http://members.aol.com/fightingspiritz/styles Aikido: (Japan) A system of self-defense (See Do, Budo) developed in the 1920s by Morihei Usehiba from techniques of Daito-ryu aiki jujitsu and other influences that stresses the harmonizing of the body with offensive actions and energies in order to neutralize aggression. Aiki jujitsu: (Japan) Any jujitsu discipline that incorporates principles of "aiki." One of the oldest of these disciplines is Daito-ryu whose origin some suggest traces back to the Heian period (794-1156) and whose techniques provided technical inspiration for many aiki jujitsu disciplines as well as aikido, which developed in the first half of the 20th century. Arnis: (Philippines) A Philippine self-defense art, also known as Kali, Tagalog, Escrima, Estogue or Fraile (depending on the region) employing unarmed and armed (using stick/blade) techniques. Atemi: (Japan) A general and inclusive term referring to the arts (or various arts) of striking anatomical weak points. Atemi in some form was prevalent in virtually all Japanese close range combat disciplines such as that of the sword (kenjitsu) as well as in later unarmed systems such as jujitsu and judo. Bajujitsu: (Japan) The art of horsemanship practiced by Japanese professional warriors (bushi or samurai) for mounted warfare which required strict control of the horse's actions within a battlefield conflict. As part of this art warriors developed their leg strength to enable them to maintain the proper posture for prolonged periods of swift riding and to control the horse with their legs during battle when their arms were occupied with weapons. Bando: (Burma) A general term meaning "way of discipline" or "system of defense" referring to those styles of unarmed and armed self-defense developed in Burma that employ striking, kicking, grappling and locking techniques, throws, plus weapon techniques introduced into the US by Dr. Maung Gi, a college professor in 1960 (Head of the American Bando Association). Bando is often called Burmese karate. Baraqah: A rare and little-known martial art with its origins in North Africa. It has traveled the globe, primarily in the Near and Middle East, following the path of Islamic civilization. Its followers, though rare, may be found anywhere Islam has left its mark. Masters of Baraqah do not claim to be teaching a fighting style: the maneuvers of Baraqah are considered features of Islamic sacred science, designed to cultivate the grace of Heaven and to perfect physical health. However, in spite of such protestations, these techniques are quite capable when used as self-defense maneuvers. Baraqah's fighting techniques are practiced slowly and gracefully, but when applied in combat are delivered with a dizzying speed. Most of Baraqah's techniques deal with defense, although some close-range striking is involved: primarily low kicks to joints and punches to pressure points and sensitive spots. Baraqah is rarely seen, even in the Islamic world: its masters and students practice their art behind closed doors, separated from the secular and the mundane. When used as a combat art in public, it is transformed into something more plain and utilitarian, its techniques watered down to their bare minimum. Schools," Most Baraqah Masters are Sufis -- Muslim mystics who cultivate a deeper communion with the divine. Training in Baraqah traditionally includes the study of Islamic scriptures, calligraphy, and other sacred arts, as well as hours of prayer and meditation. Baraqah halts are segregated by gender, with men and women taught separately. Baraqah is rarely taught outside the Islamic world. The best schools may be found in Persia and Asia Minor, although a few are rumored to remain in Spain. Members: Almost all Baraqah stylists are Muslims, whether from Africa, Malaysia, or the Middle East. Only the spiritually minded and most disciplined are allowed to advance to the style's highest levels. Battojitsu: (Japan) Also Battojutsu. The classical bujitsu art of drawing a sword and cutting in one action. The art from which iaijitsu was later derived. Bojitsu: (Japan/Okinawa) Meaning "art of the staff." A collective term referring to martial systems employing a bo, or long staff (over five feet in length), that developed in Japan, Okinawa, China and elsewhere. The use of the bo dates back to times of legend and is as old as man himself. In Japan hard wood was plentiful and even the poorest individual could easily arm himself. A whole arsenal of poles, staffs, spiked staffs, and long iron clubs were developed. The bo was sometimes tipped in iron and sometimes totally covered by iron. In modern times its practice is an inherent part of many styles of karate and aikido. To the traditional samurai armed with a cherished sword, the bo was considered plebeian, a weapon of commoners. But because of its effectiveness it became necessary to understand its use, if for nothing other than defensive reasons. In Japan it's study was distinguished by its focus on techniques useful against an opponent armed with a sword or other weapon. Techniques such as blocking, parrying, striking, tripping, throwing off, off-balancing, striking and thrusting were often combined into a single movement, the most powerful of which could break a sword or shatter a bone. The weapon has the unique advantage of having two ends, thus each successive technique with one end opens up a possible technique with the other. The skill level of a trained exponent is truly remarkable, the speed of movement blurred to the eye. As a wooden instrument, however, the bo was comparably safe compared to the sword and other bladed weapons. Thus the bo, or wooden equivalent of swords and other weapons, are often used as substitutes for actual bladed weapons practice in schools teaching weapon arts. The bo was equally popular among commoners, priest and monks (who were denied many weapons). A shorter version of the bo, called a "jo," also became widely practiced. The founder of one of the most effective and famous schools of bo jitsu was Muso Gonnosuke, an expert in the bo who was catapulted into prominence by his loss of a match. Using a bo in a challenge against the two sword legend Miyamoto Musashi, Gonnosuke lost but was spared his life. Gonnsouke is said to have retreated into seclusion atop Mt. Homan where he underwent years of rigid self-discipline. He meditated, fasted and underwent ritual purification out of which he received divine inspiration. This led to development of a shorter version of the bo that allowed quicker response time. He developed his own special techniques, while borrowing from both bo and sword techniques. He then challenged Musashi again, this time defeating the sword legend. Gonnouke named his style Shindo-Muso Ryu and developed technical curriculum. The use of the bo, or staff, is so widespread that virtually every country has its own tradition. In Europe the long staff was used by peasants during the middle ages. In China the bo and other weapons were also widely practiced and often incorporated into various kung fu systems. Likewise Okinawan systems of bojitsu have their own traditions. In the Ryukyus of which Okinawa is the largest island, bo kata are the oldest of martial arts kata dating back to Matsu Higa, the weapons (kobudo) teacher (sensei) of Takahara Peinchin. Actually oral tradition traces the use of the bo back even further, to the 1400's. And after the Japanese (Satsuma Clan) occupied Okinawa (1609), although bladed weapons were banned there is some evidence that the bo was actually allowed to flourish, or even taught, as a means of civilian defense against the possibility of Chinese invasion. Today in Okinawa the bo and other traditional weapons are taught separately, but have also been adopted by many karate systems. Since many movements of Okinawan traditional weapons duplicate or closely parallel techniques from karate, some suggest the unique character and style of karate itself was influenced by these weapons. In researching the techniques used, some authorities have noted the similarity of their bo techniques to Japanese spear techniques, something that would support the hypothesis that the Japanese Satsumura might have encouraged adoption of bo techniques based on other Japanese weapon systems. Capoeira: (Brazil) A beautiful and dramatic Brazilian martial discipline founded by African slaves more than 300 years ago in Angola and practiced as a religious dance before being brought to Brazil where it was transformed into a self-defense system. The system uses gymnastic type back flips, cart wheels, sweeping movements and high kicks for evasion rather than blocks to avoid attack. Many counter kicks are done from a hand stand-position, and most offensive techniques employ the feet. Cheibi Gad-Ga: (India) This is one of the oldest Manipur martial arts that in modern times has evolved into a competitive art. Contestants use a stick (known as "Cheibi") encased in leather and about two and a half feet long in combination with a leather shield (with three foot diameter) to represent an actual sword and shield. The competition takes place on a flat circular surface approximately twenty one feet in diameter. Within the circle are two lines each approximately three feet long and six feet apart. The winner is the person who scores the most points by skillfully striking his opponent. In ancient practice, actual swords and spears were permitted. Chin na: (China) The Chinese