Martial Arts Around the World

Bokator – Cambodia

Bokator is one of the oldest martial arts in Cambodia, with references to it dating back 2000 years. The name Bokator means “pounding a lion” and legend has it that a lion attacked a village, and a warrior armed with only a knife killed the animal with a knee strike.

Like other Asian martial arts, Bokator is based on life in nature, so it has 341 sets inspired by animals such as eagles, horses, and cranes. However, there are over 8000 different techniques, but you only need to learn 1000 to attain a black krama (like a black belt).

Jeet Kune Do – USA

Created by the famous martial artist Bruce Lee in 1969, Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is a combination of different fighting styles. However, instead of having a fixed style, practitioners learn to intercept when an opponent is about to attack.

Bruce Lee used to say in his interviews that JKD is “the art of expressing the human body.” He believed martial artists should “be like water,” using simple movements to cause maximum effect. He believed a fighter shouldn’t try to predict an attack, but only react to it.

Boxing – Ancient Greece

Although early depictions of boxing can be traced back to the Sumerians, in the third millennium BCE, it was in Ancient Greece that it became an organized sport and it was introduced in the 23rd Olympiad (the ancient Olympic games).

Boxing was also enjoyed by Romans, with regular events being held in amphitheaters. After the fall of the Roman Empire, it disappeared for a while and only resurfaced in London in the 16th century as bare-knuckle boxing. The rules for modern boxing are based on the Marquess of Queensberry rules, which were created in 1865.

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