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A Guide To African Martial Arts
May 29th, 2017

Information on the American Taekwando Association

There are many different styles of martial arts that are available to practice, but one of the least well known styles is the African martial arts. The African martial arts systems are actually over 50,000 years old and today the applications are just as used and respected as they were when they first originated.


There are four basic styles of the African martial arts that are practiced, which are: Hapkido, Judo, Ju-Jitsu, and Tai-Chi. Hapkido is a martial art form that is characterized primarily by kicking without retraction, and it is a style which is composed of three primary skills: circular motion to countering and attacking, nonresistance when meeting force, and the water principle.

It is a style which emphasizes body and mind coordination, and the techniques used here are applied by combining physics, geometry, psychology and physiology. Kicks are most important to learn and are used as defense against kicks as hand strikes are used to defend hand strikes.

Judo is one of the most well recognized African martial arts, and Judo is known as the gentle martial art form, as it is not used to promote violence but rather the point is to simply overcome the attacker and defend either oneself or another. It is a modern type of combat sport in which the most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the basic object is to either throw the opponent to the ground or immobilize the opponent.

With Ju-Jitsu, this is a martial art form that specializes in close techniques including joint locks, chokes, throws and grappling. Students typically learn traditional Ju-Jitsu primarily by observation and imitation as patterned by the prearranged forms, and the movements used tend to emphasize circularity and as well capitalize on an opponent’s momentum and openings.

Ju-Jitsu as a competitive sport is known for being rather controversial, and this is because there are some very dangerous techniques used, such as throwing an opponent from a standing position while having an arm in a jointlock, and this can result in the opponent sustaining serious injuries.

Finally there is Tai-Chi, which is another incredibly popular style of African martial arts. Tai-Chi is practiced with the aim of promoting health and longevity, and is more practiced for enjoyment and fun than for competition or defense.

All martial arts are important to learn, not only so that you can learn how to defend yourself and others but as well to promote a better and healthier way of living.