3. The Various Combat Sports

Date: 2 February 2023
Combat Sports Part 3

The Various Combat Sports



Part 3 – Here is a list of all the various combat sports, with a brief introduction:


  • Paintball –  is a competitive team shooting sport in which players eliminate opponents from play by hitting them with spherical dye-filled gelatin capsules called paintballs that break upon impact. Paintballs are usually shot using low-energy air weapons called paintball markers that are powered by compressed air (nitrogen) or carbon dioxide and were originally designed for remotely marking trees and cattle.



  • Phelivan Wresting – Before each bout, the wrestlers pour olive oil over their entire bodies, and the matches take place in an open, grassy field, with the contestants naked except for trousers made of leather, which extend to just below the knee. Victory is achieved when one wrestler either pins the other to the ground (as in many other forms of wrestling) or lifts his opponent above his shoulders.



  • Pencak silat – is an umbrella term for a class of related Indonesian martial arts. In neighbouring countries, the term usually refers to professional competitive silat. It is a full-body fighting form incorporating strikes, grappling and throwing in addition to weaponry. Every part of the body is used and subject to attack. Pencak silat was practised not only for physical defence but also for psychological ends.



  • Pradal Serey – is an unarmed martial art and combat sport from Cambodia. In Khmer, pradal means fighting or boxing and serey means free. Thus, pradal serey may be translated as “free fighting”. The sport consists of stand-up striking and clinch fighting where the objective is to knock an opponent out, force a technical knockout, or win a match by points.

Pound for pound is a ranking used in combat sports, such as boxing, wrestling, or mixed martial arts, of who the better fighters are relative to their weight



  • Pankration –was a sporting event introduced into the Greek Olympic Games in 648 BC and was an empty-hand submission sport with scarcely any rules. The athletes used boxing and wrestling techniques, but also others, such as kicking and holds, locks and chokes on the ground.



  • Silat – is the collective term for a class of indigenous martial arts from the Nusantara and surrounding geocultural areas of Southeast Asia. It is traditionally practised in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Southern Thailand, Southern Philippines and Southern Vietnam, the indigenous homes to the Malayo-Sumbawan and Javanese-speaking peoples. There are hundreds of different styles (aliran) and schools (perguruan) which tend to focus either on strikes, joint manipulation, weaponry, or some combination thereof.



  • Sambo -is a Soviet martial art and sport. It originated in the Soviet Union. It is self-defence without weapons.



  • Shuai Jiao -is the term pertaining to the ancient jacket wrestling wushu style



  • Sistrumpa – is among the ancestral traditions of Sardinia, Sardinian fight or s’istrumpa is one of the oldest and most durable of fighters.




  • Sumo – is a Japanese format of full-contact wrestling and “striking one another”., Attempts to force his opponent out of a circular ring (dohyƍ) or into touching the ground with any body part other than the soles of his feet (usually by throwing, shoving or pushing him down.



  • Savate – also known as box française, savate boxing, French boxing or French foot fighting, is a French combat sport that uses the hands and feet as weapons combining elements of English boxing with graceful kicking.



  • Shoot boxing – is both a combat sport and a stand-up fighting promotion company based in Tokyo, Japan. Shoot boxing is a mixture of its two parent combat styles of shoot wrestling and kickboxing, allowing for kicks, punches, knees, elbows, throws, and standing submissions (chokeholds, armlocks and wristlocks).



  • Shoot Wrestling – is a combat sport involving grappling-type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds.



  • Submission Wrestling – (also known as Submission Fighting, Submission grappling, Sport grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Nogi Jiu-Jitsu) or Combat wrestling (in Japan), is a form of competition and a general term for martial arts and combat sports that focus on clinch and ground fighting with the aim of obtaining a submission through the use of submission holds.



  • Sanda – formerly Sanshou, also known as Chinese boxing or Chinese kickboxing, is the official Chinese full-contact combat sport.



  • Shastar Vidya – is a centuries-old Sikh battlefield art which translates to ‘the science of weapons’



  • Shin-kicking – also known as shin diggings or purring, is a combat sport that involves two contestants attempting to kick each other on the shin in order to force their opponent to the ground.



