in chlorine and UV light, so the act of washing one's uniform and/or hanging it up in the sun to dry actually damaged the
kevlar's ability to do the job.
In recent years other ballistic fabrics such as Dyneema have been developed that perform the puncture resistance function and which do not have kevlar's weakness. In fact, the FIE rules state that the entirety of the
uniform (meaning FIE level clothing, as the rules are written for FIE tournaments) must be made of fabric that resists a force of 800 newtons (1600N in the mask bib).
The complete fencing kit includes the following items of clothing:
Form-fitting jacket covering groin and with strap (croissard) which goes between the legs (note that in sabre fencing, jackets that are cut along the waist and exclude the groin padding are also sometimes used), a small
gorget of folded fabric is also sewn in around the collar to prevent a blade from slipping upwards towards the neck.
Under-arm protector (plastron) which goes underneath the jacket and provides double protection on the sword arm side and upper arm. It is required to not have a seam in the armpit, which would line up with the jacket
seam and provide a weak spot.
One glove for the sword arm with a gauntlet that prevents blades from going up the sleeve and causing injury, as well as protecting the hand and providing a good grip
Breeches or knickers which are a pair of short trousers. The legs are supposed to hold just below the knee.
Knee-length or Thigh high socks which should cover knee and thighs.
Shoes with flat soles and reinforcement on the inside of the back foot and heel of front foot, to prevent wear from lunging.
Mask, including a bib which protects the neck. The mask can usually support 12 kg on the metal mesh, 350 Newtons of penetration resistance on the bib, however FIE regulation masks must withstand much more,
25 kg on the mesh and 1600 Newtons on the bib. Some modern masks have a see-through visor in the front of the mask. These can be used at high level competitions (World Championships etc.).
Plastic chest protector, mandatory for female fencers. While male versions of the chest protector are also available, they were, until recently, primarily worn by instructors, who are hit far more often during training than
their students. Since the change of the depression timing (see above), these are increasingly popular in foil, as the hard surface increases the likelihood of point bounce and thus a failure for a hit to register. Plastrons are
still mandatory, though the chest protector must be worn next to the skin.
Fencing Masters will often wear a heavier protective jacket, usually reinforced by plastic foam to cushion the numerous hits an instructor has to endure. Sometimes in practice, masters wear a protective sleeve or a leg
leather for protection of their fencing arm or leg.
Electric Fencing-In electric foil and sabre there is a layer of electrically conductive material (called a lamé) worn over the fencing jacket, and entirely covers the valid target area. In foil the lamé is sleeveless, and in
sabre the lamé has sleeves and ends in a straight line across the waist. In all weapons, a body cord is also necessary to register scoring: it attaches to the weapon and is worn inside the sleeve of the normal jacket, down
the fencer's back and is then attached to the scoring box. In sabre and foil, the body cord is connected to the lamé in order to create a circuit to the scoring box, where another part of the body cord attaches, can record
where one has been hit.
Traditionally, the fencers' uniform is white in color (black being the traditional color for instructors). This may be to some extent due to the occasional pre-electric practice of covering the point of the weapon in dye,
soot, or colored chalk in order to make it easier for the referee to determine the placing of the touches. Recently the FIE rules have been relaxed to allow colored uniforms (black still being reserved for the coaches). The
guidelines delineating the permitted size and positioning of sponsorship logos are however still extremely strict.
Fencing tournaments are varied in their format, and there are both individual and team competitions. A tournament may comprise all three weapons, both individual and team, or it may be very specific, such as an Épée
Challenge, with individual épée only. And, as in many sports, men and women compete separately in high-level tournaments. Mixed-gender tournaments are commonplace at lower-level events, especially those held by
individual fencing clubs. There are two types of event, individual and team. An individual event consists of two parts: the pools, and the direct eliminations.
In the pools, fencers are divided into groups, and every fencer in a pool will have the chance to fence every other fencer once. There are typically seven fencers in a pool. If the number of fencers competing is not a
multiple of seven, then there will usually be several pools of six or eight. After the pools are finished, the fencers are given a ranking, or "seed," compared to all other fencers in the tournament, based primarily on the
percent of bouts they won, then based secondarily on the difference between the touches they scored and the touches they received. Once the seeds have been determined, the direct elimination round starts. Fencers are
sorted in a table of some power of 2 (16, 32, 64, etc.) based on how many people are competing. Due to the fact that it is highly unlikely for the number of fencers to be exactly a power of two, the fencers with the best
results in the pools are given byes or the bottom seeded fencers are eliminated. The winner carries on in the tournament, and loser is eliminated. Typically no one has to fence for third place (the exception is if the
tournament is a qualifying tournament with limited slots for continuation). Instead, two bronze medals are given to the losers of the semi-final round.
Team competition involves teams of three fencers. A fourth fencer can be allowed on the team as an alternate, but as soon as the fourth has been subbed in, they cannot substitute again. The modern team competition is
similar to the pool round of the individual competition. The fencers from opposing teams will each fence each other once, making for a total of nine matches. Matches between teams are three minutes long, or to 5
points, and the points then carry onto the next bout, thus making it a forty-five touch bout fought by six fencers. Unlike individual tournaments, team tournaments almost always fence for bronze.
Universities and schools
See also: Collegiate Fencing and High School Fencing
Fencing has a long history of association with universities and schools. At least one style of Fencing, Mensur in Germany is practiced only within universities. University students compete against each other at an
international level at the World University Games. The United States also holds a national level university tournament including the NCAA championship tournament in the USA and the BUCS Fencing Championships
in the UK.
The cost of equipment and the relatively small scale of the sport means fencing at the school level has traditionally been dominated by a small number of schools. National fencing organizations have set up programs to
encourage a greater number of students to get involved with fencing at a school level examples include the Regional Youth Circuit program or the Leon Paul Youth Development series in the UK.
In the UK there are two national competitions in which schools compete against each other directly; the Public Schools Fencing Championship, a competition only open to Independent Schools, and the Scottish
Secondary Schools Championships, open to all secondary schools in Scotland it contains both a teams and individual event and is one of the most anticipated competition in Scottish youth fencing. However schools
also organise matches directly against one another and school age pupils can compete individually against one another in the British Youth Championships.
Boxing is a martial art where two participants, generally of similar weight, fight each other with their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee and is typically engaged in during a series of one to three-minute intervals
called rounds. There are three ways to win. Victory is achieved if the opponent is knocked out and unable to get up before the referee counts to ten seconds (a Knockout, or KO) or if the opponent is deemed too injured
to continue (a Technical Knockout, or TKO). If there is no stoppage of the fight before an agreed number of rounds, a winner is determined either by the referee's decision or by judges' scorecards.
Although fighting with fists comes naturally to people, evidence of fist-fighting contests first appear on ancient Sumerian, Egyptian and Minoan reliefs. The ancient Greeks provide us our first historical records of
boxing as a formal sport; they codified a set of rules and staged tournaments with professionals. The birth hour of boxing as a sport may be its acceptance as an Olympic game as early as 688 BC. Modern boxing
evolved in Europe.
In some countries with their own fighting sports, the sport is referred to as "English Boxing" (e.g. in France to contrast with French boxing, or in Burma with Burmese boxing and in Thailand with Thai boxing). There
are numerous different styles of boxing practiced around the world. Boxing does not allow kicks like the styles above.
Fist fighting depicted in Sumerian relief carvings from the 3rd millennium BC, while an ancient Egyptian relief from the 2nd millennium BC depicts both fist-fighters and spectators. Both depictions show bare-fisted
contests. In 1927 Dr. E. A. Speiser, an archaeologist, discovered a Mesopotamian stone tablet in Baghdad, Iraq depicting two men getting ready for a prize fight. The tablet is believed to be 7,000 years old.  The
earliest evidence for fist fighting with any kind of gloves can be found on Minoan Crete (c. 1500–900 BC), and on Sardinia, if we consider the boxing statues of Prama mountains (c. 2000–1000 BC).
Ancient Greek boxing
Homer's Iliad (ca. 675 BC) contains the first detailed account of a boxing fight (Book XXIII).  According to the Iliad, Mycenaean warriors included boxing among their competitions honoring the fallen (ca. 1200 BC),
though it is possible that the Homeric epics reflect later culture. Another legend holds that the heroic ruler Theseus, said to have lived around the 9th century BC, invented a form of boxing in which two men sat face to
face and beat each other with their fists until one of them was killed. In time, the boxers began to fight while standing and wearing gloves (with spikes) and wrappings on their arms below the elbows, although
otherwise they were competed naked.
Boxing was first accepted as an Olympic sport in 688 BC, being called Pygme or Pygmachia. Participants trained on punching bags (called a korykos). Fighters wore leather straps (called himantes) over their hands,
wrists, and sometimes breast, to protect them from injury. The straps left their fingers free. Legend had it that the Spartans were the first to box as a way to prepare for sword and shield fighting.
Ancient Roman boxing
In ancient Rome, there were two forms of boxing both coming from Etruscan boxing. The athletic form of boxing remained popular throughout the Roman world. The other form of boxing was gladiatorial. Fighters
were usually criminals and slaves who hoped to become champions and gain their freedom; however, free men, women, and even aristocrats also fought. Gladiators wore lead "cestae" over their knuckles and heavy
leather straps on their forearms to protect against blows. The deeply scarred and cauliflower eared figure of the Boxer of Quirinal show what a brutal sport it could be (matches often ending in the death or maiming of
Eventually, fist fighting became so popular that even emperors started fighting, and the practice was promoted by Caesar Neronis. A fight between the agile Dares and the towering Entellus is described at length in the
Roman national epic Aeneid (1st century BC).
In 393 A.D., the Olympics were banned by the Christian emperor Theodosius, and in 400 A.D., boxing was banned altogether by Theodoric the Great as boxing being an insult to God because it disfigures the face, the
image of God. However, this edict had little effect outside the major cities of the Eastern Empire.  By this time, western Europe was no longer part of the Roman Empire. Boxing remained popular in Europe
throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. Wrestling, fencing and racing (both chariot and foot) were never banned by the late Romans, as they did not cause disfigurement.
Broughton's rules (1743)
Main article: Broughton's rules
Records of Classical boxing activity disappeared after the fall of the Roman Empire. However, there are detailed records of various fist-fighting sports that were maintained in different cities and provinces of Italy
between the 12th and 17th centuries. There was also a sport in ancient Rus called Fistfight. The sport would later resurface in England during the early 18th century in the form of bare-knuckle boxing sometimes
referred to as prizefighting. The first documented account of a bare-knuckle fight in England appeared in 1681 in the London Protestant Mercury, and the first English bare-knuckle champion was James Figg in 1719.
This is also the time when the word "boxing" first came to be used.
Early fighting had no written rules. There were no weight divisions or round limits, and no referee. In general, it was very chaotic. The first boxing rules, called the Broughton's rules, were introduced by heavyweight
champion Jack Broughton in 1743 to protect fighters in the ring where deaths sometimes occurred. Under these rules, if a man went down and could not continue after a count of 30 seconds, the fight was over. Hitting
a downed fighter and grasping below the waist were prohibited. Broughton also invented and encouraged the use of "mufflers", a form of padded gloves, which were used in training and exhibitions. The first paper on
boxing was published in the late 18th century by successful Birmingham boxer 'William Futrell' who remained undefeated until his one hour and seventeen minute fight at Smitham Bottom, Croydon, on July 9, 1788
against a much younger "Gentleman" John Jackson which was attended by the Prince of Wales.
These rules did allow the fighters an advantage not enjoyed by today's boxers: They permitted the fighter to drop to one knee to begin a 30-second count at any time. Thus a fighter realizing he was in trouble had an
opportunity to recover. However, this was considered "unmanly" and was frequently disallowed by additional rules negotiated by the Seconds of the Boxers. Intentionally going down in modern boxing will cause
the recovering fighter to lose points in the scoring system. Furthermore, as the contestants did not have heavy leather gloves and wristwraps to protect their hands, a certain amount of restraint was required when
striking the head.
London Prize Ring rules (1838)
Main article: London Prize Ring rules
In 1838, the London Prize Ring rules were codified. Later revised in 1853, they stipulated the following: 
Fights occurred in a 24 feet (7.3 m)-square ring surrounded by ropes.
If a fighter was knocked down, he had to rise within 30 seconds under his own power to be allowed to continue.
Biting, headbutting and hitting below the belt were declared fouls.
Through the late nineteenth century, boxing or prizefighting was primarily a sport of dubious legitimacy. Outlawed in England and much of the United States, prizefights were often held at gambling venues and broken
up by police. Brawling and wrestling tactics continued, and riots at prizefights were common occurrences. Still, throughout this period, there arose some notable bare knuckle champions who developed fairly
sophisticated fighting tactics.
Marquess of Queensberry rules (1867)
In 1867, the Marquess of Queensberry rules were drafted by John Chambers for amateur championships held at Lillie Bridge in London for Lightweights, Middleweights and Heavyweights. The rules were published
under the patronage of the Marquess of Queensberry, whose name has always been associated with them.
There were twelve rules in all, and they specified that fights should be "a fair stand-up boxing match" in a 24-foot-square ring. Rounds were three minutes long with one minute rest intervals between rounds. Each
fighter was given a ten-second count if he was knocked down and wrestling was banned.
The introduction of gloves of "fair-size" also changed the nature of the bouts. An average pair of boxing gloves resembles a bloated pair of mittens and are laced up around the wrists. The gloves can be used to block
an opponent's blows. As a result of their introduction, bouts became longer and more strategic with greater importance attached to defensive maneuvers such as slipping, bobbing, countering and angling. Because less
defensive emphasis was placed on the use of the forearms and more on the gloves, the classical forearms outwards, torso leaning back stance of the bare knuckle boxer was modified to more modern stance in which the
torso is tilted forward and the hands are held closer to the face.
The English case of R v. Coney in 1882 found that a bare-knuckle fight was an assault occasioning actual bodily harm, despite the consent of the participants. This marked the end of widespread public bare-knuckle
contests in England.
The first world heavyweight champion under the Queensberry Rules was "Gentleman Jim" Corbett, who defeated John L. Sullivan in 1892 at the Pelican Athletic Club in New Orleans.
Throughout the early twentieth century, boxers struggled to achieve legitimacy, aided by the influence of promoters like Tex Rickard and the popularity of great champions from John L. Sullivan to Jack Dempsey.
Shortly after this era, boxing commissions and other sanctioning bodies were established to regulate the sport and establish universally recognized champions.
Further information: Professional boxing
The Marquess of Queensberry rules have been the general rules governing modern boxing since their publication in 1867.
A boxing match typically consists of a predetermined number of three-minute rounds, a total of up to 12 rounds (formerly 15). A minute is typically spent between each round with the fighters in their assigned corners
receiving advice and attention from their coach and staff. The fight is controlled by a referee who works within the ring to judge and control the conduct of the fighters, rule on their ability to fight safely, count knocked-
down fighters, and rule on fouls. Up to three judges are typically present at ringside to score the bout and assign points to the boxers, based on punches that connect, defense, knockdowns, and other, more subjective,
measures. Each fighter has an assigned corner of the ring, where his or her coach, as well as one or more "seconds" may administer to the fighter at the beginning of the fight and between rounds. Each boxer enters into
the ring from their assigned corners at the beginning of each round and must cease fighting and return to their corner at the signaled end of each round.
A bout in which the predetermined number of rounds passes is decided by the judges, and is said to "go the distance". The fighter with the higher score at the end of the fight is ruled the winner. With three judges,
unanimous and split decisions are possible, as are draws. A boxer may win the bout before a decision is reached through a knockout; such bouts are said to have ended "inside the distance". If a fighter is knocked down
during the fight, determined by whether the boxer touches the canvas floor of the ring with any part of their body other than the feet as a result of the opponent's punch and not a slip, as determined by the referee, the
referee begins counting until the fighter returns to his or her feet and can continue. Should the referee count to ten, then the knocked-down boxer is ruled "knocked out" (whether unconscious or not) and the other boxer
is ruled the winner by knockout (KO). A "technical knockout" (TKO) is possible as well, and is ruled by the referee, fight doctor, or a fighter's corner if a fighter is unable to safely continue to fight, based upon injuries
or being judged unable to effectively defend themselves. Many jurisdictions and sanctioning agencies also have a "three-knockdown rule", in which three knockdowns in a given round result in a TKO. A TKO is
considered a knockout in a fighter's record. A "standing eight" count rule may also be in effect, in which the referee counts no higher than eight to a boxer who regains his or her footing after a knockdown, allowing the
referee time to assess if the boxer is able to continue.
In general, boxers are prohibited from hitting below the belt, holding, tripping, pushing, biting, spitting or wrestling. The boxer's shorts are raised so the opponent is not allowed to hit to the groin area. They also are
prohibited from kicking, head-butting, or hitting with any part of the arm other than the knuckles of a closed fist (including hitting with the elbow, shoulder or forearm, as well as with open gloves, the wrist, the inside,
back or side of the hand). They are prohibited as well from hitting the back, back of the neck or head (called a "rabbit-punch") or the kidneys. They are prohibited from holding the ropes for support when punching,
holding an opponent while punching, or ducking below the belt of their opponent (dropping below the waist of your opponent, no matter the distance between). If a "clinch" – a defensive move in which a boxer wraps
his or her opponents arms and holds on to create a pause – is broken by the referee, each fighter must take a full step back before punching again (alternatively, the referee may direct the fighters to "punch out" of the
clinch). When a boxer is knocked down, the other boxer must immediately cease fighting and move to the nearest neutral corner of the ring until the referee has either ruled a knockout or called for the fight to continue.
Violations of these rules may be ruled "fouls" by the referee, who may issue warnings, deduct points, or disqualify an offending boxer, causing an automatic loss, depending on the seriousness and intentionality of the
foul. An intentional foul that causes injury that prevents a fight from continuing usually causes the boxer who committed it to be disqualified. A fighter who suffers an accidental low-blow may be given up to five
minutes to recover, after which they may be ruled knocked out if they are unable to continue. Accidental fouls that cause injury ending a bout may lead to a "no decision" result, or else cause the fight to go to a decision
if enough rounds (typically four or more, or at least three in a four-round fight) have passed.
Professional vs. amateur boxing
Throughout the 17th through 19th centuries, boxing bouts were motivated by money, as the fighters competed for prizes, promoters controlled the gate, and spectators bet on the result. The modern Olympic movement
revived interest in amateur sports, and amateur boxing became an Olympic sport in 1908. In their current form, Olympic and other amateur bouts are typically limited to three or four rounds, scoring is computed by
points based on the number of clean blows landed, regardless of impact, and fighters wear protective headgear, reducing the number of injuries, knockdowns, and knockouts. Currently scoring blows in amateur boxing
are subjectively counted by ringside judges, but the Australian Institute for Sport has demonstrated a prototype of an Automated Boxing Scoring System, which introduces scoring objectivity, improves safety, and
arguably makes the sport more interesting to spectators. Professional boxing remains by far the most popular form of the sport globally, though amateur boxing is dominant in Cuba and some former Soviet republics.
For most fighters, an amateur career, especially at the Olympics, serves to develop skills and gain experience in preparation for a professional career.
Amateur boxing may be found at the collegiate level, at the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, and in many other venues sanctioned by amateur boxing associations. Amateur boxing has a point scoring
system that measures the number of clean blows landed rather than physical damage. Bouts consist of three rounds of three minutes in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and three rounds of two minutes in a
national ABA (Amateur Boxing Association) bout, each with a one-minute interval between rounds.
Competitors wear protective headgear and gloves with a white strip across the knuckle. A punch is considered a scoring punch only when the boxers connect with the white portion of the gloves. Each punch that lands
cleanly on the head or torso is awarded a point. A referee monitors the fight to ensure that competitors use only legal blows. A belt worn over the torso represents the lower limit of punches – any boxer repeatedly
landing low blows (below the belt) is disqualified. Referees also ensure that the boxers don't use holding tactics to prevent the opponent from swinging. If this occurs, the referee separates the opponents and orders them
to continue boxing. Repeated holding can result in a boxer being penalized or ultimately disqualified. Referees will stop the bout if a boxer is seriously injured, if one boxer is significantly dominating the other or if the
score is severely imbalanced. Amateur bouts which end this way may be noted as "RSC" (referee stopped contest) with notations for an outclassed opponent (RSCO), outscored opponent (RSCOS), injury (RSCI) or
head injury (RSCH).
A professional boxer punches his opponent via jabbing. Note the two boxers being bare-chested and without headgear.
Professional bouts are usually much longer than amateur bouts, typically ranging from ten to twelve rounds, though four round
fights are common for less experienced fighters or club fighters. There are also some two- and three-round professional
bouts, especially in Australia. Through the early twentieth century, it was common for fights to have unlimited rounds,
ending only when one fighter quit, benefiting high-energy fighters like Jack Dempsey. Fifteen rounds remained the
internationally recognized limit for championship fights for most of the twentieth century until the early 1980s, when the death
of boxer Duk Koo Kim reduced the limit to twelve.
Headgear is not permitted in professional bouts, and boxers are generally allowed to take much more punishment before a fight
is halted. At any time, however, the referee may stop the contest if he believes that one participant cannot defend himself due to
injury. In that case, the other participant is awarded a technical knockout win. A technical knockout would also be awarded if a
fighter lands a punch that opens a cut on the opponent, and the opponent is later deemed not fit to continue by a doctor because
of the cut. For this reason, fighters often employ cutmen, whose job is to treat cuts between rounds so that the boxer is able to
continue despite the cut. If a boxer simply quits fighting, or if his corner stops the fight, then the winning boxer is also awarded
a technical knockout victory. In contrast with amateur boxing, professional male boxers have to be bare chested. 
All boxers, regardless of their weight class, have certain kinds of clothing that are essential for bouts. Professional boxers wear
different clothes from amateur ones but there is a basic idea or sense in them.
Professional boxers have to be bare-chested and have no head gear. However, they still retain the shorts. However, these shorts are more decorated and styled to fit with the boxer's particulars. The shorts would usually
show the boxer's name or his nickname. They can be also coloured in a way to refer to the boxer's country origin. On the areas where the shorts are on the waist or hips, the shorts will have a sort of rough or 'scaly'
appearance. On this area, there would normally be a big illustration of the brand of the shorts.
All boxers who fought before the modern era usually wore a kind of garment that bears a striking resemblance to an ordinary underwear. But some amateurs still wear a simple T-Shirt on them.
Boxing style terminology
In boxing, no two fighters' styles are identical. A boxer's style evolves as he or she applies what they learn in practice, and performs in such a way as to suit him or herself. Nonetheless, many terms are used which
broadly describe a boxer's style. Note that a boxer is not necessarily limited to being described by one of these terms. A fighter may be accomplished at both in-fighting and out-fighting, a good example of
this being Bernard Hopkins.
Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali
A classic "boxer" or stylist (also known as an "out-fighter") seeks to maintain distance between himself and his opponent, fighting with faster, longer range
punches, most notably the jab, and gradually wearing his opponent down. Due to this reliance on weaker punches, out-fighters tend to win by point decisions
rather than by knockout, though some out-fighters have notable knockout records. They are often regarded as the best boxing strategists due to their ability to
control the pace of the fight and lead their opponent, methodically wearing him down and exhibiting more skill and finesse than a brawler . Out-fighters
need reach, hand speed, reflexes, and footwork.
Notable out-fighters include Gene Tunney, Billy Conn, Willie Pep, Meldrick Taylor and Muhammad Ali.
A boxer-puncher is a well-rounded boxer who is able to fight at close range with a combination of technique and power, often with the ability to knock opponents
out with a combination and in some instances a single shot. Their movement and tactics are similar to that of an out-fighter (although they are generally not as
mobile as an out-fighter), but instead of winning by decision, they tend to wear their opponents down using combinations and then move in to score the knockout.
A boxer must be well rounded to be effective using this style.
Notable punchers include, Manny Pacquiao, Sam Langford, Henry Armstrong, Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Tony Zale, Archie Moore, Carlos
Monzon, Khaosai Galaxy, Oscar De La Hoya.
A brawler is a fighter who generally lacks finesse and footwork in the ring, but makes up for it through sheer punching power. Many brawlers tend to lack
mobility, preferring a less mobile, more stable platform and have difficulty pursuing fighters who are fast on their feet. They may also have a tendency to ignore
combination punching in favour of continuous beat-downs with one hand and by throwing slower, more powerful single punches (such as hooks and uppercuts).
Their slowness and predictable punching pattern (single punches with obvious leads) often leaves them open to counter punches, so successful brawlers must be
able to absorb substantial amounts of punishment. A brawler's most important assets are power and chin (the ability to absorb punishment while remaining able to
Notable brawlers include Stanley Ketchel, Max Baer, Rocky Graziano, Sonny Liston and George Foreman.
In-fighters/swarmers (sometimes called "pressure fighters") attempt to stay close to an opponent, throwing intense flurries and combinations of hooks and uppercuts. A successful in-fighter often needs a good "chin"
because swarming usually involves being hit with many jabs before they can maneuver inside where they are more effective. In-fighters operate best at close range because they are generally shorter and have less reach
than their opponents and thus are more effective at a short distance where the longer arms of their opponents make punching awkward. However, several fighters tall for their division have been relatively adept at in-
fighting as well as out-fighting. The essence of a swarmer is non-stop aggression. Many short in-fighters utilize their stature to their advantage, employing a bob-and-weave defense by bending at the waist to slip
underneath or to the sides of incoming punches. Unlike blocking, causing an opponent to miss a punch disrupts his balance, permits forward movement past the opponent's extended arm and keeps the hands free to
counter. Some in-fighters have been known for being notoriously hard to hit. The key to a swarmer is aggression, endurance, chin, and bobbing-and-weaving.
Notable swarmers include Mike Tyson, Harry Greb, Jack Dempsey, Rocky Marciano, Joe Frazier, Glyn Daniels and also Jake LaMotta
Counter punchers are slippery in the pocket defensive style fighters. They use their well rounded defence to avoid or block shots. When their opponent throws a punch they use their defense to avoid blows and then they
return one. They mostly fight at a close range; but some counter punchers remain at the distance of an out fighter. To be successful using this style he or she must have well rounded overall skills, a sharp boxing brain,
and while blazing speed isn't always necessary, good speed at the least is required.
Notable counter punchers include Pernell Whitaker, James Toney, Marvin Hagler, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Floyd Mayweather Jr
There is a generally accepted rule of thumb about the success each of these boxing styles has against the others. In general, an in-fighter has an advantage over an out-fighter, an out-fighter has an advantage over a
puncher, and a puncher has an advantage over an in-fighter; these form a cycle with each style being stronger relative to one, and weaker relative to another, with none dominating, as in rock-paper-scissors.
Naturally, many other factors, such as the skill level and training of the combatants, determine the outcome of a fight, but the widely held belief in this relationship among the styles is embodied in the cliché amongst
boxing fans and writers that "styles make fights."
