The 5 Most Unusual Martial Arts in the World: From Capoeira to the Filipino Arnis

Martial arts have been around for centuries and have gained worldwide popularity in recent years. From the traditional karate to the modern mixed martial arts (MMA), there is a wide variety of styles to choose from. However, some martial arts may seem strange and unusual to the untrained eye. Here are the five most unusual martial arts that exist today.

1. Capoeira

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that incorporates acrobatics, dance, and music. It was created by African slaves who were brought to Brazil by the Portuguese in the 1500s. Capoeira was disguised as a dance so that the slaves could practice their martial art without arousing suspicion from their masters. Capoeira involves spinning kicks, cartwheels, and agile movements that require a tremendous amount of balance and flexibility.

2. Kalaripayattu

Kalaripayattu is an ancient Indian martial art that is believed to be more than 3,000 years old. It involves the use of weapons such as swords, spears, and shields, as well as hand-to-hand combat. Kalaripayattu is known for its intricate and complex movements, which require a great amount of skill and practice. It also emphasizes the importance of breathing and meditation techniques to achieve focus and mental clarity.

3. Systema

Systema is a Russian martial art that was developed by the Soviet Union’s special forces in the 1940s. It is a comprehensive system that includes hand-to-hand combat, grappling, knife fighting, and firearms training. Systema is known for its emphasis on relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and the use of psychological tactics to gain an advantage over opponents.

4. Pencak Silat

Pencak Silat is a Southeast Asian martial art that originated in Indonesia. It includes a wide variety of fighting styles and techniques, such as strikes, kicks, throws, and joint locks. Pencak Silat is also known for its fluid and graceful movements that incorporate dance and music. It is often used in cultural and traditional ceremonies in Indonesia and Malaysia.

5. Filipino Arnis

Filipino Arnis is a Filipino martial art that uses sticks, knives, and empty-hand techniques. It emphasizes the use of weapons as everyday objects, such as a cane or a rolled-up magazine. Filipino Arnis is known for its fast-paced and dynamic movements, which require a great degree of precision and coordination.

In conclusion, martial arts offer a wide range of benefits, ranging from physical fitness to self-defense skills. While the traditional styles may be more familiar, these five unusual martial arts are a great way to explore different cultures and their unique fighting styles. Whether you prefer the agility of Capoeira or the precision of Filipino Arnis, there is a martial art out there for everyone.

The 5 Most Unusual Martial Arts in the World: From Capoeira to the Filipino Arnis

Martial arts are a physical and mental discipline that has gained tremendous popularity in recent years. From kung fu to karate, there are countless martial arts that people have heard of and practice every day. However, there are some unusual martial arts in the world that are lesser-known, but still very effective at self-defense. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top 5 most unusual martial arts in the world, including Capoeira, Lethwei, Kalari Payattu, Kalaripayattu, and Filipino Arnis.

1. Capoeira

Capoeira is a martial art that combines dance, acrobatics, and music. It originated in Brazil and was developed by African slaves in the 16th century. Capoeira is known for its fluid movements, which resemble a dance, but are actually effective martial arts moves. It also includes kicks, spins, and jumps, making it a visually stunning martial art to watch.

Capoeira is unique in that it is often practiced with music, which helps practitioners stay in rhythm and enhances the martial art’s flow. It is also used as a form of self-expression and communication among practitioners.

2. Lethwei

Lethwei is a martial art that originated in Myanmar and is often referred to as Burmese boxing. It is similar to Muay Thai but with some key differences. For example, headbutting is allowed in Lethwei, making it a more dangerous martial art than Muay Thai. Lethwei also allows strikes to the back of the head, which is prohibited in other martial arts.

In Lethwei, fighters wrap their hands in hemp rope to protect them from injury during fights. The sport is gaining popularity worldwide due to its raw, brutal nature.

3. Kalari Payattu

Kalari Payattu is a martial art that originated in Kerala, India. It is one of the oldest martial arts in the world and is known for its focus on weapons training. Practitioners use weapons such as swords, spears, and daggers, along with hand-to-hand combat techniques.

Kalari Payattu also includes traditional healing practices, such as massage and herbal treatments, to help practitioners recover from injuries sustained during training or combat.

4. Kalaripayattu

Kalaripayattu is another Indian martial art that originated in Kerala. It is similar to Kalari Payattu in that it includes weapons training, but it also includes animal mimicry. Practitioners mimic animal movements, such as the tiger or the snake, to improve their balance, flexibility, and strength.

Kalaripayattu is also known for its use of pressure points, which can incapacitate opponents quickly and efficiently. The martial art is still practiced in India today and is gaining popularity around the world.

5. Filipino Arnis

Filipino Arnis, also known as Kali or Eskrima, is a martial art that originated in the Philippines. It is known for its focus on weapon-based fighting, such as the use of sticks and knives. Practitioners also learn empty-hand combat techniques, which are designed to disarm opponents and use their weapons against them.

Filipino Arnis is becoming increasingly popular around the world, with schools and training centers popping up in many countries. Its practical self-defense techniques make it a valuable martial art to learn.


In conclusion, these five unusual martial arts are just a small sample of the wide variety of martial arts that exist around the world. Each one offers unique benefits, from the acrobatic style of Capoeira to the brutal nature of Lethwei. Whether you’re interested in self-defense, fitness, or simply trying something new, these martial arts are all worth exploring. So get out there and start exploring!

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