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List of Martial Arts

Jeet Kune Do through Kyudo | List of Martial Arts

List of martial arts J-L

Jeet Kune Do

Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist) was created by Bruce Lee. It was developed out of Wing Chun kung fu and grew to be an assembly of ideas and concepts based on adapting what is useful to the practitioner and discarding what is deemed useless. No real forms or classical patterns (i.e. kata) are used.


Judo (The Gentle Way), is on our Japanese list of martial arts that is now an international and Olympic sport that consists of throwing, grappling, choking, and arm locks. Founded by Jigoro Kano, who began his martial arts studies in jujitsu, judo evolved into a distinct form of fighting. It emphasizes throwing while removing some of the most dangerous techniques of jujutsu to ensure safety and the longevity of the sport.


Jujutsu is a general term used to describe unarmed combat using throwing, grappling, choking, and joint locks. It was developed for the Japanese samurai to use on the battlefield should they lose their weapon(s). The classic grips an attacks reflect the opponent wearing battlefield armor. Classic jujutsu was not introduced into the general public until the Meiji restoration when the samurai began to teach it as a means of earning a living.


Kajukenbo is derived from karate, jujutsu, kenpo and Chinese boxing takes its name form the arts that comprise its techniques: Ka = karate, Ju = jujitsu, Ken = kenpo, Bo = boxing. kajukenbo was developed in Hawaii in the late 1940's. It can alternatively be translated as ka (long life), ju (happiness), ken (fist), bo (style), or "through this fist style, one gains long life and happiness."


Karate, meaning "empty hand," was originally called "Te" or hand. Karate takes on many forms today and is very popular worldwide. Karate is a striking art dominated by hand and foot techniques, yet it also includes joint locks, chokes, and throws. Examples of the many styles include Shito-Ryu, Goju-ryu, Uechi-ryu, Shotokan, Shorin-ryu, Isshin-Ryu and Wado-Ryu.


Kenpo is a martial art that resembles karate. Developed by Edmund K. Parker, Kenpo is based on Chinese and Japanese styles of martial arts he studied in his youth in Hawaii. Kenpo is a striking art and uses a large amount of pins and traps, but like all arts, contains throws and joint manipulations as well. After Parker's death, the IKKA, International Kenpo karate Association, split into several organizations.


Kendo is the Japanese sport of sword fighting. Kendo uses a shinai (bamboo sword) and armor that protects the practitioner. A national sport in Japan, it is taught in schools where both males and females participate.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga is a form of self defense and hand-to-hand combat created in Israel. Israeli security forces and Special Forces use Krav Maga because it is fast to learn, effective and swift. Krav Maga might not be considered a "martial art" in the classical sense, but is on our list of martial arts more as a self defense structure. Since its inception, it has been modified for civilians, becoming popular throughout the world.

Kuk Sool Won

Kuk Sool won is a Korean art founded in the early 1960's by In Hyuk Suh. The name translates to "national martial Art." Kuk Sool Won uses traditional fighting methods and is progressive in its adoption of modern techniques and weapons.

Kung fu

Kung fu or gung-fu is a general term that refers to many various forms of martial arts that are Chinese in origin. Some, but not nearly all, of the styles of gung fu include: Wing Chung, taijiquan, Choy Lay Fut, and Hung Gar. The word gung-fu, which translates as "hard work," can be used to explain a person's skill in any activity, not just the martial arts.


The Japanese art of archery, kyudo translates as the "the way of the bow." More than mere marksmanship, kyudo is often seen as a path to spiritual enlightenment. the yumi (bow) used by kyudo practitioners often reach nearly eight feet in length. They are traditionally made of bamboo, wood, and leather using techniques that have not changed for centuries. Ya (arrow) shafts were traditionally made of bamboo, with either eagle or hawk feathers for fletching.

This list of martial arts from the book: The Way to Black Belt, by Lawrence A. Kane and Kris Wilder.

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