Striking in Martial Arts

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The term striking in martial arts generally refers to stand up fighting, or everything that’s not grappling (though strikes can be executed on the ground as well). It is an often used term in mixed martial arts circles, as mixed martial arts fighters tend to combine and draw from several different stand up fighting disciplines. Therefore, striking better encompasses what they do on their feet than terms like karate or Muay Thai.

What the Striking Styles Teach

The striking styles in martial arts teach practitioners to defend themselves while in the upright position. They do this through the use of punches, kicks, knees, and blocks. Each martial arts style, however, does this in its own unique way. Thus, all striking styles are hardly created equal.

Striking Styles

The striking martial arts styles are a part of almost every culture. That said, here are some of the more popular ones being practiced in the world today.


Striking Tutorials

If you're looking to learn some striking techniques, you've come to the right place. Check out some tutorials below by following the links.

Five Great Martial Arts Strikers

It would be impossible to put together a list of the greatest strikers of all time, as there are too many variables between all the disciplines to compare. Still, here are five guys whose names are synonymous with striking.


  • Muhammad Ali: Ali is widely known to be one of the greatest boxers, if not the greatest boxer, of all-time. His three fights with Joe Frazier were the stuff of legends.
  • Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic: Filipovic is known to be one of the greatest MMA strikers of all-time. Coming from a kickboxing background, his ability to deliver top flight high kicks helped to revolutionize the sport.
  • Bruce Lee : Beyond his legendary martial arts film career, Lee was also ahead of his time when it came to striking. Along with this, he invented the martial arts style of Jeet Kune Do , one that did away with tradition and concentrated only on what worked in real fighting.
  • Joe Lewis: Lewis was voted the greatest karate fighter of all-time by Karate Illustrated in 1983. He engaged in both karate and kickboxing.
  • Anderson Silva: Silva is widely considered to be one of the best MMA strikers ever. His Muay Thai clinch is known to be particularly brutal for opponents.
  • Jose Aldo: Aldo has utilized his Muay Thai skills as well as anyone in the history of the UFC's Octagon.  Along with this, he is considered one of the better MMA strikers ever.
  • Ernesto Hoost: In many ways, the K-1 Grand Prix has signified kickboxing greatness.  So to win one means something pretty special.  However, to win four of these is nothing short of legendary.  Such is exactly what Hoost was able to accomplish during his illustrious striking career.
  • Sugar Ray Robinson: Go to any boxing website or magazine, and you'll be hard-pressed to find one that does not mention Robinson as one of the top two boxers of all-time.  Fact is, many consider him to be the best ever.  Speed, power, toughness, and more.  Robinson was simply special.