  • Shootfighting – is a martial art and combat sport, with competitions governed by the International Shootfighting Association (ISFA). Shootfighting incorporates techniques from a multitude of traditional martial arts, the most principal of these being wrestling and kenpo.


  • Shidƍkan – is a style of Knockdown karate, Shidokan karate is sometimes described as the “Triathlon of Martial arts”, as it encompasses full-contact karate, Muay Thai, and grappling-based martial arts.



  • Taekwondo – is the art of self-defence that originated in Korea. It is recognized as one of the oldest forms of martial arts in the world, reaching back over 2,000 years. The name was selected for its appropriate description of the art: Tae (foot), Kwon (hand), and Do (art).



  • Tae Kyon – It is characterized by fluid, dynamic foot movement called “pum balgi” or Stepping-on-Triangles. Taekkyon is concerned with applying both the hands and feet at the same time to unbalance, trip, or throw the opponent. Hands and feet are always used together. Taekkyon has many leg and whole-body techniques with fully integrated armwork.



  • Tai chi chuan – is an ancient and distinctive Chinese form of exercise or attack and defence that is popular throughout the world. As an exercise, tai chi chuan is designed to provide relaxation in the process of body-conditioning exercise and is drawn from the principles of taiji, notably including the harmonizing of the yin and yang.



  • Taido – is a Japanese martial art that combines elements of Karate with dynamic body movement (i.e. gymnastic manoeuvres).



  • Taijutsu– is a Japanese blanket term for any combat skill, technique or system of martial art using body movements that are described as an empty-hand combat skill or system.



  • Tang Soo Do – is a karate-based Korean martial art incorporating fighting principles from subak (as described in the Kwon Bup Chong Do), as well as northern Chinese martial arts. The techniques of what is commonly known as Tang Soo Do combine elements of Shƍtƍkan, Subak, Taekkyon, and Kung Fu.



  • Tendo-Ryu – Although it is mainly known today for its techniques with the naginata, the Japanese glaive, Tendƍ-ryĆ« actually includes the practice of various other weapons: the long and short swords, both swords simultaneously, two kinds of daggers, the staff (representing the shaft of a broken naginata), and the Japanese sickle with a chain (kusarigama).



  • Thang Ta–“The Art of the Sword and Spear”– is the traditional martial art of Manipur in Northeast India.   It integrates various external weapons – the sword, spear, dagger, etc. – with the internal practice of physical control through soft movements coordinated with the rhythms of breathing.  It is part of the great heroic tradition of Manipur.



  • Unified Weapons Master, or UWM, is a hybrid martial art developed by the Australian start-up firm Chiron Global using Smart technology in a gladiator-style, carbon-fibre armoured suit. UWM is the first sport that combines Gaming technology with weapons-based Combat sports.



  • Varzesh-E Pehlivani – The traditional Iranian sport, Varzesh-e Pahlavani, is a kind of gymnastics which is practised in groups to the sound of a drum while singing ritual songs. This sport is loaded with symbolism and has the value of being a popular manifestation of great strength, vigour and energy.



  • Vale Tudo – (Everything Goes) is an unarmed, full-contact combat sport with relatively few rules. It became popular in Brazil during the 20th century. It uses techniques from many martial arts.

Brazilian unarmed, full-contact combat sport



  • Wing Chun Kuen –  is a concept-based traditional Southern Chinese Kung fu (wushu) style and a form of self-defence, that requires quick arm movements and strong legs to defeat opponents  Softness (via relaxation) and performance of techniques in a relaxed manner is fundamental to Wing Chun.



  • Wado Ryu – The name Wadƍ-ryƫ has three parts: Wa, dƍ, and ryĆ«. Wa means “harmony,” dƍ (same character as tao) means “way,” and ryƫ means “school” or “style”. Harmony should not be interpreted as pacifism; it is simply the acknowledgement that yielding is sometimes more effective than brute strength.



  • Wushu – is a hard and soft and complete martial art, as well as a full-contact sport. Competitive Wushu is composed of two disciplines: taolu and sanda. But it has other disciplines, like self-defence, breaking hard objects, and other related practices, that are not performed in competitions.




