Any codified system or tradition of combat practices can be known as a martial art. Martial arts are practiced for a wide variety of reasons, including self-defense mental and spiritual development, preserving the culture of a region, military and police applications, entertainment, and more. Below, we will look at the top 5 popular martial arts practices and see how Merpati Putih stacks up.
Specifically, the Brazilian form of jiu-jitsu has taken off in the United States. This martial art got its start when Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese jiu-jitsu master taught Carlos Gracie the Kodokan Judo ground fighting techniques. Through Gracie’s experimentations and adaptations, Brazilian jiu-jitsu became its own art. Many consider Maeda to be the toughest person to have ever lived. And, today, the Gracie family is considered the inventors of jiu-jitsu. Commonly used in mixed martial arts, ground grappling is the main focus of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
As Japan ended its occupation of Korea after World War II, taekwondo began to grow in popularity. The English translation of taekwondo is roughly “the way of the fist and foot.” The sport uses a combination of mental strength and physical skills. For example, in many taekwondo demonstrations, you will see the student break boards with their hand or foot. With 30,000,000 followers in more than a hundred countries, taekwondo is widely considered the world’s most popular martial art. This martial art develops and enhances physical strength, flexibility, balance, speed, and stamina.
The loose translation of “karate” into English is “empty-handed.” This Japanese martial art gets its name because weapons are not used. In 1908, Anko Itosu, the father of modern karate wrote “10 Precepts of Karate,” though early styles of karate are believed to have been around since the 14th century. According to Itosu, the hands and legs are like spears in this martial art’s weapon-free striking. Thanks to its self-defense and health benefits, karate is quite valuable. As the Precepts state, if confronted by a ruffian or villain, it can be used to avoid a fight.
Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand, and it’s often times mistaken for kickboxing. In this martial art, striking below the belt with knees and elbows is prohibited since body parts are the fighting weapon. Therefore, you use your shins, fists, knees, elbows, and feet. It is unclear when Muay Thai started since there are many elements that resemble martial arts in India and Japan. In 1868, King Rama V became interested in Muay Thai, and this ushered in a golden age for the sport. Traditionally, it is a more choreographed and structured form of fighting.
Kung fu is arguably the oldest known martial art having its roots in China dating back to 2698 BC. Literally translated, kung fu refers to an achievement earned through long and hard work. Throughout the world, there are more than 20,000 versions and types of kung fu practiced. Shaolin monks who teach kung fu emphasize respect, patience, trust, humility, and other virtues. They also believe in the importance of morality and philosophy. Self-defense and health benefits are the main advantages to kung fu.
At MP USA, we teach Merpati Putih. This ancient Indonesian martial art has only been available to the public for about half a century, therefore it hasn’t had the time to explode in popularity like the more mainstream martial arts. In fact, we are the only teachers of MP in the Western Hemisphere. Merpati Putih is unique in that it takes a holistic approach focusing on the mind-body-spirit connection, therefore giving you all of the advantages of the top 5 popular martial arts practices.
If the idea of gaining all of the benefits of martial arts in a single practice sounds appealing to you, contact Ogden, Utah’s MP USA today.