5 Leading Japanese Martial Arts

  • Japan is a country where people have a big interest in sports. Sports, originally in Japan, was often associated with culture. For these reasons, some traditional Japanese sports and especially martial art still exists and Japan and still have a huge audience. we are listing here some of the most popular ones.

    1. Sumo

    This sport is originated from Japan. Sumo is included in Japanese martial art. Many old traditions have been preserved in sumo. Sumo itself was used in Shinto religion. Even nowadays, this sport is done with some traditional elements such as salt purification.

    2. Judo

    Judo is one of the martial arts created in Japan in 1882. this sport features competition element where the opponent is defeated by putting him on the ground. The philosophy of judo has become the model for other martial arts that is developed from ‘koryu’ or traditional school. Judo was originally created by Jigoro Kano. When he was fourteen years old he started to train as a way to defend from the bullying culture in Japanese schools. In 1882, Kano built a school at a Buddhist temple. Judo finally was developed with the Confucianist influences.

    3. Karate

    Karate is a martial art coming from Ryukyu islands (or at a present it is called Okinawa island). This martial art is influenced by Chinese martial art. Karate initially was developed in Ryukyu Kingdom. It become then widely practiced in Japan after the Taisho era and had already got some influences from Chinese Kung Fu.

    4. Kendo

    Kendo is considered as a modern Japanese martial art. It uses bamboo sword called shinai and a protective armor called bogu. The practice using bamboo swords was used during Shotoku era.

    5. Kyudo

    Kyudo is the modern Japanese martial art of archery. Kyudo was originated with samurai class of feudal Japan. During Genpei war in Japan in 1180-1185, in that time, there was a big need of archers. During civil war in Japan in 15th and 16th centuries, there was a revolutionary of archery by one of warrior, Heki Banjo Masatsugu that caused a widespread of his footman’s archery and led to the growing of some archery schools.