FullContactMartialArts.org is aimed at all those interested in full contact martial arts and competitive combat sports such as Kyokushin karate, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Savate, Kickboxing, Combat Sambo, including hybrid styles such as MMA, Shooto, San Shou and Sayokan, and ground fighting styles such as Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

For the sake of completeness we have also included non competitive, but most effective self defense systems (Krav Maga, Systema, Kajukenbo, as well as survival martial arts (pencak silat, ninjutsu).

In full-contact sparring, the aim of a competitive match is either to knock out the opponent or to force the opponent to submit, depending on the style. Full-contact sparring may include a wider variety of permitted attacks and contact zones on the body.

As knockout is permitted as winning criterion in most full contact styles, matches tend to be more aggressive in character, but rule sets may still mandate the use of protective gloves and forbid certain techniques or actions during a match, such as forehead strikes or punching the back of the head. Some full-contact martial arts, such as Taekwondo (under WTF rules) use a point system to determine the winner and use extensive protective gear to protect the athletes from injury. Kyokushin karate requires advanced practitioners to engage in bare-knuckled, full-contact sparring while wearing only a karate gi and groin protector but does not allow strikes to the face, only kicks and knees. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo matches do not allow striking, but are full-contact in the sense that full force is applied in the application during grappling and submission techniques. In some style competitions, however, scoring takes place only as a subsidiary measure, used if no clear winner has been established by other means.

These different sport rule formats have different origins and were, for the most part, developed as the competitive counterpart of traditional martial arts. Some developed independently, others developed out of other full contact rule systems or from light contact rule systems. Many lack major unifying organizations causing the rule details to vary drastically between the many rival sport organizations and different style promoters.

While Japanese Jiu Jitsu is a traditional system it comprises many lethal techniques used in other self-defense systems, reason why we have included it in this list.

Some powerfull non-contact martial arts, such as Shotokan and Wing Chun are featured here as well.

What are full contact martial arts ?

Full-contact Martial Arts are mostly hard-style martial arts and kickboxing styles where opponents or competitors spar full-contact, as opposed to those competitions that use light (point sparring) or medium contact sparring and where a knockout is regarded as a foul.

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Types of Full Contact Martial Arts

Per country of origin

See: Martial arts per country

Mixed Martial Arts:
The Book of Knowledge

by BJ Penn, Glen Cordoz,
Erich Krauss
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Real Fighting:
Adrenaline Stress Conditioning Through Scenario-Based Training
by Peyton Quinn
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Speed Training :
How to Develop Your Maximum Speed for Martial Arts
 Loren W. Christensen
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Military Police Combatives
Military Police Combatives
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Kickboxing Styles

Per points of contact

4 Points of Contact

8 Points of Contact
Muay Thai
Pradal Serey
Yaw Yan
Kun Gek Do

9 Points of Contact
Lethwei (Burmese kickboxing)
Muay Boran

Hybrid and Combination Styles

Shoot boxing
San shou

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