You might be misinformed about this. There is a great deal of discussion about what styles were developed where and which is superior.

However, the truth of the matter lies in this: there are more Chinese people than Japanese people, so it’s easier to find Chinese martial arts masters around China.

And because Japan had some influence in China, especially in the past years, their culture has been popularized in China over the years as well.

There are many Japanese martial arts masters around Japan. Thus, compared to China, there aren’t as many Chinese martial arts masters in China.

Differences between Chinese martial arts vs. Japanese martial arts

1. The belief system is different.

Japanese people believe in the power of concentration, which is honed through fighting (battling) and/or training without a sword.

Chinese people believe in the power of “spirit” (qi), which they generate from nature and train with it through martial arts. They believe that a person can use his mind to create things.

2. Chinese martial arts focus more on using the body to generate “qi.”

They use their bodies to accumulate the internal power of qi, then use it to overcome their enemy. Japanese martial arts concentrate on honing their mind and fighting ability in battle (with or without swords).

The martial arts they practice tend to be centered around using their body as a weapon. Both sides are effective and slowly integrate each other’s style.

3. Japanese martial arts focus more on a fatal strike.

In Japanese martial arts, they are taught to use such strikes to kill their opponent (“Bushi no sa”). This is the reason why there are so many katas that involve killing their opponents. It’s one of the main principles they teach.

On the other hand, Chinese martial arts focus more on defending themselves, which requires using their opponent’s energy and spirit against them (using “qi”).

They believe that you cannot use your body to defeat your enemy. This is why some katas have the participants killed by mistreating the opponent.

Chinese Martial Arts

In Chinese martial arts, the emphasis is on using an attacker’s momentum against them by redirecting their energy.

This involves a lot of rolling and jumping so as to avoid a direct confrontation. These skills were refined over centuries of practice and make use of every inch of space available – often fighting on walls, ceilings, poles, and trees to keep your opponent off balance.

This is why Chinese martial arts are also very difficult to learn, as a considerable amount of progress is only possible by taking risks and performing the hardest or most unfamiliar moves repeatedly.

This is what separates Chinese martial arts from many other styles, which are easier to learn but can fall apart the moment you forget the basics.

What are some known Chinese martial arts?

Chinese martial arts have a history of over 2,000 years and are an important part of Chinese culture. Some famous examples of Chinese martial arts include

1. Shaolin Kung Fu

Shaolin Kung Fu developed from the Shaolin Temple in China as a result of a dispute between two monks who took opposing sides in a local power struggle.

The temple later became one of the most important centers of martial arts training in China.

Shaolin Kung Fu masters are known for their skill in Tai Chi (and on top of that, they are often incredible scientists).

They might attack with their hands, feet, and legs or do so with weapons (such as staffs, swords, spears, and bows).

2. Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that was developed from Kung Fu in the 1700s. It has been proven to be just as effective as a fighting form, but it also acts as a form of exercise for people who don’t want to risk injury by fighting.

Tai Chi focuses on practicing slow movements and deep breathing to increase your strength and speed.

Not only can Tai Chi improve your health, but it can also teach you how to defend yourself in the event of an attack.

3. Wing Chun

Wing Chun Kung Fu is a Chinese style developed in southern China and contains many hand techniques.

It is known for its extremely fast, unpredictable movements that can be used to distract or defeat an opponent.

They are designed to allow the user to control their opponent’s weapon and move in sync with the attacker, which makes them very difficult to anticipate.

Traditionally Wing Chun focuses on attacking from your opponent’s blind side, so you must remain alert at all times when practicing this style.

4. Bajiquan

Bajiquan is a Chinese martial art that was created by Li Luoneng (also known as “Ba Ji”) in the early 18th century.

It is a one-handed martial arts style that focuses on using the practitioner’s entire body weight to deal powerful blows to their opponents.

This martial arts style is taught to high-ranking students and focuses on mastering skills like punching, striking, and kicking with only one hand.

5. Baguazhang

Baguazhang (pronounced bág-oo-juhng) was developed during the Ming Dynasty as a form of self-defense for monks who were trained in martial arts.

It is a Shaolin-influenced style that focuses on jabs, blocks, and strikes. It has also been known to incorporate some Iaijutsu techniques from Japan, which is all about instantly disarming your opponent by striking them before they have time to attack you at all.

On what techniques do Chinese martial arts rely the most?

The techniques of Chinese martial arts rely primarily on kicking, punching, blocking, and striking. They prefer using their hands and feet to defend themselves and strike as soon as they have the opportunity as a last resort.

They also rely on striking techniques because of the strong emphasis they place on these. Therefore, it is very difficult to learn some of their more obscure techniques since they are based on sticking to the basics.

They believe that these basics are what make a true master and capable fighter, so many centuries have passed without people discovering the secrets of Chinese martial arts.