art of seizing and locking that uses striking and seizing of acupuncture points, grasping of tendons and blood vessels and the locking of joints, techniques widely incorporated into Chinese fighting arts. Included also is a mix of throwing, takedowns, kicking, punching and joint manipulations that parallel techniques in judo, jujitsu and karate. Techniques are also associated with dim mak. Ch'uan Fa: (China) "Fist boxing," or "way of the fist," also spelled Chan Fa. Called Ken Fat in Cantonese, Kempo in Japanese. Ch'uan Shu: (China) Fist art. A general term referring to various Chinese martial disciplines practicing empty hand (without weapons) fighting techniques. Similar terms include: Kung Fu, Wushu, Gwo Chi, Gwo Sho and Chung Ku Ch'uan. Daito-ryu aiki jujitsu: (Japan) A derivative of daito ryu which focuses on the aiki-jujitsu portion of the art. Daito-ryu: (Japan) An ancient system of unarmed and armed combat founded by Shinra Saburo Minamoto during the Heian period (794-1156) and perfected in battlefield warfare. The techniques were most fully systematized (some say modified) by Sokaku Takeda with sword and unarmed techniques practiced together. It was the first and only tradition focused upon aiki-jujitsu. While it has inspired many succeeding disciplines, including aikido founded by Morihei Usehiba (Takeda's student from 1911-1918), daito-ryu proponents suggest that while the other systems share aiki jujitsu nomenclature, the understanding of aiki, as well as the techniques themselves, they may in fact be very different. See: aiki, Daito-ryu aiki jujitsu. Daito Ryu lays claim to being the oldest aiki-jujitsu in Japan. It is a cultural treasure that in addition to being the progenitor of modern aikido has greatly influenced many modern other cognate budo disciplines (disciplines derived from warrior arts). It began its development when Shinra Saburo no Minamoto (1045-1127), a relation of the Emperor Seiwa who was to become the governor of Kai (modern Yamanashi Prefecture), studied the body's secrets by dissecting cadavers. He researched the body's weak points in order to discover how most effectively to attack them with a sword and how to apply locks to its joints. He further learned how muscles support the skeletal structure. The knowledge was passed to his descendants in the Takeda family of Kai and Daito Ryu was further developed there until the death of the family's most famous General, Takeda Shingen in 1573. In the mid-seventeenth century Takeda Kunitsugu, a relative of Takeda Shingen, became a senior counselor to the son of Tokugawa Hidetaka, Lord Hoshina Masayuki of the Aizu Han. Daito Ryu was combined with the Aizu Han's oshiki uchi techniques and became the method of self-defense for all Daimyo of the Aizu and those responsible for their protection. Daito Ryu continued to be passed from generation to generation within the Takeda family. Takeda Sokaku Sensei formalized and named modern Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu. With his knowledge and skill in Daito Ryu and Ono-ha Itto Ryu Kenjutsu (Sokaku den), he traveled all over Japan on foot, teaching and meeting all challengers until his death in Aomori Prefecture in 1943 (Showa 18) at the age of 89. In Sokaku's 70 years of martial travels he remained undefeated, leaving behind an exceptionally rich curriculum of techniques and his mark on the history of Japanese Classical and Modern Martial Arts. Takeda Tokimune Sensei, Takeda Sokaku's son, organized the curriculum of some 2884 techniques into a more readily teachable syllabus. Techniques up to the 5th degree black belt level are included in the Shoden (beginning level techniques) syllabus of 118 techniques plus many. These techniques are executed from both sitting and standing positions as well as against attacks from behind. Each level requires knowledge of a different set of essential principles if one is to master the techniques. In addition, Daito Ryu waza are categorized as Hiden Okugi, Chuden, Okuden, Goshingo no te, Aiki no Jutsu, Daito Ryu Nito Ryu Hiden, Kaishaku Soden, Soden, and Kaiden. Only a very few Daito Ryu teachers have extensive knowledge of these techniques, and as of this writing all of these men are Japanese. Tokimune Takeda Sensei passed away in 1993. The present Soke (head of a school or tradition) of Daito Ryu is Takeda Seishu. (The above historical outline was provided by Richard Carlow, Shihan Dairi of the Hakuho Kai Daito Ryu Aiki jujitsu, Osaka, Japan) Dim mak: (China) Also dim mok, or dian mai. The Chinese science of attacking the body and/or its acupuncture points or centers in order to disrupt internal energy (ki, chi, or qi), organs, or blood flow and cause injury, or death - immediately, or hours, days or weeks later. Techniques are associated with chin na. Escrima: (Philippines) Also sometimes known as Arnis (see), or Escrima. Hakuda: (Japan/Okinawa) In Japanese the term is used to refer to Chinese Ch'uan Fa systems (Kempo in Japanese), meaning to "beat by hand." Another term with the same meaning is Shuhaku. In Okinawa the term hakuda was used more specifically to refer to the art of striking the vital points (atemi) of another person in self-defense without making the self impure. Hakuda in this context means "white strike," or "striking without impurity," which is an ancient Buddhist poetic description of the art. "Haku" means white (the color symbolizing purity) and "da" means to strike or hit. Hakuda is often combined with grabbing techniques (hakushu) found within many Japanese, Okinawan kata and Korean hyung. Hapkido: (Korea) The way of coordinated energy (internal). A Korean martial discipline that combines karate like moves (noted for its spectacular high kicks), judo throws and aikido circularity and joint manipulations combined with Ki (Chi) or internal energy. Hapkido was founded by Young Shui Choi in the late 1930's and early 1940's but was practiced under a variety of names up until the 1960's. Choi had previously studied daito ryu aiki jujitsu which he combined with his native hwarando and taekyon (a kicking art not to be confused with taekwondo). Hojojitsu: (Japan) "Cord Tying Art." This art offers quick and efficient methods of tying and restraining an opponent who is often struggling to escape. During the feudal warring period confrontations between armed opponents didn't always end in death, and this art was often used to finish off those who had already been subdued or incapacitated. Often opposing warriors were taken prisoner. Grappling techniques ended in hold downs, or other incapacitating positions. At this point special techniques of tying up an opponent were utilized, the art known as hojojitsu. Various binding patterns and methods were used for different classes (warrior, noble, farmer, merchant, artisan, monk, etc.) based on their habits, weapons and skills and/or anatomical differences. The tying methods were intricate and assumed aesthetically beautiful patterns. Hsing-i: (China) Also spelled Hsing-yi. "Mind Form." A powerful ancient Chinese martial discipline based on Chinese Cosmology (five element theory) that stresses direct linear techniques combined with the use of internal energy (chi). Hsing-i moves use power and speed to confront power directly and overwhelm it. Hsing-i also employs several weapons including the knife and the sword. Its forms are drawn from observations of animals and their fighting methods. The system mimics concepts of animal fighting, along with postures based on the five elements. The animals in some systems include: the horse, tiger, monkey, swallow, snake, bear, leopard. cockerel, calercaille, dragon, hawk and water skimmer. Other systems substitute the dove, turtle, falcon, eagle and others. While the system visually resembles the hard styles of Chinese kung fu (that emphasize muscle power), its real emphasis is the development and control of internal energy (chi kung). "Hsing" meaning "form" and "i" meaning "idea," or "idea behind the external form" which includes not only physical movements but knowing the intention or ideas of the opponent (intuition). The emphasis on intuitive knowing is shared with Pa-qua (often taught with Hsing-i) whose more circular, non-direct and evasive actions complement hsing-i's the more linear technique . Hsing-i came originally from the north of China (San Shih province) spreading to Hepei, then to Hunan and Peking. Weapons include the knife and sword. Hsing-i is a northern style that originated and spread elsewhere including Peking. A famous story recounts how the famous Hsing-i boxer Kua Yun-Shen challenged Tung Hai ch'uan, a famous pa qua teacher to a match. Pa Qua was known for it evasion and circularity of technique that lay in stark contrast to hsing-i's powerful linear style. The match lasted three days. During the first two neither could gain advantage. Both were equally matched. But on the third Tung defeated his challenger - the two ending up as friends and vowing to thereafter teach the two styles together. Thus, even today when you find one system the other is often taught along with it. Both are classified as internal disciplines that develop and utilize internal energy of Ki (chi in China). Both disciplines share the concept that the mind unites actions and thought into one, so that training the mind allows transformation of the internal to the external technique. Hsing-yi: (Japan) See Hsing-i. Hwarang-do: (Korea) "Flower man way," or "The way of the flowering