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Boxing (sometimes also known as English boxing or pugilism) is a combat sport in which two participants, generally of similar weight, fight each other with their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee and is typically engaged in during a series of one to three-minute intervals called rounds. Victory is achieved if the opponent is knocked down and unable to get up before the referee counts to ten seconds (a Knockout, or KO) or if the opponent is deemed too injured to continue (a Technical Knockout, or TKO). If there is no stoppage of the fight before an agreed number of rounds, a winner is determined either by the referee's decision or by judges' scorecards.

Wrestling  is the act of physical engagement between two people in which each wrestler strives to get an advantage over, or control of, the opponent. Physical techniques which embody the style of wrestling are clinching, holding, locking, and leverage. Avoiding techniques likely to lead to serious injury, the basic principles of wrestling are closely related to those of military hand-to-hand combat or self-defence systems. Many styles of wrestling are known all over the world and have long histories. Amateur wrestling has been an Olympic sport for over one hundred years and professional wrestling is a popular form of entertainment.

Fencing In the broadest possible sense, fencing is the art of armed combat involving cutting, stabbing, or slapping bludgeoning weapons directly manipulated by hand, rather than shot, thrown or positioned, of European origin. Examples include swords, knives, pikes, bayonets, batons, clubs, and similar weapons. In contemporary common usage, "fencing" tends to refer specifically to European schools of swordsmanship and to the modern Olympic sport that has evolved out of them. Foil — a light thrusting weapon; the valid target is restricted to the torso; double touches are not allowed.Épée — a heavy thrusting weapon; the valid target area covers the entire body; double touches are allowed. Sabre — a light cutting and thrusting weapon; the valid target area includes almost everything above the waist

Judo, meaning "gentle way", is a modern Japanese martial art (gendai budo) and combat sport, that originated in Japan in the late nineteenth century. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an opponent to submit by joint locking the elbow or by applying a choke. Strikes and thrusts (by hands and feet) - as well as weapons defences - are a part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms (kata) and are not allowed in judo competition or free practice (randori). Ultimately, the philosophy and subsequent pedagogy developed for judo became the model for almost all modern Japanese martial arts that developed from "traditional" schools (koryu). Practitioners of judo are called judoka

Karate or karate-do  is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands from indigenous fighting methods and Chinese kenpo. It is primarily a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands and ridge-hands. Grappling, locks, restraints, throws, and vital point strikes are taught in some styles. A karate practitioner is called a karateka. Karate began as a fighting system known as "ti" (or "te") among the pechin class of the Ryukyuans. After trade relationships were established with the Ming dynasty of China by Chuzan King Satto in 1372, many forms of Chinese martial arts were introduced to the Ryukyu Islands by the visitors from China, particularly Fujian Province. A group of 36 Chinese families moved to Okinawa around 1392 for the purpose of cultural exchange and shared their knowledge of the Chinese martial arts. The political centralization of Okinawa by King Shohashi in 1429 and the 'Policy of Banning Weapons,' enforced in Okinawa after the invasion of the Shimazu clan in 1609, are also factors that furthered the development of unarmed combat techniques in Okinawa.

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Last updated June 2014