December 14, 2023 5 min read

Combat sports are also known as fighting sports. They are competitive contact sports likesparring in Owings Mills, wherein participants face their opponents in a one-on-one fight. Combat sports have evolved over the years, with many rules and regulations introduced to improve safety and protect participants. The evolution has also shaped how winners are determined in a contest.

In many combat sports, contestants are awarded points based on their techniques and landed hits on their opponents. The combatant with the highest scoring points wins. A winner can also emerge after their opponent has either been knocked out or disabled.

There are many types and forms of combat sports, including common and popular options like Kickboxing, Mixed Martial Arts, Wrestling, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai. Below, we explore many more combat sports examples.


This is also known as Eskrima or Escrima and is common in the Philippines. This type of combat sport relies on the use of dangerous weapons like knives, sticks, bladed weapons, and other improvisations. The goal is to improve hand-to-hand combat, and the sport relies on grappling and weapon-disarming methods. 


This is also known as the Burmese bare-knuckle boxing. The traditional martial arts is similar to boxing but has specific rules that permit headbutts, which can wreak devastating havoc on the opponent. Lethwei also encourages unexpected techniques that combine striking, throwing, and clinching to deliver maximum force or damage to the opponent.


Unlike the above two combat sports, Kenpo has a Japanese origin and doesn’t rely on weapons. The combat sport was introduced from China to Japan about 700 years ago and has remained widely adopted within the Japanese martial arts community. It focuses on helping the learner strike first and in quick successive movements to disarm the opponent.


Gatka has its origins traced to the northern parts of India where it has been practiced for thousands of years. This martial art relies solely on swords as its primary weapon. However, learners can use other weapons to defend themselves and attack the opponent. The fighting system here helps students build important life skills like alertness and responsiveness, as well as control and calmness in situations.

Okinawan Kobudo

This ancient weapon art leverages traditional and modern Kobudo implements to strike, defend, and arrest opponents. Unlike the samurai, Okinawans were not allowed to carry weapons, so they devised weapons out of staff, boat oars, fish net floats, milestone handles, saddle stirrups, and others to defend themselves. Till now, the combat sport teaches the use of improvised weapons to defend and disarm opponents.

Other common types of combat sports include:

  • Shurikenjutsu
  • Kickboxing
  • Kenjutsu
  • Fisticuffs
  • Aikido
  • Pehlwani
  • Jereed
  • Beach wrestling
  • Greco-Roman wrestling
  • Jousting
  • Aiki-Jujutsu
  • Hwa Rang Do
  • Catch Wrestling
  • Sword combat
  • Jogo Do Pau
  • Subak
  • Wing Chun
  • Iaido
  • Canne de Combat
  • Silambam
  • Shidokan Karate
  • Shaui Jiao
  • Modern Pentathlon
  • Kurash
  • Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestling
  • Taido
  • Jeet Kune Do
  • Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
  • Malla-Yuddha
  • Muay Thai

Benefits of Combat Sports

Combat sports, in the modern-day world, have become more than just a sporting activity to be trained for to perform at the top stages. In fact, it has become more of an exercise and self-defense tactic. Many parents are enrolling their children in combat sports training to help boost their situational awareness and improve their response to unfavorable situations like bullying, violence, and others.

Whether as a kid or an adult, there are many benefits to training and engaging in combat sports. Some top benefits of the training include:

Improved Confidence

One of the biggest benefits of combat sports training is the confidence it instills in its disciples. Combat training shapes the minds of its students, alerting them to dangers and equipping them with the tools necessary to avert injuries, whether minor or fatal.

The situational awareness offered by the training contributes to the student’s confidence levels, putting them in a calm state, even in the face of danger.

Promotes Physical Activity

Modern-day relaxations are mostly done behind the screens. This has encouraged a sedentary lifestyle, which isn’t good for the body and its muscles. With combat sports training, participants can engage their physical and mental abilities, thus keeping them mentally sharp and focused while also exercising their muscles and bodies.

With combat sports, students can keep fit and in shape, improve their strength and lean muscles, and boost their overall ability to withstand harsh conditions.

Promotes Self-Discipline

One of the biggest advantages of combat sports, like martial arts, is the ability to control yourself and discipline your mind. There have been several studies into the use of combat sports as a tool to treat anger issues as well as help hyperactive teenagers manage their emotions better.

Being a calculative sport and activity, participants are forced to consider their actions and the consequences in split seconds, improving their mental alertness while also helping them assess situations for improved outcomes.

As part of self-discipline, combat sports also encourage practitioners to strive for higher levels, thus keeping them focused and keeping their eye on the ultimate goal of becoming a master.


Self-defense is another major reason children and adults are enrolled in combat sports training. With self-discipline, students are sure to understand the deadly power they wield, thus making the combat fighting techniques and practices suitable for only life-threatening conditions or situations.

Many adults have alluded to the fact that combat sports training has helped them fight off bullying as kids or as adults. They have also claimed that the confidence instilled by their training has helped them to better deal with bullying at all levels without necessarily resorting to physical violence.

Increases Focus and Sharpens the Mind

A common challenge faced by most people is their inability to focus. Being unable to focus may be attributed to mental health conditions like ADHD. However, combat sports train the mind to focus and be calculative, especially to protect oneself.

Focusing on activities or in the present becomes easier for participants with constant training and practice. This learned behavior can then be carried on in their personal or professional lives.

Encourages Conflict Resolution

One of the most common misconceptions surrounding martial arts and combat sports training is that it is geared toward violence. Contrary to the misconception, it is geared towards peacemaking and conflict resolution.

By teaching discipline, mental alertness, focus, and the ability to analyze situations, it becomes easier for practitioners to seek peace through conflict resolution other than violence.

Improve Social Skills

An improved self-confidence is a recipe for improved social skills. People who find themselves timid, lacking confidence, and unable to build social relationships or connect with others can leverage combat sports training to recondition their minds and bodies.

In addition, combat sports also promote positive relationships between students, teachers, and sparring partners. Thus providing a baseline to establish social connections with like-minded people.

Learn more about combat sports, the benefits, how to choose the best combat sports to practice, and more by visiting

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