Punchers tend to overcome swarmers or in-fighters because, in trying to get close to the slugger, the in-fighter will invariably have to walk straight into the guns of the much harder-hitting puncher, so, unless the former
has a very good chin and the latter's stamina is poor, the brawler's superior power will carry the day. A famous example of this type of match-up advantage would be George Foreman's knockout victory over Joe
Although in-fighters struggle against heavy punchers, they typically enjoy more success against out-fighters or boxers. Out-fighters prefer a slower fight, with some distance between themselves and the opponent. The
in-fighter tries to close that gap and unleash furious flurries. On the inside, the out-fighter loses a lot of his combat effectiveness, because he cannot throw the hard punches. The in-fighter is generally successful in this
case, due to his intensity in advancing on his opponent and his good agility, which makes him difficult to evade. For example, the swarming Joe Frazier, though easily dominated by the slugger George Foreman, was
able to create many more problems for the boxer Muhammad Ali in their three fights. Joe Louis, after retirement, admitted that he hated being crowded, and that swarmers like untied/undefeated champ Rocky Marciano
would have caused him style problems even in his prime.
The boxer or out-fighter tends to be most successful against a brawler, whose slow speed (both hand and foot) and poor technique makes him an easy target to hit for the faster out-fighter. The out-fighter's main concern
is to stay alert, as the brawler only needs to land one good punch to finish the fight. If the out-fighter can avoid those power punches, he can often wear the brawler down with fast jabs, tiring him out. If he is successful
enough, he may even apply extra pressure in the later rounds in an attempt to achieve a knockout. Most classic boxers, such as Muhammad Ali, enjoyed their best successes against sluggers.
Since boxing involves forceful, repetitive punching, precautions must be taken to prevent damage to bones in the hand. Most trainers do not allow boxers to train and spar without hand/wrist wraps and boxing gloves.
Hand wraps are used to secure the bones in the hand, and the gloves are used to protect the hands from blunt injury, allowing boxers to throw punches with more force than if they did not utilize them. Gloves have been
required in competition since the late nineteenth century, though modern boxing gloves are much heavier than those worn by early twentieth-century fighters. Prior to a bout, both boxers agree upon the weight of gloves
to be used in the bout, with the understanding that lighter gloves allow heavy punchers to inflict more damage. The brand of gloves can also affect the impact of punches, so this too is usually stipulated before a bout. A
mouth guard is important to protect the teeth and gums from injury, and to cushion the jaw, resulting in a decreased chance of knockout.
Boxers practice their skills on two basic types of punching bags. A small, tear-drop-shaped "speed bag" is used to hone reflexes and repetitive punching skills, while a large cylindrical "heavy bag" filled with sand or a
synthetic substitute is used to practice power punching and body blows. In addition to these distinctive pieces of equipment, boxers also utilize more general use training equipment to build strength, speed, and agility.
Common training equipment includes free weights, rowing machines, jump rope, and medicine balls.
The modern boxing stance differs substantially from the typical boxing stances of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The modern stance has a more upright vertical-armed guard, as opposed to the more horizontal,
knuckles-facing-forward guard adopted by early 20th century hook users such as Jack Johnson.
Upright stance Semi-crouch Full crouch
In a fully upright stance, the boxer stands with the legs shoulder-width apart and the rear foot a half-step behind the lead foot. Right-handed or orthodox boxers lead with the left foot and fist. Both feet are parallel, and
the right heel is off the ground. The lead (left) fist is held vertically about six inches in front of the face at eye level. The rear (right) fist is held beside the chin and the elbow tucked against the ribcage to protect the
body. The chin is tucked into the chest to avoid punches to the jaw which commonly cause knock-outs and is often kept slightly offcenter. Wrists are slightly bent to avoid damage when punching and the elbows are
kept tucked in to protect the ribcage. Some boxers fight from a crouch, leaning forward and keeping their feet closer together. The stance described is considered the "textbook" stance and fighters are encouraged to
change it around once its been mastered as a base. Case in point, many fast fighters have their hands down and have almost exaggerated footwork, while brawlers or bully fighters tend to slowly stalk their opponents.
Left-handed or southpaw fighters use a mirror image of the orthodox stance, which can create problems for orthodox fighters unaccustomed to receiving jabs, hooks, or crosses from the opposite side. The southpaw
stance, conversely, is vulnerable to a straight right hand.
North American fighters tend to favor a more balanced stance, facing the opponent almost squarely, while many European fighters stand with their torso turned more to the side. The positioning of the hands may also
vary, as some fighters prefer to have both hands raised in front of the face, risking exposure to body shots.
Modern boxers can sometimes be seen tapping their cheeks or foreheads with their fists in order to remind themselves to keep their hands up (which becomes difficult during long bouts). Boxers are taught to push off
with their feet in order to move effectively. Forward motion involves lifting the lead leg and pushing with the rear leg. Rearward motion involves lifting the rear leg and pushing with the lead leg. During lateral motion
the leg in the direction of the movement moves first while the opposite leg provides the force needed to move the body.
There are four basic punches in boxing: the jab, straight right/left hand, hook and uppercut. If a boxer is right-handed (orthodox), his left hand is the lead hand and his right hand is the rear hand. For a left-handed boxer
or southpaw, the hand positions are reversed. For clarity, the following discussion will assume a right-handed boxer.
Jab Cross - in counter-punch with a looping Uppercut
Short straight-punch – in short range and close rangeCross-counter (counter punch) Half uppercut - a combination of a wide Uppercut/straight punchHalf hook - a combination of a wide Hook/straight punch
Jab – A quick, straight punch thrown with the lead hand from the guard position. The jab is accompanied by a small, clockwise rotation of the torso and hips, while the fist rotates 90 degrees, becoming horizontal upon
impact. As the punch reaches full extension, the lead shoulder can be brought up to guard the chin. The rear hand remains next to the face to guard the jaw. After making contact with the target, the lead hand is retracted
quickly to resume a guard position in front of the face. The jab is recognised as the most important punch in a boxer's arsenal because it provides a fair amount of its own cover and it leaves the least amount of space for
a counter punch from the opponent. It has the longest reach of any punch and does not require commitment or large weight transfers. Due to its relatively weak power, the jab is often used as a tool to gauge distances,
probe an opponent's defenses, harass an opponent, and set up heavier, more powerful punches. A half-step may be added, moving the entire body into the punch, for additional power. Some notable boxers who have
been able to develop relative power in their jabs and use it to punish or 'wear down' their opponents to some effect include Larry Holmes and Wladimir Klitschko.
Cross – A powerful, straight punch thrown with the rear hand. From the guard position, the rear hand is thrown from the chin, crossing the body and traveling towards the target in a straight line. The rear shoulder is
thrust forward and finishes just touching the outside of the chin. At the same time, the lead hand is retracted and tucked against the face to protect the inside of the chin. For additional power, the torso and hips are
rotated counter-clockwise as the cross is thrown. Weight is also transferred from the rear foot to the lead foot, resulting in the rear heel turning outwards as it acts as a fulcrum for the transfer of weight. Body rotation
and the sudden weight transfer is what gives the cross its power. Like the jab, a half-step forward may be added. After the cross is thrown, the hand is retracted quickly and the guard position resumed. It can be used to
counter punch a jab, aiming for the opponent's head (or a counter to a cross aimed at the body) or to set up a hook. The cross can also follow a jab, creating the classic "one-two" combination. The cross is also called a
"straight" or "right", especially if it does not cross the opponent's outstretched jab.
Hook – A semi-circular punch thrown with the lead hand to the side of the opponent's head. From the guard position, the elbow is drawn back with a horizontal fist (knuckles pointing forward) and the elbow bent. The
rear hand is tucked firmly against the jaw to protect the chin. The torso and hips are rotated clockwise, propelling the fist through a tight, clockwise arc across the front of the body and connecting with the target. At the
same time, the lead foot pivots clockwise, turning the left heel outwards. Upon contact, the hook's circular path ends abruptly and the lead hand is pulled quickly back into the guard position. A hook may also target the
lower body and this technique is sometimes called the "rip" to distinguish it from the conventional hook to the head. The hook may also be thrown with the rear hand.
Uppercut – A vertical, rising punch thrown with the rear hand. From the guard position, the torso shifts slightly to the right, the rear hand drops below the level of the opponent's chest and the knees are bent slightly.
From this position, the rear hand is thrust upwards in a rising arc towards the opponent's chin or torso. At the same time, the knees push upwards quickly and the torso and hips rotate anti-clockwise and the rear heel
turns outward, mimicking the body movement of the cross. The strategic utility of the uppercut depends on its ability to "lift" the opponent's body, setting it off-balance for successive attacks. The right uppercut
followed by a left hook is a deadly combination employing the uppercut to lift the opponent's chin into a vulnerable position, then the hook to knock the opponent out.
These different punch types can be thrown in rapid succession to form combinations or "combos". The most common is the jab and cross combination, nicknamed the "one-two combo". This is usually an effective
combination, because the jab blocks the opponent's view of the cross, making it easier to land cleanly and forcefully.
A large, swinging circular punch starting from a cocked-back position with the arm at a longer extension than the hook and all of the fighter's weight behind it is sometimes referred to as a "roundhouse", "haymaker", or
sucker-punch. Relying on body weight and centripetal force within a wide arc, the roundhouse can be a powerful blow, but it is often a wild and uncontrolled punch that leaves the fighter delivering it off balance and
with an open guard. Wide, looping punches have the further disadvantage of taking more time to deliver, giving the opponent ample warning to react and counter. For this reason, the haymaker or roundhouse is not a
conventional punch, and is regarded by trainers as a mark of poor technique or desperation. Sometimes it has been used, because of its immense potential power, to finish off an already staggering opponent who seems
unable or unlikely to take advantage of the poor position it leaves the puncher in.
Another unconventional punch is the rarely used "bolo punch", in which the opponent swings an arm out several times in a wide arc, usually as a distraction, before delivering with either that or the other arm.
There are several basic maneuvers a boxer can use in order to evade or block punches, depicted and discussed below.
Blocking (with the arms) Cover-Up (with the gloves)
Slip – Slipping rotates the body slightly so that an incoming punch passes harmlessly next to the head. As the opponent's punch arrives, the boxer sharply rotates the hips and shoulders. This turns the chin sideways and
allows the punch to "slip" past. Muhammad Ali was famous for extremely fast and close slips, as was an early Mike Tyson.
Sway or Fade – To anticipate a punch and move the upper body or head back so that it misses or has its force appreciably lessened. Also called "rolling with the punch" or " Riding The Punch".
Duck or Break – To drop down with the back straight so that a punch aimed at the head glances or misses entirely.
Bob and Weave – Bobbing moves the head laterally and beneath an incoming punch. As the opponent's punch arrives, the boxer bends the legs quickly and simultaneously shifts the body either slightly right or left.
Once the punch has been evaded, the boxer "weaves" back to an upright position, emerging on either the outside or inside of the opponent's still-extended arm. To move outside the opponent's extended arm is called
"bobbing to the outside". To move inside the opponent's extended arm is called "bobbing to the inside". Joe Frazier, Jack Dempsey, Mike Tyson and Rocky Marciano were masters of bobbing and weaving.
Parry/Block – Parrying or blocking uses the boxer's shoulder, hands or arms as defensive tools to protect against incoming attacks. A block generally receives a punch while a parry tends to deflect it. A "palm" or
"cuff" is a block which intentionally takes the incoming punch on that portion of the defender's glove.
The Cover-Up – Covering up is the last opportunity (other than rolling with a punch) to avoid an incoming strike to an unprotected face or body. Generally speaking, the hands are held high to protect the head and chin
and the forearms are tucked against the torso to impede body shots. When protecting the body, the boxer rotates the hips and lets incoming punches "roll" off the guard. To protect the head, the boxer presses both fists
against the front of the face with the forearms parallel and facing outwards. This type of guard is weak against attacks from below.
The Clinch – Clinching is a rough form of grappling and occurs when the distance between both fighters has closed and straight punches cannot be employed. In this situation, the boxer attempts to hold or "tie up" the
opponent's hands so he is unable to throw hooks or uppercuts. To perform a clinch, the boxer loops both hands around the outside of the opponent's shoulders, scooping back under the forearms to grasp the opponent's
arms tightly against his own body. In this position, the opponent's arms are pinned and cannot be used to attack. Clinching is a temporary match state and is quickly dissipated by the referee.
There are several defensive positions (guards or styles) used in boxing. Within each style, there is considerable variation among fighters, as some fighters may have their guard higher for more head protection while
others have their guard lower to provide better protection against body punches. Many fighters vary their defensive style throughout a bout in order to adapt to the situation of the moment, choosing the position best
suited to protect them.
Boxers who use an upright stance protect their chin with the rear hand in either the low or mixed guard styles depicted below. Crouch fighters tend to use the "peek-a-boo" style, discussed below.
Low guard Mixed guard Peek-a-boo
Peek-a-boo – Sometimes known as the "earmuffs," the hands are placed next to each other in front of the face (fighters tend to vary the exact positioning) and elbows are brought in tight to the body (this position can be
achieved by bringing the elbows as close together while not straining yourself to do so). This defensive style is what a boxer is taught to do when he begins to box, after he gains experience he can decide to change or
vary the guard. This style is middle-of-the-road style in terms of counterpunching and damage reduction. A boxer can counter punch from this stance, but it is difficult. However, there have been boxers who can do this
very well. This defense covers up a fighter well, but there are holes. Hooks do damage by going around the hands and by hitting just behind the elbows. Winky Wright uses this style very well from a damage reduction
stand point. Another famous example is Mike Tyson, who in his early career used the Peek-a-Boo with great success.
Cross-armed – The forearms are placed on top of each other horizontally in front of the face with the glove of one arm being on the top of the elbow of the other arm. This style is greatly varied when the back hand
rises vertically. This style is the most effective for reducing head damage. The only head punch that a fighter is susceptible to is a jab to the top of the head. The body is open, but most fighters who use this style bend
and lean to protect the body, but while upright and unaltered the body is there to be hit. This position is very difficult to counterpunch from, but virtually eliminates all head damage.
Philly Shell, Hitman or Crab – The lead arm is placed across the torso usually somewhere in between the belly button and chest and the lead hand rests on the opposite side of the fighter's torso. The back hand is
placed on the side of the face. The lead shoulder is brought in tight against the side of the face. This style is used by fighters who like to counterpunch. To execute this guard a fighter must be very athletic and
experienced. This style is so effective for counterpunching because it allows fighters to slip punches by rotating and dipping their upper body and causing blows to glance off the fighter. After the punch glances off, the
fighter's back hand is in perfect position to hit his out-of-positioned opponent. The shoulder lean is used in this stance. To execute the shoulder lean a fighter rotates and ducks when his opponent's punch is coming
towards him and then rotates back towards his opponent while his opponent is bringing his hand back. The fighter will throw a punch with his back hand as he is rotating towards his undefended opponent. The
weakness to this style is that when a fighter is stationary and not rotating he is open to be hit, so a fighter must be athletic and well conditioned to effectively execute this style. To beat this style fighters like to jab their
opponent's shoulder causing the shoulder and arm to be in pain and to demobilize that arm.
Boxers generally attempt to land high, fast combinations and then quickly shift position to avoid a possible response by their opponent. Strategically, the ring's centre is generally the desired position since a boxer is
able to conserve movement by forcing the opponent to circle around them. When in the centre, the boxer is also less likely to be knocked backwards against the ropes surrounding the ring and cornered. Depending on
the boxer's style, the centre is the desired location as cornering opponents is always a good strategy. Most fighters, though, will not move around the boxer in the center because doing so makes them vulnerable to shots
thrown at good angles. Movement is the most important tool in the ring and allows the fighter to avoid punches that were not telegraphed. If a boxer is standing still, his opponent has a better chance of hitting him. A
fighter anticipating a shot while stationary is less likely to be able to evade the shot than a fighter already in motion.
Less common strategies
The "rope-a-dope" strategy : Used by Muhammad Ali in his 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" bout against George Foreman, the rope-a-dope method involves laying back on the ropes, covering up defensively as much as
possible and allowing the opponent to land punches. Weathering the blows, the boxer lures the opponent into expending energy whilst conserving his/her own. If successful, the attacking opponent will eventually tire,
creating defensive flaws which the boxer can exploit. In modern boxing, the rope-a-dope is generally discouraged since most opponents are not fooled by it and few boxers possess the physical toughness to withstand a
prolonged, unanswered assault.
Bolo punch : Occasionally seen in Olympic boxing, the bolo is an arm punch which owes its power to the shortening of a circular arc rather than to transference of body weight; it tends to have more of an effect due to
the surprise of the odd angle it lands at rather than the actual power of the punch. This is more of a gimmick than a technical maneuver; this punch is not taught, being on the same plane in boxing technicality as is the
Ali shuffle. Nevertheless, a few professional boxers have used the bolo-punch to great effect, including former welterweight champions Sugar Ray Leonard, Ceferino Garcia and Kid Gavilan.
Bolo punch Overhand (overcut)
Overhand right : The overhand right is a punch not found in every boxer's arsenal. Unlike the right cross, which has a trajectory parallel to the ground, the overhand right has a looping circular arc as it is thrown over-
the-shoulder with the palm facing away from the boxer. It is especially popular with smaller stature boxers trying to reach taller opponents. Boxers who have used this punch consistently and effectively include former
heavyweight champions Rocky Marciano and Tim Witherspoon. The overhand right has become a popular weapon in other tournaments that involve fist striking. Mighty Mo employed it to score a dramatic 2nd Round
KO over 7 ft 2 in tall Hong-Man Choi in the K-1 Yokohama Grand Prix Tournament and the overhand right has become a signature move for former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell.
Check hook : A check hook is employed to prevent aggressive boxers from lunging in. There are two parts to the check hook. The first part consists of a regular hook. The second, trickier part involves the footwork. As
the opponent lunges in, the boxer should throw the hook and pivot on his left foot and swing his right foot 180 degrees around. If executed correctly, the aggressive boxer will lunge in and sail harmlessly past his
opponent like a bull missing a matador. This is rarely seen in professional boxing as it requires a great disparity in skill level to execute. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. demonstrated a picture-perfect example of this punch
against Ricky Hatton in their 2007 encounter. Hatton was caught with the check hook as he was lunging in; Hatton continued forward as he was knocked off balance and proceeded to ram his head into the ring post as
Mayweather stepped out of harm's way. When interviewed, Mayweather stated that he was taught the check hook in the Michigan amateurs. Technically speaking it has been said that there is no such thing as a check
hook and that it is simply a hook applied to an opponent that has lurched forward and past his opponent who simply hooks him on the way past. Others have argued that the check hook exists but is an illegal punch due
to it being a pivot punch which is illegal in the sport.
In boxing, each fighter is given a corner of the ring where he rests in between rounds and where his trainers stand. Typically, three men stand in the corner besides the boxer himself; these are the trainer, the assistant
trainer and the cutman. The trainer and assistant typically give advice to the boxer on what he is doing wrong as well as encouraging him if he is losing. The cutman is a cutaneous doctor responsible for keeping the
boxer's face and eyes free of cuts and blood. This is of particular importance because many fights are stopped because of cuts that threaten the boxer's eyes.
In addition, the corner is responsible for stopping the fight if they feel their fighter is in grave danger of permanent injury. The corner will occasionally literally throw in a white towel to signify a boxer's surrender. This
can be seen in the fight between Diego Corrales and Floyd Mayweather. In that fight, Corrales' corner surrendered despite Corrales' steadfast refusal.
Boxing Hall of Fame
The sport of boxing has two internationally recognized boxing halls of fame; the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) and the World Boxing Hall of Fame (WBHF), with the IBHOF being the more widely
recognized boxing hall of fame.
The WBHF was founded by Everett L. Sanders in 1980. Since its inception the WBHOF has never had a permanent location or museum, which has allowed the more recent IBHOF to garner more publicity and prestige.
Boxing's International Hall of Fame was inspired by a tribute an American town held for two local heroes in 1982. The town, Canastota, New York, (which is about 15 miles (24 km) east of Syracuse, via the New York
State Thruway), honored former world welterweight/middleweight champion Carmen Basilio and his nephew, former world welterweight champion Billy Backus. The people of Canastota raised money for the tribute
which inspired the idea of creating an official, annual hall of fame for notable boxers.
The International Boxing Hall of Fame opened in Canastota in 1989. The first inductees in 1990 included Jack Johnson, Benny Leonard, Jack Dempsey, Henry Armstrong, Sugar Ray Robinson, Archie Moore, and
Muhammad Ali. Other world-class figures include Roberto "Manos de Piedra" Duran, Ismael Laguna, Eusebio Pedroza, Carlos Monzon, Azumah Nelson, Rocky Marciano, Pipino Cuevas, and Ken Buchanan. The Hall
of Fame's induction ceremony is held every June as part of a four-day event.
The fans who come to Canastota for the Induction Weekend are treated to a number of events, including scheduled autograph sessions, boxing exhibitions, a parade featuring past and present inductees, and the
induction ceremony itself.
Kickboxing (キックボクシング?) refers to the sport of combining the grace and style of boxing with kicking. Kickboxing is a standing sport and does not allow continuation of the fight once a combatant has reached
Kickboxing is often practiced for self-defense, general fitness, or as a full-contact sport. In the full-contact sport the male boxers are bare-chested wearing shorts and protective gear including: mouth-guard, hand-wraps,
10-oz. boxing gloves, groin-guard, shin-pads, kick-boots, and optional protective helmet (usually for those under 16). The female boxers will wear a tank top and chest protection in addition to the male
clothing/protective gear. In European kickboxing, where kicks to the thigh are allowed using special low-kick rules, use of boxing shorts instead of long trousers is possible.
In addition, amateur rules often allow less experienced competitors to use light or semi-contact rules, where the intention is to score points by executing successful strikes past the opponent's guard, and use of force is
regulated. The equipment for semi-contact is similar to full-contact matches, usually with addition of head gear. Competitors usually dress in a t-shirt for semi-contact matches, to separate them from the bare-chested
Kickboxing is often confused with Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing. The two sports are similar; however, in Thai Boxing, kicks below the belt are allowed, as are strikes with knees and elbows.
There are many arts labelled kickboxing including Japanese kickboxing, American kickboxing, Indian boxing, Burmese boxing, as well as French boxing. The term kickboxing is disputed and has become more
associated with the Japanese and American variants. Many of the other styles do not consider themselves to be 'kickboxing', although the public often uses the term generically to refer to all these martial arts.
The term kickboxing (キックボクシング) was created by the Japanese boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi for a variant of Muay Thai and Karate that he created in the 1950s. The term was later used by the
American variant. When used by the practitioners of those two styles, it usually refers to those styles specifically.
Low kick (Roundhouse kick)
On December 20, 1959, a Muay Thai among Thai fighters was held at Tokyo Asakusa town hall in Japan. Tatsuo Yamada, who established "Nihon Kempo
Karate-do", was interested in Muay Thai because he wanted to perform Karate matches with full-contact rules since practitioners are not allowed to hit each other
directly in karate matches. At this time, it was unimaginable to hit each other in karate matches in Japan. He had already announced his plan which was named
"The draft principles of project of establishment of a new sport and its industrialization" in November, 1959, and he proposed the tentative name of "Karate-
boxing" for this new sport. It is still unknown whether Thai fighters were invited by Yamada, but it is clear that Yamada was the only karateka who was really
interested in Muay Thai. Yamada invited a Thai fighter who was the champion of Muay Thai (and formerly his son Kan Yamada's sparring partner), and started
studying Muay Thai. At this time, the Thai fighter was taken by Osamu Noguchi who was a promoter of boxing and was also interested in Muay Thai. The Thai
fighter's photo was on the magazine "The Primer of Nihon Kempo Karate-do, the first number" which was published by Yamada.
There were "Karate vs. Muay Thai fights" February 12, 1963. The three karate fighters from Oyama dojo (Kyokushin later) went to the Lumpinee Boxing
Stadium in Thailand, and fought against 3 Muay Thai fighters. The 3 karate fighters' names are Tadashi Nakamura, Kenji Kurosaki and Akio Fujihira (as known as Noboru Osawa). Japan won by 2-1 then. Noguchi
studied Muay thai and developed a combined martial art which Noguchi named kick boxing. However, throwing and butting were allowed in the beginning to distinguish it from Muay Thai style. This was later
repealed. The Kickboxing Association, the first kickboxing sanctioning body, was founded by Osamu Noguchi in 1966 soon after that. Then the first kickboxing event was held in Osaka, April 11, 1966.
Tatsu Yamada died in 1967, but his dojo changed its name to Suginami Gym, and kept sending kickboxers off to support kickboxing.
Kickboxing boomed and became popular in Japan as it began to be broadcast on TV. Tadashi Sawamura was an especially popular early kickboxer. However, the boom was suddenly finished and became unpopular
after Sawamura was retired. Kickboxing had not been seen on TV until K-1 was founded in 1993.
In 1993, as Kazuyoshi Ishii (founder of Seidokan karate) produced K-1 under special kickboxing rules (No elbow and neck wrestling) in 1993, kickboxing became famous again.
The sport has spread through Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
The Count Dante, Ray Scarica and Maung Gyi are the real pioneers of American Kickboxing. Had tournaments back in 1962. 
Between 1970 and 1973 (in federation PKA) a handful of kickboxing promotions were staged across the USA. In the early days the rules were never clear, one of the first tournaments had no weight divisions and all the
competitors fought off until one was left. A very young Benny Urquidez reached the final. Unfortunately at world level there was no infrastructure, no set format of rules, the elements of danger were still included in the
combat forms. As the martial arts disciplines grew in popularity mans urge to meet his/her peers on the competition floor demanded conformity, a universal rules system, and a method that would ensure the
practitioners safety whilst competing at sporting level. Various groups came forward in an attempt to unite all these Eastern martial disciplines under one set of rules that would cover the many and various forms of
combat all under one umbrella. After many many failures, petty squabbles and political in fighting an organization was formed and termed the World Kickboxing Association (WKA). The impetus of the WKA on world
martial arts as a whole was revolutionary. They were the first organised body of martial arts on a global scale to sanction fights, create ranking systems, and institute a development programme. Whereby at grass roots
level children of all ages under a strict code of ethics and safety could learn via satellite WKA clubs in every City, Town, and village, a martial arts discipline thus ensuring for future years the growth of the sport.
Today, the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) is the most active kickboxing sanctioning body in North America and one of the top 3 worldwide organizations. The IKF also hosts the Largest All Amateur - Full
Contact & Muay Thai - Kickboxing Tournament in the World, the IKF World Classic.
Europe, Australia and South America
Jan Plas, the Dutch kickboxer, founded Mejiro Gym with some Muay Thai pioneers in the Netherlands in 1978, after he learned kickboxing from Kenji Kurosaki in Japan. Plas also founded NKBB (The Dutch
Kickboxing Association), which was the first kickboxing organization in Netherlands, in 1978. The sport took off in the U.S. with the popularity and success of Kev Kelsey in the 1970s. In South America the
kickboxing was introduced by martial artist and kickboxing champion, Hector Echavarria, who brought the famous Joe Corley's Professional Karate Association, the International Sports Karate Association, and the
United States Karate Association to Latin America.