manhood." A broad based and complex Korean martial discipline that combines body movements with kicks, blocks and strikes, throws, joint manipulations, choking and submission techniques, ki training, weapons and the healing arts. The original art is said to have been created over 1800 years ago by a Buddhist priest, Won Kwang Bopsa. He was asked to instruct members of the royal family of Silla (one of three kingdoms that divided the area that is now Korea) in a variety of subjects, and his students went on to become warriors, statesmen and leaders known collectively as the hwarang. Later, during periods of political turmoil, training continued in secret within Buddhist monasteries and was preserved. In the modern era, two brothers, Joo Bang Lee and Joo Sang Lee, trained under the 57th successor of the system, the Buddhist monk Suahm Dosa, and they were given permission to teach publicly in 1960. Since then the art has spread under the direction of the World Hwarang-do Association. Iaido: (Japan) The way of drawing the sword derived from Iaijitsu. See budo, do. Iaijitsu: (Japan) The art of drawing the sword and cutting as a single motion. It was traditionally a sub- specialization of kenjitsu and one of several martial disciplines usually practiced by traditional warriors before the modern era. In the 1930's it was popularized as a separate discipline (iaido). Jeet Kune Do: (United States) "Way of the intercepting fist." An unarmed approach to combat developed by Bruce Lee in 1967 and popularized with his martial arts movie career. Jeet kune do is distinctive in that it does not employ a specific method of fighting or collection of techniques as in other systems, but rather stresses freedom to choose any technique or method best used by an individual practitioner according to his physical makeup and skills. It is thus more of a concept or approach to produce speed, power, timing, coordination, footwork and intuition. Techniques are drawn from any number of arts - aikido, jujitsu, wing chung, boxing, karate, tae kwon do, northern style kung fu, wrestling and the weapon arts of escrima (kali). No kata is practiced, since kata, it is believed, teaches specific methods, stances or techniques, the very things from which jeet kune do attempts to free itself. Instead jeet kune do stresses constant flowing change and broken rhythm that mimics actual combat and reflects the truth that exists outside all molds and patterns. Students are guided to their own truth, a process of self-discovery that each person must find for himself. "Using no way, as the way. To have no technique, is to have all technique." Such as it was said in his book, The Tao of Jeet Kune Do and such is the way taught by the master, Bruce Lee. Loosely translated to mean "the way of the intercepting fist", while there are no exact defining martial arts that have influenced Jeet Kune Do, it's been surmised that Bruce Lee's inspiration to create this formless fighting system originated as an expression of Lop Sao, a grabbing/punching technique attributed to Wing Chun. The principles behind Jeet Kune Do is to have none; Bruce Lee theorized that martial arts in their current form are restricted by set patterns or as he said in his book: "Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is outside of all patterns." The point behind Jeet Kune Do is to unlearn and strip away the useless techniques from and create the simplest, most effective form of martial art according to every individual. A good analogy is to think of Jeet Kune Do like the way a woodcarver shapes a certain piece of wood - strip away what you don't want to create the true form for oneself. Adhering to his art, Bruce Lee took several principles from various martial arts, streamlined their efficiency and combined the disciplines together to create a pure fighting form. Jeet Kune Do stresses accuracy, efficiency, and distance so that when you attack with a kick, no effort is wasted on delivering the attack and no energy is wasted on hitting the target any harder than it should. Jobajitsu: (Japan) The Japanese art of military horsemanship. Jodo: (Japan) The way of the jo derived out of jo jitsu. See jo, do. Included are methods of striking, parrying, blocking and sweeping often practiced in kata (prearranged practice) sets. Judo: (Japan) "Gentle or flexible way." A modern competitive system, or sport involving throwing and ground grappling that was founded by Jogoro Kano in 1882. In 1964 it was recognized as an Olympic sport. Judo is composed of two characters, "ju" meaning gentle or flexible and "do" meaning way or path. Jujitsu: (Japan) Jujitsu is a generic term that refers to all Japanese systems of combat characterized by unarmed combat against armed and unarmed opponents using joint techniques, throws, chokes and strikes. "Ju" meaning soft or gentle; "jitsu"(also spelled Jutsu) meaning reality, truth, technique or method. Although the kanji (character) for "Ju" suggests suppleness and yielding, these arts were actually brutal in application, using strikes and kicks, joint dislocations, throws and grappling. During the feudal period most jujitsu systems were an integral part of other weapon combat systems, the techniques used as extension of the weapons themselves or complimentary to them. After 1860 many totally separate jujitsu systems arose, most being specialized in certain techniques. In more modern times jujitsu systems are more inclusive of a wider range of techniques. Modern judo is also a result of a synthesis of several older jujitsu systems modernized for safe practice. Jukendo: (Japan) "Way of the bayonet." While bayonet techniques were developed early as the1600's with the introduction of rifles into Japan, in the Meiji era, a standard from of bayonet fighting was developed, Juken Jitsu. It was taught in a special Tokyo military training school (Toyama Gakko). Following World War II (1945) the study was prohibited by the Allied occupation, only to be revived in a new form, Jukendo. As a "do" form (meaning the "way" or "path") Jukendo encompassed goals of spiritual and mental development as a byproduct of disciplined practice. The discipline is practiced by Japanese self-defense forces (armed forces) as well as other non-military clubs. Jukendo is practiced by kata and two man drills. A competitive format was also adopted to test skill levels. Contestants wear protective gear while rifles and bayonets are simulated by wooden counterparts (mokuju). Techniques include proper posture, thrusting and blocking aimed at three principal areas which simulate a kill: heart, throat and lower left side. Kata is sometimes used to practice technique. Kiai jitsu: (Japan) The esoteric art of using a loud shout (kiai) as weapon, or as a tool to compliment technique. Kalari Payattu: (India) "The art of wielding weapons in the arena." Kalari Payattu is an ancient form of combat from southern India. According to its tradition, this Ancient martial art was founded by the Sage Parasurama around the fourth century A.D. It was promoted heavily by the warrior Chieftain Thacholi Othenan of North Malabar reaching its peak of popularity in the sixteenth Century. This art was historically practiced by both men and women. One of the most famous practitioners of this art was the legendary heroine Unniyarcha who won many battles through her great skill. This art includes both armed and unarmed techniques (known as "Verumkai") in which punches, kicks and strikes are directed toward 108 Marman, or vital points. Movements are further taught to be in coordination with breathing (pranayama). Body exercises known as "maipayattu" include body twisting and turning combined with leaps and jumps. The kalaripayat student learns the efficient use of such weapons as the "modi" (a double gazelle horned dagger), and the "otta" (an "s" shaped stick made from a type of hardwood from the tamarind tree). The otta stick is approximately two feet in length and usually has a knobbed end for use in digging into various points of the central nervous system. Metal weapons called "anga thari" are also used in training. In combat these weapons consist of swords, sword and shield combinations, knives, daggers, spears and the "urumi" a type of very flexible double edged sword. Karate: (Japan) "Empty hand." Karate is a general term referring to the tradition of combat oriented empty hand fighting methods that originated in Okinawa, often referred to as karate- jitsu. Karate was introduced into Japan proper in the early 20th Century where it was modified and systematized into a budo form, known as karate-do. After World War II karate proliferated world-wide. Although Karate was formally created in Okinawa, one can trace the history of Okinawan Karate to Shaolin Kung Fu. There's no clear person or persons who may have introduced Chinese martial arts to Okinawa, or if an Okinawan resident brought the martial art to the island. On top of that, each house in Okinawa emphasized different karate techniques. Although it's not stated what school of karate Hitomi specializes in, it's a safe bet that the rigid style, powerful blows, and solid techniques resemble one of the most popular forms of karate, Shotokan Karate. Founded by Gichin Funakoshi in the late 1800s, Shotokan karate is essentially a mixture of many Okinawan karate styles; Gichin Funakoshi was so skilled when he began his training at 11, he was able to master several karate techniques before creating his style. Karate-do: (Japan) The way of karate. Karate that follows the principles of budo or do. Karate-jitsu: (Japan) The art of karate. Karate that is combat or purely self-defense oriented, more concerned with proper technique and effectiveness than attainment of spiritual values or self-improvement. See jitsu. Kendo: (Japan) "The way of the sword". Kendo is a modern do form ("do" is a philosophical term meaning "way" or "path") which evolved from kenjitsu (warrior's art of the sword). Kenjitsu, a general term referring to various sword arts, originated in the 7th or 8th century and became a focus of training for the professional warrior beginning in the 16th century until the modern era, which began in 1868. Today kendo it is one of the most popular martial disciplines in Japan and is taught as part of the public school curriculum. Although a competitive sport, it emphasizes practice as a discipline to develop personal, moral, ethical and spiritual values. Ken fat: (China) Cantonese for ch'uan fa (kung fu) called kenpo (kempo) in Japan. Kenjitsu: (Japan) The art of the sword or the sword art of professional warriors (bushi) which flourished the 9th century onward only to decline rapidly during the long period of peace (Edo period) just preceding the modern age. Kempo: (Japan) (1) Way of the fist. The Japanese term for Chinese Temple Boxing, or organized kung fu known as ch'uan fa (quanfa) in mandarin or ken fat in Cantonese. Also pronounced kenpo. Kenpo: (Japan) (1) Sword art, an old name for kenjitsu.(2) Way of the fist. Another pronunciation of kempo. (3) Fist method. A synthesized martial discipline similar to karate developed in Hawaii. Kung Fu: (China) Literally "energy time" (katutei jitsu in Japanese). A general term referring to the Chinese martial arts popularized by Bruce Lee films in the 1960's and early 1970's as well as by the TV series "Kung Fu" starring David Carridine. However, the term traces its roots to the early 19th Century where it applied to a wide range of Taoist qi gong (chi kung) energy (ki in Japanese) exercises. More recently the term has been applied to those martial systems for fighting using empty hands or weapons that number in the hundreds. Other similar terms include Wu Shu (Mandarin dialect) popularized during the latter part of the 20th century, Kuo Chi (popularized in the late 1920's), Ch'uan Fa (way of the fist), Ch'uan Shu, Gwo Sho, and Chung Ku Ch'uan. Musti Yudha: (India) "Mukki Boxing." This brutal form of bare hand fighting devoid of leg techniques existed for some three hundred and fifty years in the Benares (India) prior to being officially banned. It then went underground in its practice. It is alleged to have experienced a revival from the most unlikely of benefactors, the British Police Chief. Multiple opponent bouts were often held although this has given way to the more common individual bout. Few rules exist and one may target any point on the body save the genitals. Deaths within these contests are reputed to be numerous. Mukki Boxers are known for their extreme emphasis on hand conditioning, and a well trained boxer can shatter a coconut with a blow Muay Thai Kick Boxing: One of the most feared martial arts in the world, the exact origins of Muay Thai Kick Boxing have been lost due to the past wars in Thailand with the Burmese. The roots of Muay Thai Kick Boxing can be found in the close combat battlefield techniques developed by Thai soldier during the early 9th century. When disarmed or fighting in very close quarters, the use of kicks, knees, and elbow strikes were practiced and perfected, making Thai soldiers some of the most feared fighters on the battlefield. During the period of peace that followed, the royalty of Thailand kept their soldiers fit for battle by practicing these unarmed techniques - even the royal family practiced Muay Thai Kick Boxing. In fact, a well-known king often referred to as the "Tiger King" would often go to villages in Thailand in disguise to challenge the local champions. Due to the rise of deaths due to the sport in the early years of its popularity, where groin kicks and ropes with shards of glass embedded in the seams were worn on the hands, Muay Thai Kick Boxing became a regulated sport of Thailand in the early 1900's. Thai kick boxers are some of the most well-built athletes due to their rigorous training that is often more intense than that of Western boxers. Ninjitsu: Ninjitsu originated around the ninth century in Japan and was definitely influenced by Chinese. Much of the philosophy behind Ninjitsu originates Sun Tzu's "The Art Of War". The actual fighting style of Ninjitsu is actually called Ninpo and is divided into eighteen basic techniques and eighteen advanced techniques. More than any martial art, training in Ninjitsu is a very comprehensive learning process that includes hand-to-hand techniques, weapon training, and religious practices. The fighting technique of ninjas has one sole purpose: to incapacitate or kill an opponent as quickly as possible. Thus, Ninjitsu techniques include various leaping attacks, quick hand and kick techniques, and grappling skills that can be performed to silence an enemy very quickly. Ninjitsu is also one of the few martial arts to apply psychological aspects to their fighting methods; the ability to confuse, stun, or surprise the enemy gave the martial artist a better advantage and that can explain the use of poison, smoke bombs, and other unconventional weaponry of this martial art. Pankration: Martial Art of Classical Greece By Paul McMichael Nurse, Ph.D. Contrary to popular perception, fighting arts are not exclusively an Asian phenomenon, but exist in practically every culture and across all historical time-frames. It is doubtful if any people, anywhere on earth, ever lacked completely for some kind of combative techniques with which to fight savage nature or their sometimes-more savage fellowmen. Moreover, beliefs and practices that Europeans and North Americans associate with Asian combative systems often find their counterparts in western fighting methods. The kiai (shout) of the Japanese martial artist is similar in purpose and scope to the war-cries of many non-Asian peoples such as Africans, Amerindians, Celts, Greeks, Romans and Slavs, while the concept of chí or ki can be found readily in the Grecian belief in pneuma (air, breath, spirit), an inner power which burns brightly inside each human and, when properly used, can aid them in attaining superior physical results. Greek and Roman pugilists frequently broke planks and stones to demonstrate their prowess, while wrestlers sometimes stood on oiled shields and invited challengers to push them off--an act reminiscent of aikido and tai chi ch'uan adepts withstanding the combined force of several men by concentrating on their center of gravity. Greek (525-500 B.C.) Greek (Circa 520) Photos taken with permission of the New York Metropolitan Museum What is also not generally known is that there existed in the ancient world an unarmed fighting art which not only compares favorably with later Asian systems, but as an event in the ancient Olympic Games was considered the truest test of an athlete's combative ability. This was the martial art known as pankration, a blend of Hellenic wrestling, boxing, strangulation, kicking and striking techniques, as well as joint locks. Indeed, the only practices not allowed in pankration were biting, gouging, or scratching -- all else were considered legal acts during competition. As a word, pankration comes from the adjective pankrates, meaning "all encompassing" or "all powers." Its earliest reference occurs in 648 B. C., when it made its debut in the 33rd ancient Olympic Games, but its introduction into the Olympic program denotes that it had to have become a systematized art long before this date. In short order it became the most popular event of every Greek athletic festival, including the Olympics, usually climaxing the festival following boxing and wrestling. A mark of its enormous popularity came in 200 B. C., when a boys' division was added to the Olympics. Pankration matches were significantly rugged endeavors -- serious injuries and even deaths were "occupational hazards" of the pankratist and not considered extraordinary events. Those wishing to train in pankration did so at the palaestra (training hall), within a special room set aside for the exclusive use of boxers and pankratists known as the korykeion. This chamber contained punching and kicking equipment known as korykos; bags or balls filled with meal or fig seeds and suspended from the ceiling at chest level. Similarly, a sandbag was suspended approximately two feet off the floor for kicking, although some trainees preferred practicing their kicks against tree trunks. Records indicate that some prankratists possessed the ability to kick through war shields. Greek (400-300 B.C.) Roman (0-22 A.D.) Roman (0-200 A.D.) Photos courtesy Jim Arvanitis and his Pankration website (www.channel1.com/pankration) During practice sessions trainees were usually divided into pairs, with techniques taught progressively. The novice pankratist was first compelled to learn basic techniques and combinations before he was allowed to participate in "loose play;" i. e. free sparring with other fighters. Although participants wore protective equipment in sparring, such as padded gloves known as spheres and earguards called amphotides, full-contact was emphasized to bring practice