  • Water jousting – is a sport practised principally in France and also Switzerland and Germany. It is a form of jousting where the adversaries, carrying a lance and protected only by a shield, stand on a platform on the stern of a boat. The boat is propelled by oarsmen or, in some cases, a motor may be used. The aim of the sport is to send the adversary into the water whilst maintaining one’s own balance on the platform.



  • Xing Yi – is characterized by aggressive, seemingly linear movements and explosive power that’s most often applied from a short range. A practitioner of Xing Yi uses coordinated movements to generate bursts of power intended to overwhelm the opponent, simultaneously attacking and defending.



  • Yoshinkan – Aikido is a style of aikido that developed after World War II in the Yoshinkan Dojo of Gozo Shioda. Yoshinkan Aikido is often called the “hard” style of aikido because the training methods are a product of Shioda’s grueling life before the war



A must read




Dangers and Injuries


Here is some quick reading information about the Dangers of Combat sports.

Practising sports is bringing the risk of injury oneself. All your organs are exposed. Competing in martial arts and combat sports is the cause of damage with mechanical energy.

At present, it is estimated that the number of sportsmen of high professionality with serious dysfunctions falls within 30-70%.

The research has been conducted on a target group of 282 practitioners of various martial arts and combat sports. As it happens in the environment of people doing sports, the majority of respondents were males – 257 compared to 25 women.  Those contestants are at the top of the world, and very successful in their sports. Among them, there are Olympic, world and European champions.

Among all combat sports and martial arts the most frequent injuries have been broken bones (21%) and damage of knee ligaments (16%). On the other hand, the least frequent have been eyebrow ridge cuts, elbow injuries, knocked out teeth (all consisting 1%) and tensioned muscles, strained muscles, fractured bones, strained Achilles’ tendon, hand injuries, bruises, hurts and injuries of an eye (all consist 2%).

Dislocations and sprains prevailed, whereas, in younger as well as lower-ranked competitors, upper body fractures were more frequent. Injury locations mostly affect body extremities, especially the knee (up to 28%), shoulder (up to 22%) and hand/fingers (up to 30%).

Most injuries in combat sports are occurring during tournaments, with 56% of injury cases recorded in karate, 46% in ju-jitsu and 79% in kickboxing.

The type and rates of martial arts injuries are often dependent on the techniques, rules, and protective equipment.

Because of the nature of the sport, which involves elements of body contact that include striking, throwing, and grappling an opponent, it has been suggested these sports are extremely dangerous and harmful compared to other sports.

Being hit on the head can cause fractures to the bone of the head and face and tissue damage in the brain. A blow can damage the surface of the brain, tear nerve networks, cause lesions, bleed, or produce large clots within the brain.​

Other injuries to the body include cuts, bruises, broken teeth, dental problems, broken ribs, internal bleeding, and damage to internal organs.

Although protected by hard bone on the side, eyes are very vulnerable to direct hits from below. Damage to the eyes can result from direct contact or from shock waves set up in fluid contents. Depending on the force of the blow damage may result in injury to the retina, retinal detachment, retinal haemorrhage, and other injuries.

Ex-Competitors are more vulnerable to the natural ageing of the brain and diseases of the brain. They may be more likely to suffer diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Their brains are smaller and the surface grey matter is thinner. The ventricles within the brain are enlarged because of the decrease in the brain’s white matter.

It is not all doom and gloom, there are many health benefits, such as:

  • Fat burning.
  • Increased muscle tone.
  • Strong bones and ligaments.
  • Increased cardiovascular fitness.
  • Muscular endurance.
  • Improved core stability.
  • Increased strength and power.
  • Stress relief.
  • Improved coordination and body awareness.
  • Greater confidence and self-esteem.


Whilst some women do partake in various Combat Sports, there are not enough, compared to their male counterparts.


Women athletes have made great strides in recent years.

However, the battle for gender equality in sports is still very much ongoing. Underrepresentation, misrepresentation, sexualisation, and a lack of suitable equipment and attire are just a few facets of the plight of many female athletes, particularly women in combat sports.

Krav Maga fighter and former kickboxing instructor, Lynn Le, is building an equipment and apparel brand intended to align with the strength, femininity, and physical diversity of women who get in the ring and embrace sports and fitness across the board.