Arts labelled as kickboxing include:
Adithada (Indian boxing) – A form of kickboxing that uses knee, elbow and forehead strikes.
Lethwei (Burmese boxing) – Traditional Burmese martial arts of which has now grown into a popular kickboxing event with strong emphasis on knee, elbow strikes and headbutt. Any part of the body may be used to
strike and be struck. It is also known as Bando kickboxing.
Pradal Serey (Khmer "Cambodian" kickboxing) – Possible predecessor of Muay Thai with an emphasis on elbow techniques.
Gwon-gyokdo (Korean kickboxing) that is a mix between Muay Thai and Tae Kwon Do.
Muay Thai (Thai boxing) – Traditional Thai martial art of which has now grown into a popular kickboxing event with strong emphasis on knee and elbow strikes.
Muay Boran (Ancient boxing) – Predecessor of Muay Thai, allows the use of headbutts.
Japanese kickboxing – Similar to Muay Thai, but different point system is taken. The first fighting style to adopt the name of "Kickboxing".
American kickboxing – Similar to Japanese kickboxing but not allowed to kick below the waist.
Savate (French boxing) – Allows the use of shoes.
Sanshou/Sanda (Chinese boxing) – The applicable component of wushu/kung fu of which takedowns and throws are legal in competition as well as all other sorts of striking (use of arms and legs).
Shoot boxing – A Japanese form of kickboxing which allows throwing and submission while standing, similar to Sanshou.
Yaw-Yan (Filipino kickboxing) – Sayaw ng Kamatayan (Dance of Death) is the proper name for Yaw-Yan, a Filipino martial art developed by Napoleon Fernandez. The art resembles Muay Thai in a sense, but differs
in the hip torquing motion as well as downward-cutting of its kicks.
Draka (Russian kickboxing) similar to shootboxing, using kickboxing techniques with sambo throws and takedowns.
Zen Do Kai Kickboxing Singapore, founded by Peter A. Robertson, developed from Australian Soke Bob Jones Zen Do Kai Freestyle Martial Arts, a combination of Goju Ryu, Shotokan Karate and Muay Thai.
There are many additional derivatives of these forms, as well as combined styles which have been used in specific competitions (e.g. K-1).
In other combat sports
Kickboxing is popular in mixed martial arts and professional wrestling competition.
These rules are almost same as Muay Thai rules:
Time: three minutes × five rounds
Allowed to kick the lower half of the body except crotch
Allowed to do neck-wrestling (folding opponent's head with arms and elbows to attack the opponent's body or head with knee-strikes, but only depending on the rules of clinch and knees)
Allows knee and elbow strikes
Head butts and throws were banned in 1966 for boxers' safety.
No ram muay before match
No Thai music during the match
Interval takes one minute only as same as boxing
In Muay Thai, kicking to mid-body and head are scored highly generating a large number of points on judges' scorecards. Moreover, kicking is still judged highly even if the kick was blocked. In contrast, punching is
worth fewer points. In kickboxing punches and kicks are held in closer esteem.
These are the rules used in American and Australian Full Contact Karate.
Opponents are allowed to hit each other with fists and feet, striking above the hip
Using elbows or knees is forbidden and the use of the shins is seldom allowed.
Bouts are usually 3 to 12 rounds (lasting 2 – 3 minutes each) for amateur and professional contests with a 1-minute rest in between rounds.
This is in contrast to Muay Thai, where the use of elbows and knees are allowed. In fact, some Muay Thai practitioners consider kickboxing a "watered down" version of Muay Thai. Fighters and promoters can agree to
various rules including kicks only above the waist, kicks anywhere, no knee strikes, knees only to the body, and so on. American Kickboxing is essentially much a mixture of Western Boxing and Karate.
The round durations and the number of rounds can vary depending on the stipulations agreed to before hand by each fighter or manager. A winner is declared during the bout if there is a submission (fighter quits or
fighter's corner throws in the towel), knockout (KO), or referee stoppage (Technical Knock Out, or TKO). If all of the rounds expire with no knockout then the fight is scored by a team of 3 judges. The judges
determine a winner based on their scoring of each round. A split decision indicates a disagreement between the judges, while a unanimous decision indicates that all judges saw the fight the same way and all have
declared the same winner.
European-style kickboxing was formed with a combination of Muay Thai and Japanese kickboxing rules and it has evolved into three different disciplines.
Semi-contact is a fighting discipline where two fighters fight with the primary goal of scoring greater points using controlled legal techniques with speed and focus. The main characteristics of semi-contact are delivery,
technique and speed. The competition in semi-contact should be executed in its true sense with light and well-controlled contact. It is a technical discipline with equal emphasis put on hand and foot techniques from an
athletic viewpoint. Techniques (punches and kicks) are strictly controlled. At each valid point (a point that is awarded, with a legal part of hand or foot to legal targets and with legal technique), the central referee halts
the fight and at the same time as the two judges, shows with his/her fingers the number of points in the direction of the fighter who is being awarded points. Fighters will enter the tatami and touch gloves. They will then
step back and assume a fighting stance and wait for the command FIGHT from the referee. The time will only be stopped on the command of the referee, by calling TIME toward the area control table. Time is not
stopped to award points or penalties unless the referee feels it is necessary. A fighter may have one coach and one second in his corner during the match.
Light Contact (or medium-contact)
Competition in Light Contact kickboxing should be executed as its name implies, with well-controlled techniques. In light contact competitors fight continuously until the central referee commands STOP or BREAK.
They use techniques from full contact, but these techniques must be well controlled when they land on legal targets. Equal emphasis must be placed on both punching and kicking techniques. Light contact has been
created as an intermediate stage between semi and full contact kickboxing. It is carried out with running time. The central referee doesn't judge the fighters, but only makes sure they respect the rules. The fight could be
held in a tatami or in a ring.
Full contact is a discipline of kickboxing where the intention of a fighter is to beat his opponent with full power and strength. Punches and kicks must be delivered to legal targets with focus, speed and determination,
creating solid contact. Punches and kicks are allowed to the front and side of the head, the front and side of the body (above waist) and sweeping is also allowed. The fight is held in a ring. The referee is responsible for
fighter safety and keeping to the rules. Judges count legal techniques and note the points on scoring card. Amateur fights have 3 x 2 minute rounds with a minute break between each round in all IKF and WAKO
tournaments. Outside a tournament, a single amateur fight can have up to 5 x 2 minute rounds with a minute break between each round. The use of more than 3 rounds must be due to an agreement between the fighters.
Jab - straight punch from the front hand, to either the head or the body, often used in conjunction with the cross
Cross (Straight punch) - The straight punching whirl by feeling it out-without using target
Hook - rounded punch to either the head or body in an arching motion, usually not scored in points scoring
Uppercut - rising punch striking to the chin.
Jab Cross here in counterpunch (cross-counter)Hook Uppercut
Short straight-punch usually striking to the chin
Backfist usually from the front hand, reverse-back fist and spinning back-fist both usually from the back hand - are strikes to the head, raising the arm and bending the arm at the elbow and then straightening the arm
quickly to strike to the side of the head with the rear of the knuckles, common in “light contact”.
Short straight-punch Back fist Spinning back-fist
Cross-counter – a cross-counter is a counterpunch begun immediately after an opponent throws a jab, exploiting the opening in the opponent's position
Overhand (overcut or drop) - a semi-circular and vertical punch thrown with the rear hand. It is usually when the opponent bobbing or slipping. The strategic utility of the drop relying on body weight can deliver a
great deal of power
Bolo punch - a combination of a wide uppercut/right cross/swing that was delivered seemingly from the floor.
Half-hook - a combination of a wide jab/hook or cross/hook
Half-swing - a combination of a wide hook/swing
Cross-counter Overhand (drop) Half-swing
Front Kick or push Kick - Striking face or chest on with the heel of the foot
Side Kick - Striking with the side or heel of the foot with leg parallel to the ground, can be performed to either the head or body
Semi-circular Kick or forty five degree roundhouse kick
Roundhouse Kick or circle kick - Striking with the front of the foot or the lower shin to the head or the body in a chopping motion
Front kick Side kick Semi-circular kick
Spinning and flying kick Spinning back-kick Jumping side-kick
Spinning hook-kick Jumping front-kick Jumping back-kick
Spinning side-kick Jumping roundhouse-kick
Stick-kick Spinning back-kick (here a counterpunch)Jumping side-kick Jumping back-kick
Hook Kick (heel kick) - Extending the leg out to the side of the body, and hooking the leg back to strike the head with eiher the heel or sole
Crescent Kick and forward crescent kick
Axe Kick – is a stomp kick or Axe kick. The stomp kick normally travel downward, striking with the side or base heel.
Back Kick – is delivered with the base heel of the foot.
Sweeping – One foot or both feet of an opponent may be swept depending upon their position, balance and strength.
Sweeping (spinning hook-kick)
Hook-kick Crescent-kick Hammer-kick
Spinning versions of the back, side, hook and axe kicks can also be performed along with jumping versions of all kicks
Straight Knee Thrust (Long-range knee kick or front heel kick). This knee strike is delivered with the back or reverse foot against an opponent’s stomach, groin, hip or spine an opponent forward by the neck, shoulder
Rising Knee Strike – can be delivered with the front or back foot. It makes an explosive snap upwards to strike an opponent’s face, chin, throat or chest.
Hooking Knee Strike – can be delivered with the front or back foot. It makes a half circle spin and strikes the sides of an opponent
Side Knee Snap Strike – is a highly-deceptive knee technique used in close-range fighting. The knee is lifted o the toes or lifted up, and is snapped to left and right, striking an opponent’s sensitive knee joints, insides
of thighs, groin
Straight knee-thrust (long-range)Rising Knee-strike Diagonal knee-kick Jumping knee-kick
Slip - Slipping rotates the body slightly so that an incoming punch passes harmlessly next to the head. As the opponent's punch arrives, the boxer sharply rotates the hips and shoulders. This turns the chin sideways and
allows the punch to "slip" past. Muhammed Ali was famous for extremely fast and close slips.
Bob and weave - bobbing moves the head laterally and beneath an incoming punch. As the opponent's punch arrives, the boxer bends the legs quickly and simultaneously shifts the body either slightly right or left.
Once the punch has been evaded, the boxer "weaves" back to an upright position, emerging on either the outside or inside of the opponent's still-extended arm. To move outside the opponent's extended arm is called
"bobbing to the outside". To move inside the opponent's extended arm is called "bobbing to the inside".
Parry/Block - Parrying or blocking uses the boxer's hands as defensive tools to deflect incoming attacks. As the opponent's punch arrives, the boxer delivers a sharp, lateral, open-handed blow to the opponent's wrist or
forearm, redirecting the punch.
The Cover-Up - Covering up is the last opportunity to avoid an incoming strike to an unprotected face or body. Generally speaking, the hands are held high to protect the head and chin and the forearms are tucked
against the torso to impede body shots. When protecting the body, the boxer rotates the hips and lets incoming punches "roll" off the guard. To protect the head, the boxer presses both fists against the front of the face
with the forearms parallel and facing outwards. This type of guard is weak against attacks from below.
Blocking (with the arms)
Slipping Bobbing Cover-Up (with the gloves)
The Clinch - Clinching is a rough form of grappling and occurs when the distance between both fighters has closed and straight punches cannot be employed. In this situation, the boxer attempts to hold or "tie up" the
opponent's hands so he is unable to throw hooks or uppercuts. To perform a clinch, the boxer loops both hands around the outside of the opponent's shoulders, scooping back under the forearms to grasp the opponent's
arms tightly against his own body. In this position, the opponent's arms are pinned and cannot be used to attack. Clinching is a temporary match state and is quickly dissipated by the referee.
Clinching Pulling away
There are three main defensive positions (guards or styles) used in boxing. Within each style, there is considerable variation among fighters, as some fighters may have their guard higher for more head protection while
others have their guard lower to provide better protection against body punches. Many fighters vary their defensive style throughout a bout in order to adapt to the situation of the moment, choosing the position best
suited to protect them.
Low guard (one hand guarding face, the other guarding the lower part) Mixed guard Peek-a-boo
Both professional and amateur kickboxing, like boxing, have many governing bodies around the world. Many claim to be the largest or the best but the best thing for anyone to do is contact each one and work with
them directly. See what each has to offer. Just because one is recognized by another organization, association etc, does not make them the best. Your own personal research and what you are told by those in the sport
will help you determine which sanctioning body is right or best for you.
Governing Body Website
World Kickboxing & Karate Association (W.K.A) - Prof & Amateur http://www.kickboxing-wka.co.uk/
International Sports Kickboxing Association (I.S.K.A) - Prof & Amateur http://www.iska.com
World Federation of Kickboxing (W.F.K) - Prof & Amateur http://www.wfk-gov.com
World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (W.A.K.O) - Amateur -
(Officially recognised by G.A.I.S.F. as the Worlds Amateur Kickboxing body).
World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (W.A.K.O-PRO) - Professional http://www.wakopro.org
World Martial Arts Federation (W.M.A.F) http://www.wmaf.azbuz.com/
World Martial Arts Sport Federation (W.M.S.F) http://www.savunmasanatlari.tr.gg/
Turkiye Association Kickboxing Organizations (T.A.K.O) http://turkiyekickboxing.azbuz.com
International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) - Pro & Amateur http://www.ikfkickboxing.com
International Kickboxing Federation (I.K.F - P.K.B) - Point Kickboxing http://www.ikfpkb.com
International Kickboaxing Board of Control (I.K.B.C) http://www.ikbc.org/
World Kickboxing Network (W.K.N) - Professional http://www.worldkickboxingnetwork.com/
World Kickboxing Union (W.K.U) http://www.wku-kickboxing.com/
World Kickboxing Federation (W.K.F) http://www.wkfkickboxing.com
WK-1 International kickboxing league (I.K.L) http://www.yakinsavunma.com/
Professional Kickboxing Association (P.K.A) http://www.pkakickboxing.com/
World Asoociation Of all styles kickboxing organizations (W.A.S.K.O) - Prof & Amateur http://www.dovuscu.com/
International kickboxing League (I.K.L) - Prof & Amateur http://www.dovuscu.com/
Muay Thai (Thai: มวยไทย, RTGS: Muai Thai, IPA: [muɛj tʰɑj], lit. Thai Boxing) is a form of hard martial art practiced in large parts of the world, including Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. The art is
similar to others in Southeast Asia such as: pradal serey in Cambodia, lethwei in Myanmar, tomoi in Malaysia and Lao boxing in Laos. Muay Thai has a long history in Thailand and is the country's national sport.
Traditional Muay Thai practiced today varies significantly from the ancient art muay boran and uses kicks and punches in a ring with gloves similar to those used in Western boxing.
Muay Thai is referred to as "The Art of Eight Limbs", as the hands, shins, elbows, and knees are all used extensively in this art. A practitioner of Muay Thai ("nak
muay") thus has the ability to execute strikes using eight "points of contact," as opposed to "two points" (fists) in Western boxing and "four points" (fists, feet) used in the
primarily sport-oriented forms of martial arts. A practitioner of Muay Thai who is not of Thai nationality or race, is known as a Falang Nak Muay (foreign boxer).
Muaythai match in Bangkok, Thailand
Various forms of kickboxing have long been practiced throughout Southeast Asia. As with most countries in the region, Thai culture is highly influenced by ancient
civilizations within Southeast Asia. The origin of Muay Thai is unclear. One theory is that it was with the Tai people before the Tai immigration to Southeast Asia from
China. Another is that it was adopted and modified off of Khmer martial arts when Thai culture
was influenced by Khmer culture. A third theory is that a little bit of both the first and second theory occurred. Muay Thai evolved from its ancestor Muay Boran ("ancient boxing"), an unarmed combat used by
Siamese soldiers in conjunction with Krabi Krabong. There is a phrase about Muay Boran that states, "Punch Korat, Wit Lopburi, Posture Chaiya, Faster Thasao. ( )".
As well as continuing to function as a practical fighting technique for use in actual warfare, Muay Thai became a sport in which the opponents fought in front of spectators who went to watch for entertainment. This
kind of muay contests gradually became an integral part of local festivals and celebrations, especially those held at temples. It was even used as entertainment to kings.
Eventually, the previously bare-fisted fighters started wearing lengths of rope wrapped around their hands and forearms. This type of match was called muay kaad chuek ( ).
Muay gradually became a possible means of personal advancement as the nobility increasingly esteemed skillful practitioners of the art and invited selected fighters to come to live in the Royal palace to teach muay to
the staff of the royal household, soldiers, princess or the king's personal guards.  This "royal muay" was called muay luang ( ง).
Some time during the Ayutthaya Period, a platoon of royal guards was established, whose duty was to protect king and the country. They were known as Grom Nak Muay (Muay Fighters' Regiment). This royal
patronage of muay continued through the reigns of Rama V and VII.
The ascension of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) to the throne in 1868 ushered in a Golden Age not only for muay but for the whole country of Thailand. Muay progressed greatly during the reign of Rama V as a direct
result of the king's personal interest in the art. The country was at peace and muay functioned as a means of physical exercise, self-defense, recreation, and personal advancement. Masters of the art such as
former fighters or soldiers began teaching muay in training camps where students were provided with food and shelter. Trainees would be treated as one family and it was customary for students to adopt the camp's
name as their own surname.
At the time of the fall of the ancient Siam capital of Ayutthaya in 1763, the invading Burmese troops rounded up a group of Thai residents and took them as prisoners. Among them were a large number of Thai boxers,
who were taken by the Burmese to the city of Ungwa.
In 1774, in the Burmese city of Rangoon, the king of the Burmese, Hsinbyushin (known in Thai as "King Mangra"), decided to organize a seven-day, seven-night religious festival in honor of Buddha's relics. The
festivities included many forms of entertainment, such as the costume plays called likay, comedies and farces, and sword-fighting matches. At one point, King Hsinbyushin wanted to see how Muay Boran would
compare to the Burmese art Lethwei. Nai Khanom Tom was selected to fight against the Burmese champion. The boxing ring was set up in front of the throne and Nai Khanom Tom did a traditional Wai Kru
pre-fight dance, to pay his respects to the Burmese king, as well as for all the spectators, dancing around his opponent, which amazed and perplexed all the Burmese people. When the fight began, he charged out, using
punches, kicks, elbows, and knees, pummeling his opponent until he collapsed. 
The referee however stated that the Burmese opponent was too distracted by the Wai Kru, and the knockout was invalid. The King then asked if Nai Khanom Tom would fight nine other Burmese champions to prove
himself. He agreed and fought them all, one after the other with no rest periods in between. His last opponent was a great boxing teacher from Ya Kai City. Nai Khanom Tom mangled him by his kicks and no one else
dared to challenge him any further.
King Mangra was so impressed that he remarked, "Every part of the Thai is blessed with venom. Even with his bare hands, he can fell nine or ten opponents. But his Lord was incompetent and lost the country to the
enemy. If he would have been any good, there was no way the City of Ayutthaya would ever have fallen."
King Mangra granted Nai Khanom Tom freedom along with either riches or two beautiful Burmese wives. Nai Khanom Tom chose the wives as he said that money was easier to find. He then departed with his wives
for Siam. Other variations of this story had him also winning the release of his fellow Thai prisoners. His feat is celebrated every March 17 as "Boxer's Day" or "National Muay Thai Day" in his honor and that of
Today, some have wrongly attributed the legend of "Nai Khanom Tom" to King Naresuan, who was once taken by the Burmese. However, Nai Khanom Tom and King Naresuan were almost two centuries apart.
(As their name they are "legends" and there is no concrete proof in this concern, however it is sure that there have been many fighters kept in the kingdom for entertainment purposes as keeping wrestlers in other
The most important "rennaissance" is the erection of modern "fight stadiums" such as "rajandamnern" and "lumpini" after 1950's with the erection of those stadiums the task is oriented to improve the "technics,
capability etc" of fighters considering the needs and backbone of muay thai, many techniques have been created, adopted especially from wrestling.
Muay Thai techniques
Muay Thai consisted of an arsenal of nine weapons—the head, fists, elbows, knees and feet—known collectively as na-wa arwud. However in modern Muay Thai, both amateur and professional, headbutting an
opponent is no longer allowed.
To strike and bind the opponent for both offensive and defensive purposes, small amounts of stand-up grappling are used: the clinch. Formal Muay Thai techniques are divided into two groups: Mae Mai or major
techniques and Luk Mai or minor techniques. This is certainly the case with traditional stylists in Thailand, but is a less popular form of fighting in the contemporary world fighting circuit. It has evolved and
incorporated much more powerful hand striking techniques used in western style boxing and the Thai style of exchanging blow for blow is no longer favorable. Note: when Muay Thai fighters compete against fighters
of other styles (and if the rules permit it), they almost invariably emphasize elbow (sok) and knee (kao) techniques to gain a distinct advantage in fighting. Almost all techniques in Muay Thai use the entire body
movement, rotating the hip with each kick, punch, elbow and block. The rotation of the hips in Muay Thai techniques, and intensive focus on "core muscles" (such as abdominal muscles and surrounding muscles) is
very distinctive and is what sets Muay Thai apart from other styles of martial arts.
English Thai Transliteration IPA
Jab ง Mud Trong mɑd troŋ
Hook ง Mud Wiang San mɑd wɪɑŋ sɑn
Swing ง Mud Wiang Yao mɑd wɪɑŋ jɑːo
Spinning Backfist ง Mud Wiang Glub mɑd wɪɑŋ ɡlɑb
Uppercut ( ) Mud Seuy mɑd sɣɪ
Cobra ะ Kra-dod Chok ɡrɑ doːd tʃoɡ
The punch techniques in Muay Thai were originally quite simple being crosses and a long (or lazy) circular strike made with a straight (but not locked) arm and landing with the heel of the palm. Cross-fertilization with
Western boxing and western martial arts mean the full range of western boxing punches are now used: jab, straight right/cross, hook, uppercut, shovel and corkscrew punches and overhands as well as hammer fists and
As a tactic, body punching is used less in Muay Thai than most other striking martial arts to avoid exposing the attacker's head to counter strikes from knees or elbows. To utilise the range of targeting points, in keeping
with the Theory of Muay Thai—Centre Line, the advocate can use either Western or Thai stance which allows for either long range or short range attacks to be undertaken effectively without compromising guard.
Elbow (Tee sok)
The elbow can be used in several ways as a striking weapon: horizontal, diagonal-upwards, diagonal-downwards, uppercut, downward, backward-spinning and flying. From the side it can be used as either a finishing
move or as a way to cut the opponent's eyebrow so that blood might block his vision. The blood also raises the opponent's awareness of being hurt which could affect his performance. This is the most common way of
using the elbow. The diagonal elbows are faster than the other forms, but are less powerful. The uppercut and flying elbows are the most powerful, but are slower and easier to avoid or block. The downward elbow is
usually used as a finishing move.
English Thai Transliteration IPA
Elbow Slash Sok Tee sɔːk tīː
Horizontal Elbow Sok Tud sɔːk tàd
Uppercut Elbow ง Sok Ngud sɔːk ŋád
Forward Elbow Thrust ง Sok Poong sɔːk pʰûŋ
Reverse Horizontal Elbow ง Sok Wiang Glub sɔːk wìːaŋ klàb
Spinning Elbow Sok Glub sɔːk klàb
Elbow Chop Sok Sub sɔːk sàb
Double Elbow Chop Sok Glub Koo
Mid-Air Elbow Strike ะ Gra-dode Sok
There is also a distinct difference between a single elbow and a follow-up elbow. The single elbow is an elbow move independent from any other move, whereas a follow-up elbow is the second strike from the same
arm, being a hook or straight punch first with an elbow follow-up. Such elbows, and most other elbows, are used when the distance between fighters becomes too small and there is too little space to throw a hook at the
opponent's head. Elbows can also be utilised to great effect as blocks or defences against, for example, spring knees, side body knees, body kicks or punches.
English Thai Transliteration
Straight Kick ะ ง Tae Trong
Roundhouse Kick ะ Tae Tud
Diagonal Kick ะ ง Tae Chiang
Half-Shin, Half-Knee Kick ะ ง ง ง Tae Krueng Kheng Krueng Kao
Spinning Heel Kick ะ ง Tae Glub Lang
Down Roundhouse Kick ะ Tae Kod
Axe Heel Kick ะ Tae Khao
Jump Kick ะ ะ Gra-dode Tae
Step-Up Kick ะ KhaYiep Tae
The two most common kicks in Muay Thai are known as the teep (literally "foot jab,"), and the Tae(kick)chiang (kicking upwards in the shape of a triangle cutting under the arm and ribs) or angle kick. The Muay Thai
angle kick has been widely adopted by fighters from other martial arts and is considered one of or the most powerful kicks in martial arts.  The angle kick uses a rotational movement of the entire body. The
angle kick is superficially similar to a karate roundhouse kick, but it uses less rotation of the lower leg from the knee used in other striking martial arts like Karate or Taekwondo. The angle kick draws its power entirely
from the rotational movement of the body. Many Muay Thai fighters use a counter rotation of the arms to intensify the power of this kick. Muay Thai has a style of kicking unique to the martial art.
If a round house kick is attempted by the opponent the Muay Thai fighter will normally check the kick, that is he will block the kick with his own shin. Thai boxers are trained to always connect with the shin. While
sensitive in an unconditioned practitioner, the shin is the strongest part of the leg for experienced Muay Thai fighters. The foot contains many fine bones and is much weaker. A fighter may end up hurting himself if he
tries to strike with his foot or instep.
Muay Thai also includes other varieties of kicking, such as the axe kick, side kick or spinning back kick etc. These kicks are only used in bouts by some fighters. It is worth noting that a side kick is performed
differently in Muay Thai than the traditional side kick of other martial arts. In Muay Thai, a side kick is executed by first raising the knee of the leg that is going to kick in order to convince the opponent that the
executor is going to perform a teep or front kick. The hips are then shifted to the side to the more traditional side kick position for the kick itself. The "fake-out" almost always precedes the kick in Muay Thai technique.
Knee (Tee kao)
English Thai Transliteration
Straight Knee Strike ง Kao Trong
Diagonal Knee Strike ง Kao Chiang
Curving Knee Strike ง Kao Kong
Horizontal Knee Strike Kao Tud
Knee Slap Kao Tob
Knee Bomb Kao Youwn
Jumping Knee Kao Loi
Step-Up Knee Strike Kao Yiep
Kao Dode (Jumping knee strike) – the Thai boxer jumps up on one leg and strikes with that leg's knee.
Kao Loi (Flying knee strike) – the Thai boxer takes step(s), jumps forward and off one leg and strikes with that leg's knee.