matches as near as possible to actual contest conditions. Stamina and flexibility were stressed: stretching, running, abdominal exercises, as well as a kind of shadowboxing known as skiamachia made up the bulk of conditioning. To toughen one's physique, trainees would first strike a punching bag with their fists and then allow the rebounding bag to hit them fill-impact in the stomach, chest, or back. Actual contests began by drawing lots from a silver urn. Match winners continued to fight until the final two- man bout -- thus the winner, as in old-style judo contests, was always undefeated. Originally pankratists fought in the characteristic Greek way of nude and oiled. Later, rawhide thongs wrapping the hands and forearms were used, and later still sheepskins were attached to the thongs to allow fighters to wipe sweat, blood, and sometimes tears from their eyes. When pankration was transplanted to Rome, Italian fighters began wearing loincloths to protect their genitals. Eventually they came not only to be partially-clothed but armed as well, wearing the pugilist's deadly caestus which were studded gloves which could open a gash to the bone. The Greek version of pankration, however, remained an art, with skill held in higher esteem than mere bloodlust. Pankratists usually began a match by sparring with their fists or open hands, using short, hooking blows to the head. These opening maneuvers were called krocheirismos and every pankratist had his favorite standing technique. One fighter from Sikyon was nicknamed "Fingertips" because of his habit of breaking his opponents' fingers at the start of a bout to gain an advantage. Different city-states also had their preferences. The Spartans, for instance, who practiced pankration as part of their training but did not compete in it (reckoning it was effected because it didn't include everything), preferred hard foot sweeps to bring an opponent to the ground, while the Eleans were acknowledged masters of the stranglehold. Some arm-twisting was done while standing but the norm was punches and low, rising kicks to the stomach or groin. Kicks above the stomach were never attempted when standing, and kicks to the chest or head were done only to a grounded competitor. A particularly popular standing technique was called chancery: a fighter grabbed the hair of his enemy, pulling the head down while delivering an uppercut to the throat or face with the free hand. Occasionally while standing a competitor's foot or ankle was grasped and the leg tilted upwards until the opponent tumbled backwards to the ground. One Sicilian pankratist was known as "Jumping Weight" due to his penchant for throwing his enemies backwards manner while attempting to twist their ankles out of their sockets. Shorter, squatter fighters could sometimes prevent being thrown backwards by balancing themselves on their heads and hands and spinning out of harm's way. Usually, sooner or later, the match ended up in the dirt, where striking was less effective and grappling, strangulation, and joint-locking took over. Strangulation techniques appear to have been mostly of the "choke holdî" or hadakakime (naked choke) of the modern judoka variety, in which the forearm is used across the opponent's windpipe or carotid artery to force submission or unconsciousness. A favored technique used both prone or standing was called the klimakismos or "ladder trick," in which a competitor leaped or otherwise worked his way onto his opponent's back, encircling him with his legs and simultaneously strangling him from behind while scissoring the abdomen with the thighs -- an early example of double Jeopardy. "Flying mares" and "stomach throws" were also popular, especially as a hard blow or fall could knock the wind out of one's opponent and leave him momentarily defenseless. Contest matches in pankration continued indefinitely until one competitor signified defeat by tapping his opponent on the shoulder, raising one hand, or -- this being the pankration -- being killed. Skill was a definite must, but the lack of weight categories naturally meant that the event was dominated by heavier men, although more than one husky fighter found that his superior strength was no match against a lighter but better trained opponent. Rules were strictly enforced by famously-impartial referees who carried rods or switches which they used on competitors' backs and shoulders at the slightest infraction. Even so, it must be said that even these minimal standards were often ignored in competition, since a mild beating was considered preferable to defeat or even death at the hands of a rival pankratist. One team was dubbed "the lions" for consistently defying the rules and biting their opponents. It need hardly be said that a fighting art such as pankration, as well as its Olympic fame, spawned a number of stories. One famous tale concerns the champion Arrichion of Phigaleia, who fought his last pankration match in the 564 B. C. Olympic Games. During the bout Arrichion's opponent tried the klimakismos, leaping onto the champion's back and strangling him furiously from behind at the same time as he wrapped his legs around Arrichion's waist, locking his insteps behind Arrichion's thighs and squeezing. In a last ditch attempt to extricate himself, Arrichion hooked his right leg behind his opponent's right foot and threw them both backwards to the ground, breaking his adversary's ankle in the process. As they tumbled backwards two things happened at the same time: Arrichion died from his opponent's strangulation while the other contestant, screaming in pain as his ankle snapped, raised his hand in defeat. After a brief conferral the judges gave the laurels to the dead pankratist, and Arrichion became Olympic champion once more -- this time posthumously. Another Olympic champion, Polydamus of Scotussa, was famous for his great strength. Legends abound of his killing a lion with his bare hands or halting a moving chariot by grabbing a wheel with one hand. His most famous moment, however, came when he and some companions were in a mountain cave and the roof began to collapse. With his hands Polydamus held up the falling roof until all his friends had crawled to safety, at which point the mountain finally gave way and caved in on the gallant pankratist. A third anecdote has to do with a fighter named Dioxippus, Olympic champion by default in 336 B. C. when no other pankratist dared meet him. Alexander the Great became Dioxippus' friend and sponsor, but the pankratist soon quarreled with a warrior named Coragus and the two were forced to meet in a duel to settle their differences. Coragus wore a full complement of Battle-armor and bore javelin, lance, and sword, while Dioxippus appeared pankration-style, nude and wearing a sheen of olive oil, and carrying nothing but a club. Coragus first hurled his javelin, which Dioxippus easily dodged, and then Alexander's warrior rushed his enemy with his spear. A blow from Dioxippus' club shattered the other's spear, whereupon Coragus tried to draw his sword from its scabbard, only to have Dioxippus grab the Macedonian's sword-arm with his left hand while with his right he threw Coragus off-balance and footswept him to the ground. The heavily-armored Coragus fell to the earth, helpless in his battle-dress, at which point Dioxippus completed his victory by placing his foot on his antagonist's neck. Unfortunately, this marvelous example of pankration's effectiveness as a combative system had a bad end. Alexander was so angry at the thought that Dioxippus had defeated one of his own warriors that he had the champion fighter framed for theft and forced to commit suicide as punishment. We have seen how the Romans modified pankration for their own games, and how it eventually degenerated to little more than a bloody spectacle. Even in Greece, however, the art suffered. During the poet Pindar's time (522?-443 B.C.) sparring was emphasized, but by the philosopher Plato's era (427?-347 B.C.) it had descended to nearly-immediate ground fighting, where grappling became all-important and there was little to differentiate pankration from a rougher form of wrestling. For this reason Plato, himself an Olympic wrestler, thought little of pankration as military training, since it did not teach men to keep on their feet. Even so, there is little doubt that hoplites (Greek infantry) used pankration as part of their training, and that with their invading armies it spread far and wide. When Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 B. C. his soldiers took pankration with them, practicing the art in large collapsible tents with their other athletic endeavors. Some researchers have speculated that this diaspora of pankration techniques on the Subcontinent influenced Indian combative arts such as vajramusti ("the adamant fist"), laying the framework for the later diffusion of fighting techniques from India into China and Okinawa. This theory, however, does not take into account the historical reality of the spontaneous rise of indigenous combative forms in a majority of cultures, as well as the expatiation of fighting techniques across many centuries and from many nations, so the concept that pankration is the linear "ancestor" of Asian combative systems must remain little more than conjecture. However, pankration cannot be described as a "lost" martial art, with its methods confined to references in historical writings and artistic representations of the