What are striking or hitting martial arts?

Hard martial arts / external martial arts — such as Karate and classic Tae Kwon Do — are often the first that come to mind for many of us. Karate is a Japanese “empty-hand” art, meaning no weapons. Classic Tae Kwon Do is Korean, focusing on techniques of the “foot and the fist.” Both are taught through repeating basic motions and practicing forms solo. Sparring with partners – with or without pads – is often part of training.

The main focus of these martial arts tends to be winning an exchange or competition of hits between the defender and a single or small number of attackers by attacking more often than the defender (thereby winning the exchange) or absorbing (blocking) more attacks than the opponent can absorb or block (thereby producing more damage in counter attacks than the attacker can withstand, crumpling them). Modern Olympic style Tae Kwon Do is included below in the sport category. The majority of techniques are learned through martial arts kata – or forms (Hyung in Korean) — that contain movements that cannot be safely practiced or carried out with partners. The interpretation or exploration of what is occurring in the short and quick motions of the form is where the majority of learning takes place in these arts.

I hope this can be useful for you. As always, contact us if you have any questions or concerns and we will be happy to connect you to answers!