Kao Tone (Straight knee strike) – the Thai boxer simply thrusts it forward (not upwards, unless he is holding an opponents head down in a clinch and intend to knee upwards into the face). According to one written
source, this technique is somewhat more recent than Kao Dode or Kao Loi.  Supposedly, when the Thai boxers fought with rope-bound hands rather than the modern boxing gloves, this particular technique
was subject to potentially vicious cutting, slicing and sawing by an alert opponent who would block it or deflect it with the sharp "rope-glove" edges which are sometimes dipped in water to make the rope much
stronger. This explanation also holds true for some of the following knee strikes below as well. In an episode of Fight Science, martial artists performed and tested their most powerful kicks with a crash test dummie and
scientest testing their power, the kicks including were the karate side kick, kung fu flying double kick and taekwondo spinning back kick, the last one was the Muay Thai Knee Strike performed by Melchor Menor, a
Muay Thai champion tested his Knee Strike which in terms of force, power, damage and chest deflection, inflicted the most out of all of the other techniques.
Foot-Thrusts also Kicks or literally "foot jabs" are one of the most common techniques used in Muay Thai. Teeps are different from any other Muay Thai technique in terms of objective to use. Foot-thrusts are mainly
used as a defensive technique to control distance, block attacks, and get an opponent off balance. Foot-Thrusts should be thrown quickly but yet with enough force to knock an opponent off balance.
English Thai Transliteration IPA
Straight Foot-Thrust ง Teep Trong tʰìːb tròŋ
Sideways Foot-Thrust ง Teep Kang tʰìːb kʰâːŋ
Reverse Foot-Thrust ง Teep Glub Lang tʰìːb klàb làŋ
Slapping Foot-Thrust Teep Tob
Jumping Foot-Thrust ะ Gra-dode Teep kràʔ dòːd tʰìːb
Clinch & Neck Wrestling (Djab-ko)
In Western Boxing the two fighters are separated when they clinch; in Muay Thai, however, they are not. It is often in the clinch where knee and elbow techniques are used.It seems that the methodology of "djab -ko" is
evolved from "greco roman style wrestling maneuvers " especially after 1940's with some differences enabling especially "knee attacks " and also "elbows" with a much more stiffer stance... The front clinch should be
performed with the palm of one hand on the back of the other. There are three reasons why the fingers must not be intertwined. 1) In the ring fighters are wearing boxing gloves and cannot intertwine their fingers. 2)
The Thai front clinch involves pressing the head of the opponent downwards, which is easier if the hands are locked behind the back of the head instead of behind the neck. Furthermore the arms should be putting as
much pressure on the neck as possible. 3) A fighter may incur an injury to one or more fingers if they are intertwined, and it becomes more difficult to release the grip in order to quickly elbow the opponent's head.
A correct clinch also involves the fighter's forearms pressing against the opponent's collar bone while the hands are around the opponent's head rather than the opponent's neck. The general way to get out of a clinch is
to push the opponent's head backwards or elbow him or her, as the clinch requires both participants to be very close to one another. Additionally, the non-dominant clincher can try to "swim" his or her arm underneath
and inside the opponent's clinch, establishing the previously non-dominant clincher as the dominant clincher.
Muay Thai has several other variants of the clinch, including:
arm clinch, where one or both hands controls the inside of the defender's arm(s) and where the second hand if free is in the front clinch position, this clinch is used to briefly control the opponent before applying a knee
strike or throw
side clinch, one arm passing around the front of the defender with the attacker's shoulder pressed into the defender's arm pit and the other arm passing round the back which allows the attacker to apply knee strikes to
the defender's back or to throw the defender readily
low clinch, with both controlling arms passing under the defender's arms, which is generally used by the shorter of two opponents
swan-neck where one hand around the rear of the neck is used to briefly clinch an opponent (before a strike). 
Defense against attacks
Defenses in Muay Thai are categorised in 6 groups:
Blocking – defender's hard blocks to stop a strike in its path so preventing it reaching its target, (eg the Shin Block described in more detail below)
Redirection – defender's soft parries to change the direction of a strike (eg a downwards tap to a jab) so that it misses the target
Avoidance – moving a body part out of the way or range of a strike so the defender remains in range for a counter-strike, eg defender moving the front leg backwards from the attacker's low kick: then immediately
counter-attacking with an angle kick: or defender laying the head back from the attacker's high angle kick: then immediately counter-attacking with a side kick from the front leg:
Evasion – moving the body out of the way or range of a strike so the defender has to move close again to counter-attack, eg defender jumping back from attacker's kicks
Disruption – Pre-empting an attack. eg with defender using disruptive techniques like jab, teep or low angle kick (to the inside of the attacker's front leg) as the attacker attempts to close distance
Anticipation – Defender catching a strike (eg catching an angle kick to the body) or countering it before it lands (eg defender's low kick to the supporting leg below as the attacker iniates a high angle kick).
Punches and kicks
Defensively, the concept of "wall of defence" is used, in which shoulders, arms and legs are used to hinder the attacker from successfully executing techniques. Blocking is a critical element in Muay Thai and
compounds the level of conditioning a successful practitioner must possess. Low and mid body roundhouse kicks are normally blocked with the upper portion of a raised shin. High body strikes are blocked with the
forearm/glove, elbow/shin. Mid section roundhouse kicks can also be caught/trapped, allowing for a sweep or counter attack to the remaining leg of the opponent. Punches are blocked with an ordinary boxing guard and
techniques similar, if not identical, to basic boxing technique. A common means of blocking a punch is using the hand on the same side as the oncoming punch. For example, if an orthodox fighter throws a jab (being
the left hand), the defender will make a slight tap to redirect the punch's angle with the right hand. The deflection is always as small and precise as possible to avoid unnecessary energy expenditure and return the hand
to the guard as quickly as possible. Hooks are most often blocked with a motion most often described as "combing your hair," raising the elbow forward and effectively shielding the head with the forearm, flexed
biceps, and shoulder. More advanced Muay Thai blocks are usually counters, used to damage the opponent to prevent another attack being made.The punching technics of muay thai consists of "long distance punches "
in common and are a bit different if compared to "quinsburry-western style boxing" in general...the reason of this is that the fighters are challenging against kicks ,the thai fighters mostly use the long direct punches as
an intremediate step into throwing kicks ,knees or elbows......however, there are also many fighters using "western style boxing methodology" and getting also success...
Like most competitive full contact fighting sports, Muay Thai has a heavy focus on body conditioning. Muay Thai is specifically designed to promote the level of fitness and toughness required for ring competition.
Training regimens include many staples of combat sport conditioning such as running, shadowboxing, rope jumping, body weight resistance exercises, medicine ball exercises, abdominal exercises, and in some cases
weight training. Muay Thai practitioners typically apply Namman Muay liberally before and after their intense training sessions.
Training that is specific to a Muay Thai fighter includes training with coaches on Thai pads, focus mitts, heavy bag, and sparring. The daily training includes many rounds (3-5 minute periods broken up by a short rest,
often 1–2 minutes) of these various methods of practice. Thai pad training is a cornerstone of Muay Thai conditioning which involves practicing punches, kicks, knees, and elbow strikes with a trainer wearing thick
pads which cover the forearms and hands. These special pads are used to absorb the impact of the fighter’s strikes and allow the fighter to react to the attacks of the pad holder. The trainer will often also wear a belly
pad around the abdominal area so that the fighter can attack with straight kicks or knees to the body at anytime during the round.
Focus mitts are specific to training a fighter’s hand speed, punch combinations, timing, punching power, defense, and counter-punching and may also be used to practice elbow strikes. Heavy bag training is a
conditioning and power exercise that reinforces the techniques practiced on the pads. Sparring is a means to test technique, skills, range, strategy, and timing against a partner. Sparring is often a light to medium contact
exercise because competitive fighters on a full schedule are not advised to risk injury by sparring hard. Specific tactics and strategies can be trained with sparring including in close fighting, clinching and kneeing only,
cutting off the ring, or using reach and distance to keep an aggressive fighter away.
Due to the rigorous training regimen (some Thai boxers fight almost every other week) professional Muay Thai fighters have relatively short careers in the ring. Many retire from competition to begin instructing the
next generation of Thai fighters. It is a common myth that Thai boxing causes arthritis; this is not true, and it is in no way more damaging to the body than other sports such as karate or even running. Most
professional Thai boxers come from the lower economic backgrounds, and the fight money (after the other parties get their cut) is sought as means of support for the fighters and their families. Very few higher
economic strata Thais join the professional Muay Thai ranks; they usually either don't practice the sport or practice it only as amateur Muay Thai boxers.
Muay Thai is practiced in many different countries. There are different rules depending on what country the fight is in and under what organization the fight is arranged. The following is a link to the rules section of the
Sports Authority of Thailand.
Most popular brands in Thaiboxing are Twins Special and Fairtex. Both are based in Thailand and sell muay thai equipment worldwide.
Use in other martial arts
Muay Thai, along with savate, karate, and taekwondo heavily influenced the development of kickboxing in Japan, Europe, and North America. Especially "kickboxing" has been considered as "Modified Muay Thai"
during 1970-1980 's ,which has been introduced by "Kurosaki" and his Durch followers till 1990's until to this time the organizations were named as "Karate associations "such as "WKA- World Karate Association and
later they changed in their names the "karate" into "kickboxing" due to the domination of those "kickboxers who were actually muay thai fighters". "However, unlike Muay Thai, most kickboxing competitions do not
allow elbow strikes or prolonged clinching knee strikes to avoid potential fight ending cuts. American kickboxing does not allow kicks below the waist.
Mixed martial arts
Starting in the 1990s, Muay Thai has enjoyed a boost in popularity worldwide as it has been very effective in mixed martial arts training and competition. MMA artists such as Mauricio Rua, Wanderlei Silva, and
Anderson Silva have combined many striking elements of Muay Thai with grappling, wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu into a hybrid synthesis that has been highly effective in their fights.
In the UFC, Muay Thai is slowly becoming a part of a few mixed martial arts fighters, as well as Karate and other martial arts. In the early days of the UFC, many titleholders relied on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling
to subdue their opponents. Over the past several years, a few fighters who claim Muay Thai as their main fighting style (such as Anderson Silva) have become titleholders.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art and combat sport that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. It was derived from the Japanese martial art of Kodokan Judo in the early 20th century, which was itself then a
recently-developed system (founded in 1882), based on multiple schools (or Ryu) of Japanese jujutsu.
It promotes the principle that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger assailant using leverage and proper technique; most notably, by applying joint-locks and chokeholds
to defeat them. BJJ can be trained for sport grappling tournaments (gi and no-gi) and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition. Sparring (commonly referred to as 'rolling') and live drilling play a major role in training,
and a premium is placed on performance, especially in competition.
The art began with Mitsuyo Maeda (aka Conde Koma, or Count Coma in English), an expert Japanese judoka and member of the Kodokan. Maeda was one of five of the Kodokan's top groundwork experts that Judo's
founder Kano Jigoro sent overseas to spread his art to the world. Maeda left Japan in 1904 and visited a number of countries  giving "jiu-do" demonstrations and accepting challenges from wrestlers, boxers, savate
fighters and various other martial artists before eventually arriving in Brazil on November 14, 1914.
Since its inception, judo was separated from jujutsu in its goals, philosophy, and training regime. Although there was great rivalry among jujutsu teachers, this was more than just Kano's ambition to clearly individualize
his art. To Kano, judo wasn't solely a martial art: it was also a sport, a method for promoting physical fitness and building character in young people, and, ultimately, a way (Do) of life.
It is often claimed that BJJ is a development of traditional Japanese jujutsu, not judo, and that Maeda was a jujutsuka. However, Maeda never trained in jujutsu. He first trained in sumo as a teenager, and after the
interest generated by stories about the success of judo at contests between judo and jujutsu that were occurring at the time, he changed from sumo to judo, becoming a student of Kano's Kodokan judo. He was
promoted to 7th dan in Kodokan judo the day before he died in 1941.
Many people (including Masahiko Kimura) believe that Hélio Gracie holds a judo rank of 6th dan. There is, however, no Kodokan record of Gracie's dan grade in judo.
When Maeda left Japan, Judo was still often referred to as "Kano Jiu-Jitsu", or, even more generically, simply as "Jiu-Jitsu."
Kigashi, the co-author of "Kano Jiu-Jitsu" wrote in the foreword
"Some confusion has arisen over the employment of the term 'jiudo'. To make the matter clear I will state that jiudo is the term selected by Professor Kano as describing his system more accurately than jiu-jitsu does.
Professor Kano is one of the leading educators of Japan, and it is natural that he should cast about for the technical word that would most accurately describe his system. But the Japanese people generally still cling to
the more popular nomenclature and call it jiu-jitsu."
Outside Japan, however, this distinction was noted even less. The distinction between a jutsu and a do is subtle, and is still used somewhat arbitrarily to this day. Thus, when Maeda and Satake arrived in Brazil in 1914,
every newspaper announced "jiu-jitsu" despite both men being Kodokan Judoka.
The Japanese government itself did not officially mandate until 1925 that the correct name for the martial art taught in the Japanese public schools should be "judo" rather than "jujutsu". In Brazil, the art is still called
"Jiu-Jitsu". When the Gracies went to the United States to spread their art, the system became known as "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" and "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu." "Jiu-jitsu" is an older romanization that was the original spelling of
the art in the West, and it is still in common use, whereas the modern Hepburn romanization is "jūjutsu." Other common spellings are jujitsu and ju-jitsu.
The art is sometimes referred to as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (GJJ), but this name is trademarked by Rorion Gracie and specifically refers to the style taught by him and his selected teachers. Other members of the Gracie family
often call their style by personalized names, such as Charles Gracie Jiu-Jitsu or Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, and similarly, the Machado brothers call their style Machado Jiu-Jitsu (MJJ). While each style and its instructors
have their own unique aspects, they are all basic variations of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Today there are three major branches of BJJ from Brazil: Gracie Humaita, Gracie Barra, and Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Each branch can
trace its roots back to Mitsuyo Maeda and the Gracie family.
Maeda met an influential businessman named Gastão Gracie who helped him get established. In 1916, his 14 year-old son Carlos Gracie watched a demonstration by Maeda at the Teatro da Paz (Theatre of Peace) and
decided to learn the art. Maeda accepted Carlos as a student, and Carlos went on to become a great exponent of the art and ultimately, with his younger brother Hélio Gracie became the founder of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu,
modern Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
In 1921, Gastão Gracie and his family moved to Rio de Janeiro. Carlos, then 17 years old, passed Maeda's teachings on to his brothers Osvaldo, Gastão and Jorge. Hélio was too young and sick at that time to learn the
art, and due to medical imposition was prohibited to take part in the training sessions. Despite that, Hélio learned from watching his brothers. He eventually overcame his health problems and is now considered by many
as the founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (though others, such as Carlson Gracie, have pointed to Carlos as the founder of the art).
Hélio competed in several submission judo competitions which mostly ended in a draw. One defeat (in Brazil in 1951) was by visiting Japanese judoka Masahiko Kimura, whose surname the Gracies gave to the arm
lock used to defeat Hélio. The Gracie family continued to develop the system throughout the 20th century, often fighting vale tudo matches (precursors to modern MMA), during which it increased its focus on ground
fighting and refined its techniques.
Today, the main differences between the BJJ styles is between traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu's emphasis on self-defense, and Sport Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu's orientation towards point competition. There is a large commonality
of techniques between the two. Also, there is a wide variety of ideals in training in different schools in terms of the utilization of technique versus how much to attempt to overpower an opponent.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu came to international prominence in the martial arts community in the 1990s, when Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Royce Gracie won the first, second and fourth Ultimate Fighting Championships, which
at the time were single elimination martial arts tournaments. Royce fought against often much-larger opponents who were practicing other styles, including boxing, shoot-fighting, karate, judo and tae kwon do. It has
since become a staple art for many MMA fighters and is largely credited for bringing widespread attention to the importance of ground fighting. Sport BJJ tournaments continue to grow in popularity worldwide and
have given rise to no-gi submission grappling tournaments, such as the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship.
Style of fighting
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu emphasizes taking an opponent to the ground and utilizing ground fighting techniques and submission holds involving joint-locks and chokeholds also found in numerous other arts with or without
ground fighting emphasis. The premise is that most of the advantage of a larger, stronger opponent comes from superior reach and more powerful strikes, both of which are somewhat negated when grappling on the
BJJ permits a wide variety of techniques to take the fight to the ground after taking a grip. Once the opponent is on the ground, a number of maneuvers (and counter-maneuvers) are available to manipulate the opponent
into a suitable position for the application of a submission technique. Achieving a dominant position on the ground is one of the hallmarks of the BJJ style, and includes effective use of the guard position to defend
oneself from bottom, and passing the guard to dominate from top position with side control, mount, and back mount positions. This system of maneuvering and manipulation can be likened to a form of kinetic chess
when utilized by two experienced practitioners. A submission hold is the equivalent of checkmate in the sport. However, it is possible for a combat situation to continue even after a proper submission is performed.
Renzo Gracie wrote in his book Mastering Jujitsu:
"The classical jujutsu of old Japan appeared to have no common strategy to guide a combatant over the course of a fight. Indeed, this was one of Kano's most fundamental and perceptive criticisms of the classical
program." Maeda not only taught the art of judo to Carlos Gracie, but also taught a particular philosophy about the nature of combat developed by Kano, and further refined by Maeda based on his worldwide travels
competing against fighters skilled in a wide variety of martial arts.
The book details Maeda's theory as arguing that physical combat could be broken down into distinct phases, such as the striking phase, the grappling phase, the ground phase, etc. Thus, it was a smart fighter's task to
keep the fight located in the phase of combat that best suited to his own strengths. Renzo Gracie stated that this was a fundamental influence on the Gracie approach to combat, these strategies were further perfected
over time by the Gracies and others, and became prominent in contemporary MMA.
The majority of submission holds can be grouped into two broad categories: joint locks and chokes. Joint locks typically involve isolating an opponent's limb and creating a lever with the body position which will force
the joint to move past its normal range of motion. Pressure is increased in a controlled manner and released if the opponent cannot escape the hold and signals defeat by submitting. Opponents can indicate submission
verbally or they can tap out (i.e. tap the opponent, the mat several times. Tapping one's own body is dangerous because the opponent may not be able to tell if his or her opponent is tapping.) A choke hold, disrupting
the blood supply to the brain, can cause unconsciousness if the opponent does not submit soon enough.
A less common type of submission hold is a compression lock, where the muscle of an opponent is compressed against a hard, large bone (commonly the shin or wrist), causing significant pain to the opponent. These
types of locks are not usually allowed in competition due to the high risk of tearing muscle tissue. This type of lock often also hyper-extends the joint in the opposite direction, pulling it apart.
While many joint locks are permitted, most competitions ban or restrict some or all joint locks involving the knees, ankles, and spine. The reason for this is that the angles of manipulation required to cause pain are
nearly the same as those that would cause serious injury. Joint locks that require a twisting motion of the knee (called twisting knee locks or twisting knee bars, or techniques such as heel hooks, and toe holds) are
usually banned in competitions because successfully completing the move nearly always results in permanent damage that requires surgery. Similarly, joint manipulations of the spine are typically barred due to the
inherent danger of crushing or mis-aligning cervical vertebrae. Leglocks are allowed in varying degrees depending on skill level, with straight ankle locks being the only leglocks allowed in the beginner division, or
white belt level, straight kneebars being allowed in the intermediate division, or blue belt level and toeholds with the pressure applied inwards are allowed in the advanced division (purple, brown, black).
However, most joint locks involving the wrist, elbow, shoulder or ankle are permitted as there is a great deal more flexibility in those joints and those locks are safe to use under tournament conditions. Also, some
fighters practice moves whose sole purpose is to inflict pain upon their opponent, in the hope that they will tap out. This includes driving knuckles into pressure points, holding their opponent's head in order to tire out
the neck (called the "can opener" or kubi-hishigi) and putting body weight on top of the sternum, floating ribs, or similarly sensitive bones. These moves are not true submission moves - they are generally only used as
distractions mostly in lower levels of competition. They are avoided or aggressively countered in middle to upper levels of competition.
Chokes and strangles
Chokes and strangles (commonly but somewhat incorrectly referred to as "air chokes" and "blood chokes" respectively) are a common form of submission. Chokes involve constriction of the windpipe (causing
asphyxia.) Strangles involve constriction of the carotid artery (causing ischemia.)
Air chokes are less efficient than strangles and may result in damage to the opponent's trachea, sometimes even resulting in death. By contrast, blood chokes (strangulations) cut the flow of blood to the opponent's brain,
causing a rapid loss of consciousness without damaging any internal structures. Being "choked-out" in this way is relatively safe as long as the choke is released soon enough after unconsciousness, letting blood back
into the brain before oxygen deprivation damage begins. However, it should not be practiced unsupervised.
The prevalence of the more dangerous "air" chokes has led to the banning of choke holds by some United States police departments.
Primary Ground Positions
During the ground phase of combat the BJJ practitioner strives to take a dominant, controlling position from which to apply submissions. An overview of the most common of these positions is as follows:
The BJJ practitioner pins their opponent to the ground from the side of their body. Their torso is ninety degrees relative to that of their opponent with much of their weight applied to the opponent's chest. The opponent
may be further controlled by pressure on either side of their shoulders and hips from the practitioner's elbows and knees. This is a very strong position if the practitioner is larger than their opponent. Side control is well
suited to applying a variety of joint locks to the arm or transitioning the opponent into an arm bar.
The BJJ practitioner takes the top position, sitting their weight on the opponent's chest. In the strongest form of this position the practitioner works their knees up under the shoulders of the opponent. This significantly
limits their ability to move or counter the submission attempts of the BJJ practitioner. Another strong position if the practitioner is larger, the Full Mount is well suited to attacking both arms of the opponent as
transitioning them to a variety of choke-effective positions.
A useful position for smaller practitioners. The practitioner attaches to the back of the opponent by wrapping their legs around and hooking the opponent's thighs with their heels. Simultaneously, the upper body is
controlled by wrapping the arms around the chest or neck of the opponent. A highly effective position to apply chokeholds, it counters much of the benefit an opponent may have from greater size or strength.
A vital technique for smaller BJJ practitioners. In the Guard, the practitioner is on their back controlling an opponent between their legs. The practitioner pushes and pull with the thighs or feet to upset the balance and
limit the movements of their opponent. This position comes into play often when a larger opponent tries to dominate with their size or strength. It can be seen in many of the Gracies' early UFC bouts. This is a very
versatile position from which the BJJ practitioner can apply a variety of joint-locks to the arms as well as various chokes.
Sport Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu's focus on submissions without the use of strikes while training allows practitioners to practice at full speed and with full power, resembling the effort used in a real competition. Training
methods include technique drills in which techniques are practised against a non-resisting partner; isolation sparring, commonly referred to as positional drilling, where only a certain technique or sets of techniques are
used, and full sparring in which each opponent tries to submit their opponent using any legal technique. Physical conditioning is also an important part of training at many clubs.
Age categories 16-17 juvenil 46-50 sênior III
4-6 pré-mirim 18-29 adulto 51-55 sênior IV
7-9 mirim 30-35 master 56+ sênior V
10-12 infantil 36-40 sênior I
13-15 infanto-juvenil 41-45 sênior II
Junior belt colors (15 and under) Adult belt colors (16 and over)
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ranking system awards a practitioner different colored belts to signify increasing levels of technical knowledge and practical skill. While the system’s structure shares its origins with the Judo
ranking system and the origins of all colored belts, it now contains many of its own unique aspects and themes. Some of these differences are relatively minor, such as the division between youth and adult belts and the
stripe/degree system. Others are quite distinct and have become synonymous with the art, such as a marked informality in promotional criteria, including as a focus on a competitive demonstration of skill, and a
conservative approach to promotion in general. 
Comparison with Judo
Originally having been developed from Judo, and while still recognizable as closely related and even as a style of Judo, there are some differences from modern Olympic Judo. For example BJJ encourages free sparring
without striking (also known as "rolling"), against a live, resisting opponent very similar to Randori in judo, however the rules related to this sparring have key differences.
Divergence from Kodokan rules
Since judo was introduced to Brazil there have been changes in the rules of sport judo—some to enhance it as a spectator sport, and some for improved safety. Several of these rule changes have greatly de-emphasised
the groundwork aspects of judo, and others have reduced the range of joint locks allowed and when they can be applied. Many of the banned techniques are preserved in the judo kata, and are practised to varying
extents in different clubs. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu did not follow many of these changes to judo rules, and this divergence has given it a distinct identity as a martial art, while still being recognizable as a sub-style of judo.
Other factors that have contributed towards the stylistic divergence of BJJ from sport judo include the Gracies' desire to create a national martial art, the influence of Brazilian culture, and the Gracies' emphasis on full-
BJJ permits all the techniques that judo allows to take the fight to the ground, these include judo's scoring throws as well as judo's non-scoring techniques that it refers to as 'skillful takedowns' (such as the flying
armbar). BJJ also allows any and all takedowns from wrestling, sambo, or any other grappling art. BJJ also differs from judo in that it also allows a competitor to drag his opponent to the ground, and also even to drop
to the ground himself provided he has first taken a grip. Early Kodokan judo not only allowed all that BJJ now allows, it even allowed a fighter to drop straight to the ground without first taking a grip.
BJJ's different rules set and point scoring mechanisms are designed to give BJJ an arguably more practical emphasis, by rewarding positions of control from which the grappler could strike their opponent (if it weren't
for the sport's restrictions against striking).
BJJ is most strongly differentiated by its greater emphasis on groundwork, in contrast with judo's greater emphasis on throws, due to both its radically different point-scoring system, and the absence of most of the judo
rules that cause the competitors to have to recommence in a standing position. This has led to greater time dedicated to training on the ground, resulting in enhancement of judo's groundwork techniques by BJJ
There are also many techniques that are allegedly created by BJJ, though they already existed in Kodokan judo. This misconception is often the result of incorrect assumptions by BJJ practitioners who simply assume
that the techniques they learned in BJJ classes originated there. It is also due in some instances to BJJ practitioners genuinely rediscovering techniques that they did not know existed in judo, such as the Gogoplata.
However some new techniques have certainly been developed by BJJ practitioners, such as the inverted omoplata or "rubber guard" defensive hold.
Along with BJJ's great strengths on the ground comes its relative weakness with standing techniques such as striking. Many Judo practitioners also regard the art as having greatly lost the ability to execute effective
throws and takedowns, a cornerstone of the original Judo. A similar, but contrary opinion is held by BJJ practictioners of the ground technique in Judo, which is regarded as having become extremely limited and of
decreased effectivenes. There is an increasing amount of cross-training between the sports of BJJ and Judo, and striking based arts such as Muay Thai.
Main article: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner's uniform is similar to a judogi, but often with tighter cuffs on the pants and jacket. This allows the practitioner to benefit from a closer fit, providing less material for an opponent to
manipulate, although there is a significant overlap in the standards that allows for a carefully selected Gi to be legal for competition in both styles. To be promoted in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the wearing of the Gi while
training is a requirement.
As is the case with judo, the term kimono is sometimes used to describe the outfit, especially in Brazil.
World Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Main article: World Jiu-Jitsu Championship
One of the most prestigious and recognized Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament in the world is the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship (known as the Mundials), hosted annually by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
It must be noted that when speaking of the world championship it most often specifies championships held by International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation. There have been other organizations like the CBJJE which also
hosts World Class Championships in Brazil.
Sambo (Russian: самбо—also called Sombo or Cambo and sometimes written in all-caps) is a relatively modern martial art, combat sport and self-defense system developed in the Soviet Union and recognized as an
official sport by the USSR All-Union Sports Committee in 1938, presented by Anatoly Kharlampiev.
The word "Самбо" (Sambo) is an acronym of САМозащита Без Оружия (SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya), meaning "self-defense without a weapon" in Russian. Sambo has its roots in Japanese judo and traditional
folk styles of wrestling such as Armenian Koch, Georgian Chidaoba, Moldovan Trîntǎ, Tatar Köräş, Uzbek Kurash, Mongolian Khapsagay and Azerbaijani Gulesh.
The founders of Sambo were Vasili Oshchepkov (who was executed under the orders of Stalin during the political purges of 1937 for refusing to deny his education in judo under its founder Kano Jigoro) and Viktor
Spiridonov. They independently developed two different styles, both with the same name. Spiridonov's style was a soft, aikido-like system developed after he was maimed during World War I. Anatoly Kharlampiev, a
student of Victor Spiridonov, is often officially recognized as the founder of Sport Sambo.
There are three generally recognized competitive sport variations of Sambo (though Sambo techniques and principles can be applied to many other combat sports).
Sport Sambo (Russian: Борьбa Самбо,Bor'ba Sambo) is stylistically similar to amateur wrestling or judo. The competition is similar to judo, but with some differences in rules, protocol, and uniform. For example, in
contrast with judo, Sambo allows some types of leg locks, while not allowing chokeholds and focuses on throwing, ground work and submissions.
Combat Sambo (Russian: Боевое Самбо, Boyevoye Sambo). Utilized and developed for the military, Combat Sambo resembles modern mixed martial arts, including extensive forms of striking and grappling where
(unlike Sport Sambo) choking is legal. Competitors wear jackets as in sport sambo, but also hand protection and sometimes shin and head protection. The first FIAS World Sambo Championships were held in 2001.
Freestyle Sambo - uniquely American set of competitive Sambo rules created by the American Sambo Association (ASA) in 2004. These rules differ from traditional Sport Sambo in that they allow choke holds and
other submissions from Combat Sambo that are not permitted in Sport Sambo as well as certain neck cranks and twisting leg locks. Freestyle Sambo, like all Sambo, focuses on throwing skills and fast ground work. No
strikes are permitted in Freestyle Sambo. The ASA created this rule set in order to encourage non-Sambo practitioners from judo and jujitsu to participate in Sambo events.
Uniform and Ranking
Sambo Rating Rank Equivalent Competitive Achievement
Third-Class Sportsman city champion
Second-Class Sportsman state champion
First-Class Sportsman regional champion
Candidate for Master of Sports nationally ranked player
Master of Sports national champion
International Master of Sports international champion
international champion with
Distinguished Master of Sports
valuable contributions to the sport
A Sambo practitioner normally wears either a red or a blue jacket kurtka, a belt and shorts of the same color, and sambovki (Sambo shoes). The Sambo uniform does not reflect rank or competitive rating. Sport rules
require an athlete to have both red and blue sets to visually distinguish competitors on the mat.
In Russia, a competitive rating system is used rather than belt colors like judo and jiujitsu to demonstrate rank, though some schools around the world now institute belt colors as well. The rating system is called Unified
Sports Classification System of the USSR, with the highest athletic distinction known as the Distinguished Masters of Sport in Sambo.
Examination requirements vary depending on the age group and can vary from country to country. The examination itself includes competitive accomplishment as well as technical demonstration of knowledge. Higher
level exams must be supervised by independent judges from a national Sambo association. For a rating to be recognised, it must be registered with the national Sambo organization.
Origins and influences
The founders of Sambo deliberately sifted through all of the world's martial arts available to them to augment their military's hand-to-hand combat system. One of these men, Vasili Oschepkov, taught judo and karate to
elite Red Army forces at the Central Red Army House. He was one of the first foreigners to learn Judo in Japan and had earned his nidan (second degree black belt out of then five) from judo's founder, Kano Jigoro.
Oschepkov used some of Kano's philosophy to formulate the early development of the new Soviet art.
Sambo was in part born of native Russian and other regional styles of grappling and combative wrestling, bolstered with the most useful and adaptable concepts and techniques from the rest of the world.
Over the centuries, the inhabitants of what is now known as Russia had had ample opportunity to evaluate the martial skills of various invaders: from the Vikings in the West and from the Tatars and Genghis Khan's
Golden Horde from Mongolia in the East. The regional, native combat systems included in Sambo's genesis are Russian fist fighting, Tuvan Khuresh, Yakuts khapsagai, Chuvash akatuy, Georgian chidaoba, Moldavian
trinta, Armenian kokh, and Uzbek Kurash to name a few.
The foreign influences included various styles of European wrestling,catch wrestling, Japanese jujutsu, French savate, muay thai and other martial arts of the day plus the classical Olympic sports of amateur boxing,
Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling. Sambo even derived lunging and parrying techniques from the Italian school of swordsmanship.
Sambo's early development stemmed from the independent efforts of Oschepkov and another Russian, Victor Spiridonov, to integrate the techniques of judo into native wrestling styles. Spiridonov's background
involved indigenous styles of Russian martial art. His "soft-style" was based on the fact that he received a bayonet wound during the Russo-Japanese War which left his left arm lame. Both Oschepkov and Spiridonov
hoped that the Russian styles could be improved by an infusion of the techniques distilled from jujutsu by Kano Jigoro into his new style of jacket wrestling. Contrary to common lore, Oschepkov and Spiridonov did
not cooperate on the development of their hand-to-hand systems. Rather, their independent notions of hand-to-hand combat merged through cross-training between students and formulative efforts by their students and
military staff. While Oschepkov and Spiridonov did have occasion to collaborate, their efforts were not completely united.
Each technique was carefully dissected and considered for its merits, and if found acceptable in unarmed combat, refined to reach Sambo's ultimate goal: to stop an armed or unarmed adversary in the least time
possible. Thus, the best techniques of jujutsu and its cousin, judo, entered the Sambo repertoire. When the techniques were perfected, they were woven into Sambo applications for personal self-defense, police, crowd
control, border guards, secret police, dignitary protection, psychiatric hospital staff, military, and commandos.
In 1918, Lenin created Vseobuch (Vseobshchee voennoye obuchienie or General Military Training) under the leadership of N.I. Podovoyskiy to train the Red Army. The task of developing and organizing Russian
military hand-to-hand combat training fell to K. Voroshilov, who in turn, created the NKVD physical training center Dinamo.
Spiridonov was a combat veteran of World War I and one of the first wrestling and self-defense instructors hired for Dinamo. His background included Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, many Slavic
wrestling styles, and Japanese jujutsu. As a combatives investigator for Dinamo, he traveled to Mongolia and China to observe their native fighting styles.
In 1923, Oschepkov and Spiridinov collaborated (independently) with a team of other experts on a grant from the Soviet government to improve the Red Army's hand-to-hand combat system. Spiridonov had envisioned
integrating all of the world's fighting systems into one comprehensive style that could adapt to any threat. Oschepkov had observed Kano's distillation of Tenjin Shin’yo Ryu jujutsu and Kito Ryu jujutsu into judo, and
he had developed the insight required to evaluate and integrate combative techniques into a new system. Their development team was supplemented by Anatoly Kharlampiev and I.V. Vasiliev who also traveled the
globe to study the native fighting arts of the world. Ten years in the making, their catalogue of techniques was instrumental in formulating the early framework of the art to be eventually referred to as Sambo. Here,
Oschepkov and Spiridonov's improvements in Russian wrestling slipped into the military's hand-to-hand-combat system.
Kharlampiev is often called the father of Sambo. This may be largely semantics, since only he had the longevity and political connections to remain with the art while the new system was named "Sambo". However,
Kharlampiev's political maneuvering is single-handedly responsible for the USSR Committee of Sport accepting Sambo as the official combat sport of the Soviet Union in 1938—decidedly the "birth" of Sambo. So,
more accurately, Kharlampiev could be considered the father of "sport" Sambo.
Spiridonov was the first to actually begin referring to the new system as one of the "S" variations cited above. He eventually developed a softer, more aikido-like system called Samoz that could be used by smaller,
weaker practitioners or even wounded soldiers and secret agents. Spiridonov's inspiration to develop 'Samoz' stemmed from his WWI bayonet injury, which greatly restricted his (left arm and thus his) ability to practice
Sambo or wrestle. Refined versions of Sambo are still used today or fused with specific Sambo applications to meet the needs of Russian commandos today.
As an Olympic Sport
It is often stated that Sambo was a demonstration sport at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, USSR. Youth Sambo was demonstrated in the Games' opening ceremonies; however, Sambo was not formally
recognized as demonstration sport. This common error in history books is noted in several sources including History of SAMBO by A. Makoveski and Lukashev's History of Hand-to-Hand Combat in the First Half of
the 20th Century: Founders and Authors . Furthermore, the official documents of the 1980 Olympic Organizing Committee do not mention Sambo as a participating sport in the Games. 
In 1968, the FILA accepted Sambo as the third style of international wrestling. In 1985, the Sambo community formed its own organization, Federation International Amateur Sambo (FIAS). In 1993, FIAS split into
two organizations, both used the same name and logo and the two groups were often referred to as FIAS "East" (under Russian control) and FIAS "West" (under US and Western European control). This split mirrored
the last days of Cold War politics of the time as well as the recent break-up of the Soviet Union. In 2005, FILA reached an agreement with FIAS "West" and re-assumed sanctioning over sport Sambo. However, in
2008, FILA again discontinued sanctioning sambo and sambo is now notably missing from the FILA website.  At present, FIAS sanctions international competition in sport and combat sambo.
See the results of the past two World Sambo Championships 2008 World Sambo Championships, 2007 World Sambo Championships
The version of the "four-direction throw" (shihōnage) with standing attacker and seated defender
(hanmi-handachi). The receiver of the throw (uke) is taking a breakfall (ukemi) to safely reach the
Country of origin Japan
Creator Morihei Ueshiba
Parenthood Aiki-jūjutsu; Jujutsu; Kenjutsu; Sōjutsu
Olympic sport No
Aikido (合気道 aikidō?) is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying (with) life
energy" or as "the Way of harmonious spirit." Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.
Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical energy, as the aikidōka (aikido practitioner)
"leads" the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks. Aikido can be categorized under the general umbrella of grappling arts.
Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba's involvement with the Ōmoto-kyō religion. Ueshiba's early students' documents
bear the term aiki-jūjutsu. Many of Ueshiba's senior students have different approaches to aikido, depending on when they studied with him. Today aikido is found all over the world in a number of styles, with broad
ranges of interpretation and emphasis. However, they all share techniques learned from Ueshiba and most have concern for the well-being of the attacker. This attitude has been at the core of criticisms of aikido and
Etymology and basic philosophy
合 - ai - joining, unifying, harmonizing
気 - ki - spirit, life energy
道 - dō - way, path
The term dō connects the practice of aikido with the philosophical concept of Tao, which can be found in martial arts such as judo and kendo, and in more peaceful arts such as Japanese calligraphy (shodō), flower
arranging (kadō) and tea ceremony (chadō or sadō). The term aiki refers to the martial arts principle or tactic of blending with an attacker's movements for the purpose of controlling their actions with minimal effort.
One applies aiki by understanding the rhythm and intent of the attacker to find the optimal position and timing to apply a counter-technique. Historically, aiki was mastered for the purpose of killing; however in aikido
one seeks to control an aggressor without causing harm. The founder of aikido declared: "To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace." A number of aikido practitioners interpret aikido
metaphorically, seeing parallels between aikido techniques and other methods for conflict resolution. These kanji are identical to the Korean versions of the characters that form the word hapkido, a Korean
martial art. Although there are no known direct connections between the two arts, it is suspected that the founders of both arts trained in Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu.
Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba (植芝 盛平 Ueshiba Morihei, 14 December 1883–26 April 1969), referred to by some aikido practitioners as Ōsensei ("Great Teacher"). Ueshiba envisioned aikido not only as
the synthesis of his martial training, but also an expression of his personal philosophy of universal peace and reconciliation. During Ueshiba's lifetime and continuing today, aikido has evolved from the koryū (old-style
martial arts) that Ueshiba studied into a wide variety of expressions by martial artists throughout the world. 
Ueshiba developed aikido primarily during the late 1920s through the 1930s through the synthesis of the older martial arts that he had studied. The core martial art from which aikido derives is Daitō-ryū aiki-jūjutsu,
which Ueshiba studied directly with Takeda Sokaku, the reviver of that art. Additionally, Ueshiba is known to have studied Tenjin Shin'yō-ryū with Tozawa Tokusaburō in Tokyo in 1901, Gotōha Yagyū Shingan-ryū
under Nakai Masakatsu in Sakai from 1903 to 1908, and judo with Kiyoichi Takagi (高木 喜代子 Takagi Kiyoichi, 1894–1972) in Tanabe in 1911.
The art of Daitō-ryū is the primary technical influence on aikido. Along with empty-handed throwing and joint-locking techniques, Ueshiba incorporated training movements with weapons, such as those for the spear
(yari), short staff (jō), and perhaps the bayonet (銃剣 jūken?). However, aikido derives much of its technical structure from the art of swordsmanship (kenjutsu).
Ueshiba moved to Hokkaidō in 1912, and began studying under Takeda Sokaku in 1915. His official association with Daitō-ryū continued until 1937. However, during the latter part of that period, Ueshiba had
already begun to distance himself from Takeda and the Daitō-ryū. At that time Ueshiba was referring to his martial art as "Aiki Budō". It is unclear exactly when Ueshiba began using the name "aikido", but it became
the official name of the art in 1942 when the Greater Japan Martial Virtue Society (Dai Nippon Butoku Kai) was engaged in a government sponsored reorganization and centralization of Japanese martial arts.
After Ueshiba left Hokkaidō in 1919, he met and was profoundly influenced by Onisaburo Deguchi, the spiritual leader of the Ōmoto-kyō religion (a neo-Shinto movement) in Ayabe. One of the primary features of
Ōmoto-kyō is its emphasis on the attainment of utopia during one's life. This was a great influence on Ueshiba's martial arts philosophy of extending love and compassion especially to those who seek to harm others.
Aikido demonstrates this philosophy in its emphasis on mastering martial arts so that one may receive an attack and harmlessly redirect it. In an ideal resolution, not only is the receiver unharmed, but so is the
In addition to the effect on his spiritual growth, the connection with Deguchi gave Ueshiba entry to elite political and military circles as a martial artist. As a result of this exposure, he was able to attract not only
financial backing but also gifted students. Several of these students would found their own styles of aikido. 
Aikido was first brought to the West in 1951 by Minoru Mochizuki with a visit to France where he introduced aikido techniques to judo students. He was followed by Tadashi Abe in 1952 who came as the official
Aikikai Hombu representative, remaining in France for seven years. Kenji Tomiki toured with a delegation of various martial arts through fifteen continental states of the United States in 1953. Later in that year,
Koichi Tohei was sent by Aikikai Hombu to Hawaii, for a full year, where he set up several dojo. This was followed up by several further visits and is considered the formal introduction of aikido to the United States.
The United Kingdom followed in 1955; Italy in 1964; Germany and Australia in 1965. Designated "Official Delegate for Europe and Africa" by Morihei Ueshiba, Masamichi Noro arrived in France in September 1961.
Today there are aikido dojo available throughout the world.
Proliferation of independent organisations
Further information: Aikido styles
See also: List of aikidōka
The biggest aikido organisation is the Aikikai Foundation which remains under the control of the Ueshiba family. However, aikido has many styles, mostly formed by Morihei Ueshiba's major students.
The earliest independent styles to emerge were Yoseikan Aikido, begun by Minoru Mochizuki in 1931, Yoshinkan Aikido founded by Gozo Shioda in 1955, and Shodokan Aikido, founded by Kenji Tomiki in
1967. The emergence of these styles pre-dated Ueshiba's death and did not cause any major upheavals when they were formalized. Shodokan Aikido, however, was controversial, since it introduced a unique rule-
based competition that some felt was contrary to the spirit of aikido.
After Ueshiba's death in 1969, two more major styles emerged. Significant controversy arose with the departure of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo's chief instructor Koichi Tohei, in 1974. Tohei left as a result of a
disagreement with the son of the founder, Kisshomaru Ueshiba , who at that time headed the Aikikai Foundation. The disagreement was over the proper role of ki development in regular aikido training. After Tohei left,
he formed his own style, called Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, and the organization which governs it, the Ki Society (Ki no Kenkyūkai).
A final major style evolved from Ueshiba's retirement in Iwama, Ibaraki, and the teaching methodology of long term student Morihiro Saito. It is unofficially referred to as the "Iwama style", and at one point a number
of its followers formed a loose network of schools they called Iwama Ryu. Although Iwama style practitioners remained part of the Aikikai until Saito's death in 2002, followers of Saito subsequently split into two
groups; one remaining with the Aikikai and the other forming the independent organization the Shinshin Aikishuren Kai, in 2004 around Saito's son Hitohiro Saito.
Today, the major styles of aikido are each run by a separate governing organization, have their own headquarters (本部道場 honbu dōjō?) in Japan, and have an international breadth.
In aikido, as in virtually all Japanese martial arts, there are both physical and mental aspects of training. The physical training in aikido is diverse, covering both general physical fitness and conditioning, as well as
specific techniques. Because a substantial portion of any aikido curriculum consists of throws, the first thing most students learn is how to safely fall or roll. The specific techniques for attack include both strikes
and grabs; the techniques for defense consist of throws and pins. After basic techniques are learned, students study freestyle defense against multiple opponents, and in certain styles, techniques with weapons.
Physical training goals pursued in conjunction with aikido include controlled relaxation, flexibility, and endurance, with less emphasis on strength training. In aikido, pushing or extending movements are much more
common than pulling or contracting movements. This distinction can be applied to general fitness goals for the aikido practitioner. 
Certain anaerobic fitness activities, such as weight training, emphasize contracting movements. In aikido, specific muscles or muscle groups are not isolated and worked to improve tone, mass, and power. Aikido-
related training emphasizes the use of coordinated whole-body movement and balance similar to yoga or pilates. For example, many dojo begin each class with warm-up exercises (準備体操 junbi taisō?), which may
include stretching and break falls.
Roles of uke and tori
Aikido training is based primarily on two partners practicing pre-arranged forms (kata) rather than freestyle practice. The basic pattern is for the receiver of the technique (uke) to initiate an attack against the person who
applies the technique - the 取り tori, or shite 仕手, (depending on aikido style) also referred to as (投げ nage (when applying a throwing technique), who neutralises this attack with an aikido technique. 
Both halves of the technique, that of uke and that of nage, are considered essential to aikido training. Both are studying aikido principles of blending and adaptation. Nage learns to blend with and control attacking
energy, while uke learns to become calm and flexible in the disadvantageous, off-balance positions in which nage places them. This "receiving" of the technique is called ukemi. Uke continuously seeks to regain
balance and cover vulnerabilities (e.g., an exposed side), while nage uses position and timing to keep uke off-balance and vulnerable. In more advanced training, uke will sometimes apply reversal techniques (返し技
kaeshi-waza?) to regain balance and pin or throw nage.
Ukemi (受身?) refers to the act of receiving a technique. Good ukemi involves a parry or breakfall that is used to avoid pain or injury, such as joint dislocations.
Aikido techniques are usually a defense against an attack; therefore, to practice aikido with their partner, students must learn to deliver various types of attacks. Although attacks are not studied as thoroughly as in
striking-based arts, "honest" attacks (a strong strike or an immobilizing grab) are needed to study correct and effective application of technique.
Many of the strikes (打ち uchi?) of aikido are often said to resemble cuts from a sword or other grasped object, which indicates its origins in techniques intended for armed combat. Other techniques, which appear to
explicitly be punches (tsuki), are also practiced as thrusts with a knife or sword. Kicks are generally reserved for upper-level variations; reasons cited include that falls from kicks are especially dangerous, and that kicks
(high kicks in particular) were uncommon during the types of combat prevalent in feudal Japan. Some basic strikes include:
Front-of-the-head strike (正面打ち shōmen'uchi?) a vertical knifehand strike to the head.
Side-of-the-head strike (横面打ち yokomen'uchi?) a diagonal knifehand strike to the side of the head or neck.
Chest thrust (胸突き mune-tsuki?) a punch to the torso. Specific targets include the chest, abdomen, and solar plexus. Same as "middle-level thrust" (中段突き chūdan-tsuki?), and "direct thrust" (直突き choku-tsuki?).
Face thrust (顔面突き ganmen-tsuki?) a punch to the face. Same as "upper-level thrust" (上段突き jōdan-tsuki?).
Beginners in particular often practice techniques from grabs, both because they are safer and because it is easier to feel the energy and lines of force of a hold than a strike. Some grabs are historically derived from being
held while trying to draw a weapon; a technique could then be used to free oneself and immobilize or strike the attacker who is grabbing the defender. The following are examples of some basic grabs:
Single-hand grab (片手取り katate-dori?) one hand grabs one wrist.
Both-hands grab (諸手取り morote-dori?) both hands grab one wrist.
Both-hands grab (両手取り ryōte-dori?) both hands grab both wrists. Same as "double single-handed grab" (両片手取り ryōkatate-dori?).
Shoulder grab (肩取り kata-dori?) a shoulder grab. "Both-shoulders-grab" is ryōkata-dori (両肩取り?)
Chest grab (胸取り mune-dori or muna-dori?) grabbing the (clothing of the) chest. Same as "collar grab" (襟取り eri-dori?).
Diagram of ikkyō, or "first technique". Yonkyō has a similar mechanism of action, although the upper hand grips the forearm rather than the elbow.
The following are a sample of the basic or widely practiced throws and pins. The precise terminology for some may vary between organisations and styles, so what follows are the terms used by the Aikikai Foundation.
Note that despite the names of the first five techniques listed, they are not universally taught in numeric order. 
First technique (一教 ikkyō?) a control using one hand on the elbow and one hand near the wrist which leverages uke to the ground. This grip also applies pressure into the ulnar nerve at the wrist.
Second technique (二教 nikyō?) a pronating wristlock that torques the arm and applies painful nerve pressure. (There is an adductive wristlock or Z-lock in ura version.)
Third technique (三教 sankyō?) a rotational wristlock that directs upward-spiraling tension throughout the arm, elbow and shoulder.
Fourth technique (四教 yonkyō?) a shoulder control similar to ikkyō, but with both hands gripping the forearm. The knuckles (from the palm side) are applied to the recipient's radial nerve against the periosteum of the
Fifth technique (五教 gokyō?) visually similar to ikkyō, but with an inverted grip of the wrist, medial rotation of the arm and shoulder, and downward pressure on the elbow. Common in knife and other weapon take-
Four-direction throw (四方投げ shihōnage?) The hand is folded back past the shoulder, locking the shoulder joint.
Forearm return (小手返し kotegaeshi?) a supinating wristlock-throw that stretches the extensor digitorum.
Breath throw (呼吸投げ kokyūnage?) a loosely used term for various types of mechanically unrelated techniques, although they generally do not use joint locks like other techniques.
Entering throw (入身投げ iriminage?) throws in which nage moves through the space occupied by uke. The classic form superficially resembles a "clothesline" technique.
Heaven-and-earth throw (天地投げ tenchinage?) beginning with ryōte-dori; moving forward, nage sweeps one hand low ("earth") and the other high ("heaven"), which unbalances uke so that he or she easily topples
Hip throw (腰投げ koshinage?) aikido's version of the hip throw. Nage drops his or her hips lower than those of uke, then flips uke over the resultant fulcrum.
Figure-ten throw (十字投げ jūjinage?) or figure-ten entanglement (十字絡み jūjigarami?) a throw that locks the arms against each other (The kanji for "10" is a cross-shape: 十).
Rotary throw (回転投げ kaitennage?) nage sweeps the arm back until it locks the shoulder joint, then uses forward pressure to throw. 
Diagram showing two versions of the ikkyō technique: one moving forward (the omote version) and one moving backward (the ura version). See text for more details.
Aikido makes use of body movement (tai sabaki) to blend with uke. For example, an "entering" (irimi) technique consists of movements inward towards uke, while
a "turning" (転換 tenkan?) technique uses a pivoting motion. Additionally, an "inside" (内 uchi?) technique takes place in front of uke, whereas an "outside" (外
soto?) technique takes place to his side; a "front" (表 omote?) technique is applied with motion to the front of uke, and a "rear" (裏 ura?) version is applied with
motion towards the rear of uke, usually by incorporating a turning or pivoting motion. Finally, most techniques can be performed while in a seated posture (seiza).
Techniques where both uke and nage are sitting are called suwari-waza, and techniques performed with uke standing and nage sitting are called hanmi
Thus, from fewer than twenty basic techniques, there are thousands of possible implementations. For instance, ikkyō can be applied to an opponent moving forward with a
strike (perhaps with an ura type of movement to redirect the incoming force), or to an opponent who has already struck and is now moving back to reestablish distance (perhaps
an omote-waza version). Specific aikido kata are typically referred to with the formula "attack-technique(-modifier)". For instance, katate-dori ikkyō refers to any ikkyō technique executed when uke is holding one
wrist. This could be further specified as katate-dori ikkyō omote, referring to any forward-moving ikkyō technique from that grab.
Atemi (当て身) are strikes (or feints) employed during an aikido technique. Some view atemi as attacks against "vital points" meant to cause damage in and of themselves. For instance, Gōzō Shioda described using
atemi in a brawl to quickly down a gang's leader. Others consider atemi, especially to the face, to be methods of distraction meant to enable other techniques. A strike, whether or not it is blocked, can startle the target
and break his or her concentration. The target may also become unbalanced in attempting to avoid the blow, for example by jerking the head back, which may allow for an easier throw. Many sayings about atemi are
attributed to Morihei Ueshiba, who considered them an essential element of technique.
Disarming an attacker using a "sword taking" (太刀取り tachi-dori?) technique.
Weapons training in aikido traditionally includes the short staff (jō), wooden sword (bokken), and knife (tantō). Today, some schools also incorporate firearms-
disarming techniques. Both weapon-taking and weapon-retention are sometimes taught, to integrate armed and unarmed aspects, although some schools of aikido
do not train with weapons at all. Others, such as the Iwama style of Morihiro Saito, usually spend substantial time with bokken and jō, practised under the names
aiki-ken, and aiki-jō, respectively. The founder developed much of empty handed aikido from traditional sword and spear movements, so the practice of these
movements is generally for the purpose of giving insight into the origin of techniques and movements, as
well as vital practice of these basic building blocks.
Multiple attackers and randori
Technique performed against two attackers.
