Some of the most interesting martial arts you probably haven’t heard of

Martial arts have developed all over the world at different times through history. Some of them are ancient and have been practised in one form or another since before the invention of writing, while others were developed as recently as the 20th century and designed to meet very specific needs of militaries and police organisations across the world.

If you’re considering taking up a new martial art, the most challenging decision is probably which one to go for as there are literally hundreds to choose from, quite possibly thousands. While there’s no right or wrong martial art, some are better suited to one’s needs that others. Here are a couple worth thinking about if you’re considering taking up a new one:


Bakom was created in Peru in the 1980s to meet the demands of the Peruvian military and police forces. Bakom’s goal is simple, unlike many of the older martial arts that come with philosophy, history and legend. The goal of Bakom is simply to render one’s opponent incapacitated. Not always the most graceful this martial art teaches some brutal methods such as choking and breaking one’s opponent’s bones. As a very modern and very pragmatic martial art there is little talk of honour or self-discipline. This is perfect for anyone who is routinely in dangerous situations like a police officer or war reporter—to name a couple of jobs.


Canada is more commonly associated with good healthcare, socialist policy and a very welcoming culture and not violence and martial arts. Nevertheless Okichitaw is a martial art that developed in Canada and is practiced to this day. Okichitaw comes rom ancient techniques used by the Plains Cree First Nations. The name comes from the Cree The word Okichitaw is a word from the Cree language and was a title given to any warrior by the elders of the tribe after that warrior proved himself (or rarely herself) on the field of battle. Even though this is not quite the most traditional  of martial arts, having been developing in the 20th century and drawing on influence from places like Korea, it is predominately based on the ways of the Cree people and their traditional methods of warfare.


Unlike the other two on this list, the martial art of tahtib has been round for a very long time. And like the others on this list you’re quite likely not to have heard of it, but by all means you’ve heard of the ancient Egyptians who developed this form of combat. It’s not entirely possible to know quite how ancient this martial art is because it goes back for such a long time, but this form of stick warfare was known throughout the ancient world and it’s safe to say that it’s been practised for more than 4000 years, putting it up there with other martial arts like yoga (yes, this was orginially a martial art practice) as far as age and antiquity is concerned. Having been around since the time of the ancient Egyptians it’s somewhat surprising how obscure this martial art is. In essence, it is stick warfare and it approximately 4500 years old. Like yoga, which took on a slightly different from tahtib developed into dance, but the stick warfare can still be practised today.