system. Rather, its techniques continued to be handed down through the ages from one Greek generation to the next, kept alive in Greek communities both in Greece -- particularly in Athens and Delphi -- and abroad. It never entirely died out, and a limited form of the classical art continues to be practiced today, with trainees attired in light clothing and even some body armor, and groin strikes joining the ranks of forbidden techniques such as gouging and biting. Thus it may be said that the pankration practiced today is a diluted form of the classical entity, rather than an art handed down unchanged from its inception. The most famous pankratist of modern times is James Arvanitis, a Greek-American who was taught pankration as a child. Since that time he has reformulated the system, incorporating aspects of other combative arts into a highly- eclectic cognate form he has named mu tau, from the Greek acronym for "martial truth." Although clearly based on pankration, the inclusion of techniques from other systems, as well as the use of protective equipment such as gloves, makes mu tau a personalized combative system developed by Arvanitis from the roots of pankration, rather than a modern form of the classical art. That being said, pankration's historical importance as a combative art cannot be overemphasized. While most of its techniques can be found in other unarmed martial forms, pankration was perhaps the first fighting system to incorporate a wide-ranging array of techniques within its syllabus: wrestling throws and pins, strangulation methods, strikes and kicks, as well as joint-locks. Bridging the gap between striking and grappling, and with few limits to its repertoire, pankration was recognized in ancient Greece as the ultimate unarmed combative system -- the ancient world's foremost fighting art. Pa Kua: (China) An alternative spelling of Pa Qua. Pa Qua: (China) A form of Daoist boxing meaning "eight diagram palm," referring to the eight trigrams symbols used as the basis of the Chinese classic, I-Chang (Book of Changes), reflects the constant change and intuition central to pa qua practice. Pa Qua's central exercise is walking in a circular pattern with careful foot and body postures. But this should not be confused with the discipline's strategy. Many assume that a pa qua practitioner circles an opponent looking for an opening, but the circularity instead refers to use of circular movement - shifting, adjusting and turning as a method of gaining advantage to the side or behind. Opponents attacks are avoided, redirected, dissolved, lead or unbalanced. This allows for short, powerful counters. Defenders sometimes flow around an opponent's center, sometimes they enter into the center. They are always spinning, unbalancing and controlling -- with constant counterattacks of sticking, open hand attacks, elbows, striking palms --always avoiding any fixed position or direct resistance. The effect is to create circular energy and power within circular movement of the opponent -- a method reminiscent in strategy to aikido. Although pa qua's origin is unknown, history recounts that the discipline was taught to Tung Hai ch'uan (1798- 1879) around 1820 by an unnamed Taoist priest in Kaingsu province who found Tung nearly dead from starvation and nursed him back to health. Later Tung moved to Peking and became quite well know for his boxing skills. There he was challenged by another famous boxer, Kua Yun-Shen, from a rival style, Hsing-i (divine hand) that was known for its direct and powerful linear style. The match lasted three days. During the first two neither could gain advantage. Both were equally matched. But on the third day Tung took the offensive and ended up defeating his challenger. The two ended up as friends and vowed thereafter to teach the two styles together. Thus, even today when you find one system, the other is often taught along with it. Both are classified as internal disciplines that develop and utilize internal energy of Ki (chi in China). Both disciplines share the concept that the mind unites actions and thought into one. Thus training the mind allows transformation of the internal to the external technique. Pa qua is classified as an internal system along with Hsing-i and tai chi chuan. Pi Qua Quan: Translated into "chop hanging style", Pi Qua Quan (also known as Pi Gua Quan) has often been referred to as "armor wielding style" for good reason; practitioners would wield armor while practicing the postures of this martial art. Developed over 500 years ago, the origins of this fighting style aren't very clear though the creator of the modern fighting style has been attributed to Wu Zhong, a Chinese Muslim from the Henbei Province in the early 1700s. Pi Qua Quan is stylized by its very circular motions of the hands and arms; Pi Qua Quan stresses long range strikes composed of either palm strikes or powerful overhand chops. Masters of Pi Qua Quan are constantly in movement striking opponents with palm and chop attacks in an almost wheel- like motion of the hands and arms, while keeping their body perfectly balanced. The constant and circular motions of this martial art make it one of the most exciting to watch. Sambo: The history of Sambo is a very interesting one; it originated from the Russian fighting system created around 950 A.D. by the Cossacks called Systema. For several years, Russians were highly valued for the fighting prowess based off Systema, which stringed various attack and defense techniques the Cossacks learned while repelling various invaders from mother Russia. When the Communists came into power, they prohibited the practice of this martial art to any except the most elite army members and the K.G.B. To better prepare their army to become the deadliest warriors in the world, the Soviet Union charged three combat veterans to go across the world and study the strengths and weaknesses to each fighting form. This included Japan, China, Africa, Europe, and India. After several years of intensive research, they brought all their findings and theories back to the Soviet Union and created Sambo, an acronym standing for "Samozashchitya Bez Oruzhiya" or "self-defense without weapons." More interesting, the Soviet Union created three levels of Sambo: level one as a spectator sport that would be later recognized as the national wrestling style of the USSR, level two as training tool for both Russian police and its army that detailed specific ways to maim enemies regardless of weapons, and level three for the elite forces of USSR, most notably the Soviet Union Spetsnaz special forces. Sarit-Sarak: (India) Sarit-Sarak is an art of bare handed combat emphasizing evasive skills and offensive attack. According to its lore, the Dragon God, Lainingthou Pakhangba, ordered King Mungyamba to kill the demon Moydana of Khagi and taught him the ways of combat and presented him with a special spear and sword for this purpose. A local Indian dance known as the Manipuri also finds its origins with this martial practice. Savate: Martial Sport of France (By Mark V. Wiley) Boxe Francaise savate, which roughly means "fencing with the feet and hands," is the national sport of both France and Spain. Developed in the 1800s on the sailing ships and back streets of France, boxe Francaise savate has become a highly effective means of self-defense and reality-based full-contact "kickboxing" sport. In fact, since some of its kicking methods are potentially lethal, they have been banned in modern-day competition. Brief History Originally looked down upon, and thought of as an art of hoodlums and common thieves, savate, "French foot fighting," was mixed with English boxing to become boxe Francaise savate, the chosen art of the gentlemen and scholars. Boxe Francaise savate became highly developed and wide spread until the start of the First World War. As a result of the large number of casualties inflicted by the war, many of the top savateurs were killed, and the art, too, almost met with extinction. Thanks to the effort and dedication of one of the remaining savateurs, Count Pierre Baruzy, who is credited with the rebirth of boxe Francaise savate, this art is once again blossoming in France and much of Europe, and to a lesser extent the United States. In fact, there are discussions on the table about boxe Francaise savate become an Olympic demonstration sport. Savate in the United States The first on-going instruction of boxe Francaise savate in the United States came through the efforts of a man named Daniel Duby. Duby's instruction sparked interest in the art, especially in southern California, and because of his work many people became aware of the French art in this country. Boxe Francaise savate has enjoyed greater exposure as a result of the teaching efforts of Jean-Noel Eynard, Salem Assli, Francis Echenard, Barry John, Steve Crane, Jerry Bedka, Mike Young, and Nicolas Saignac and the promotional efforts of Fred Degerberg, and Dan Inosanto. Boxe Francaise savate made its first large-scale U. S. appearance in October of 1988, with the First U. S. Savate Championships. The event, sponsored by the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts and Fitness, was held at Chicago's Limelight club. There were well over 700 spectators in attendance at the ten full-contact events. Well-known guests in attendance included former boxing world champion, Tony Zale, taekwondo Olympic gold medalist, Arlene Limas, three-time French savate champion, Pascal