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Learn Martial Arts Styles

When you think of martial arts, do you think of Bruce Lee? Or maybe the ancient Shaolin monks? Do you think it’s a dance, a fighting style, or a path to spiritual fulfillment? Martial arts are—or can be—all of these things and more. There are many different martial arts styles to explore, each with its own background, elements, and moves.

From basic self defense to karate, MMA, boxing and much more, Howcast makes it easy to learn martial arts styles with free video lessons taught by professional instructors! Browse by style to learn how to do martial arts:

Basic Self Defense

Basic self-defense includes a combination of several martial art forms. Self-defense is all about protecting yourself from an opponent who intends to cause you harm. Thus, being able to think on your feet and be flexible is crucial.

To learn basic self-defense moves, watch Howcast’s Basic Self Defense series, featuring long-time martial arts trainer Carlos Jimenez. He’ll show you the best ways to defend yourself in a variety of possible situations, offering plenty of tips and tricks along the way.

[Learn Basic Self Defense]


Popularized by UFC, MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts. The main goal of training in MMA is to become a “whole” or well-rounded fighter. There are three martial arts styles MMA tends to focus on:

  • Muay Thai
  • Wrestling
  • Jiu Jitsu

However, it’s not uncommon for an MMA fighter to throw in other martial arts styles or elements.

MMA is the perfect martial arts style for someone who’s interested in learning martial arts but isn’t sure where to start. If you decide to branch off later, MMA can still serve as a strong foundation for other martial art styles. Howcast has a full range of useful, detailed MMA instruction videos led by kickboxing champion Phil Nurse.

[Learn MMA]


What we think of as boxing today may have originated in Ancient Greece (688 BC), where the first actual boxing rules were created. However, the boxing matches of sixteenth and eighteenth century Great Britain may be closer to the sport as it’s done today.

Boxing is a fighting style that generally takes place in a predetermined location, for a set amount of time, and with specific rules. This style of fighting tends to focus on punches and stance, and boxers typically wear protective gloves during a fight. Today, boxing is both an Olympic sport and a Commonwealth Games sport.

To learn the basics of boxing, explore our library of Boxing video lessons. Pro boxing coach Adam Colberg will guide you through everything you need to know about boxing!

[Learn Boxing]


Taekwondo is a martial arts style that originated in Korea. It largely focuses on a variety of kicking styles and hand movements. Translated, taekwondo would mean something like “foot-hand-art.” Taekwondo is also one of the oldest martial art forms in the world, and interestingly, it evolved alongside Korea. Throughout Korean history, you can see how changes in Korea affected taekwondo and other Korean martial art forms.

If you would like to start learning taekwondo, Howcast has several a range of video tutorials, hosted by expert Jason Ok. Get started today!

[Learn Taekwondo]

Kick Boxing

Kick boxing is both a martial art form and a strain of traditional boxing. This form of combat originated from karate, which people gradually began to mix with boxing. There are many benefits one can expect to gain from kick boxing, such as:

  • Increased flexibility
  • More balance
  • A greater sense of confidence
  • A means of self-defense

If you’re interested in learning how to kick box, Howcast has an entire video series dedicated to the topic. Start learning today with pro kick boxer Alberto Ortiz.

[Learn Kick Boxing]


At its core, karate (or karate-do) is a style of martial arts that uses no weapons. Translated, the Japanese characters for karate mean “empty hand way.” The Japanese character for “empty,” however, doesn’t necessarily refer to a fighting style. It can also refer to a general emptiness or void, which represents the lack of expectation one should have coming into the dojo.

Karate is a martial arts style, a form of self-defense, and a lifestyle. Check out Howcast’s library of karate tutorial videos hosted by Richard Amos, and start your journey today.

[Learn Karate]

Krav Maga

Krav Maga is an Israeli martial arts style, largely focusing on self-preservation in combat. The idea is that in combat, there’s not going to be anyone around to help you, so you need to learn how to help yourself. Over time, Krav Maga has grown in popularity and is no longer reserved for Israeli soldiers.

If you’re interested in learning more about Krav Maga, Howcast has many video tutorials and lessons for you to view. Rhon Mizrachi, the head of Krav Maga federation in the U.S., has tons of great insight to share with new students!

[Learn Krav Maga]

Pro Wrestling

Professional wrestling is a unique brand of martial arts in which, more often than not, the outcome of a match is predetermined. Don’t let this steer you away, though. The art of wrestling is very much a real skill to learn, and it takes many years of dedication to master the movements and train one’s body. Wrestling is especially known for its use of locks, holds, flips, and body slams.

In Howcast’s pro wrestling video collection, the crew from Monster Factory will show you the rope—but beware that they promise plenty of “blood, sweat, and tears.”

