Martial Arts from Around the World

BODYCOMBAT, a high-energy martial-arts inspired workout and a popular Les Mills group exercise class offered at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine. In the video below, Jackie, one of our instructors walks you through some of the martial arts movements used in the classes and their origins. Click here to try a virtual BODYCOMBAT class. 

Five Martial Arts Used in BODYCOMBAT

BOXING - Boxing is a combat sport where two participants, generally of similar weight, fight each other with only their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee and is typically performed inside a ring with rounds lasting 1 to 3 m

inutes. There are three ways to win: Victory is achieved if the opponent is knocked down and unable to get up before the referee counts to 10 seconds; this is called a knockout or KO. If the opponent is deemed too injured to continue, this is called a technical knockout or TKO. If there is no stoppage of the fight before an agreed number of rounds, a winner is determined either by the referee’s decision or by judges’ scorecards. There are four basic punches in Boxing: Jab, Straight Right/Cross, Hook and Uppercut. 

KARATE - Karate is a Martial Art that is centuries old and essentially Japanese. The translation of ‘kara’ is open and the translation of ‘te’ is hand. So Karate means ‘empty hand’. Karate training is commonly divided into three sections:

  • Kihon (the basics or fundamentals)
  • KATA (forms)
  • Kumite (sparring). 

MUAY THAI - Muay Thai is referred to as ‘The Art of Eight Limbs’, as the hands, shins, elbows and knees are all used extensively in this art. A practitioner of Muay Thai (nak muay) thus has the ability to execute strikes using eight ‘points of contact’, as opposed to ‘two points’ (fists) in Western Boxing and ‘four points’ (fists, feet). Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. 

KUNG FU - Kung Fu consists of a number of fighting styles that were developed over many centuries. Essentially this is a Chinese Martial Art, practiced by Shaolin monks. Those fighting styles are identified as ‘families’ or schools. Examples of these styles are physical exercises that mimic movements from animals. There are five animal forms:

  • The Dragon
  • The Snake
  • The Tiger
  • The Crane
  • The Leopard or Panther. 

TAE KWON DO - Tae Kwon Do is a Korean Martial Art. The word ‘tae’ means ‘to strike or break with foot’; ‘kwon’ means ‘to strike or break with fist’; and ‘do’ means ‘way’, ‘method’, or ‘art’. So, ‘Tae Kwon Do’ may be loosely translated as ‘the way of the foot and fist’ or ‘the way of kicking and punching’. Tae Kwon Do is a flamboyant Martial Art that is agile, fast and precise; it is 90% feet and only 10% hands. 

Descriptions courtesy of Les Mills International Ltd 2020 

Category: Fitness