Malis, and arnis grandmaster, Leo T. Gaje. The Second U. S. Savate Championships, sponsored by the Southern California Savate Club, was held in March of 1989, at The Strand on Redondo Beach, California. This was another successful event, featuring ten full- contact bouts with well over 500 spectators. Well-known guests in attendance included former kickboxing champion, Blinky Rodriguez, pencak silat master, Paul DeThouars, ten-time European savate Champion, Richard Sylla, and Dan Inosanto. Other demonstrations and championships were to follow, but none were really able to catch the eye of the mainstream American martial artist. And while the American BF Savate Federation is the governing body for the promotion of the art in the United States, there are a number of renegade schools and instructors in the country who are not members and who are promotinf the art in their own way. Until such a time as they all work together, however, this French martial sport will remain an "underground" art. What a Difference it Makes How does boxe Francaise savate differ from other martial arts? The answer: It's philosophy, uniform, ranking structure, kicking methods, and rules of competition. Boxe Francaise savate, not unlike other martial sports, is mainly concerned with sparring practice and training geared toward full-contact competition. In fact, after one has attained the level of silver glove (equivalent to a black belt), the savateur rarely does more in practice than spar. It is this training and hard-core mentality that makes boxe Francaise savate so devastating, in and out of the ring. The uniform of the savateur is simple. All practitioners wear a one-piece, multi-colored tunic, ten- ounce boxing gloves, and hard-tipped kicking shoes. The tunic is made of a Spand-X type of material which allows for the judges to see clean technique, as well as a clear view of the targets being struck. The shoes are similar to those worn by wrestlers, with an extra support around the ankle, a flat rubber sole, and a hard toe kicking surface. Rank in boxe Francaise savate is achieved on two levels: technical and competitive. Distinction of rank is worn on the practitioner's tunic via a patch of a colored savate/boxing glove. The structure of the technical rank progresses as follows: blue, green, red, white, yellow, silver (first through third degree). This is followed by the title "professeur" of savate. Rank is awarded on the basis of a savateur's technical ability to perform the individual techniques and combinations correctly, and not on one's fighting skill or competition abilities. The structure of the competitive rank progresses as follows: bronze glove and silver glove (first through fifth degrees). Ranking at this level is awarded based on not only the technical skills of the practitioner but on his win-to-loss ratio in full-contact competition. There are three types of teaching certificates which can be awarded. These are initiateur (apprentice), moniteur (instructor), and professeur (highest instructor). A gold glove is awarded only to those possessing exceptional skill and merit. The kicking techniques of boxe Francaise savate are unique in structure when compared to the mainstream Asian martial arts. Many of the kicks are designed to be used both offensively and defensively, on either the low, middle, or high lines of attack. Moreover, all kicking methods can be employed as a means of displacing an opponent's balance, making him vulnerable for a follow-up strike of your own. The Competition Competition in boxe Francaise savate is categorized by weight class, age, and gender. Legal target areas for kicking techniques include the front and side of the head, body, and limbs, and may be directed to either the high, middle, or low lines of attack. Illegal target areas include the nape of the neck, the top and rear surfaces of the head, and the chest of females. Legal targets for punches include the front and sides of the head and upper torso. For punching techniques, any strikes delivered lower than the pelvic region-or the chest of women-is strictly prohibited. There is no limit to the use of kicking combinations used during a competitive bout. However, there are limits to the use of punching combinations. All punching techniques must be executed in combination with kicking techniques (e.g., punch-kick or kick-punch). There are three competitive stages in boxe Francaise savate: assault, pre-contact and contact. Assault competition is a contest wherein physical contact is limited, much like point karate competition. The fight is judged by a competitor's delivery of techniques, precision of strikes, and their proper control. This level of competition keeps the risk of injury to a minimum, and aesthetic quality high. The so-called pre-contact competition level is a contest wherein contact to the body is allowed. However, the donning of protective equipment, such as headgear and shin guards, is mandatory. While competition at this level is exciting, injuries are kept to a minimum. Contact competition level is a full-contact contest wherein no protective gear is worn by the combatants, with the exception of a mouth piece and groin cup. In this type of match, all strikes to legal target areas, as well as knockouts, are acceptable. A competitor may receive three standing eight-counts through the course of a bout. However, on the third standing eight-count, a competitor will be considered technically knocked out, and the match is concluded. There are many martial arts that teach self-defense. There are many that stress point-sparring competition or kickboxing. However, there are none as diverse as boxe Francaise savate, a French martial art and sport stressing practical self-defense and three competition levels. From the technical practices of those who do not wish to enter into competition, to the pin-point accuracy of swift kicking techniques, boxe Francaise savate stands complete as both a martial art and martial sport along side its Asian counterparts. She Quan: One of the specialized animal styles in Shaolin Kung Fu, She Quan or Snake Style, is one of the five primary animal systems created by the Shaolin monks during the Ming Dynasty. Shaolin monks created the Shaolin Five Animals Style to enable novice monks a better grasp of not only their fighting techniques, but also the understanding of human and animal behavior. She Quan relies on precision and quickness rather than power to deliver deadly strikes upon their enemies. Snake Style is characterized by strikes delivered by finger tips or the toes and the goal is to strike vulnerable points of the body (eyes, throat, groin, etc) with the greatest precision and efficiency. She Quan masters heavily rely on evasion rather than block or countering, giving them better positioning to aim their lethal attacks. She Quan masters will patiently wait for an opening or will perform feints to create openings allowing them to unleash a fury of pinpoint strikes. It is said that great She Quan masters are so proficient in their strikes, they are able to burst arteries or even stop the heart with one strike, known also as Dim Mak. Shuai Chiao: (China) Sometimes referred to as Chinese Judo, shuai chiao is an combative system that evolved out of ancient fighting traditions dating back thousands of years. Originally called Chiao-ti, it has since evolved into the modern shuai chiao which integrates punches, kicks, holds, grappling and throws (and breakfalls) into the system. Shuai chiao is related to Sanshou which also uses similar techniques but has a different competitive emphasis, sanshou giving points to successful kicking and punching techniques with less emphasis on throwing (due to restrictions imposed by protective gloves and a three second holding limit), while shuai chiao emphasizes throws. Differences exist, however, between its practice in China, Taiwan and elsewhere. In China alone four major styles exist - Mongolian, Peking, Paoting and Tientsin, each with its own methods. Each stresses different approaches to enter the range and obtain strategic advantage over the opponent's defense. Shuhaku: (Japan) A term used to refer to Chinese Ch'uan Fa systems (Kempo in Japanese), meaning to "beat by hand." Another term with he same meaning is Hakuda. Silambam: (India) The art of staff fighting has a long history in India. In the Vedic age, young men were routinely trained to defend themselves with staffs and experts in their use were known to give them names, perhaps in much the same fashion that Samurai named katana (swords). The long staff was already highly organized as both a method of self-defense and competitive sport in the State of Tamil as early as the first century A.D., and accounts in the second century (Silapathiharam Tamil literature) abound with tales of the sale of Silambam staffs, swords and armor to foreigners. Greeks, Romans and Egyptians as well as the Dravidian kings (kingdoms in southern India and Northern Ceylon that shared a common family of languages) frequented the Madurai trading center where the Silambam staff was considered a commodity. It is believed that the Silambum staff of Tamil was transported to Malaysia where its practice as a self-defense form flourished. The Silambam staff two hand technique makes use of swift and agile footwork allowing precision and momentum to be channeled into thrusting, cutting and sweeping strokes. The Silambam student develops defensive skills by learning