Women make up nearly 25% of the $50 billion combat sports market, which includes fitness, product, and entertainment in the U.S. As more women are exposed to empowerment through sports, brands promoting athleticism in women are being created and harnessed as more than just marketing tools.

Women often have to deal with male training partners taking it easy on women just because they are female.

Historically, women in combat sports have been ringing girls wearing bikinis and holding signs.

And like every male-dominated industry, society deems women who are successful in sports as masculine unless they prove otherwise.

Combat sports is a social institution just like any other that exists under a societal construct where the gender gap is blatant in: pay, media coverage, and general recognition of competence. This is part and parcel of the reason so many images of women in sports and fitness are hypersexualized.

There’s an obvious line that has been crossed that dictates that fitness is for sexual beauty. Fitness should be for movement and being able to live life in a healthy strong body. The focus of any marketing towards fitness should be about free enjoyable movement and the possibilities for men or women.

Combat sports is a male-dominated market in terms of viewership and participation. The exciting thing is that combat sports are brewing among women and there is an opportunity to brand themselves differently to appeal to a female market progressive in its thinking.

Mixed-sex training in a range of martial arts schools fuelled many discussions on the sociological richness of these activities.

Of particular relevance in this respect is the tendency for some combat sport settings to be relatively male-exclusive, and steeped in orthodox narrations of masculinity.

In 2009, the International Olympic Committee approved the inclusion of women’s boxing in the Olympic programme; the following Summer Games, in London in 2012, saw a 116-year history of women’s exclusion from the Summer Olympic sports programme finally end, with female pugilists entering the boxing ring as competitors for the first time.

The first gold medal to be awarded to a female boxer went to the UK’s Nicola Adams – a previously unheard-of athlete who would instantly become one of the most celebrated stars of the Games in her home nation, and who continues to be a recognisable figure in mainstream British media over two years later.

Also in 2012, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion – signed its first female competitor: the former Olympic judo bronze medallist and undefeated Strikeforce MMA champion, Ronda Rousey. Rousey’s victory in the first-ever women’s fight in the UFC, in February 2013 against former US marine, Liz Carmouche, along with her subsequent feud with arch-rival Meisha Tate, saw Rousey’s star rise significantly in the MMA world and beyond, drawing much attention to the fact that women were now competing at the highest level in a sport often seen as synonymous with male exclusivity and orthodox narrations of manhood.

It is widely recognised that social constructions of masculinity and femininity, and by extension the normative expectations surrounding men’s and women’s lives, are very often arranged in binary – that is, two-sided and oppositional.

This gender hierarchy becomes more explicitly embodied when men and women work upon and use their bodies in ways which are structured by codes of masculinity and femininity, respectively.

Here, men are expected and encouraged to practice activities, such as various sports or types of weight training, which lead to the development of their bodies’ strength, speed, and various motor skill competencies, whilst generally favouring a lean and muscular appearance.

Meanwhile, women are generally expected to work on their bodies in ways which limit the development of physical strength – especially its outward appearance through excessive musculature, a potent cultural signifier of both power and manhood. This phenomenon, in turn, partly explains the widespread tendency for girls to ‘drop out’ of sporting activities during their teenage years

The differential socialisation of boys and girls surrounding the culturally ‘appropriate’ use of the body then works to produce sexual disparity in physical appearances, attributes and skills. Thus, insults such as ‘you throw like a girl’ make sense as derogatory statements thanks to prevailing cultural formations which amount to the physical down-sizing and de-skilling of girls and women relative to boys and men.

Gender Subversion in Women’s Combat Sports with respect to this possibility of subverting sexual inequality, the notion that women’s participation in so-called ‘masculine’ sports and related activities can challenge traditional sexual hierarchies, at both individual and broader cultural levels, has been forwarded by many scholars.

While combat sports are primarily male-dominated sport, it does have female athletes. However, historically there has been only a select few major professional mixed martial arts organizations in the United States that invite women to compete.

There has been a growing awareness of women in combat sports due to popular female fighters and personalities.

Aside from all-female organizations, most major Japanese male-dominated promotions have held select female competitions.

In the United States, prior to the success of The Ultimate Fighter reality show that launched combat sports into the mainstream media, there was no major coverage of female competitions.

