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Strangest Martial Arts Styles Part 1

Martial arts are a part of a culture’s heritage along with its fine art and architecture, cooking and social norms. What makes these so different is that unlike creating bonds with others martial arts harbour an attitude of hostility or at the very least the idea that you may be attacked. Because of this many foundational styles focus on self-defence, the action of parrying, blocking or simply repelling the incoming attacks of your enemies whoever they may be, though this isn’t always the case. Though many people look on at these ancient styles with a sense that they are simply for protection, several styles teach their students to practice not just deception but brutal and fatal moves. The world of martial arts is therefore one with a huge variety, and amongst the well known styles comes a selection of practices that you may have never heard of; or indeed disregarded as something else entirely. Here are some of the more odd or underground styles of martial arts.


If you thought mud wrestling was just for buxom babes in teen movies, think again. This style from India also known as Kushti is a grapple-based fighting that gets really down and dirty. Fighters literally face off in a mud pit which has been kept moist for days, beginning their bout they will cover themselves with the fresh wet mud as a blessing before the fighting commences. As you can imagine this gets messy very quick as fights generally last around thirty minutes, what results is competitors caked in mud from head to toe, all of this just adding to the difficulty of the fight. The basic rules of this martial art involve holds and submissions, strikes are not allowed here so there is plenty of close quarters gripping. The aim here is for a pin that places both the shoulders and the hips of your opponent on the ground, whereas knockouts (from throws) and submissions are also ways to end this gruelling match.


Another martial arts style from India this however is vastly different from the aforementioned one. In Kalaripayattu much of the focus here is on freedom of movement as flexibility and agility are thee core of how one executes many of the dynamic movements here. This martial arts style is closely linked to yoga as a result, training fighters to bend their body in sometimes extreme ways while also focusing on recovery and healing. Those ready for battle in this style will be seen with a sword and shield and use their learned skills to combat opponents in a manner you would not expect while harnessing such cumbersome tools. Jumps, twists and flips are all common here as fighters take to the air often for overhead strikes and block from all angles. The execution of all of this together makes for an impressive performance, which is why several styles of dance have unquestionably borrowed some moves from this deadly practice. Its not uncommon to find dance schools in India which still use moves founded in Kalaripayattu today, proving it to be an awe-inspiring practice.