Martial Arts

Almost every culture in the world has developed some form of unarmed combat. The styles most often referred to as "martial arts" are usually the styles developed in the oriental cultures. Karate, judo and the Korean tae kwon do forms are especially favored by American fighters. While many of the older forms of martial arts have been forgotten with the advent of firearms in battle, hand to hand combat is still a necessary military skill.

On the sports front martial arts began their rise in popularity in the United States in the 1950's. Participants in the Korean conflict and others stationed in Japan brought the styles back with them and popular movies, especially those of Bruce Lee, flamed the American imagination.

Of the many martial arts sports competitions, some are exercises in skill with the primary scoring being done on level of expertise and above all the downfall of an opponent without harming them. On the far end of the spectrum of martial arts sports are the full contact "blood" sports still run in some parts of the orient.

A modern variant of the martial arts format is that of wrestling. The primary difference in this is that in wrestling, the competition is defeated by grapples and holds instead of striking blows at your opponent.

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