A true martial art does not teach you how to fight, it teaches you how to fight back!

The martial arts are similar to a buffet. Everything is good to someone, but nothing is good to everyone. Some things people love, some things people hate. Some things people want all the time, some things people never want. Some things people want a lot of, some things they avoid. Sometimes people get too much of what they want, but they do not get enough of what they need. Some things that are good may not be good for you. So, just as in a buffet, in the martial arts, there are a lot of choices and you will never know what you might like until you sample everything.

There are hundreds of styles of martial arts and new ones are being "founded" every year. Men have been fighting hand-to-hand since Cain fought Able in the Garden of Eden. After all these millions of years of human fighting, do really think some "master" has suddenly discovered some new technique, some new pressure point, some new way to use your hands and feet in a fight, or some "lost" method of empty hand fighting. Think about how many bowling alleys there would be if "master" bowlers changed their stance, the way the held the ball, or the way the released the ball, and then started their own style of bowling. Some people just want to be noticed so they try to make something new and complicated out of something that is common and simple.

This topic attempts to give you an overview of many different martial art styles. I get e-mail all the time from martial artists who disagree with the descriptions of a particular art or its history. The purpose of is to inform, not to get involved in arguments about which art was first, which art is the best, or about whose version of a particular art's history is correct. If you want to know more about a specific martial art, do some intensive research on the art, but do not necessarily believe any one source. 

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