The same goes for their use of weapons and unarmed combat (also known as Shaolin wu xi or Sifu Kung Fu in English).

Japanese martial arts

Japanese martial arts are now the third most popular type of martial art in the world. This is mainly due to the popularity of Japan’s anime, manga, and video games.

While Japanese people were some of the earliest to pick up foreign martial arts like Shotokan Karate and Judo, a rise in Japanese history has meant that many more people are now picking it up at clubs and dojos across Japan.

In general, Japanese martial arts focus on using an attacker’s energy against them rather than pure strength.

The aim is to use what your opponent does and then make it work against them rather than just trying to overpower them.

What are some well-known Japanese martial arts?

Some of the most well-known Japanese martial arts include ;

1. Kendo

Kendo is one of the main forms of Japanese martial arts that focus on using a sword and or shinai (bamboo staff) artfully.

This style encourages its practitioners to take their opponent’s heads off with a single strike.

It also teaches its users how to block an opponent’s strike, as well as disarm them.

The art of kendo is not restricted to the sword, however. It can be used with other weapons like the naginata and bo staff.

Kendo was originally used by the Japanese military and police force so they could control riots and mobs in the streets.

2. Judo

Judo is a Japanese martial arts style that focuses on grappling and throwing your opponent to the ground.

It doesn’t contain any striking moves and instead relies on complex joint locks and holds to subdue an opponent.

There is also no contact with your opponent’s face or groin area during judo practice – this limits injury but also makes it impossible to fight without a gi (uniform).

Judo is perhaps best known for its competitive form, which has several different rules when compared to regular judo sessions.

3. Karate

Karate is one of the most popular forms of Japanese martial arts. It was created for personal development as much as for self-defense.

More and more people are picking up Karate to become well-rounded fighters, but it can also be used for health improvements.

The traditional version of Karate focuses on using your hands to strike at an opponent’s vital points, while modern styles tend to focus on the basics of punching, kicking, and blocking techniques.

4. Aikido

Aikido was developed in the 1920s and is a popular form of Japanese martial arts. It focuses on an opponent’s balance as much as their physical strength.

Aikido can be used for close-range attacks, and the style has a variety of throws and joint locks that are designed for this purpose.

The main aim of Aikido is to use your opponent’s energy against them, so it rarely features strikes or kicks.

5. Jujutsu

  • Jujutsu is a Japanese martial arts style that focuses on throwing techniques.
  • Jujitsu is one of the oldest martial arts in the world and can be traced back to India and China.
  • Jujutsu was created by samurai warriors who wanted to increase their ability to fight other armed opponents, as well as unarmed soldiers.
  • This Japanese martial arts style focuses on grappling and strangling moves designed to defeat an opponent without even having to unsheathe your sword.

On what techniques do Japanese martial arts rely the most on?

Japanese martial arts techniques rely on grappling your opponent, as well as using their strength against them.

Jujutsu is one example of this, which was created by samurai to help them defeat opponents of equal or greater skill.

Many modern versions focus on grappling and lock moves like joint locks and hold to limit the enemy’s range of movement. This can be done to disarm an attacker or even incapacitate them completely.

Differences between Chinese martial arts vs. Japanese martial arts

There are some differences between Chinese martial arts and Japanese martial arts. This is mainly due to their geographic location and the cultural beliefs of both nations – especially on how to train with intent.

  • Consisting of mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and several nearby island groups, China has had more time than Japan to develop its Martial Arts and culture.
  • In general, Chinese martial arts focus on using an attacker’s strength against themselves by countering their strikes with similar moves. Japanese martial arts use a different method. They’re more focused on manipulating an opponent’s weak points so they can be taken out quickly and easily—some of their most popular traditional forms of fighting use this strategy.

Similarities between Chinese martial arts vs. Japanese martial arts

While there are main differences between Chinese martial arts and Japanese martial arts, it must be said that the two types of styles have a lot more similarities than external observers realize.

  • Both styles of martial arts focus on the mental health and well-being of the individual.
  • Both Chinese martial arts and Japanese martial arts also focus on honor and respect, which is a big part of both cultures.
  • A final similarity is that most forms of Chinese martial arts have the same weapons and techniques as their Japanese counterparts.

What to choose?

What you choose depends on your personal preference and the type of martial arts you wish to practice.

All styles will help increase your health and mental agility, as well as make you a more skilled fighter.

On the other hand, you should also consider the culture behind the style. As with many things in life, that which is foreign isn’t necessarily better than that which has been around for decades.


In conclusion, while there are more similarities than one might first realize, there are also some main differences between Chinese martial arts and Japanese martial arts.

This is especially true when it comes to the mindset behind their training methods and the types of techniques.

A good rule for beginners is that if you want to be able to throw your opponent around like a ragdoll, then you should learn Japanese martial art. Otherwise, Chinese martial arts may suit you better. The choice is yours!

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