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This is an excerpt from Ultimate Conditioning for Martial Arts by Loren Landow.

There are many martial arts forms to choose from. This book touches on the most popular forms and those that are similar to other art forms.


Developed in what is now Okinawa, Japan, karate is a highly explosive striking form that involves punches, kicks, knee strikes, elbow strikes, and palm strikes.


The Korean martial art of taekwondo has been an Olympic event since 2000. It is explosive and typically consists of blocks, kicks, punches, and open-handed strikes; it may also include sweeps and takedowns.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a self-defense system that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. The sport hinges on submissions based on joint locks and chokeholds, but what makes it an amazing art form is the underlying chess match that occurs during rolling to set up the submissions.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a combat sport and martial art from Thailand. It is a physical and mental discipline that uses fists, knees, elbows, shins, and feet. Its maneuvers include stand-up striking and various clinching techniques.


Judo was created in Japan and is now an Olympic sport. Its objective is to throw or otherwise take the opponent to the ground, then either pin the opponent or force a submission by means of a joint lock or choke.


The earliest known wrestling took place in ancient Greece, but many styles have been developed. This Olympic sport is known for grappling, clinch fighting, throws, takedowns, and pins while securing dominating positions.

Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a sport that involves all martial arts disciplines. Those used most often are kickboxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai, but many blends of taekwondo and karate are also found in the sport. The primary objective of MMA is to win by submission, knockout, or a judge’s decision based on strikes, cage dominance, and positional dominance.

Learn more about Ultimate Conditioning for Martial Arts.