These styles tend to focus on the culture and tradition of martial arts (although some, such as Kali, do emphasise self-defence or combat).
First developed as a means of gaining advantage in combat over an opponent before they could draw their sword, the emphasis today is on developing control and remaining calm under pressure.
Students learn to recognise difﬁcult situations and avoid them becoming a problem or engaging the conﬂict before it becomes a signiﬁcant matter. Beginners start with a wooden sword and progress to real weapons once the basic skills are mastered. The overall aim is to become so good that you never have to draw your sword in the ﬁrst place.
'The way of the sword'. This highly stylised martial art derives from the two-handed sword-ﬁghting techniques of the samurai. Fighters use the shinai, a four-foot bamboo sword with a cord running along one side, and the aim is to strike the opponent with the side opposite the cord. Protective clothing is worn to cover the head, wrists and abdomen.
'Bladed weapon'. This technique originates from the Philippines. Unlike many other martial arts, weapons training is introduced ﬁrst followed by hand and foot techniques. In addition to sticks, bladed weapons may be used.
'The way of the bow'. Often considered the purest of all martial arts. In the past the Japanese bow was used for hunting, war, court ceremonies, games and contests of skill. Today it is practised primarily as a method of physical, moral and spiritual development. Emphasis is placed upon posture, balance, concentration, composure, physical awareness and motion.