Shin-kicking and 4 other martial arts you've never tried

While karate and taekwondo are well known, shin-kicking, kampfringen, pankration, Bando and Krav Maga are mysterious. Although unusual, these martial art styles prove effective in isolated contexts and select groups of enthusiasts still practise them to this day. Read on for explanations and examples of each of these four historic martial arts.

Shin-kicking and 4 other martial arts you've never tried

Shin-kicking

Made popular in England in the 17th century, shin-kicking sounds to outsiders like a martial art that Monty Python made up.

In this martial art, two competitors grab each other's shoulders and kick at their opponent's shins to try to force them to the ground. A judge is on hand to make sure nobody gets tripped or kicked above the knee. The first person to take his or her opponent to the ground two times is declared the winner.

Pankration

The wrestlers at the ancient Greek Olympic games were tiny weaklings compared to the men who participated in pankration, which was possibly the earliest form of mixed martial arts.

This style is a combination of wrestling and boxing. In fact, pankration was essentially a street fight, just without the actual street. Biting and eye gouging were prohibited, but everything else was fair game in a pankration bout.

Kampfringen

A style of German unarmed combat that the Austrian wrestler Ott Jud popularized in the 15th century, kampfringen's main goals were to beak opponents' bones and make them scream in pain.

With good reason, members of high society looked down on this practice. However, on the battlefield, this martial art proved incredibly effective for those unfortunate enough to lose their weapons.

Bando

Founded in Myanmar, Bando is primarily used as a defensive measure.

Instead of taking advantage of standard grappling techniques, Bando references various animals as the bases for different styles of defence.

The "scorpion," for example, focuses on nerve holds, whereas the "monkey" is all about speed and agility.

Krav Maga

Slovakian boxer Imi Lichtenfeld developed Krav Maga in the 1930s as a means of protecting his neighbourhood from roving gangs. Later on, Israeli defence forces adopted this style as a means of conflict resolution.

Since Krav Maga is all about avoiding a fight as opposed to starting one, it focuses on ending fights as quickly as possible. To do this, it attacks the body's weakest points.

Though it's still a little obscure, today Krav Maga is nonetheless one of the world's most respected forms of martial arts.

Try something new

If you're interested in practising a martial art that isn't karate or taekwondo, give one of these five a try. You might just find a style that suits your personality better than the more mainstream martial arts.

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