Combat sports have been around for a very long time. Earliest evidence for boxing and wrestling date back to Ancient Egypt, however, there is also evidence which suggests that wrestling has been around for much longer, as there are cave paintings which seem to portray wrestlers in combat. Meaning, people have been practicing martial arts for as long as people have been around, and certain martial arts have been around since before the dawn of civilization.
Today, combat sports are still practiced by many people today. For example, boxing, the most popular combat sport, is practiced by over 6 million people all over the world. The popularity of boxing also extends to fans, as it is the most watched sport. Online betting sites like the ones listed here report that boxing is, by far, the most popular combat sport, still exceeding mixed martial arts in terms of bets placed on fighters.
But what prompts people to take up martial arts, and what are the most popular martial arts in the world?
Combat Sports Build Strength
Taking up some form of martial arts is the most popular way to build up strength and stay fit. Combat sports like boxing and wrestling are great for building strength, as they primarily rely on strong striking power (boxing), and grappling techniques like locks, throws and pins (wrestling), meaning practitioners must maintain a certain level of strength and fitness. Both sports are heavily focused on full body training, which makes them great for people who want to build up their strength, and remain fit.
Combat Sports Build Discipline
This can be said for all sports in general, however, there is a certain degree of disciplinary philosophy which goes into practicing combat sports, especially stuff like Kung Fu, karate, etc. Kung Fu especially is derived from a Buddhist tradition, which places emphasis on self-restraint and discipline. In Karate, there are combat sequences, called kata, which must be mastered before the karateka can advance in their training and belt. This practice has developed specifically so the karateka can master the basics.
Combat Sports Practiced for Self-Defense
One of the main reasons that people practice combat sports today, is for self-defense purposes. Martial Arts is a great way for people who do not like violence to protect themselves from attackers, as there are quite a few martial arts that focus on disarming and disabling attackers, rather than actually hurting them. One of the most popular martial arts, practiced for self-defense, is Judo. The reason for this is, because Judo is mainly focused on pushing, throwing, pinning, and disarming attackers. This is great for people who don’t like violence, but need to protect themselves in certain situations.
Of course, practicing fighting for self-defense has been shown to build up courage, self-respect, and confidence, and for people who don’t mind hurting their attackers, the best self-defense combat sport, without a doubt is practicing Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts or KravMaga.
Combat Sports Have Health Benefits
Much like practicing any sport, practicing combat sports offers a number of great health benefits. Most combat sports require breathing and cardio exercises, and the healing power of sports like Tai Chi is renowned around the world.