December 2, 2023
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Combat sports have long been a source of entertainment and competition, drawing in millions of fans and athletes around the world. From the striking power of boxing to the grappling techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, combat sports offer a unique blend of physical prowess, technical skill, and mental toughness.

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of combat sports, their origins, and what makes each one unique. We’ll also look at the top athletes and events in each discipline and provide a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in getting started.

What are Combat Sports?

What are Combat Sports?

Combat sports, or fighting sports, refer to physical competitions between two or more individuals where the primary objective is to defeat the opponent through the use of various fighting techniques. These sports are often seen as high-intensity, high-risk activities that require a significant amount of skill, strength, and endurance to be successful. Fighting sports are enjoyed by millions of people around the world, both as participants and spectators.

The History of Combat Sports

The history of combat sports can be traced back thousands of years to ancient civilizations such as Greece and Rome, where hand-to-hand combat was a common form of entertainment. Over time, various forms of combat sports emerged, including boxing, wrestling, and martial arts. These sports continued to evolve and spread throughout the world, with each culture developing its own unique style and techniques.

Types of Combat Sports

Combat sports can be broadly divided into three categories: striking sports, grappling sports, and hybrid sports.

Striking Sports

Striking Sports
Boxing – Kickboxing – Muay Thai – Karate

Striking sports focus on the use of striking techniques such as punches, kicks, and knee strikes. Some popular striking sports include:


Boxing is a sport that involves two fighters wearing gloves and trying to land punches on each other while avoiding their opponent’s blows. It is one of the oldest and most well-known combat sports, with a rich history and culture.


Kickboxing is a hybrid martial art that combines elements of boxing, karate, and Muay Thai. Fighters use punches, kicks, knee strikes, and elbow strikes to score points or knock out their opponent.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a combat sport from Thailand that is known for its powerful strikes and devastating knee and elbow strikes. Fighters use their fists, feet, knees, and elbows to attack their opponent, and matches can be quite brutal.


Karate is a Japanese martial art that emphasizes striking techniques such as kicks, punches, and knee strikes. It also incorporates defensive techniques such as blocks, evasions, and throws.

Other Striking Sports

Bajiquan Isshin-ryu Sikaran
Bak Mei Jow-Ga Kung Fu Tang Soo Do
Bōgutsuki Kyokushin Taidō
Chito-ryu Leopard Kung Fu Adimurai
Fut Gar Matsubayashi-ryu Capoeira
Genseiryu Motobu-ryu Nippon Kempo
Goju-ryu Ryūei-ryū Luta Livre combate
Gosoku-ryu Seidokaikan Choy Gar
Heihuquan Shindo Jinen-ryu Taekwondo
Hung Fut Suntukan Mian Quan

Grappling Sports

Grappling Sports
Wrestling – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Judo

Grappling sports focus on wrestling and submission techniques such as chokes, joint locks, and throws. Some popular grappling sports include:


Wrestling is a sport that involves grappling techniques such as takedowns, throws, and pins. It is one of the oldest and most widely practiced combat sports in the world, with many different styles and variations.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling-based martial art that emphasizes ground fighting and submission techniques. It is known for its effective use of leverage and technique to overcome larger and stronger opponents.


Judo is a Japanese martial art that focuses on throws and takedowns. It emphasizes using an opponent’s strength and momentum against them, and is known for its fluid and graceful techniques.

Other Grappling Sports

  • Luta Livre Esportiva
  • Sport Sambo
  • Sumo
  • Chin Na

Hybrid Sports

Hybrid Sports
Hybrid Sports – Combat Sambo

Hybrid sports are a combination of striking and grappling techniques. They allow athletes to use both techniques to defeat their opponents. One of the most popular hybrid sports is Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). MMA is a combat sport that allows the use of striking and grappling techniques from a variety of martial arts and fighting sports.

Mixed Martial Arts

MMA has gained tremendous popularity in recent years and is often regarded as the fastest-growing sport in the world. MMA fighters are some of the most well-rounded athletes in the world, as they must be proficient in a variety of techniques. The most common techniques used in MMA are boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, and judo.

MMA fights take place in a cage or a ring, and fighters can win by knockout, submission, or decision. The rules of MMA are designed to protect the fighters, but the sport is still very dangerous, and fighters risk serious injury every time they step into the cage or ring.

Combat Sambo

Combat Sambo is a Russian martial art and combat sport that combines elements of wrestling, judo, sambo, boxing, and kickboxing. It was developed for the military, but it has since become a popular sport in Russia and other parts of the world.

Combat Sambo is similar to MMA in that it allows fighters to use both striking and grappling techniques. However, Combat Sambo is more focused on self-defense and is not as well-known as MMA. Despite this, Combat Sambo fighters are some of the most well-rounded athletes in the world, and the sport is gaining popularity in many countries.

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Combat sports are not just about fighting and defeating opponents. They offer numerous benefits to those who practice them. Some of the benefits include:

  • Physical fitness: Practicing these sports can improve overall fitness and health. becauser these sports require a high level of physical fitness, including strength, endurance, and agility.
  • Self-defense: Fighting sports can teach valuable self-defense skills that can be used in real-life situations.
  • Mental toughness: Practicing these sports can improve mental fortitude and resilience.
  • Confidence: Practicing combat sports can boost self-confidence and self-esteem.


Risks of Combat sports

While there are many benefits to practicing combat sports, there are also risks involved. Some of the risks include:

  • Injury: Combat sports involve physical contact and can result in injuries such as cuts, bruises, and broken bones.
  • Concussions: Fighting sports such as boxing and MMA can result in concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
  • Weight cutting: Fighters often have to cut weight to make weight classes, which can be dangerous and lead to dehydration and other health risks.
  • Long-term effects: Repeated blows to the head can lead to long


Combat sports are a unique and exciting form of athletic competition that requires skill, athleticism, and mental toughness. From boxing to Combat Sambo, each type of combat sport has its own unique techniques and strategies. Whether you’re a fan or a fighter, combat sports offer a thrilling and challenging experience that is unlike any other.

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