What is the World’s Most Popular Martial Art?

Most Popular Martial Art?

This is a hard question, and one that might be impossible to answer.

Taekwondo ~ Taekwondo probably has first place. This is likely since the Koreans are highly nationalistic, and it is almost considered unpatriotic if a Korean doesn’t study Taekwondo.

Karate ~ I would give Karate second place, as it is the first art ‘mass produced.’ Taekwondo might have the edge, but there is going to be a close fight here.

Kung Fu ~ This is only if you lump all kung fu styles into one. Obviously, the particular styles keep a low profile.

Tai Chi Chuan ~ The high marks for Tai Chi come form the fact that it is taught for health aspects world wide. Not just the young, but the old, the infirm, the everybody, want to study Tai Chi for its health benefits. Add to that the fact that China has a rather large population, and the government encourages healthy activity, Tai Chi is probably pretty high up on the list.

Jujitsu ~ I’m going to get some argument on this one, mainly because jujitsu is so popular amongst the MMA crowd. Still, it takes time, and MMA hasn’t been around long. So, give a few years, and Jujitsu might be in the runing for top dog.

Now, those are the top five, in this writer’s humble opinion. And, I would give a healthy nod of the head to such arts as Kenpo, Aikido, judo, and significant nods of the head to such arts as savate, krav maga, and so on.

But, the interesting thing for me was to actually assign percentages to these values. Mind you, this is guesswork, but I’ve had a few years to watch the party and support my guess. As for percentage of the people who study the martial arts, which study the five arts listed on this page…

Taekwondo ~ 18%

Karate ~ 16%

Kung Fu ~ 12%

Tai chi Chuan ~ 11%

Jujitsu ~ 8%

That comes to 65% of the world’s martial arts practitioners. The other 35% most likely study percentages under 5%.

This has been a page about the worlds most popular martial arts. If you want to consider the world’s most unique martial art, you would have to check out Monster Martial Arts.

zen martial arts


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