HomeSports 2.0Combat Sports: Types & Techniques Involved | How To Win Fierce Fight...
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Combat Sports: Types & Techniques Involved | How To Win Fierce Fight With Might!

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A combat sport also referred to as a fighting sport, is a form of competitive contact sport which involves one on one combat. The common methods of winning in these competitions are by scoring more points than the opponents, putting the opponent under some submission hold, knocking them out, or attacking the opponent in a designated or specific manner. Combat sports are believed to share a long pedigree with martial arts.

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There exist numerous types of contact sports across the world. Some of them are Boxing (British), Brazilian jiu-jitsu (Brazilian), Jiu-Jitsu (Japanese), Judo (Japanese), Karate (Chinese/Okinawan/Japanese), Kickboxing (numerous origins), Lethwei (Burmese), Mixed Martial Arts (numerous origins), Muay Thai (Thai), Sambo (Soviet/Russian), Sanda (Chinese), Savate (French), Tae Kwon Do (Korean), Vale Tudo (Brazilian), Pankration (Ancient Greek), Luta Livre (Brazilian), Wrestling (Numerous Origins) and Pro-Wrestling (British/American).

List of Combat Sports

S. No. Combat Sport
1. Boxing
2. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
3. Judo
4. Karate
5. Kickboxing
6. Kung Fu
7. MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)
8. Muay Thai
9. Wrestling

Let us take a closer look at some of these combat sports:


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Boxing is a combat sport in which two individuals wear two protective gloves and throw punches at each other for a set predetermined amount of time inside a squared boxing ring. In a boxing match, there is also a referee who oversees the match proceedings which take place in the form of rounds, which may vary in terms of duration and number. There is also a panel of judges present who declare the winner under certain conditions.

A winner may be declared by the referee even before the match is finished if the referee declares one of the fighters unable to further carry on with the fight. This results in the opponent automatically winning. And when the fight ends with both the fighters still standing, the winner is determined by the judges. In case both of them attain the same points, the match is declared a draw. The earliest evidence of boxing dates back to Ancient Greece, where boxing, as a contact sport, was established as an Olympic event in 688 B.C.

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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Combat Sport Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Image Source: Business Insider India

It is a form of self-defense martial art and combat sport that involves grappling, ground fighting, and putting on submission holds. This sport primarily focuses on gaining control over an opponent, and usage of a set of specialized techniques to force him into submission.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was first developed and modified by the Brazilian brothers Carlos, George, and Helio Gracie in the 1920s. Jiu-jitsu is often utilized in several other combat sports and is a mainstay of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts).


Combat Sport Judo
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Judo is a form of modern combat sport, which has also evolved into an Olympic Sport. The sport of Judo was believed to have been created in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. The most distinctive component of this combat sport is the takedown or immobilization of the opponent by using several techniques and making him submit or pin. Hands and feet are also used to strike. A practitioner of judo is known as a ‘judoka’ and the judo uniform is called ‘judogi’.


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Karate is a form of martial art that was developed in the Ryukyu kingdom, in ancient Japan. The combat sport of Karate predominantly consists of striking, using punches, kicks, knee and elbow strikes, and open-hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands, and palm-heel strikes.  

Certain modern styles of the sport also involve grappling, joint locks, restraints, and even throws. A karate practitioner is called a karateka.


Image Source: Kickboxing Federation of INDIA

The art of kickboxing is relatively new, believed to have developed in Japan somewhere in the 1950s. Osamu Noguchi and Tatsuo Yamada created Kickboxing, which wanted to create a full contact form of karate. Before this, competitors in karate matches did not hit each other. In the 1970s, kickboxing as a sport truly became popular, also, especially in the United States of America.

In today’s time, Kickboxing is considered a hybrid of various combat sports, because it uses several elements of different sports.

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Kung Fu

Kung Fu
Image Source: China Highlights

In actuality, Kung Fu is a wide term, which usually encompasses a variety of martial arts. As a result of this, it becomes a complex process to classify them. However, there exist numerous ways to classify the styles of Kung Fu.

The first may be based on geography. This form of classification usually entails classifying Kung Fu into two types, northern and southern styles. These may undergo further classification. Another style that exists is the method of classification into internal or external. However, people tend to agree that this form of classification is rather rudimentary and obsolete. They may also be classified based on religious influences, such as Buddhist, Taoist, and Islamic styles.

Some of the more popular styles of Kung Fu are Shaolin kung fu, Wing Chun, Tai Chi, the Northern Praying Mantis, Baguazhang, Xing Yi Quan, and Bajiquan.

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
Image Source: Bidang MMA & Fitness Gym

MMA is believed to have originated as a mixed combat sport, in ancient Greece and ancient China. This form of combat sport also encompasses elements from various other styles of fighting, such as kung fu styles, boxing, wrestling, etc.

Various hybrid forms of MMA developed across the centuries. However, the modern/conventional form of contact sport is believed to have originated from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and vale tudo.

Muay Thai

 Muay Thai
Image Source: ONE Championship

Muay Thai translates into Thai Boxing. It is yet another form of combat sport that is believed to have originated in Thailand somewhere during the eighteenth century. Muay Thai is also known as Oriental martial art. It is a full-contact sport and features the usage of hands, shins, fists, elbows, and knees. Muay Thai became extremely popular in the West during the 20th and 21st centuries. Today, it is a global sport and IFMA governs it. 


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Wrestling is a modern combat sport with various itineration. It may involve clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins, and other grappling holds, the objective of wrestling is to pin the opponent down on the mat, thereby winning the match.

Wrestling may be for entertainment purposes (professional wrestling; WWE) or competitive nature. Like other sports, wrestling also incorporates moves from other martial arts.

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