kids encyclopedia robot

Combat sport facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Self-defense training packs a punch 160314-F-HB600-067
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art, combat sport and self-defense system that focuses on grappling and ground fighting

A combat sport, or fighting sport, is a competitive contact sport with one-on-one combat. Determining the winner depends on the particular contest's rules. In many fighting sports, a contestant wins by scoring more points than the opponent or by disabling the opponent. Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, Wrestling, Savate, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Sambo and Fencing are examples of combat sports.

The techniques used can be categorized into three domains: striking, grappling, and weapon usage. Some rule-sets specialize in one area, while others allow overlap.


Folk wrestling exists in many forms and in most cultures, and can be considered a cultural universal. The Ancient Olympic Games were largely composed of sports that tested skills related to combat, such as armored foot races, boxing, wrestling, pankration and chariot racing, amongst others. Combat sports are first recorded during the Olympic games of 648 B.C. Through the Middle ages and Renaissance the tournament became popular, with jousting as a main event.

Popularity of combat sports by gender

A photo of Connor McGregor, for the fight between McGregor and Aldo

Males have been the gender that will often react, enjoy and seek out combat sports due to being a male dominated sport. For many years combat sports were a male only sport with the first recorded female combat sport event in the United States of America on March 28, 1997.

There has been a recent spike of interest in female combat sports due to former UFC Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, females started to watch and seek out information about MMA and more specifically UFC. The most Olympic freestyle wrestling gold medals however are from female participants.

List of combat sports


  • Fist Fighting (Boxing)
    • Historical Ancient Greek boxing (Pygmachia)
    • Historical Russian Fist Fighting (Kulachniy Boy)
    • Historical English Bare-Knuckle Boxing (Pugilism)
    • Modern Amateur (Olympic) Boxing
    • Modern Professional Boxing
  • Kickboxing (under K1, American & European rules) and analogous styles
    • Musti-yuddha (Indian Kickboxing)
    • Savate (French kickboxing)
    • Sanda (Chinese kickboxing)
    • Indochinese Kickboxing
    • Full Contact Karate
    • Taekwondo (under World Taekwondo and ITF rules)
    • Shoot boxing Japanese combat sport introduced in 1985.



Hybrid martial arts, combining striking and grappling elements:

  • Pankration (Ancient Greek Freestyle Fighting).
    • modern Amateur Pankration
  • Dambe traditional form of boxing, including kicking and wrestling elements, practiced by the Hausa people.
  • Combat Sambo: Russian sport introduced in the 1920s.
  • kudo
  • Vale Tudo (No Rules Freestyle Fighting), derived from Brazilian circus shows of the 1920s.
  • Sanshou (Sanda) (Chinese kickboxing within Contemporary Wushu, includes some grappling techniques), institutionalized as part of modern Wushu since the 1950s.
  • Shoot-style wrestling, since the 1980s.
  • Shootfighting
  • Shoot boxing Japanese combat sport introduced in 1985.
  • Mixed Martial Arts (Freestyle Fighting), since the 1990s.


  • (simulated) bladed weapons
    • Matrak in 16th-century Ottoman Empire
    • Fechtschulen (fencing competitions) in 16th- to 17th-century Germany
    • traditional academic fencing (mainly in Germany, 16th century to present)
    • Kendo (Japanese fencing)
    • Modern fencing
    • SCA heavy combat
    • Dagorhir
    • Historical European martial arts
    • Historical medieval battles (HMB)
  • sportive stick fighting
    • Quarterstaff (historical English, 17th to 18th century)
    • Singlestick (1904 Summer Olympics)
    • Bâton français
    • Gatka (Punjabi stick fighting)
    • Arnis (Filipino stick fighting)
  • hastilude

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Deporte de combate para niños

kids search engine
Combat sport Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.