One feature of aikido is training to defend against multiple attackers, often called taninzudori, or
taninzugake. Freestyle (randori, or jiyūwaza) practice with multiple attackers is a key part of most
curricula and is required for the higher level ranks. Randori exercises a person's ability to intuitively
perform techniques in an unstructured environment. Strategic choice of techniques, based on how they
reposition the student relative to other attackers, is important in randori training. For instance, an ura
technique might be used to neutralise the current attacker while turning to face attackers approaching
In Shodokan Aikido, randori differs in that it is not performed with multiple persons with defined roles of
defender and attacker, but between two people, where both participants attack, defend, and counter at will. In this respect it resembles judo randori.
In applying a technique during training, it is the responsibility of nage to prevent injury to uke by employing a speed and force of application that is
commensurate with their partner's proficiency in ukemi. Injuries (especially those to the joints), when they do occur in aikido, are often the result of nage misjudging the ability of uke to receive the throw or pin.
A study of injuries in the martial arts showed that while the type of injuries varied considerably from one art to the other, the differences in overall rates of injury were much less pronounced. Soft tissue injuries are one
of the most common types of injuries found within aikido although a few deaths from repetitive "shihōnage" have been reported.
Aikido training is mental as well as physical, emphasizing the ability to relax the mind and body even under the stress of dangerous situations. This is necessary to enable the practitioner to perform the bold enter-
and-blend movements that underlie aikido techniques, wherein an attack is met with confidence and directness. Morihei Ueshiba once remarked that one "must be willing to receive 99% of an opponent's attack and
stare death in the face" in order to execute techniques without hesitation. As a martial art concerned not only with fighting proficiency but also with the betterment of daily life, this mental aspect is of key importance
to aikido practitioners.
The most common criticism of aikido is that it suffers from a lack of realism in training. The attacks initiated by uke (and which nage must defend against) have been criticized as being "weak," "sloppy," and "little
more than caricatures of an attack." Weak attacks from uke cause a conditioned response from nage, and result in underdevelopment of the strength and conditioning needed for the safe and effective practice of
both partners. To counteract this, some styles allow students to become less compliant over time but, in keeping with the core philosophies, this is after having demonstrated proficiency in being able to protect
themselves and their training partners. Shodokan Aikido addresses the issue by practising in a competitive format. Such adaptations are debated between styles, with some maintaining that there is no need to adjust
their methods because either the criticisms are unjustified, or that they are not training for self-defence or combat effectiveness, but spiritual, fitness or other reasons.
Another criticism is that after the end of Ueshiba's seclusion in Iwama from 1942 to the mid 1950s, he increasingly emphasized the spiritual and philosophical aspects of aikido. As a result, strikes to vital points by
nage, entering (irimi) and initiation of techniques by nage, the distinction between omote (front side) and ura (back side) techniques, and the practice of weapons, were all deemphasized or eliminated from practice.
Lack of training in these areas is thought to lead to an overall loss of effectiveness by some aikido practitioners. 
Alternately, there are some who criticize aikido practitioners for not placing enough importance on the spiritual practices emphasized by Ueshiba. The premise of this criticism is that "O-Sensei’s aikido was not a
continuation and extension of the old and has a distinct discontinuity with past martial and philosophical concepts." That is, that aikido practitioners who focus on aikido's roots in traditional jujutsu or kenjutsu are
diverging from what Ueshiba taught. Such critics urge practitioners to embrace the assertion that "[Ueshiba's] transcendence to the spiritual and universal reality was the fundamentals [sic] of the paradigm that he
The study of ki is a critical component of aikido, and its study defies categorization as either "physical" or "mental" training, as it encompasses both. The original kanji for ki was 氣 (shown right), and is a symbolic
representation of a lid covering a pot full of rice; the "nourishing vapors" contained within are ki.
The character for ki is used in everyday Japanese terms, such as "health" (元気 genki?), or "shyness" (内気 uchiki?). Ki is most often understood as unified physical and mental intention, however in traditional martial
arts it is often discussed as "life energy". Gōzō Shioda's Yoshinkan Aikido, considered one of the "hard styles," largely follows Ueshiba's teachings from before World War II, and surmises that the secret to ki lies in
timing and the application of the whole body's strength to a single point. In later years, Ueshiba's application of ki in aikido took on a softer, more gentle feel. This was his Takemusu Aiki and many of his later
students teach about ki from this perspective. Koichi Tohei's Ki Society centers almost exclusively around the study of the empirical (albeit subjective) experience of ki with students ranked separately in aikido
techniques and ki development.
Uniforms and ranking
Aikido practitioners (commonly called aikidōka outside of Japan) generally progress by promotion through a series of "grades" (kyū), followed by a series of "degrees" (dan), pursuant to formal testing procedures. Most
aikido organisations use only white and black belts to distinguish rank, but some use various belt colors. Testing requirements vary, so a particular rank in one organization is not always comparable or interchangeable
with the rank of another. Some dojos do not allow students to take the test to obtain a dan unless they are 16 or older.
rank belt color type The uniform worn for practicing aikido (aikidōgi) is similar to the training uniform (keikogi) used in most other modern martial arts; simple trousers and a wraparound jacket,
usually white. Both thick ("judo-style"), and thin ("karate-style") cotton tops are used. Aikido-specific tops are also available with shorter sleeves which reach to just below
kyū white mudansha the elbow.
Most aikido systems also add a pair of wide pleated black or indigo trousers called a hakama. In many styles its use is reserved for practitioners with black belt (dan) ranks or
for instructors, while others allow all practitioners or female practitioners to wear a hakama regardless of rank.
dan black yūdansha
A Joint lock is a grappling technique involving manipulation of an opponent's joints in such a way that the joints reach their maximal degree of motion.
In budō these are referred to as, 関節技 kansetsu-waza, "joint locking technique") and in Chinese martial arts as chin na which literally means "catching and locking".
These typically involve isolating a particular joint and leveraging it in an attempt to force the joint to move past its normal range of motion. Joint locks usually involve varying degrees of pain in the joints and, if applied
forcefully and/or suddenly, may cause injury, such as muscle, tendon and ligament damage and even dislocation or bone fracture.
Joint locks can be divided into five general types according to which section of the body they affect:
Small joint manipulation
These general types can be further divided into subtypes according to which specific joint(s) they affect, or the type of motion they involve.
Joint locks are commonly featured in all forms of grappling, whether it be in martial arts, self-defense, combat sport or hand to hand combat application. The variants involving lesser leverage on a smaller joint (such as
wristlocks) are often featured in law-enforcement or self-defense application, where they are used as pain compliance holds. Joint locks that involve full body leverage can on the other hand be used in hand to hand
combat to partially or fully disable an opponent, by tearing major joints such as knees or elbows.
Common martial arts featuring joint locks include Aikido, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Catch Wrestling, Eagle Claw, Hapkido, Hung Gar, Jujutsu, Judo, Ninjutsu and mixed martial arts. They are usually practiced in a
maximally safe manner, with controlled movements, and releasing the joint lock once it is apparent that it has been effectively applied. In combat sports, joint locks are used as submission holds, and are intended to
force the opponent to submit; the lock will be controlled and held until an opponent submits or a referee recognizes the threat of injury and intervenes. The types of joint locks allowed in competitions featuring them
varies according to the perceived danger in their application. Armlocks are generally considered safer, while small joint manipulation and spinal locks are banned in nearly all combat sports.
Small joint manipulation, in grappling, refers to twisting, pulling or bending fingers or toes to cause joint locks in the various joints in those appendages. Joint locks on fingers and toes are respectively referred to as
finger locks and toe locks.
The leverage needed for such joint manipulation is comparatively small, since grabbing a finger or two with one or both hands creates a distinct advantage. Joint manipulation can allow a weaker person with the right
training to control a stronger one. Grabbing only one finger may lead to the opponent being able to pull it free, while grabbing three or more reduces the leverage advantage considerably, and hence it is sometimes
advised to grab two fingers for maximum effect.
Small joint manipulation is an illegal technique in most combat sports that feature joint locking such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, judo, mixed martial arts and Sambo, since unlike standard joint locks, there is less of an
opportunity to "tap out" or submit before the small joint breaks. It is however sometimes taught as a self-defense and pain compliance technique, for instance in Hapkido, Chin Na, Aikido, Kenpo, jujutsu, and especially
in 'Small Circle JuJitsu'. It is also an important part of koppo-techniques, e.g. in ninjutsu.
A leglock is a joint lock that is directed at joints of the leg such as the ankle, knee or hip joint. A leglock which is directed at joints in the foot is sometimes referred to as a foot lock and a lock at the hip as a hip lock.
Leglocks are featured combat sports and martial arts such as Sambo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, catch wrestling, mixed martial arts, Shootwrestling and submission wrestling, but are banned in some sports featuring joint
locks such as judo.
Leglocks are considered more difficult techniques to apply effectively than armlocks, since the legs are generally stronger limbs than the arms. Leglocks require full body leverage to be effective since they attack large
joints, such as the knee. Compared to armlocks, leglocks usually require more intricate positions than the mount, sidecontrol or guard, and are often considered to be risky because of the possibility of losing position.
In training or sparring, leglocks are applied in a slow and controlled manner, and are often not hyperextended such as in the case of the comparatively dangerous heel hook. Instead, submission is signalled before the
lock is fully applied. In self-defense application, or when applied improperly or with excessive force, leglocks can cause muscle, tendon and ligament damage, even dislocation or bone fractures.
The kneebar is performed on the leg similarly to how the juji-gatame armbar is performed on the arm.
A kneebar (technically known as a straight legbar) is a leglock which hyperextends the knee. The basic kneebar is performed similarly to an armbar by holding the opponent's leg in between the legs and arms so the
opponent's kneecap points towards the body. By pushing the hips forward, the opponent's leg is straightened, and further leveraging hyperextends the knee. A variation of the kneebar is done similarly, but instead of
holding the leg with the hands, the opponent's foot is pushed behind one armpit. By pushing the shoulder backwards and pushing the hips forward, a greater amount of force is applied to the knee, and the lock becomes
much more difficult to escape.
An ankle lock (occasionally referred to as a shin lock) is a leglock that is applied to any of the joints in the ankle, typically by hyperextending the talocrural joint through plantar hyperflexion. Ankle locks are often
applied in a manner which simultaneously causes a compression lock to the achilles tendon, or sometimes (as in Ashinada Jime in Danzan Ryu Jujitsu) also to the calf muscle.
Straight ankle lock
The straight ankle lock (depending on how it is performed also known as an achilles lock) is what is usually thought of as an ankle lock. It is typically performed using the legs to isolate one of the opponent's legs, and
placing the opponent's foot in the armpit, while holding the foot with the forearm at the lower part of the opponent's calf, usually at the achilles tendon. By leveraging the hips forward, the foot becomes forcefully
plantar flexed, hence creating a potent joint lock on the ankle. The forearm serves as a fulcrum in the leveraging, and may cause severe pressure on the achilles tendon, especially when the bony parts of the forearm are
used. Such a straight ankle lock is sometimes referred to as an "achilles lock".
A figure-four toe hold.
A toe hold involves using the hands to hyperextend and/or hyperrotate the ankle, typically by grabbing the foot near the toes, and twisting or pushing the foot while controlling the opponent's leg. A common type of toe
hold is the figure-four toe hold, where a figure-four hold is used to hold the opponent's foot. This type of toe hold is performed by holding the foot by the toes with one hand, and putting the other hand under the
opponent's achilles tendon, and grabbing the wrist. By controlling the opponent's body, and using the hands to plantar flex the foot either straight or slightly sideways, hence putting considerable torque on the ankle. The
toe hold can also be applied in a similar position as an Ankle Lock (as in Ashiyubi Jime in Danzan Ryu Jujitsu).
The regular heel hook twists the ankle medially. The opponent's leg is entangled to prevent him from escaping the hold.
A heel hook is a leg lock affecting multiple joints, and is applied by transversely twisting the foot either medially or laterally. The torsional force puts severe torque on the ankle, which in turn transfers torque to the
knee. The heel hook is generally considered to be a very dangerous leg lock, with a high rate of injury, especially to ligaments in the knee. It was subsequently banned in many combat sports featuring other leg locks
such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Sambo. The heel hook is however an allowed technique in some submission wrestling and mixed martial arts competitions.
There are several variations of heel hooks, with the most typical being performed by placing the legs around a leg of an opponent, and holding the opponent's foot in the armpit on the same side. The legs are used to
control the movement of the opponent's body while the opponent's foot is twisted by holding the heel with the forearm, and using the whole body to generate a twisting motion, hence creating severe medial torque on
the ankle. A similar heel hook can be performed by holding the opponent's foot in the opposite armpit, and twisting it laterally; a move which is referred to as an inverted, reverse or inside heel hook.
A Wristlock is a joint lock primarily affecting the wrist-joint and possibly the radioulnar joints through rotation of the hand. A wristlock is typically applied by grabbing the opponent's hand, and bending and/or
twisting it. Wristlocks are very common in martial arts such as Aikido, Hapkido and jujutsu where they are featured as self-defense techniques. They are also used as submission holds in combat sports such as Brazilian
jiu-jitsu and Catch wrestling, while being an illegal technique in Judo and Sambo competition. Wristlocks are also used by law enforcement and military as pain compliance hold.
The wristlock is a technique that can be applied from a stand-up position, simply by grabbing the opponent's hand and twisting and/or bending it in a non-natural direction. It is considered to be a relatively safe
technique to practice with a willing opponent, but if applied suddenly and/or forcefully, a wristlock can cause ligament tears or possibly even dislocation or bone fractures.
Major methods of wrist manipulation
A rotational wristlock (in Aikido referred to as a type of sankyo, 三教, "3rd teaching")is a very common type of wristlock, and involves forced supination or pronation of the wrist, and is typically applied by
grabbing and twisting the hand. The wrist joint does not allow rotating motion, and the force is transferred to the forearm causing radioulnar rotation, eventually resulting in a joint lock on the radioulnar joint. Once the
radius and ulna have been brought to their extreme positions, further twisting motion will put severe torque on the wrist. In martial arts, standing rotational wristlocks are often accompanied by the opponent willingly
throwing him or herself to escape or alleviate the lock.
A supinating wristlock demonstrated.
The supinating wristlock (in budō referred to as kote gaeshi, 小手返, "forearm return") is a rotational wristlock, and arguably the most common wristlock. It involves rotating the hand so that it becomes maximally
supinated, often referred to as 'externally rotating' the wrist, and hence putting a joint lock on the wrist and radioulnar joint. This can be done by grabbing the opponent's hand with one or both hands, and twisting the
hand so that the opponent's thumb points away from the opponent. A supinating wristlock performed from a stand-up position, and can be used to force the opponent to the ground on his or her back. Straightening the
arm does not alleviate the pressure, since the shoulder joint does not allow further supination of the hand.
It should be noted that a properly executed lock of this type does not apply torque to the wrist, itself. In practice, the bones of the forearm and, eventually, the shoulder are the focus of the lock. If performed correctly
this technique will break the opponents wrist, elbow and dislocate the shoulder. In practice uke will turn over his own arm, in order to prevent his wrist from breaking. The goal of almost all throws executed via
joint/bone manipulation, at least from the perspective of some classical (koryu) martial arts, is to break or dislocate a limb(s).
The pronating wristlock (in budō referred to as kote mawashi, 小手回し, "forearm turn") is similar to the supinating wristlock except that it is reversed in direction, known as 'internally rotating' the wrist. The hand
becomes maximally pronated, resulting in a joint lock on the wrist and radioulnar joint. The degree of possible pronation depends on the degree of flexion at the elbow, as a bent elbow inhibits rotation of the humerus.
Hence, straightening the arm allows rotation of the whole arm and alleviates the pressure on the joints. The arm has to be additionally twisted until the shoulder joint reaches maximal rotation to preserve the joint lock.
This typically results in the arm moving posteriorly, and allows for the complementary technique of pushing the arm at the elbow or shoulder to force the opponent to the ground.
A hyperflexing wristlock used as a pain compliance technique.
A hyperflexing wristlock (in budō referred to as tekubi gatamae "wrist lock") involves forcing the wrist into hyperflexion by pushing or pulling the hand towards the inside of the forearm. A hyperflexing wristlock is
often performed in combination with rotational wristlocks, since the hyperflexed hand provides a good lever for twisting, and in addition it increases the overall effectiveness of the wristlock. Hyperflexing wristlocks
are often featured as pain compliance techniques, since they allow for good control, and a gradual pain increase if more leverage is added. Hyperflexing wristlocks are also a typical wristlock used as a submission hold.
Hyperflexing wrist locks, often applied after an escape from a rotational wrist lock, is a signature technique in Chen style Tai Chi Chuan.
By pressing the opponent's wrist downwards, the hand is forced into extreme ulnar deviation.
The "hyperextending wristlock" is often combined with a fingerlock as the wristlock itself is not very strong. It involves bending the wrist so that the knuckles travel back towad the forearm.
An adductive wristlock (in budō referred to as kote hono gaeshi, "partial forearm return", part of aikido's nikyō, or second teaching) involves forced ulnar deviation of the hand. It is typically applied by twisting the
opponent's arm so that the opponent's palm points laterally and the elbow is slightly bent. The hand is then grabbed using one or both hands, and the wrist is forced downwards, hence reaching the limit of possible ulnar
deviation, and creating a potent joint lock on the wrist joint. To avoid damage, it is possible for the opponent to drop down to the ground, and alleviate the pressure. The adductive wristlock is often taught as a self-
defense technique against grabbing.
Note: in aikido this lock is called Nikyō; It is also commonly referred to as a "Z-Lock" because the bend of the arm forms a Z.
Note: in some parts of america this is also called the "Goose Neck" because the bend of the arm forms a S.
A Spinal lock is a multiple joint lock applied to the spinal column, which is performed by forcing the spine beyond its normal ranges of motion. This is typically done by bending or twisting the head or upper body into
abnormal positions. Commonly, spinal locks might strain the spinal musculature or result in a mild spinal sprain, while a forcefully and/or suddenly applied spinal lock may cause severe ligament damage or damage to
the vertebrae, and possibly result in serious spinal cord injury, strokes, or death.
Spinal locks can be separated into two categories based on their primary area of effect on the spinal column: spinal locks on the neck are called neck cranks and locks on the lower parts of the spine are called spine
A neck crank (sometimes also referred to as a neck lock, and technically known as a cervical lock) is a spinal lock applied to the cervical spine causing hyperextension, hyperflexion, lateral hyperflexion, hyperrotation
or extension-distraction, either through bending, twisting or elongating. A neck crank is typically applied by pulling or twisting the head beyond its normal ranges of rotation. Neck cranks are included techniques in
several martial arts such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Judo, but are usually banned from sports competitions, with notable exceptions in combat sports such as submission wrestling and mixed martial arts, where they are
used as submission holds or as a guard passing technique.
The can opener (in Judo referred to as kubi-hishigi) is a hyperflexing neck crank that can be applied from the opponent's guard or from a mounted position, by grabbing the opponent's head using the hands, and forcing
it towards the chest of the opponent. In competitions (where allowed) it is usually used as a taunting or distracting move, but if applied effectively in a competition, it may force the opponent to submit.
This may also refer to a type of neck compression employed from a rear mount position in which the back of the thumbs are used to drive into the neck starting from the high trapezius muscle toward the
sternocleidomastoid muscles, causing severe discomfort, and even submission. As of 2006, this is permitted in shiai as long as the judoka's thumbs remain straight, and not bent. Its most common uses are to open up an
opponent's chin for shime-waza or as a diversionary tactic.
The cattle catch (also referred to as reverse crucifix, iron cross or stocks) is a hyperflexing neck crank involving trapping the opponent's hands and forcing the head towards his or her chest. The technique is
performed with the opponent lying on his or her back, and the combatant performing the neck crank perpendicularly face-down in a side mount position above the head of the opponent, with the opponent's head resting
towards his armpit. The combatant traps one arm using the legs, and the other using the arms. By using the pinned arms and legs as a point of leverage, the combatant can forcefully crank the head towards the
Crucifix neck crank
The crucifix neck crank is similar to the cattle catch, but involves the combatant performing the neck crank being mounted on the opponent. Both of the opponent's arms are controlled, and the opponent's head is held
in the armpit. By cranking the body upwards while keeping a tight hold on the opponents arms, the opponents head is forced towards his or her chest.
Both the cattle catch and the crucifix neck crank are colloquially referred to simply as the crucifix, which often leads to confusion with the traditional crucifix position.
The twister (a similar move in wrestling is known as a guillotine) is a sideways body bend and neck crank, which involves forcing the head towards the shoulder while controlling the body, hence causing lateral
hyperflexion of the cervical spine. The technique involves tension in several bodyparts, and depending on the flexibility of the recipient, can also involve pain in the knees, abdominals and torso. The twister is often
confused as being a spine crank since it involves a degree of lateral non-cervical spinal flexion. The main pressure is however on the cervical spine, hence making it a neck crank. It is performed from a back mount
single vine ride position, where the top man has one "hook" threaded through the bottom man's legs and secured behind the ankle. The top man then pulls the bottom man's opposite arm behind his own head and grabs
hold of his opponent's head, pulling it down to his shoulder.
A spine crank (the term spine lock is also often used to refer exclusively to this type) is a spinal lock that affects the thoracic and/or lumbar regions of the spinal column. A spine crank is applied by twisting or bending
the upper body beyond its normal ranges of motion, causing hyperextension, hyperflexion, or hyperrotation of the spine. In martial arts, spine cranks are generally rarer techniques than neck cranks because they are
more difficult to apply. Twisting or bending the upper body to apply pressure to the spinal column requires large amounts of leverage compared to twisting or bending the head.
One of the most well known spine cranks is the boston crab, which is usually depicted in pro-wrestling context. Similarly to neck cranks, spine cranks are illegal techniques in most combat sports, excluding some
submission wrestling and mixed martial arts competitions, where they are used as submission holds. Even if allowed, spine cranks are very rarely featured because of the difficulty of applying them.
An armlock in grappling is a single or double joint lock that hyperextends, hyperflexes or hyperrotates the elbow joint and/or shoulder joint. An armlock that hyperflexes or hyperrotates the shoulder joint is referred to
as a shoulder lock, and an armlock that hyperextends the elbow joint is called an armbar. Depending on the joint flexibility and integrity of a person, armlocks that hyperrotate the shoulder joint can also hyperrotate
the elbow joint, and vice versa.
Obtaining an armlock requires effective use of full-body leverage in order to initiate and secure a lock on the targeted arm, while preventing the opponent from escaping the lock. Therefore, armlocks are usually more
easily performed on the ground, from positions such as the mount, side control, or guard. Armlocks are more difficult to perform when both combatants are standing up, though the stand-up variants are a focus in
certain systems such as Chin Na. A failed armlock can sometimes result in the opponent escaping and obtaining a dominant position.
Armlocks are considered less dangerous techniques in combat sports allowing joint locks, and are the most common joint locks used as submission holds. In sparring or training, armlocks are generally done in a slow
and controlled manner, so that the opponent can submit before any damage is inflicted. In self-defense application, or when applied improperly or with excessive force, armlocks can cause muscle, tendon and ligament
damage, even dislocation, or bone fractures.
An armbar (sometimes called a straight armbar) is a joint lock that hyperextends the elbow joint. It is typically applied by placing the opponent's extended arm at the elbow over a fulcrum such as an arm, leg or hip,
and controlling the opponent's body while leveraging the arm over the fulcrum. It is used in various grappling martial arts, including Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Catch wrestling, Judo, Jujutsu and is one of the most common
ways to win a match in mixed martial arts competition. The technique has several variations, with the best known and most effective in competition being the juji-gatame. The juji-gatame is so common, that "armbar"
is often used synonymously with juji-gatame.
The English word "bar" is used here to signify the opponent's extended arm, while the Japanese word "juji" (十字) refers to the armbar's visual resemblance to the number 10 as written in Kanji, 十. The word juji is also
found in "juujika" (十字架), meaning a cross.
The juji-gatame is derived from judo.(十字固, "cross armlock" or technically referred to as ude-hishigi-juji-gatame. In general, the attacker grabs the wrist of the targeted arm of the opponent, holding and securing it
by squeezing it between the thighs of the attacker. The attacker's legs end up across the opponent's chest, with the arm held between the thighs, with the elbow pointing against the thigh or hips. By holding the
opponent's wrist to the attacker's chest, the attacker can extend the opponent's arm and hyperextend the opponent's elbow. The attacker can further increase the pressure on the elbow joint by arching their hips against
The flying armbar is a version of the juji-gatame that is performed from a stand-up position. Without a gi, it is typically applied when the opponent has a collar tie. By tightly holding the opponent's neck and arm, the
attacker puts one of his or their shins against the opponents midsection, and leans up on the opponent; at the same time, the attacker swings the leg on the same side as the opponent's collar tie over the opponents head,
into the typical juji-gatame position. (With a gi, it can be performed without needing to hold the neck.) If improperly performed, this technique will cause the opponent to escape the hold and gain an advantageous
position, even the option of slamming the attacker to the ground. The flying armbar is considered to be one of the most spectacular joint locks, but it is uncommon because of the risk of losing position.
The sankaku-gatame or "triangular armlock" is a juji-gatame performed from the sankaku position . Originating from judo it is normally used when the shime (strangle) is not working. It's an effective competition
technique due to the fact that the opponent's arm became exposed while defending the sankaku-jime and their attention is focused in stopping the strangle.
A fighter attempts to escape from an armbar by slamming the opponent to the ground.
An elbow lock is a type of joint lock that hyperflexes or hyperrotates the elbow joint. An elbow lock is applied by forcing the arm beyond its normal range of elbow-wise movement, which can be done through a variety
of ways. Typically, the body is controlled from moving by using a pinning hold, and the arm is then pulled, pushed or twisted.
A keylock (also known as a bent armlock, figure-four armlock or ude-garami) involves holding the forearm and using it to twist the upper arm laterally or medially, similarly to turning a key in a keyhole. It is
usually considered to be a shoulder lock since the primary pressure is often on the shoulder, but depending on how it is performed, significant pressure can also be applied to the elbow. It passes for a lock on the elbow
in judo competitions, where only elbow locks are allowed. It can be applied from a multitude of positions, and it is the most common shoulder lock used as a submission hold in mixed martial arts competition. The
keylock has several variations with their own names, for instance depending on in which direction the arm is rotated. The word "reverse" is sometimes added to signify medial rotation as in reverse keylock or reverse
ude-garami, in which case the usage of just "keylock" indicates lateral rotation.
Figure Four Arm-lock/Americana (Ude-garami)
The figure four arm-lock (also known in the USA as the americana) is a term used in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to specify the lateral keylock known in judo as ude-garami (arm entanglement). This lock is generally applied
only from the mount or side control. The opponent's arm is pinned to the ground so that it is bent at the elbow, with the opponent's palm upwards. The wrist is grabbed with the opposite hand, and the arm on the same
side is put under the opponents arm, gripping the attacker's wrist. This results in the necessary figure-four hold. While keeping the opponent's hand pinned to the ground, the attacker begins sliding his or her pinned arm
down and parallel to his or her thigh while cranking the elbow upwards. This is referred to as 'painting'. The opponent will feel pressure on their elbow and/or shoulder. From some positions, such as kesa-gatame, it is
possible to apply this technique with a leg instead of using two arms.
