This page provides details about major and minor Japanese martial arts styles. It covers martial arts such as Aikido, Judo, Jujutsu, Karate, Kendo and many more. If you think a style should be added to this page, please contact us. However, we will only accept martial arts styles that have many schools (10+) & an active style association/federation and/or a detailed Wikipedia page.
For the martial arts of other countries (i.e. China, Korea and Brazil), please visit Black Belt Wiki’s main Martial Arts Styles section.
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Japanese Martial Arts – Click on each style for more information
- Aikido – Aikido is a Japanese martial arts style focused on redirecting the attack away from you. Aikido concentrates on throwing, joint locks, traditional Japanese weapons, etc.
- Aikijujitsu – Aikijujitsu is a sub-genre of Jujutsu. In contrast to Jujutsu, Aikijujitsu focuses more heavily on blending with the opponent, moving joint-locks, and other esoteric principles.
- Bajutsu – Bajutsu is a Japanese martial arts focused on military equestrianism.
- Bojutsu – Bojutsu is a martial arts style focused on the long staff, Bo.
- Bujutsu – Bujutsu is the Japanese martial arts of the Samurai.
- Byakuren Kaikan – Byakuren Kaikan is a Japanese martial arts focused on full contact sparring.
- Daido Juku Kudo – Daido Juku Kudo is a Japanese martial arts that practices mixed martial arts techniques while wearing a traditional gi.
- Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu – Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu is a traditional Japanese martial arts focused on unarmed combat, throws, strikes to vital areas, joint locks, etc.
- Enshin Kaikan – Enshin Kaikan is a Japanese martial arts that utilizes the Sabaki method (which seeks to turn an attacker’s power against him). This martial arts involves kicks, punches, sweeps, throws, etc.
- Hanbojutsu – Hanbojutsu is a martial arts that utilizes the Hanbo (a 3 foot wooden staff).
- Hojojutsu – Hojojutsu is a Japanese martial arts that uses ropes to restrain or disable an opponent.
- Iaido – Iaido is a Japanese martial arts focused on the drawing of a sword (bokken, iaito or shinken) from its scabbard. This martial arts relies heavily on katas (forms) and does not utilize sparring.
- Iaijutsu – Iaijutsu is the combat version of Iaido.
- Itto-Ryu – – Itto-Ryu is a Japanese martial arts focused on the sword. There are many sub-styles of Itto-Ryu and this martial arts had significant influence on the development of modern Kendo.
- Jojutsu – Jojutsu (or Jodo) is a Japanese martial arts focused on the short staff, Jo.
- Judo – Judo is a Japanese martial arts style focused on grappling, joint locks and throws.
- Jujutsu – Jujutsu is a Japanese martial arts style focused on joint locks, holds and throws. It tries to redirect or manipulate the force of an attack in order to defeat the attacker.
- Jukendo – Jukendo is a Japanese martial arts focused on the bayonet.
- Juttejutsu – Juttejutsu is a Japanese martial arts that focuses on the martial arts weapon known as the Jutte(Jitte).
- Karate – Karate is a Japanese martial arts style focused on kata, punches, hand/elbow strikes, knee strikes and kicks.
- Major Karate styles include Ashihara, Budokan, Chito-Ryu, Enshin, Gensei-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, Go Kan Ryu, Gosoku-Ryu, Isshin-Ryu, KishimotoDi, Kyokushin, Matsubayashi-Ryu, Motobu-Ryu, Ryuei-Ryu, Seido Juku, Shindo Jinen-Ryu, Shito-Ryu, Shorei-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, Shorinji-Ryu Kenkokan, Shotokan, Shudokan, Tenshinkan, Toon-Ryu. Uechi-Ryu, Wado-Ryu, Yoshukai, etc.
- The most popular Karate styles include Goju-Ryu, Isshin-Ryu, Kyokushin, Shito-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, Shotokan and Wado-Ryu (not in rank order).
- Keijojutsu – Keijojutsu is a Japanese martial arts focused on police stick fighting (batons).
- Kendo – Kendo is a Japanese martial arts style focused on sword fighting (i.e. Bokken and Katana).
- Kenjutsu – Kenjutsu is a Japanese martial arts style focused on sword techniques. In contrast to Kendo, Kenjutsu is less focused on sparring.
- Kobudo – A Japanese (Okinawan) martial arts focused on weapons training. Weapons used include the bo staff, sai, tonfa and nunchaku.
- Kokondo – Kokondo is a style that combines techniques from Karate and Jujutsu.
- Kyudo – Kyudo is a Japanese martial arts style focused on archery.
- Naginatajutsu – Naginatajutsu is a Japanese martial arts style focused on the long pole weapon known as the Naginata.
- Ninjutsu – Ninjutsu is a martial arts style developed from the techniques used by ninjas (Japanese spies and assassins).
- Niten Ichi-Ryu – Niten Ichi-Ryu is a two sword martial arts style created by the famous Japanese samurai, Miyamoto Musashi.
- Shindo Jinen-Ryu – Shindo Jinen-Ryu is a Japanese martial arts that combines elements of Karate, Aikido & Jujutsu. It focuses on strikes, kicks, grappling and Kobudo (weapons training).
- Shooto – Shooto is a Japanese martial arts similar to mixed martial arts and it was created by Satoru Sayama.
- Shorinji Kempo – A Japanese martial arts that combines personal growth, health and spirituality with self-defense techniques such as punches, kicks, escapes, throws, etc.
- Sojutsu is a Japanese martial arts that focuses on spear fighting. This martial arts is also known as Yari Jutsu.
- Spochan – Spochan is a martial arts that uses “air soft” weapons to practice various sword, staff & stick-based fighting techniques.
- Sumo – Sumo is a Japanese martial arts focused on wrestling.
- Taido – Taido is a Japanese martial arts that combines elements of Karate with gymnastic maneuvers & dynamic movement.
- Taiho Jutsu – Taiho Jutsu is a Japanese martial arts that was originally designed to help feudal police arrest armed criminals.
- Tessenjutsu – Tessenjutsu is a Japanese martial arts based on the use of Tessen (war fans).
- Yabusame – Yabusame is a Japanese martial arts focused on archery while mounted on horseback.
- Yamanni-Ryu – Yamanni-Ryu is a Japanese martial arts that focuses on training with Okinawan weapons (Kobudo).
- Yoseikan Budo – Yoseikan Budo is a Japanese martial arts system that combines a number of different martial arts including Aikido, Jujutsu, Judo, Karate, Kobudo and Boxing.
Japanese Martial Arts Demonstrations
Japanese Martial Arts