When you think of Japan, samurais and ninjas usually come to mind. A lot of tourists come to Japan for the specific purpose of learning the martial arts that were mastered by these iconic figures. But these are just some of the arts that come from the land of the rising sun.
Martial arts is a system of practices and traditions of training for combat. While they may be studied for various other reasons, essentially martial arts share a single objective: to defeat one or more people physically and to defend oneself or others from physical threat. In addition to this, some martial arts are linked to spiritual or religious beliefs or philosophies while others have their own spiritual or non-spiritual code of honor. Many arts are also practiced competitively most commonly as combat sports, but may also be in the form of dance. For now, we will focus on martial arts that were founded in Japan.