The technique is one of the official 29 grappling techniques of Kodokan Judo. It is one of the nine joint techniques of the Kansetsu-waza list, one of the three grappling lists in Judo's Katame-waza enumerating 29
grappling techniques. All of Judo's competition legal joint techniques are arm locks.
Kimura (Gyaku ude-garami)
The kimura lock (Reverse Ude Garami), applied on Hélio Gracie by Masahiko Kimura. The arm is twisted unusually far because Gracie refused to submit.
Kimura (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), chicken wing/double wristlock (wrestling), or reverse keylock are terms used to specify a medial keylock known in judo as gyaku ude-garami (reverse arm entanglement) or simply as
ude-garami. The application is similar to the americana, except that it is reversed. It needs some space behind the opponent to be effective, and can be applied from the side control or guard. Contrary to the americana,
the opponent's wrist is grabbed with the hand on the same side, and the opposite arm is put behind the opponent's arm, again grabbing the attacker's wrist and forming a figure-four. By controlling the opponent's body
and cranking the arm away from the attacker, pressure is put on the shoulder joint, and depending on the angle, also the elbow joint (in some variations the opponent's arm is brought behind their back, resulting in a
finishing position resembling that of the hammerlock outlined below). The kimura was named after the judoka Masahiko Kimura, who used it to defeat one of the founders of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Hélio Gracie.
The omoplata (sometimes referred to as ude-garami or sankaku-garami, 三角緘, "triangular entanglement" or ashi-garami, "leg entanglement" in Judo) is a commonly featured shoulder lock in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The locking mechanism is similar to the kimura lock, but instead of using a figure-four, it is applied using a leg. The omoplata can be applied from the guard, by placing one leg under the opponents armpit and turning
180 degrees in the direction of that leg, so that the leg moves over the back of the opponent and entangles the opponents arm. By controlling the opponent's body and pushing the arm perpendicularly away from the
opponents back, pressure can be put on the opponent's shoulder. It is also possible to put pressure on the elbow joint by bending the leg entangling the arm, and twisting it in a specific manner. Though an effective lock,
it is more difficult than other armlocks to successfully apply. The technique called a monoplata is a similar armlock that resembles juji gatame or spiderweb position yet has a mechanism like a omoplata.
A hammerlock as demonstrated in Farmer Burns correspondence course, 1913
A hammerlock is a shoulder lock similar to the kimura lock where the opponent's arm is held bent against their back, and their hand forced upwards towards the neck, thereby applying pressure to the shoulder joint.
The hammerlock is well-known as a pain compliance hold in law-enforcement where it is typically used from a stand-up position to control an aggressor, and is also utilized in the application of handcuffs. It is also
sometimes seen used as a submission hold in submission wrestling arts.
Joint manipulation is a type of passive movement of a skeletal joint. It is usually aimed at one or more 'target' synovial joints with the aim of achieving a therapeutic effect.
Biomechanics of joint manipulation
Manipulation can be distinguished from other manual therapy interventions such as mobilization by its biomechanics, both kinetics and kinematics.
Until recently, force-time histories measured during spinal manipulation were described as consisting of three distinct phases: the preload (or prethrust) phase, the thrust phase, and the resolution phase. Evans and
Breen added a fourth ‘orientation’ phase to describe the period during which the patient is oriented into the appropriate position in preparation for the prethrust phase.
When individual peripheral synovial joints are manipulated, the distinct force-time phases that occur during spinal manipulation are not as evident. In particular, the rapid rate of change of force that occurs during the
thrust phase when spinal joints are manipulated is not always necessary. Most studies to have measured forces used to manipulate peripheral joints, such as the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints, show no more than
gradually increasing load. This is probably because there are many more tissues restraining a spinal motion segment than an independent MCP joint.
The kinematics of a complete spinal motion segment when one of its constituent spinal joints are manipulated are much more complex than the kinematics that occur during manipulation of an independent peripheral
synovial joint. Even so, the motion that occurs between the articular surfaces of any individual synovial joint during manipulation should be very similar and is described below.
Early models describing the kinematics of an individual target joint during the various phases of manipulation (notably Sandoz 1976) were based on studies that investigated joint cracking in MCP joints. The cracking
was elicited by pulling the proximal phalanx away from the metacarpal bone (to separate, or 'gap' the articular surfaces of the MCP joint) with gradually increasing force until a sharp resistance, caused by the cohesive
properties of synovial fluid, was met and then broken. These studies were therefore never designed to form models of therapeutic manipulation, and the models formed were erroneous in that they described the target
joint as being configured at the end range of a rotation movement, during the orientation phase. The model then predicted that this end range position was maintained during the prethrust phase until the thrust phase
where it was moved beyond the 'physiologic barrier' created by synovial fluid resistance; conveniently within the limits of anatomical integrity provided by restraining tissues such as the joint capsule and ligaments.
This model still dominates the literature. However, after re-examining the original studies on which the kinematic models of joint manipulation were based, Evans and Breen argued that the optimal prethrust position
is actually the equivalent of the neutral zone of the individual joint, which is the motion region of the joint where the passive osteoligamentous stability mechanisms exert little or no influence. This new model predicted
that the physiologic barrier is only confronted when the articular surfaces of the joint are separated (gapped, rather than the rolling or sliding that usually occurs during physiological motion), and that it is more
mechanically efficient to do this when the joint is near to its neutral configuration.
Joint manipulation is characteristically associated with the production of an audible 'clicking' or 'popping' sound. This sound is believed to be the result of a phenomenon known as cavitation occurring within the
synovial fluid of the joint. When a manipulation is performed, the applied force separates the articular surfaces of a fully encapsulated synovial joint. This deforms the joint capsule and intra-articular tissues, which in
turn creates a reduction in pressure within the joint cavity. In this low pressure environment, some of the gases that are dissolved in the synovial fluid (which are naturally found in all bodily fluids) leave solution
creating a bubble or cavity, which rapidly collapses upon itself, resulting in a 'clicking' sound. The contents of this gas bubble are thought to be mainly carbon dioxide. The effects of this process will remain for a
period of time termed the 'refractory period', which can range from a few minutes to more than an hour, while it is slowly reabsorbed back into the synovial fluid. There is some evidence that ligament laxity around the
target joint is associated with an increased probability of cavitation.
Clinical effects and mechanisms of action
The clinical effects of joint manipulation have been shown to include:
Temporary relief of musculoskeletal pain.
Shortened time to recover from acute back sprains (Rand).
Temporary increase in passive range of motion (ROM).
Physiological effects upon the central nervous system.
No alteration of the position of the sacroiliac joint.
Common side effects of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) are characterized as mild to moderate and may include: local discomfort, headache, tiredness, or radiating discomfort.
Shekelle (1994) summarised the published theories for mechanism(s) of action for how joint manipulation may exert its clinical effects as the following:
Release of entrapped synovial folds or plica
Relaxation of hypertonic muscle
Disruption of articular or periarticular adhesions
Unbuckling of motion segments that have undergone disproportionate displacement
Practice of manipulation
In the context of healthcare, joint manipulation is performed by several professional groups. In North America, it is most commonly performed by chiropractors, osteopathic physicians and physical therapists. In
Europe, chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists most commonly provide manipulation. When applied to joints in the spine, it is referred to as spinal manipulation.
Manipulation is known by several other names. Chiropractors refer to manipulation of a spinal joint as an 'adjustment'. Following the labelling system developed by Geoffery Maitland, manipulation is synonymous
with Grade V mobilization; a term commonly used by physical therapists. Because of its distinct biomechanics (see section above), the term high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) is often used interchangeably with
As with all interventions, there are risks associated with joint manipulation, especially manipulation of spinal joints. Infrequent, but potentially serious side effects, include: vertebrobasilar accidents (VBA), strokes,
spinal disc herniation, vertebral and rib fractures, and cauda equina syndrome.
In a 1993 study, J.D. Cassidy, DC, and co-workers concluded that the treatment of lumbar intervertebral disk herniation by side posture manipulation is "both safe and effective."
Risks of upper cervical manipulation
The degree of serious risks associated with manipulation of the cervical spine is uncertain, with widely differing results being published.
A 1996 Danish chiropractic study confirmed the risk of stroke to be low, and determined that the greatest risk is with manipulation of the first two vertebra of the cervical spine, particularly passive rotation of the neck,
known as the "master cervical" or "rotary break."
Serious complications after manipulation of the cervical spine are estimated to be 1 in 4 million manipulations or fewer. A RAND Corporation extensive review estimated "one in a million." Dvorak, in a survey of
203 practitioners of manual medicine in Switzerland, found a rate of one serious complication per 400,000 cervical manipulations, without any reported deaths, among an estimated 1.5 million cervical manipulations. 
Jaskoviak reported approximately 5 million cervical manipulations from 1965 to 1980 at The National College of Chiropractic Clinic in Chicago, without a single case of vertebral artery stroke or serious injury.
Henderson and Cassidy performed a survey at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College outpatient clinic where more than a half-million treatments were given over a nine-year period, again without serious
incident. Eder offered a report of 168,000 cervical manipulations over a 28 year period, again without a single significant complication. After an extensive literature review performed to formulate practice
guidelines, the authors concurred that "the risk of serious neurological complications (from cervical manipulation) is extremely low, and is approximately one or two per million cervical manipulations."
In comparison, there is a 3-4% rate of complications for cervical spinal surgery, and 4,000-10,000 deaths per million neck surgeries.
Understandably, vascular accidents are responsible for the major criticism of spinal manipulative therapy. However, it has been pointed out that "critics of manipulative therapy emphasize the possibility of serious
injury, especially at the brain stem, due to arterial trauma after cervical manipulation. It has required only the very rare reporting of these accidents to malign a therapeutic procedure that, in experienced hands, gives
beneficial results with few adverse side effects". In very rare instances, the manipulative adjustment to the cervical spine of a vulnerable patient becomes the final intrusive act which results in a very serious
Potential for incident underreporting
Statistics on the reliability of incident reporting for injuries related to manipulation of the cervical spine vary. The RAND study assumed that only 1 in 10 cases would have been reported. However, Prof Ernst surveyed
neurologists in Britain for cases of serious neurological complications occurring within 24 hours of cervical spinal manipulation by various types of practitioners; 35 cases had been seen by the 24 neurologists who
responded, but none of the cases had been reported. He concluded that underreporting was close to 100%, rendering estimates "nonsensical." He therefore suggested that "clinicians might tell their patients to adopt a
cautious approach and avoid the type of spinal manipulation for which the risk seems greatest: forceful manipulation of the upper spine with a rotational element."  The NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
stated that the survey had methodological problems with data collection. Both NHS and Ernst noted that bias is a problem with the survey method of data collection.
A 2001 study in the journal Stroke found that vertebrobasilar accidents (VBAs) were five times more likely in those aged less than 45 years who had visited a chiropractor in the preceding week, compared to controls
who had not visited a chiropractor. No significant associations were found for those over 45 years. The authors concluded: "While our analysis is consistent with a positive association in young adults... The rarity of
VBAs makes this association difficult to study despite high volumes of chiropractic treatment." The NHS notes that this study collected data objectively by using administrative data, involving less recall bias than
survey studies, but the data were collected retrospectively and probably contained inaccuracies. 
In 1996, Coulter et al. had a multidisciplinary group of 4 MDs, 4 DCs and 1 MD/DC look at 736 conditions where it was used. Their job was to evaluate the appropriateness of manipulation or mobilization of the
cervical spine in those cases (including a few cases not performed by chiropractors).
"According to the report ... 57.6% of reported indications for cervical manipulation was considered inappropriate, with 31.3% uncertain. Only 11.1% could be labeled appropriate. A panel of chiropractors and medical
practitioners concluded that '. . . much additional scientific data about the efficacy of cervical spine manipulation are needed.'"
Studies of stroke and manipulation do not always clearly identify what professional has performed the manipulation. In some cases this has led to confusion and improper placement of blame. In a 1995 study,
chiropractic researcher Allan Terrett, DC, pointed to this problem:
"The words chiropractic and chiropractor have been incorrectly used in numerous publications dealing with SMT injury by medical authors, respected medical journals and medical organizations. In many cases, this is
not accidental; the authors had access to original reports that identified the practitioner involved as a nonchiropractor. The true incidence of such reporting cannot be determined. Such reporting adversely affects the
reader's opinion of chiropractic and chiropractors."
This error was taken into account in a 1999 review of the scientific literature on the risks and benefits of manipulation of the cervical spine (MCS). Special care was taken, whenever possible, to correctly identify all
the professions involved, as well as the type of manipulation responsible for any injuries and/or deaths. It analyzed 177 cases that were reported in 116 articles published between 1925 and 1997, and summarized:
"The most frequently reported injuries involved arterial dissection or spasm, and lesions of the brain stem. Death occurred in 32 (18%) of the cases. Physical therapists were involved in less than 2% of the cases, and no
deaths have been attributed to MCS provided by physical therapists. Although the risk of injury associated with MCS appears to be small, this type of therapy has the potential to expose patients to vertebral artery
damage that can be avoided with the use of mobilization (nonthrust passive movements)."
In Figure 1 in the review, the types of injuries attributed to manipulation of the cervical spine are shown, and Figure 2 shows the type of practitioner involved in the resulting injury.  For the purpose of comparison,
the type of practitioner was adjusted according to the findings by Terrett. 
The review concluded:
"The literature does not demonstrate that the benefits of MCS outweigh the risks. Several recommendations for future studies and for the practice of MCS are discussed."
Edzard Ernst has written:
"...there is little evidence to demonstrate that spinal manipulation has any specific therapeutic effects. On the other hand, there is convincing evidence to show that it is associated with frequent, mild adverse effects as
well as with serious complications of unknown incidence. Therefore, it seems debatable whether the benefits of spinal manipulation outweigh its risks. Specific risk factors for vascular accidents related to spinal
manipulation have not been identified, which means that any patient may be at risk, particularly those below 45 years of age. Definitive, prospective studies that can overcome the limitations of previous investigations
are now a matter of urgency. Until they are available, clinicians might tell their patients to adopt a cautious approach and avoid the type of spinal manipulation for which the risk seems greatest: forceful manipulation of
the upper spine with a rotational element."
In emergency medicine joint manipulation can also refer to the process of bringing fragments of fractured bone or dislocated joints into normal anatomical alignment (otherwise known as 'reducing' the fracture or
dislocation). These procedures have no relation to the HVLA thrust procedure.
Combat, or fighting, is purposeful violent conflict intended to establish dominance over the opposition.
The term "combat" (French for fight) typically refers to armed conflict between military forces in warfare, whereas the more general term "fighting" can refer to any violent conflict. Combat violence can be unilateral,
whereas fighting implies at least a defensive reaction. However, the terms are often used synonymously along with the term "Battle Ready".
Combat may take place under a certain set of rules or be unregulated. Examples of rules include the Geneva Conventions (covering the treatment of soldiers in war), medieval Chivalry, and the Marquess of
Queensberry rules (covering boxing).
Combat in warfare involves two or more opposing military organizations, usually fighting for nations at war (although guerrilla warfare and suppression of insurgencies can fall outside this definition). Warfare falls
under the laws of war, which govern its purposes and conduct, and protect the rights of soldiers and non-combatants.
Combat may be armed (using weapons), or unarmed (not using weapons). Hand-to-hand combat (melee) is combat at very close range, feeling the opponent with the body (striking, kicking, strangling, etc.) and/or with
a melee weapon (knives, swords, batons, etc.), as opposed to a ranged weapon.
Hand-to-hand combat can be further divided into three sections depending on the distance and positioning of the combatants:
Hard and soft in martial arts refer to the way techniques deal with the force of an attack.
Martial arts techniques can be effected in a 'hard' or a 'soft' manner. This applies to both unarmed combat and to the use of martial arts weapons.
Examples of techniques used in unarmed combat include strikes such as punches and kicks, along with traps, locks (see chin na), footsweeps, throws and takedowns, used in grappling. Examples of martial arts
weaponry include knives, swords; and spears. In use these may be thrust, swept, hooked, etc. See a list of martial arts weapons for more details.
In a soft technique the receiver uses the aggressor's force and momentum against him by leading the attack in a direction where the receiver will be positioned in advantage, then, in a seamless movement, effects an
appropriate martial arts technique. In some styles, a series of progressively difficult training drills such as pushing hands or sticky hands teach students to exercise this concept. While less physically conditioned
students may be encouraged to undertake soft style martial arts on the belief that it does not take any strength to apply them, this is not technically so. The goal of soft arts is said to be able to turn an adversary's force to
their disadvantage, and to use the least possible amount of force oneself.
Note following points.
1) The receipt of the incoming force is dealt with in a soft manner thus: This 'leading' of the incoming attack redirects forces from the aggressor either back at the aggressor or away from the defender instead of meeting
the force with a block. Soft defenses are usually circular: The way this works is similar to the way a projectile may glance off a round or slanted surface without damaging it. The lack of resistance while meeting of the
incoming force is usually referred to as yielding.
A front sacrifice throw tomoenage used against an assailant pushing from the front
2) The final application of a technique is soft: A technique applied in a soft manner is often applied when the person is off-balance (see kuzushi) which makes it easy for the person effecting the technique. This ‘ease’ of
application was termed ‘maximum efficiency’ by Kano Jigoro, who founded judo. The Taijiquan classics report a concept known as "a force of four taels being able to move a thousand catties" which refers to the Taiji
principle that a mass in motion can seem weightless. Techniques applied in this manner may superficially appear similar to those used in hard martial arts, e.g. throws, armlocks, etc. but it is the softness in their
application which makes them different. No more force than is needed should be applied.
In Fencing, a parry is an example where the opponent's blade is guided away rather than a clash of forces in a block. This is likely to be immediately followed by a riposte and that by a counter-riposte.
When an aggressor (uke) pushes towards the recipient (tori), tori drops under uke while lifting uke over him with one of his legs to effect the throw Tomoe Nage. The technique is categorized as a front sacrifice
technique, and is used in judo and other forms of jujutsu. The push from uke can come directly, or in response to a push from tori. If tori pulled uke over by sheer strength, then it would not be a soft technique.
The principle of ju
The principle of Ju (柔 Jū, Yawara?) underlies all classical Bujutsu methods and was adopted by the developers of the Budō disciplines. Acting according to the principle of Jū, the classical warrior could intercept and
momentarily control his enemy's blade when attacked, then, in a flash, could counter-attack with a force powerful enough to cleave armour and kill the foe. The same principle of Jū permitted an unarmed exponent to
unbalance and hurl his foe to the ground. Terms like "Jūjutsu" and "Yawara" made the principle of Jū the all-pervading one in methods catalogued under these terms. That principle was rooted in the concept of pliancy
or flexibility, as understood in both a mental and a physical context. To apply the principle of Jū, the exponent had to be both mentally and physically capable of adapting himself to whatever situation his adversary
might impose on him.
There are two aspects of the principle of Jū that are in constant operation, both interchangeable and inseparable. One aspect is that of "yielding", and is manifest in the exponent's actions that accept the enemy's force of
attack, rather than oppose him by meeting his force directly with an equal or greater force, when it is advantageous to do so. It is economical in terms of energy to accept the foe's force by intercepting and warding it off
without directly opposing it; but the tactic by which the force of the foe is dissipated may be as forcefully made as was the foe's original action.
The principle of Jū is incomplete at this point because yielding is essentially only a neutralization of the enemy's force. While giving way to the enemy's force of attack there must instantly be applied an action that takes
advantage of the enemy, now occupied with his attack, in the form of a counterattack. This second aspect of the principle of Jū makes allowance for situations in which yielding is impossible because it would lead to
disaster. In such cases "resistance" is justified. But such opposition to the enemy's actions is only momentary and is quickly followed by an action based on the first aspect of Jū, that of yielding.
A hard technique by contrast meets force with force, either by directly blocking the technique with a head-on force or by cutting through at an angle with one's own force. This can also serve as an example of the
receiver using the aggressor's force and momentum against them. It is sometimes claimed that "hard" styles rely primarily on superior strength or conditioning to be successful, but practitioners of these styles would
claim that it is the mechanics of their blocking actions that results in success rather than raw power as such.
A Taekwondo kick to break the arm of a person throwing an incoming punch.
Perhaps "hardest" of all is Shotokai with low, lunging attacks and brush blocks, all committed to the most vigorous, straight-line attack possible.
Hard and soft styles or arts
Some martial artists refer to styles or arts as being hard or soft.
A hard style or hard martial art, such as Muay Thai and Tae Kwon Do, employs predominantly or exclusively hard techniques.
Soft styles or soft martial arts, such as Aikido and the Chinese internal martial arts, employ many soft techniques. For example, in Yin Style Baguazhang, a Chinese internal martial art which derives its philosophy
from the I-Ching, the Kun trigram represents pure yin and it tends to yield to force. However, the Qian trigram represents pure yang and its techniques tend to be very hard. For instance, one might use a sweeping strike
(an attack method of the Qian trigram) to block and break the arm of an incoming punch. Thus, while some might consider Baguazhang to be a "soft" martial art, it includes "soft" and "hard" techniques.
Many martial arts combine 'hard' and 'soft' techniques, such as Uechi Ryu Karate (which was derived from Pangai Noon meaning "Half-hard, Half-soft" in Chinese), Goju Ryu or Goju Shorei karate. (The name Goju is
derived from 'gō' (剛 Hard) and 'jū' (柔 Soft) in Japanese). Similarly the vietnamese Vovinam Việt Võ Đạo is base on a principle of hard and soft ("Iron Hand over benevolent heart").
Such arts are usually called 'hard/soft'. The Chinese martial arts emphasize a balance of yin and yang. In some styles these represent softness and hardness, respectively. One should yield (yin) to hard force (yang);
inversely, one should attack (yang) a soft (yin) opponent. Other uses of this doctrine state the study of yin and yang involve offensive and defensive responses; if one is struck on the left, one can effectively
counterstrike from the right, if a low kick comes in, strike high, if a high punch comes in, kick low. As well, if one initiates these sorts of attacks, one should be aware of the simultaneous defensive liabilities involved.
"Hard/Soft" vs "External/Internal"
There is disagreement among different schools about how the two concepts of "Hard/Soft" and "External/Internal" apply to their styles. Among styles that this terminology is applied to, traditional Taijiquan equates the
terms while maintaining several finer shades of distinction (see quotes below) while students of some other styles consider the two concepts distinct. In the latter case you will hear that "internal arts" tend to be "soft"
but "soft" arts are not necessarily "internal". Differences in opinion may be influenced by the national origins of a particular martial art and the use of the terms by those schools or nationalities - but in any case the
debate can be quite fierce. An example of a soft martial art not generally acknowledged to be internal is judo.
"Here he names the five words: before (attack), after (defense), weak (soft), strong (hard), interim; in these words lies all art of master Liechtenauer and they are the fundament and core of all combat." gloss on
Johannes Liechtenauer, recorded 1389.
"As a martial art, Taijiquan is externally a soft exercise, but internally hard, even as it seeks softness. If we are externally soft, after a long time we will naturally develop internal hardness. It’s not that we consciously
cultivate hardness, for in reality our mind is on softness. What is difficult is to remain internally reserved, to possess hardness without expressing it, always externally meeting the opponent with softness. Meeting
hardness with softness causes the opponent’s hardness to be transformed and disappear into nothingness..." From chapter twenty of the "Forty Chapters" preserved by Taijiquan's Yang family.
"Those who practice Shaolinquan leap about with strength and force; people not proficient at this kind of training soon lose their breath and are exhausted. Taijiquan is unlike this. Strive for quiescence of body, mind
and intention. ...The greatest taboo when practicing Taijiquan is to use force. If one can make the entire body loose and open, and be absorbed in the circulation of blood and qi, then after a while one's practice will
naturally develop inner jing. This inner energy is extremely soft, so when encountering an opponent one doesn't need to resist at all. The ability to extend and contract in order to follow the opponent's energy is referred
to as elastic power within softness. Taijiquan theory states: "From the greatest softness comes the greatest hardness." This is what is meant by softness." Wu Jianquan in his essay Features of Taijiquan
"In Randori we teach the pupil to act on the fundamental principles of Judo, no matter how physically inferior his opponent may seem to him, and even if by sheer strength he can easily overcome him; because if he acts
contrary to principle his opponent will never be convinced of defeat, no matter what brute strength he may have used." Kano Jigoro
"I may venture to say, loosely, that in Judo there is a sort of counter for every twist, wrench, pull, push or bend. Only the Judo expert does not oppose such movements at all. No, he yields to them. But he does much
more than yield to them. He aids them with a wicked sleight that causes the assailant to put out his own shoulder, to fracture his own arm, or in a desperate case, even to break his own neck or back." Lafcadio Hearn
"True spirit of Judo is nothing but the gentle and diligent free spirit. Judo rests on flexible action of mind and body. The word flexible however never means weakness but something more like adaptability and
openmindedness. Gentleness always overcomes strength." Kyuzo Mifune
"Do not think of attack and defense as two separate things. An attack will be a defense, and a defense must be an attack." Kazuzo Kudo
"Another tenet of randori is to apply just the right amount of force--never too much, never too little." Kano Jigoro
"If you do not contest with something, you can not lose to it." Morihei Ueshiba
Aiki is a Japanese martial arts principle or tactic. In Japanese Aiki is formed from two kanji:
合 - ai - joining
氣 - ki - spirit
The kanji for "ai" is made of three radicals, "join", "one" and "mouth". Hence, "ai" symbolizes things coming together, merging. Aiki should not be confused with "wa" which refers to harmony. The kanji for "ki"
represents a pot filled with steaming rice and a lid on it. Hence, "ki" symbolizes energy (in the body). (See the qi main article for further information).
Thus aiki's meaning is to fit, join or combine energy. However, care must be taken about the absolute meanings of words when discussing concepts derived from other cultures and expressed in different languages. This
is particularly true when the words we use today have been derived from symbols, in this case Chinese and Japanese kanji, which represent ideas rather than literal translations of the components. Historical use of a
term can influence meanings and be passed down by those wishing to illustrate ideas with the best word or phrase available to them. In this way, there may be a divergence of the meaning between arts or schools within
the same art. The characters "ai" and "ki" have translations to many different English words.
Practitioners of Korean arts use the prefix "hapki-" which is similar to the Japanese "aiki-" since they share the same Chinese ideograph.
The use of the term would be passed on orally, as such teachings were often a closely-guarded secret. In some schools, concepts like aiki are described in logical, tangible, terms based on physics, while in other
definitions of aiki tend to be vague and open-ended, or more concerned with spiritual aspects. The use of the term aiki can often be ambiguous.
Aiki martial arts
An aikido kokyu nage throw
Aiki lends its name to various Japanese martial arts most notably aikido and its parent art, Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu. These arts tend to use the principle of aiki as a core element underpining the bulk of their techniques.