to deflect stones thrown by groups of fellow practitioners with techniques called such things as the Monkey Strike, and the Hawk Strike, the Snake Strike. Silambam Matches: Using staffs the ends of which have been dipped in powder, the opponents seek to touch each other, with one point being awarded for touching below the waist and two for above. Three unanswered touches or a single touch to the forehead means victory, and the competitor who fails to maintain control of his staff also loses. Matches take place on firm ground in a circular twenty to twenty-five foot area. Matches have a predetermined time period. Suibajutsu: (Japan) A sub-specialty of horsemanship (Bajutsu) that specialized in horse techniques used in crossing streams, ponds and bodies of water. Sumai: (Japan) The original combat discipline from which Sumo developed. T'ai Chi Quan: Though spelled several ways (T'ai-Chi Ch'uan, Taiji Chuen, etc.,) T'ai Chi Quan is often recognized as the Americanized exercise that mixes metaphysical thought and slow movements. Many don't realize that T'ai Chi Quan is one of the three most powerful "internal" Chinese martial arts. Literally translated as "Supreme Ultimate Fist", the facts behind the creation of T'ai Chi Quan are not absolute, as various Taoist teachings that date back in the 5th and 6th century document certain teachings of I-Ching with physical activity that may have been the birth of the martial art. For the most part, a Wu Tang Monastery monk named Cheng San Feng has been accredited as the founder of T'ai Chi Quan and while it's not exactly sure when he existed (dates range from the 1100-1400s), he created the basic foundation of T'ai Chi Quan, "The Thirteen Postures". His teachings formed the basis of the martial art, where flexibility, form, as well as natural physics were focused more than brute force. T'ai Chi Quan masters are able to bend a forceful attack and render it ineffective with such softness, T'ai Chi Quan was often called "cotton fist" in the past. Several styles of T'ai Chi Quan have spawned the most popular being probably being the Yang Style, which gained notoriety when it was brought to Beijing, China and taught to the imperial court. Taijutsu: (Japan) "Body Art." A system similar to jujitsu that included vital point striking arts (atemi) and a variety of hand held weapons, such as the Bankokuchoko which was a metal ring similar to brass knuckles used in the west. It was a specialty of a number of jujitsu systems, namely Nagao Ryu and Kito Ryu. Thang-ta: (India) Thang-ta refers to the art of using the sword or spear against one or more opponents. This particular martial school of weaponry is related directly to Tantric practices and is practiced in three distinct ways. The first is completely ritual in nature; the second is comprised of a series of sword and spear dances and the third is actual combat. This art is reputed to share a common origin with Sarit-Sarak. Thoda: (India) This remnant of martial culture is popular in the districts of Shimla, Sirmaur and Solan. Probably best described as a group demonstration sport, "thoda" is the art of archery. It takes its name from the circular wooden ball used to replace the deadly arrowhead. Bows ranging in size from three and a half to six feet are used in its practice. The archers divide themselves into groups called the "Saathis" and the "Pashi," who are reputed to represent the descendants of the Pandavas and the Kauravas who in the days of the Mahabharata frequently battled in the Valleys of Kulu and Manali. Competition takes place yearly on Baisakhi Day (April 13th and 14th which honors the Goddesses Durga and Mashoo). The event takes place on a marked fairground as both groups face each other at a distance of approximately ten yards. Each group in turn fires its arrows, targeting the opponents' leg area beneath the knee. Points are detracted for hits to other areas. The defenders may dance about, side step and kick their legs in an effort to foil accurate aim. All the while, observers cheer from the sidelines while participating teams sing and play martial music. Varjamushti: (India) "Diamond Fist Boxing." This form of Pugilism was reputedly developed by the Brahmin Caste of Western India around the ninth or tenth century. Blows where permitted to the face and chest only and were delivered through the use of a single set of metal knuckles worn on one hand. The knuckles generally bore the pronged pyramid design , hence the name "diamond fist boxing." It is needless to say that serious injuries and deaths contributed to the decline in popularity of its practice. The art reputedly still has a small but loyal following who hold yearly bouts in the Gujurat region of India. Wing Chung: (China) "Beautiful Springtime." A southern Chinese fighting discipline that avoids "hard style" techniques and alternate blocking and striking in favor of techniques that flow with the opponent's actions instead of trying to stop or overpower them. The discipline was popularized in the late 1960's and early 1970's through its association with Bruce Lee. The discipline is characterized by aggressive close in fighting where hands and arms are able to sense and control the opponents limbs through deflection, trapping and pulling called "sticky hands" (Chi Sao) Wrestling: Wrestling isn't an actual martial art, but the principles behind Pro Wrestling date back to Greco- Roman wrestling. Greco-Roman wrestling has been traced back several years during the Roman Empire, being one of the Olympic events. Although there isn't a creator of the fighting form, one of the most influential professional wrestlers was Lou Thes. Though he started wrestling in the 1930's, he gained great popularity in the 1950's during the television boom. Lou Thes is best known for his Lou Thes Press that is still being performed by today's wrestlers including Stone Cold Steve Austin. Of course, Hulk Hogan (or Rick Flair, depending upon what school of wrestling you favor) has been credited with popularizing the sport with his dramatic style. Wu Shu: (China) A general term adopted by the Peoples Republic of China (mainland China) denoting "skill" or "ability" that refers to a wide variety of Chinese martial arts. In the 1950's, with renewed interest in martial arts, the government of mainland China established a wu shu committee to examine all fighting styles and modernize or synthesize them. In 1955 China's Physical Culture and Sports Commission continued this work while also conducting research to discover additional disciplines -- all to be molded to conform to policies on cultural heritage. Wu Shu is now taught in many primary and middle schools in China as well as within physical culture institutes. Throughout China it is common to see wu shu as well as qi gong and other exercises practiced by citizens within parks early in the morning or in the evening. In 1974, and later in 1980 and thereafter, performance groups representing wu shu toured the U.S. Wu shu is also frequently performed within a growing number of marital arts events and competitions. Wu shu in the west is better know under the term kung fu, a term popularized by Bruce Lee films in the 1960's and early 1970's as well as by the TV series "Kung Fu" staring David Carridine. Other similar terms include Kuo Chi (popularized in the late 1920's), Ch'uan Fa (way of the fist), Ch'uan Shu, Gwo Sho, and Chung Ku Ch'uan. Xinyi Liuhe Quan: Literally translated, Xinyi Liuhe Quan means "Fist of Mind, Intention, and Six Harmoines". One of the most powerful fighting-oriented martial arts, Xinyi Liuhe Quan originates from the Henan Province of China. Surprisingly, it was developed by followers of Islam and the creator of the martial art has been accredited to Yue Fei (1103-1142), who served as a general to the imperial army. To train his spearman, he developed a martial art that was supposedly inspired by the movements of ten animals: dragon, tiger, chicken, eagle, horse, monkey, snake, bear, hawk, and swallow. Known for its powerful movements, it was later converted into a bare-handed fighting system by Ji Longfeng, a fellow imperial spearman. The practice of Xinyi Liuhe Quan supposedly involves a ridiculous amount of repetition; supposedly, while guarding a caravan, Ji Longfeng practiced his "Chicken Step" leg stances by repeating the motion over and over again while guarding a caravan for 10 miles. Zui Ba Xian Quan: Loosely translated to "Eight Drunken Immortal Boxing", it's not known exactly when this fighting form was created or who developed the style, though have the art being practiced well before 500 A.D. The story goes that Eight Immortals of Chinese lore where invited to a banquet from the King of the Sea and there, they proceeded to get slammed from the wine. They caused such a racket that the King of the Sea commanded his guards to kick them out. While in their drunken state, all eight Immortals created their drunken style that completed confounded the soldiers and thus, the martial art was born. When a novice starts to learn the Drunken Style, he must first learn and master each Immortal's style individually before proceeding to the next style. Thus a novice would learn the Drunken style of Lu Doung Bing, the first of the eight Immortals, who stresses balance and inner power. Each Immortal would stress a different aspect in punching and kicking techniques. Drunken Boxing uses deception with sudden powerful strikes to keep their opponent off balance.