[Learn Pro Wrestling]

Wing Chun

The basis of Wing Chun is teaching people who are vulnerable to protect themselves. Legend says that Wing Chun originated when a monk named Mui taught a girl named Yim Wing Chun how to fight off a bandit. This story has its fair share of critics, however, and may not entirely accurate. The actual origins of Wing Chun are very much disputed in the martial arts community.

Regardless, one can see how empowering Wing Chun can be for those who learn it. To start practicing right away, we recommend that you check out the Howcast video series led by Sifu Alex Richter.

[Learn Wing Chun]

Muay Thai

As the name suggests, Muay Thai is a form of martial art from Thailand, where it’s also a traditional sport. If you live in the West, you may be more familiar with the term “kick boxing,” which is similar. If you’re familiar with MMA, you may also recognize Muay Thai as being one of the most common starting stances.

Howcast has an entire video lesson library dedicated to Muay Thai. If you want to start learning and practicing this martial arts styls, you’re in good hands with host Sean Hinds from Mushin MMA.

[Learn Muay Thai]

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a strain of the original Jiu Jitsu, which originated in Japan. Historically, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu started after a teacher of the form introduced it to a group of brothers, who then began to reimagine the techniques for use on the ground. Today, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is largely a ground fighting style, with several positions and moves designed for effective combat.

This form of Jiu Jitsu has grown in popularity. Today, the U.S. has many schools dedicated to teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. If you’re interested in learning more about this martial arts style, Howcast has several useful video tutorials you can check out!

[Learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu]

Kung Fu

Kung Fu is a popular martial art style from China, originating from around 527 AD. There are really two main types of Kung Fu, each with its own nuances.

  • Northern Shaolin is taught in China above the Yangtze River. This style of Kung Fu typically uses longer movements and has more jumps and falls.
  • Southern Shaolin is taught everywhere below the Yangtze River. In the southern style, movements are lower to the ground, hits are more powerful and precise, and the martial artist may employ animal-based forms.

To start learning Kung Fu today, check out Howcast’s Kung Fu video library. Sifu Karl Romain will teach you everything you need to know to get started.

[Learn Kung Fu]


Aikido is a defensive Japanese martial art form known for its flexibility and picturesque movements. But don’t be caught off guard by Aikido’s elegance. With an aggressive background and a versatile nature, one can learn to use Aikido offensively as well.

This is a relatively new martial art, beginning sometime in the 1920s or 1930s. The Japanese characters used for aikido translate to something like “joining-spirit-way.” Aikido largely focuses on spiritual and physical energy, finding unity and strength there.

Whether you’re looking to learn a martial art for self-defense, exercise, spiritual fulfillment, or just to have fun, Aikido has something for everyone to enjoy. Check out Howcast’s Aikido video library and start learning with the New York Aikikai instructors.

[Learn Aikido]


Ninjutsu is a martial art style that’s popular in Japan, though elements of ninjutsu can actually be found in numerous martial art cultures around the world and throughout history. There’s some overlap between ninjutsu and several other Japanese martial arts, making this a fairly versatile style.

There are many benefits to be gained from practicing ninjutsu, including greater strength, more aptitude for patience, and self-defense. If you’re interested in trying your hand at ninjutsu, you can start by watching Howcast’s series with Sensei Oliver Martin.

[Learn Ninjutsu]


Capoeira is an African-Brazilian martial art style. There are two subsets of capoeira, which are angola and haguenau. Capoeira combines elements of fighting and defense with those of dancing and music, making it a unique and colorful martial art style.

Howcast has a full capoeira video library, hosted by experts Tiba Vieira and Mestre Jelon Vieira. Start learning today!

[Learn Capoeira]

Katana Sword Fighting

The Japanese katana is a sword that features a blade of medium length and is specifically designed for use with both hands. The kata is fast and efficient in combat.

The martial art of Katana sword fighting began around the Momoyama period in Japan, which is also the period of time that led to the creation of the Tokugawa shogunate. Historically, samurai fought with katana in battle. Katana sword fighting is still studied and practiced around the world.

Howcast has a video series on this fascinating martial art form. Sensei Oliver Martin will introduce you to the Katana and how to use it in combat. What are you waiting for?

[Learn Katana]

Learn Your Favorite Martial Arts Styles with Howcast

Now that you have a little more knowledge about what to expect from various martial arts styles, which one interests you the most? Or maybe you want to learn more than one?

Keep in mind that many martial arts forms share things in common with each other, and some styles are actually just a combination of others. So, if you start learning one, don’t feel trapped. You can always transfer some of your knowledge to another form later.

Whatever your goals and interests are, Howcast can help you learn martial arts with a full library of free video lessons. Learn the history, identity, and moves of your favorite styles with some of the best instructors on Howcast! 

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