Aiki is an important principle in several other arts such as Kito-ryu and various forms of kenjutsu. It is found as a concept in arts as diverse as karate and judo. Aiki arts are generally classed as soft martial arts. The
aiki arts place great emphasis on the use of qi energy. Techniques accomplished with aiki are subtle and require little mechanical force.
The principle of aiki is also present in many Korean martial arts where the principle is referred to as hapki (합기), most notably hapkido and its softer equivalent hankido.
The concept of Aiki
Aiki is a complex concept, and three aspects of it are as follows:
1) Blending not clashing
Aiki typically describes an idea of oneness or blending in the midst of combat. In aikido it generally describes the more elevated notion of blending rather than clashing. "Blending" is often described even within aikido
as "awase". Many definitions for "aiki" seem to be based around "awase". Emphasis is upon joining with the rhythm and intent of the opponent in order to find the optimal position and timing with which to apply
force. To blend with an attack, it is usually necessary to yield to incoming forces, so aiki is closely related to the principle of ju. Aiki is about engaging an attack, not retreating from one. 
2) Dominating the assailant
The aiki practitioner is able to dominate the assailant and 'lead' them and their attack into advantageous positions. Body movements (tai sabaki) used for this may be large or small and subtle. Subtle weight shifting and
the application of pressure to the assailant enable one to lead an assailant, keep him static, or keep him unbalanced (kuzushi) in order to employ the one’s own technique. In the same manner, through deceptive
movements, the aiki practitioner may negate a defence response from the assailant or create a defence response from the assailant that puts him even further into peril. There is a strong degree of intent, will or
psychology to this aspect of domination. Mind and body are coordinated.
3) Use of internal strength - Ki energy
Kiai and aiki use the same kanji (transposed) and can be thought of as the inner and the outer aspect of the same principle.  Kiai relates to the manifestation, emission or projection of ones own energy (internal
strength), while Aiki relates to the merging of one's energy with the energy emitted from an external source (blending). Thus kiai is union with our own, internal energy while aiki is union with an attacker's energy. Kiai
consists of all parts of the body being unified and directed to one intent. Aiki, ultimately has to do with a very good ability to manipulate kiai upon contact so that the practitioner blends his ki with the attacker’s ki
instantaneously. This use of ki will involve the use of kokyu power, i.e. breathing is coordinated with movement.  Kokyu Ryoku is the natural power that can be produced when body and consciousness (mind) are
unified. The term "kokyu" is can also be used to describe a situation in which two opponent's are moving with appropriate timing.
Thoughts on aiki
The oldest book to discuss aiki was the 1899 Budo Hiketsu-Aiki no Jutsu. On the subject of aiki it was written:
“ The most profound and mysterious art in the world is the art of aiki. This is the secret principle of all the martial arts in Japan. One who masters it can be an unparalleled martial genius. ”
The Textbook of Jujutsu (Jujutsu Kyoju-sho Ryu no Maki) from 1913 wrote:
“ Aiki is an impassive state of mind without a blind side, slackness, evil intention, or fear. There is no difference between aiki and ki-ai; however, if compared, when expressed dynamically aiki is called
kiai, and when expressed statically, it is aiki. ”
Sokaku Takeda, the founder of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu defined aiki in the following way:
“ The secret of aiki is to overpower the opponent mentally at a glance and to win without fighting.  ”
His son Tokimune Takeda had the following to say on the same:
“ Aiki is to pull when you are pushed, and to push when you are pulled. It is the spirit of slowness and speed, of harmonizing your movement with your opponent's ki. Its opposite, kiai, is to push to the limit, while
aiki never resists.
The term aiki has been used since ancient times and is not unique to Daito-ryu. The ki in aiki is go no sen, meaning to respond to an attack.
... Daito-ryu is all go no sen — you first evade your opponent's attack and then strike or control him. Likewise, Itto-ryu is primarily go no sen. You attack because an opponent attacks you. This implies not
cutting your opponent. This is called katsujinken (live-giving sword). Its opposite is called setsuninken (death-dealing sword). 
Southern styles of kalaripayat emphasise empty hand techniques. They are practiced mainly in old Travancore including the present Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, primarily by Nairs, Nadars, Ezhavas and a
small section of Kallars and Maravars, of erstwhile Travancore areas. The founder and patron saint is believed to be the rishi Agasthya. Southern kalaripayat masters are known as asan.
Training is divided into several stages: solo forms (chuvatu), partner training/sparring (jodi), short stick (kurunthadi), longstaff (neduvadi), knife (katthi), dagger (katara), sword and shield (valum parichayum), flexible
sword (chuttuval), double sword, kalari grappling and pressure point fighting (marma kalari).  Zarrilli refers to southern kalaripayat as ati mura (the 'law of hitting'), marma ati (hitting the vital spots), varma ati or
Varma Kalari . The preliminary empty handed techniques of ati mura are known as adithada (hit/defend). Varma ati refers specifically to the application of these techniques to vital spots. Weapons include
chilambam (long staffs), short sticks, and double deer horns.. Southern styles of kalaripayat are not practised in special roofed pits but rather in the open air otherwise in an unroofed enclosure of palm branches. 
Medical treatment in southern styles of kalaripayat is identified with Dravidian siddha, distinct from ayurveda but regarded as being equally sophisticated. The siddha medical system is also known as siddha vaidyam
and, like ati mura, is attributed to the rishi Agasthya. The active suppression of Nairs in southern Kerala led to the virtual extinction of their southern dronamballi sampradayam by the mid-1950s.
Main article: Marmam
Marma kalari is the art of attacking pressure points to kill, paralyse, disable or simply render an enemy unconscious without leaving any external injuries. Regarded as the highest fighting skill, it is practised only by
special asaan who have mastered many kalari, and reserved for their most advanced student(s). The earliest mention of marmam is found in the Rig Veda where Indra is said to have defeated Vritra by attacking his
marman with a vajra. References to marmam are also found in the Atharva Veda.
Main article: Silambam
Silambam is a stick-fighting style taught as a part of southern kalaripayat. It supposedly originated from the Kurinji hills in present day Kerala 5000 years ago, where the native Narikuravar used bamboo staves
(chilambam) to defend themselves against wild animals. The art was disseminated by Hindu priests and yogis and it was performed at religious festivals.
Gymnastics is a sport involving performance of exercises requiring physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, balance and grace. Artistic gymnastics is the best known of the gymnastics sports governed by the
Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG). Artistic Gymnastics, typically involves the women's events of uneven parallel bars, balance beam, floor exercise, and vault. Men's events include floor exercise, pommel
horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars, and high bar. Gymnastics evolved from exercises used by the ancient Greeks, that included skills for mounting and dismounting a horse, and from circus performance skills.
Other forms of gymnastics are rhythmic gymnastics, various trampolining sports, and aerobic and acrobatic gymnastics.
The sport can include children as young as three years old and sometimes younger doing kindergym and children's gymnastics, recreational gymnasts of all ages, competitive gymnasts at varying levels of skill, as well
as world class athletes.
The word derives from the Greek γυμναστική (gymnastike), fem. of γυμναστικός (gymnastikos), "fond of athletic exercises", from γυμνάσια (gymnasia), "exercise" and that from γυμνός (gymnos), "naked", because
athletes exercised and competed in the nude.
1908 Summer Olympics in London: Display of the British women's gymnastics team
To the Ancient Greeks, physical fitness was paramount, and all Greek cities had a gymnasium, a courtyard for jumping,
running, and wrestling. As the Roman Empire ascended, Greek gymnastics gave way to military training. The Romans, for
example, introduced the wooden horse. In 393 AD the Emperor Theodosius abolished the Olympic Games, which by then had
become corrupt, and gymnastics, along with other sports, declined. Later, Christianity, with its medieval belief in the base
nature of the human body, had a deleterious effect on gymnastics. For centuries, gymnastics was all but forgotten. 
In the fifteenth century, Girolamo Mercuriale from Forlì (Italy) wrote De Arte Gymnastica, where he brought his studies of the
attitudes of the ancients toward diet, exercise and hygiene, and the use of natural methods for the cure of disease. With its
explanations concerning the principles of physical therapy, De Arte Gymnastica is considered the first book on sports medicine.
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, two pioneer physical educators – Johann Friedrich GutsMuths (1759–
1839) and Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (1778–1852) – created exercises for boys and young men on apparatus they designed that
ultimately led to what is considered modern gymnastics. In particular, Jahn crafted early models of the horizontal bar, the
parallel bars (from a horizontal ladder with the rungs removed), and the vaulting horse.
The International Federation of Gymnastics was founded in Liege in 1881. By the end of the nineteenth century, men's
gymnastics competition was popular enough to be included in the first "modern" Olympic Games in 1896. However, from then
on until the early 1950s, both national and international competitions involved a changing variety of exercises gathered under
the rubric gymnastics that would seem strange to today's audiences: synchronized team floor calisthenics, rope climbing, high
jumping, running, horizontal ladder, etc. During the 1920s, women organized and participated in gymnastics events, and the
first women's Olympic competition – primitive, for it involved only synchronized calisthenics – was held at the 1928 Games in
By 1954, Olympic Games apparatus and events for both men and women had been standardized in modern format, and uniform
grading structures (including a point system from 1 to 15) had been agreed upon. At this time, Soviet gymnasts astounded the world with highly disciplined and difficult performances, setting a precedent that continues
to inspire. The new medium of television helped publicize and initiate a modern age of gymnastics. Both men's and women's gymnastics now attract considerable international interest, and excellent gymnasts can be
found on every continent. Nadia Comaneci received the first perfect score, at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal, Canada. She was coached in Romania by the Romanian coach, (Hungarian ethnicity), Béla
Károlyi. According to Sports Illustrated, Comaneci scored four of her perfect tens on the uneven bars, two on the balance beam and one in the floor exercise.  Even with Nadia's perfect scores, however, the Romanians
lost the gold medal to the Soviets. Nevertheless, Comaneci became an Olympic icon.
In 2006, a new points system for Artistic gymnastics was put into play. With an A Score (or D score) being the difficulty score, which as of 2009 is based on the top 8 high scoring elements in a routine(besides Vault)
and then the B Score (or E Score) which would be the execution score, how well they performed the skills. 
Main article: Artistic gymnastics
Gymnastics is among the most physically straining and difficult sports in the athletic world. Artistic gymnastics is usually divided into Men's and Women's Gymnastics. Each group does different events; Men compete
on Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Still Rings, Vault, Parallel Bars, and High Bar, while women compete on Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam, and Floor Exercise. In some countries, women at one time competed on
the rings, high bar, and parallel bars (for example, in the 1950s in the USSR). Though routines performed on each event may be short, they are physically exhausting and push the gymnast's strength, flexibility,
endurance and awareness to the limit.
Traditionally, at the international level, the gymnast performed routines that he or she choreographed. Nowadays, each country may use compulsory and optional routines at their discretion in the training of young
In 2006, a new points system for Artistic gymnastics was introduced, abolishing the perfect ten.
In the vaulting events gymnasts: sprint down a 25 meter (about 82 feet) runway, jump onto a beatboard or springboard (run/ take-off segment), land momentarily generally inverted on the hands on the vaulting horse or
vaulting table (pre flight segment), then spring off of this platform to a two footed landing (post flight segment). The post flight segment may include one or more multiple saltos or somersaults, and/or twisting
movements. However, round-off entry vaults are the most common of all vaults, where the gymnast sprints down the runway and does a round-off so the feet land on the springboard. She would then do a
backhandspring so that the hands land on the vaulting platform (horse), and then block off to various twisting and somersaulting combinations. The post flight segment brings the gymnast to her feet.
In 2001, the traditional vaulting horse was replaced with a new apparatus, sometimes known as a tongue or table. The new apparatus is more stable, wider, and longer than the older vaulting horse—approximately 1m in
length and 1m in width—gives gymnasts a larger blocking surface, and is therefore safer than the old vaulting horse. With the addition of this new, safer vaulting table, gymnasts are attempting more difficult and
On the uneven bars (also known as asymmetric bars, UK), the gymnast performed a routine on two horizontal bars set at different heights. These bars are made of fiberglass covered in wood, to prevent them from
breaking. Bars used to be made of only wood, but the bars would snap often, thus providing a reason to switch to newer technologies. The width may be adjusted. Gymnasts perform swinging, circling, transitional, and
release moves, that may pass over, under, and between the two bars. Movements may pass through the handstand. Gymnasts often mount the Uneven Bars using a springboard.
The gymnast performs a choreographed routine up to 90 seconds in length consisting of leaps, acrobatic skills, somersaults, turns and dance elements on a padded sprung beam. The beam is 125 centimetres (4.1 ft) from
the ground, 500 centimetres (16 ft) long, and 10 centimetres (3.9 in)wide. The event requires in particular, balance, flexibility and strength.
Years ago, floor exercise was executed on wrestling mats. However,the floor event occurs on a carpeted 12m × 12m square, usually consisting of hard foam over a layer of plywood, which is supported by springs or
foam blocks generally called a "spring" floor. This provides a firm surface that will respond with force when compressed, allowing gymnasts to achieve extra height and a softer landing than would be possible on a
regular floor, which used to cause many ankle injuries. Gymnasts perform a choreographed routine up to 90 seconds long. They can choose an accompanying music piece, which must be instrumental and cannot include
vocals. The routine should consist of tumbling lines, series of jumps, dance elements, acrobatic skills, and turns, or piviots, on one foot. A gymnast can perform up to four tumbling lines that include at least one flight
element without hand support.
A gymnasts score comes from deductions taken from their start value. The start value of a routine is calculated based on the difficulty of the elements the gymnast attempts and whether or not the gymnast meets
composition requirements. The composition requirements are different for each apparatus. This score is called the D score.  Deductions in execution and artistry are taken from 10.0. This score is called the E score.
The final score is calculated by taking deductions from the E score, and adding the result to the D score. 
Male gymnasts also perform on a 12m. by 12m. spring floor. A series of tumbling passes are performed to demonstrate flexibility, strength, and balance. The gymnast must also show strength skills, including circles,
scales, and press handstands. Men's floor routines usually have four passes that will total between 60–70 seconds and are performed without music, unlike the women's event. Rules require that gymnasts touch each
corner of the floor at least once during their routine.
A typical pommel horse exercise involves both single leg and double leg work. Single leg skills are generally found in the form of scissors, an element often done on the pommels. Double leg work however, is the main
staple of this event. The gymnast swings both legs in a circular motion (clockwise or counterclockwise depending on preference) and performs such skills on all parts of the apparatus. To make the exercise more
challenging, gymnasts will often include variations on a typical circling skill by turning (moores and spindles) or by straddling their legs (Flares). Routines end when the gymnast performs a dismount, either by
swinging his body over the horse, or landing after a handstand.
Still Rings is arguably the most physically demanding event. The rings are suspended on wire cable from a point 5.75 meters off the floor, and adjusted in height so the gymnast has room to hang freely and swing. He
must perform a routine demonstrating balance, strength, power, and dynamic motion while preventing the rings themselves from swinging. At least one static strength move is required, but some gymnasts may include
two or three. A routine should have a dismount equal in difficulty to the difficulty of the routine as a whole.
Gymnasts sprint down a runway, which is a maximum of 25 meters in length, before hurdling onto a spring board. The body position is maintained while "punching" (blocking using only a shoulder movement) the
vaulting platform. The gymnast then rotates to a standing position. In advanced gymnastics, multiple twists and somersaults may be added before landing. Successful vaults depend on the speed of the run, the length of
the hurdle, the power the gymnast generates from the legs and shoulder girdle, the kinesthetic awareness in the air, and the speed of rotation in the case of more difficult and complex vaults.
Men perform on two bars slightly further than a shoulder's width apart and usually 1.75m high while executing a series of swings, balances, and releases that require great strength and coordination.
A 2.4 cm thick steel bar raised 2.5m above the landing area is all the gymnast has to hold onto as he performs giants (revolutions around the bar), release skills, twists, and changes of direction. By using all of the
momentum from giants and then releasing at the proper point, enough height can be achieved for spectacular dismounts, such as a triple-back salto. Leather grips are usually used to help maintain a grip on the bar.
As with the women, male gymnasts are also judged on all of their events, for their execution, degree of difficulty, and overall presentation skills.
Main article: Rhythmic gymnastics
Only women compete in rhythmic gymnastics although there is a new version of this discipline for men being pioneered in Japan, see Men's rhythmic gymnastics. The sport involves the performance of five separate
routines with the use of five apparatus—ball, ribbon, hoop, clubs, rope—on a floor area, with a much greater emphasis on the aesthetic rather than the acrobatic. There are also group routines consisting of 5 gymnasts
and 5 apparatuses of their choice. Rhythmic routines are scored out of a possible 20 points; the score for Artistry (choreography and music) is averaged with the score for Difficulty of the moves and then added to the
score for Execution. 
Trampolining and Tumbling
Trampolining and tumbling consists of four events, individual, synchronized, double mini and power tumbling. Since 2000 individual trampoline has been included in the Olympic Games. Individual routines in
trampolining involve a build-up phase during which the gymnast jumps repeatedly to achieve height, followed by a sequence of ten leaps without pauses during which the gymnast performs a sequence of aerial skills.
Routines are marked out of a maximum score of 10 points. Additional points (with no maximum at the highest levels of competition) can be earned depending on the difficulty of the moves. In high level competitions,
there are two preliminary routines, one which has only two moves scored for difficulty and one where the athlete is free to perform any routine. This is followed by a final routine which is optional. Some competitions
restart the score from zero for the finals, other add the final score to the preliminary results. Synchronized trampoline is similar except that both competitors must perform the routine together and marks are awarded for
synchronicity as well as the form and difficulty of the moves. Double mini trampoline involves a smaller trampoline with a run-up, two moves are performed for preliminaries and two more for finals. Moves cannot be
repeated and the scores are marked in a similar manner to individual trampoline. In power tumbling, athletes perform an explosive series of flips and twists down a sprung tumbling track. Scoring is similar to
General gymnastics enables people of all ages and abilities to participate in performance groups of 6 to more than 150 athletes. They perform synchronized, choreographed routines. Troupes may be all one gender or
mixed. There are no age divisions in general gymnastics. The largest general gymnastics exhibition is the quadrennial World Gymnaestrada which was first held in 1939.
Main article: Aerobic gymnastics
Aerobic gymnastics (formally Sport Aerobics) involves the performance of routines by individuals, pairs, trios or groups up to 6 people, emphasizing strength, flexibility, and aerobic fitness rather than acrobatic or
balance skills. Routines are performed for all individuals on a 7x7m floor and also for 12-14 and 15-17 trios and mixed pairs. However from 2009 all senior trios and mixed pairs must be on the larger floor 10x10m, all
groups are also on this floor.Routines generally last 60–90 seconds depending on age of participant and routine category.
Main article: Acrobatic gymnastics
Acrobatic gymnastics (formerly Sports Acrobatics), often referred to as acrobatics, "acro" sports or simply sports acro, is a group gymnastic discipline for both men and women. Acrobats in groups of two, three and
four perform routines with the heads, hands and feet of their partners. They may, subject to regulations (e.g. no lyrics), pick their own music.
There are the beginning recreational levels of 1,2, and 3(which require one routine containing both dynamic and balance skills). Then there are the cumpulsory levels of 4, 5, 6, and 7(which also only require one
routine). When you get to the levels of 8, 9, two routines are required - one for balance and one for dynamic. Once you get to the optional levels of 10, and elite, three routines are required - one for balance, one for
dynamic, and one combined routine.
TeamGym originated in Scandinavia, and as a major gymnastics event has been popular for 20 years. A team in this sport can have from 6 to 12 members, either all male, all female or a mixed squad. The team shows
three disciplines, Trampette, Tumbling and Floor. All events require strong technical, acrobatic and teamwork skills. Team Gym is popular as a spectator sport.
All members of the Team take part here. It is a mixture of Dance, flexibility and skill. The routine has to be skillfully choreographed and the judges look out for changes in shape. There needs to be at least two spins,
two balances and two section elements. These section elememts are bodywaves for women's teams, power elements for mens' teams and lifts for mixed teams. Floor routines are performed to music.
Here a trampette is used. There are two components of this; Vault and the Trampette on its own. There has to be three runs in total. At least one of these runs has to be a vault run. Another run has to include all the
gymnasts doing the same move. This is generally the first run. This is also performed to music.
Again, here there are three runs (rounds) involved. One of which has to include all six gymnasts doing a forwards series. Another run also has to include the gymnasts completing the same move. Each series must have
at least three different acrobatic elements. 
Former apparatus & events
Further information: Rope climbing
Generally, competitors climbed either a 6m (6.1m = 20 ft in USA) or an 8m (7.6m = 25 ft in USA), 38mm (1.5") diameter natural fiber rope for speed, starting from a seated position on the floor and using only the
hands and arms. Kicking the legs in a kind of "stride" was normally permitted. Many gymnasts can do this in the straddle or pike position, which eliminates the help generated from the legs.
Further information: Flying Rings
Flying Rings was an event similar to Still Rings, but with the performer executing a series of stunts while swinging. It was a gymnastic event sanctioned by both the NCAA and the AAU until the early 1960s.
Gymnastics is considered to be a dangerous sport, due in part to the height of the apparatus, the speed of the exercises and the impact on competitors' joints, bones and muscles. In several cases, competitors have
suffered serious, lasting injuries and paralysis after severe gymnastics-related accidents. For instance, in 1998, at the Goodwill Games, world-class Chinese artistic gymnast Sang Lan was paralyzed after falling on vault.
Artistic gymnastics injuries have been the subject of several international medical studies, and results have indicated that more than half of all elite-level participants may eventually develop chronic injuries. In the
United States, injury rates range from a high 56% for high school gymnasts to 23% for club gymnasts. However, the rates for participants in recreational or lower-level gymnastics are lower than that of high-level
competitors. Conditioning, secure training environments with appropriate landing surfaces, and knowledgeable coaching can also lessen the frequency or occurrence of injuries.
The bottom fighter's legs constrict the top fighter's neck and arm
Parent style Judo
A Triangle choke (called Sankaku-Jime in judo) is a type of figure-four chokehold which strangles the opponent by encircling the opponent's neck and one arm with the legs in a configuration similar to the shape of a
triangle. The technique is a type of lateral vascular restraint that constricts the blood flow from the carotid arteries to the brain.
WWE professional wrestler The Undertaker used the triangle choke from 2003-2008; he has since changed to the gogoplata which is named 'Hell's Gate' or 'The Devil's Triangle'.
Towards the end of the movie Lethal Weapon, Mel Gibson's character, Martin Riggs, applies the triangle choke to Gary Busey's character, Mr. Joshua, thereby ending their street fight.
In the 7th and last episode of Generation Kill, "Bomb in the Garden", Rudy Reyes applies a mounted triangle choke on Ray Person before the fight was broken up.
In the movie Never Back Down the triangle choke is applied more than once.
In the 2009 film Fast & Furious, the character played by Vin Diesel is briefly caught in a variation of the triangle choke hold by the character played by Paul Walker before he slams him to the ground to escape the
The move is often utilized in mixed martial arts, usually by brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners.
Parent style Jujutsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo
AKA Neck crank
Guillotine choke applied on the ground by bottom fighter in a closed guard
The Guillotine choke is a chokehold in martial arts applied from in front of the opponent. The choke involves using the arms to encircle the opponent's neck in a fashion similar to a guillotine. The technique is either a
type of tracheal compression restraint (wind choke) that prevents air flow to the lungs, or a blood choke depending on how it is applied. When executed from the ground, the person applying it will try to control the
opponent by the hips, for instance using a closed guard. This is done to prevent the opponent from escaping the hold, and to be able to apply additional pressure by extending the hips.
This technique can cause unconsciousness if done correctly. It is taught in various grappling martial arts, including Jujutsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, as well as in mixed martial arts competition. In Danzan Ryu, it is
also taught as a neck crank.
The arm is wrapped around the trachea and the hands are clasped. Pressure is applied upwards to restrict blood flow to the head, causing unconsciousness.
Acrobatics (from Greek Akros, high and bat, walking) is the performance of extraordinary feats of balance, agility and motor coordination. It can be found in many of the performing arts, as well as many sports.
Acrobatics is most often associated with activities that make extensive use of gymnastic elements, such as acro dance, circus, and gymnastics, but many other athletic activities—such as ballet and diving—may also
employ acrobatics. Although acrobatics is most commonly associated with human body performance, it may also apply to other types of performance, such as aerial acrobatics.
In China, acrobatics have been a part of the culture since the Western Han Dynasty, over 2500 years ago. Acrobatics were part of village harvest festivals. During the Tang Dynasty, acrobatics saw much the same sort
of development as European acrobatics saw during the Middle Ages, with court displays during the 7th through 10th century dominating the practice. Acrobatics continues to be an important part of modern Chinese
Acrobatic traditions are found in many Western cultures as well. Minoan art from circa 2000 BC contains depictions of acrobatic feats on the backs of bulls, which may have been a religious ritual. The noble court
displays of the European Middle Ages would often include acrobatic performances along with song, juggling and other activities.
Though the term initially applied to tightrope walking, in the 19th century, a form of performance art including circus acts began to use the term as well. In the late 19th century, tumbling and other acrobatic and
gymnastic activities became competitive sport in Europe.
Acrobatics has often served as a subject for fine art. An example of this is Acrobats at the Cirque Fernando (Francisca and Angelina Wartenberg) by Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, which depicts two German
Traditionally, acrobatic skills were kept within families and passed from parents to children. This is still true especially among family circus groups, although most acrobats are now taught by larger scale education
systems as circuses are now made up of many more professionals than they used to be. 
Schools that specialize in acrobatics training provide a constant flow of new acrobatic artists. Some of these schools are independently operated, and some are supported and affiliated with circuses.
Acro dance Capoeira Hopak Spanish web
Acrobalance Contortion Juggling Surfing
Acrobatic gymnastics Corde lisse Parkour Synchronized swimming
Acroyoga Diving Pole climbing Tightrope walking
Adagio Globe of death Salto del pastor Trampolining
Aerial tissu Gymnastics Skateboarding Trapeze
Bossaball Handstand Skiing Tumbling
Caesar Twins Hooping Snowboarding Wushu
Acrobatic gymnastics (sometimes called Acro-Airs or Sport Acrobatics) is a competitive sport involving gymnastics and acrobatics that is choreographed and rated by judges. There are five types of events (women's
and men's pairs, women's and men's group, involving three and four partners respectively, and mixed pairs). The sport combines dance, tumbling and partnering skills that involves dynamic (aerial) and balance (posed)
The rules for the sport, known as the Code of Points, are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique.
Acrobatic gymnastics events form part of the World Games as well as having a dedicated Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships (known as World Sports Acrobatics Championships prior to 2006). The acro
competitions take a score out of 30.
The first use of acrobatics as a specific sport was in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and the first world championships were in 1974.
In addition to the current five categories, two additional categories for tumbling (men's and women's) were included until the 1999 World Championships, though some groups still involve tumbling events.