Outside Japan and the United States, female competition is almost exclusively found in minor local promotions.

Strikeforce in March 2011, the UFC began promoting women’s fights, with Ronda Rousey rapidly becoming one of the promotion’s biggest draws.

It is uncontroversial to say that sport is a male-dominated enterprise at almost every level, from participation to consumption. Socially constructed gender differences mean that it has been difficult for women to become accepted in an arena that places an overwhelming emphasis on masculinity.

This disparity has been reflected in the respective media attention male and female sports are afforded, with 96 percent of sports news being dedicated to men, and women accounting for a mere 2 percent of network news and ESPN SportsCenter coverage, according to a 2009 study sponsored by the USC Center for Feminist Research.

What are the reasons for such a prohibitive gap in media coverage? Consumer interest drives content, and the interest just hasn’t been there for women’s sports. There appears to be an issue with perception, according to Professor Dale Spencer, author of Ultimate Fighting and Embodiment: Violence, Gender, and Mixed Martial Arts.

There’s a general attitude in relation to women’s sports, and what leads to the lack of viewership is the fact that women’s sports aren’t at the calibre of men’s sports. Therefore, it’s not worthy of being watched, and there’s this bigger, stronger, faster mentality.

“The valorisation of bigger, stronger, faster ends up taking away from women’s sport because, in the main, women’s sport is characterised by more emphasis placed on things like technique. There’s not as much emphasis placed on being ultra-muscular, so there’s that twofold effect, and I think in the economy of time, that attitude takes away from people wanting to watch women’s sports.”

Perhaps the most impressive part of the growth of women’s combat sport is how it has been able to transcend attitudes toward gender. When it comes to combat sports, there are two distinct types of sexism—from opposite ends of the political spectrum—that women are invariably forced to deal with.

The more conservative brand of sexism concerns traditional attitudes toward gender roles. Traits associated with females include being dependent, emotional, passive, nurturing and submissive.

Pursuing a career in violent sports like combat sports trespasses overtly on male territory and is actively discouraged. It is an attitude that is explicitly oppressive, but it is becoming less and less common as society becomes more progressive.

The second, more liberal brand of sexism concerns the way society tends to infantilise women. Many men are instinctively protective of women and have a visceral reaction to watching them take punishment.

There is nothing sinister about this attitude, and it even seems strange to criticise men for caring too much about the well-being of women, but within the context of combat sports, it is something female fighters have been forced to overcome in order to be taken seriously.

With the recent addition of a women’s strawweight division, it seems clear that the UFC is fully committed to promoting its female athletes. Despite the popularity of WMMA, it is easy to forget that women only make up a fraction of the UFC’s roster of fighters. There remains substantial room for growth.

To quickly recap – Other than the obvious dangers, injuries and safety concerns, lack of media coverage, unequal pay, sexism, minuscule branding and marketing and little to none of the TV coverage, weak economic return, few endorsement deals and physical differences. These behaviours have been influential in women not “wanting” to compete in combat sports.




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Please note: I do not take any responsibility for the accident, disability, death, public liability, third party, medical costs, destruction of property, damages to self or others, destruction of all equipment, disability, personal liability, general liability, self-harm, suicide, harm to livestock, harm to animals, harm to children and intentional bodily harm, for using any of the listed products and suppliers. Please consult with the manufacturers and instructors, when buying the equipment that is suitable for you.


If you have the itch, go for it! It’s brutal and can be dangerous! Combat sports is usually full-contact sports, so make sure you find the best instructor money can buy! He/she may just save your life!

When you are ready to take on those punches, and knockouts, please take a moment and bow for people that are disabled, that cannot take part in such sports.


To all you avid gamers out there, here are some combat games for you to enjoy!

  • Creed
  • Knock out Kings
  • Victorious boxers
  • HBO Boxing
  • Fight Night
  • UFC
  • Round 4 Round
  • Fight Night
  • Knock Out Kings
  • UFC

My views, comments and content are strictly my own opinion and research and are not governed or influenced by any marketing of companies or brands. It is of my own free will to mention companies and brands that supply sporting equipment pertaining to the sport in the discussion.