Martial arts can be classified as different contact sports, that involve the use of one’s own body and, sometimes, even the employment of weapons as a means of self defense and attack on an opponent. These sports or combat practices originated mainly in Asian countries, more specifically China, Korea and Japan. Some of the most popular martial arts include Karate, Kendo, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Ninjutsu, Judo etc .
These millenary contact sports or art forms make use a different set of systems, moves, stances, rules, laws and traditions that govern them. However, perhaps one of the most interesting things about martial arts is that they have traditionally been practiced by millions of people around the world for many different reasons. For example, as much as they might come in handy as a means of self defense and attack to be employed by and for law enforcement and military members, they can also have a large number of many other applications. These might be, physical and mental fitness, spiritual and mental growth and enlightenment, competitions, not to mention artistic purposes such artistic, sheer amusement and even pleasure. Martial arts can even be classified as a means of promoting culture as well as the historical rituals and traditions that constitute the identity of different millenary cultures and civilizations.
It has been widely discussed and debated whether the term fighting arts or fighting systems should be employed instead of “martial” arts, on account on that the origins of many of these were not really “martial” because they were not created or even practiced by actual warriors, but instead, they were seen as an artistic expression of sorts. It might be prudent to note that the term martial derives from the Latin word “Mars”, in reference to the Roman god of war.