List of Japanese Martial Arts
This page provides details about major and minor Japanese martial arts styles. It covers martial arts such as Aikido, Judo, Jujutsu, Karate, Kendo and many more. If you think a style should be added to this page, please contact us. However, we will only accept martial arts styles that have many schools (10+) & an active style association/federation and/or a detailed Wikipedia page.
For the martial arts of other countries (i.e. China, Korea and Brazil), please visit the main Martial Arts Styles section.
Books on Japanese Martial Arts
Japanese Martial Arts - Click on each style for more information
- Aikido - Aikido is a Japanese martial arts style focused on redirecting the attack away from you. Aikido concentrates on throwing, joint locks, traditional Japanese weapons, etc.
- Aikijujitsu - Aikijujitsu is a sub-genre of Jujutsu. In contrast to Jujutsu, Aikijujitsu focuses more heavily on blending with the opponent, moving joint-locks, and other esoteric principles.
- Bajutsu - Bajutsu is a Japanese martial arts focused on military equestrianism.
- Bojutsu - Bojutsu is a martial arts style focused on the long staff, Bo.
- Bujutsu - Bujutsu is the Japanese martial arts of the Samurai.
- Daido Juku Kudo - Daido Juku Kudo is a Japanese martial arts that practices mixed martial arts techniques while wearing a traditional gi.
- Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu - Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu is a traditional Japanese martial arts focused on unarmed combat, throws, strikes to vital areas, joint locks, etc.
- Enshin Kaikan - Enshin Kaikan is a Japanese martial arts that utilizes the Sabaki method (which seeks to turn an attacker's power against him). This martial arts involves kicks, punches, sweeps, throws, etc.
- Hanbojutsu - Hanbojutsu is a martial arts that utilizes the Hanbo (a 3 foot wooden staff).
- Hojojutsu - Hojojutsu is a Japanese martial arts that uses ropes to restrain or disable an opponent.
- Iaido - Iaido is a Japanese martial arts focused on the drawing of a sword (bokken, iaito or shinken) from its scabbard. This martial arts relies heavily on katas (forms) and does not utilize sparring.
- Iaijutsu - Iaijutsu is the combat version of Iaido.
- Itto-Ryu - - Itto-Ryu is a Japanese martial arts focused on the sword. There are many sub-styles of Itto-Ryu and this martial arts had significant influence on the development of modern Kendo.
- Jojutsu - Jojutsu (or Jodo) is a Japanese martial arts focused on the short staff, Jo.
- Judo - Judo is a Japanese martial arts style focused on grappling, joint locks and throws.
- Jujutsu - Jujutsu is a Japanese martial arts style focused on joint locks, holds and throws. It tries to redirect or manipulate the force of an attack in order to defeat the attacker.
- Jukendo - Jukendo is a Japanese martial arts focused on the bayonet.
- Juttejutsu - Juttejutsu is a Japanese martial arts that focuses on the martial arts weapon known as the Jutte (Jitte).
- Karate - Karate is a Japanese martial arts style focused on kata, punches, hand/elbow strikes, knee strikes and kicks.
- Major Karate styles include Ashihara, Budokan, Chito-Ryu, Enshin, Gensei-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, Go Kan Ryu, Gosoku-Ryu, Isshin-Ryu, KishimotoDi, Kyokushin, Matsubayashi-Ryu, Motobu-Ryu, Ryuei-Ryu, Seido Juku, Shindo Jinen-Ryu, Shito-Ryu, Shorei-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, Shorinji-Ryu Kenkokan, Shotokan, Shudokan, Tenshinkan, Toon-Ryu. Uechi-Ryu, Wado-Ryu, Yoshukai, etc.
- The most popular Karate styles include Goju-Ryu, Isshin-Ryu, Kyokushin, Shito-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, Shotokan and Wado-Ryu (not in rank order).
- Keijojutsu - Keijojutsu is a Japanese martial arts focused on police stick fighting (batons).
- Kendo - Kendo is a Japanese martial arts style focused on sword fighting (i.e. Bokken and Katana).
- Kenjutsu - Kenjutsu is a Japanese martial arts style focused on sword techniques. In contrast to Kendo, Kenjutsu is less focused on sparring.
- Kobudo - A Japanese (Okinawan) martial arts focused on weapons training. Weapons used include the bo staff, sai, tonfa and nunchaku.
- Kokondo - Kokondo is a style that combines techniques from Karate and Jujutsu.
- Kyudo - Kyudo is a Japanese martial arts style focused on archery.
- Naginatajutsu - Naginatajutsu is a Japanese martial arts style focused on the long pole weapon known as the Naginata.
- Ninjutsu - Ninjutsu is a martial arts style developed from the techniques used by ninjas (Japanese spies and assassins).
- Niten Ichi-Ryu - Niten Ichi-Ryu is a two sword martial arts style created by the famous Japanese samurai, Miyamoto Musashi.
- Shorinji Kempo - A Japanese martial arts that combines personal growth, health and spirituality with self-defense techniques such as punches, kicks, escapes, throws, etc.
- Sojutsu is a Japanese martial arts that focuses on spear fighting. This martial arts is also known as Yari Jutsu.
- Sumo - Sumo is a Japanese martial arts focused on wrestling.
- Taido - Taido is a Japanese martial arts that combines elements of Karate with gymnastic maneuvers & dynamic movement.
- Taiho Jutsu - Taiho Jutsu is a Japanese martial arts that was originally designed to help feudal police arrest armed criminals.
- Tessenjutsu - Tessenjutsu is a Japanese martial arts based on the use of Tessen (war fans).
- Yabusame - Yabusame is a Japanese martial arts focused on archery while mounted on horseback.
- Yoseikan Budo - Yoseikan Budo is a Japanese martial arts system that combines a number of different martial arts including Aikido, Jujutsu, Judo, Karate, Kobudo and Boxing.
Photo by Harald Hofer via Wikimedia Commons
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