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  • Egypt and Iraq
    30th Century BC

    Oldest combat sport

    Egypt and Iraq
    30th Century BC

    Wrestling is the oldest combat sport, with origins in hand-to-hand combat. Belt wrestling was depicted in works of art from Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt c. 3000 BCE, and later in the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh. The earliest known depiction of boxing comes from a Sumerian relief in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) from the 3rd millennium BCE.




  • China
    2698 BC

    Chinese martial arts originated

    China
    2698 BC

    Chinese martial arts originated during the legendary, possibly apocryphal, Xia Dynasty more than 4000 years ago. It is said the Yellow Emperor Huangdi (c. 2698 BCE) introduced the earliest fighting systems to China. The Yellow Emperor is described as a famous general who before becoming China's leader, wrote lengthy treatises on medicine, astrology and martial arts. One of his main opponents was Chi You who was credited as the creator of jiao di, a forerunner to the modern art of Chinese wrestling.




  • Greece
    7th Century BC

    Earliest sources of martial arts traditions date to Ancient Greece

    Greece
    7th Century BC

    In Europe, the earliest sources of martial arts traditions date to Ancient Greece. Boxing, wrestling and pankration were represented in the Ancient Olympic Games. The Romans produced gladiatorial combat as a public spectacle.




  • India
    5th Century BC

    link the origin of Shaolinquan to the spread of Buddhism from ancient India with the figure of Bodhidharma

    India
    5th Century BC

    Legendary accounts link the origin of Shaolinquan to the spread of Buddhism from ancient India during the early 5th century CE, with the figure of Bodhidharma, to China. Written evidence of martial arts in Southern India dates back to the Sangam literature of about the 2nd century BCE to the 2nd century CE. The combat techniques of the Sangam period were the earliest precursors to Kalaripayattu.




  • China and India
    480 BC

    Extensive development in martial philosophy and strategy emerged

    China and India
    480 BC

    The foundation of modern East Asian martial arts and South Asian martial arts is likely facilitated by cultural exchanges of early Chinese and Indian martial arts. During the Warring States period of Chinese history (480–221 BCE) extensive development in martial philosophy and strategy emerged, as described by Sun Tzu in The Art of War (c. 350 BCE).




  • Europe
    1st Millenium

    Number of historical combat manuals have survived from the European Middle Ages

    Europe
    1st Millenium

    A number of historical combat manuals have survived from the European Middle Ages. This includes such styles as sword and shield, two-handed swordfighting, and other types of melee weapons besides unarmed combat. Amongst these are transcriptions of Johannes Liechtenauer's mnemonic poem on the longsword dating back to the late fourteenth century.




  • Japan
    12th Century

    Japanese martial arts beginning with the establishment of the samurai nobility

    Japan
    12th Century

    Asian martial arts became well-documented during the medieval period, Japanese martial arts beginning with the establishment of the samurai nobility in the 12th century.


  • India
    13th Century

    Indian martial arts in medieval texts such as the Agni Purana and the Malla Purana

    India
    13th Century

    Indian martial arts in medieval texts such as the Agni Purana and the Malla Purana.


  • China
    1570s

    Chinese martial arts with Ming era treatises such as Ji Xiao Xin Shu

    China
    1570s

    Chinese martial arts with Ming era treatises such as Ji Xiao Xin Shu.


  • Korean Peninsula
    1598

    Korean martial arts from the Joseon era and texts such as Muyejebo

    Korean Peninsula
    1598

    Korean martial arts from the Joseon era and texts such as Muyejebo (1598).


  • London, England, United Kingdom
    1867

    Marquess of Queensberry Rules

    London, England, United Kingdom
    1867

    Modern boxing originates with Jack Broughton's rules in the 18th century, and reaches its present form with the Marquess of Queensberry Rules of 1867.


  • Athens, Greece
    Monday Apr 6, 1896

    Fencing and Greco-Roman wrestling were included in the 1896 Summer Olympics

    Athens, Greece
    Monday Apr 6, 1896

    Fencing and Greco-Roman wrestling were included in the 1896 Summer Olympics.


  • St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
    Jul, 1904

    FILA Wrestling World Championships and Boxing at the Summer Olympics were introduced

    St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
    Jul, 1904

    FILA Wrestling World Championships and Boxing at the Summer Olympics were introduced in 1904.


  • Lausanne, Switzerland
    Saturday Nov 29, 1913

    Féderation Internationale d'Escrime founded

    Lausanne, Switzerland
    Saturday Nov 29, 1913

    European swordsmanship always had a sportive component, but the duel was always a possibility until World War I. Modern sport fencing began developing during the 19th century as the French and Italian military academies began codifying instruction. The Olympic games led to standard international rules, with the Féderation Internationale d'Escrime founded in 1913.


  • Nanjing, China
    1928

    Central Guoshu Institute

    Nanjing, China
    1928

    In China, the modern history of martial arts begins in the Nanjing decade (1930s) following the foundation of the Central Guoshu Institute in 1928 under the Kuomintang government.


  • Lausanne, Switzerland
    1946

    International Boxing Association was established

    Lausanne, Switzerland
    1946

    The International Boxing Association was established in 1946.


  • Japan
    1960s

    Kickboxing

    Japan
    1960s

    The term kickboxing was created by the Japanese boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi for a variant of muay Thai and karate that he created in the 1950s.


  • Korean Peninsula
    1960s

    Taekwondo was developed in the context of the Korean War

    Korean Peninsula
    1960s

    Taekwondo was developed in the context of the Korean War in the 1950s.


  • Tokyo, Japan
    1956

    World Judo Championships

    Tokyo, Japan
    1956

    World Judo Championships have been held since 1956.


  • Tokyo, Japan
    Oct, 1964

    Judo at the Summer Olympics was introduced

    Tokyo, Japan
    Oct, 1964

    Judo at the Summer Olympics was introduced in 1964.


  • Tokyo, Japan
    1970

    Karate World Championships were introduced

    Tokyo, Japan
    1970

    Karate World Championships were introduced in 1970.


  • U.S.
    1980s

    American kickboxing was developed

    U.S.
    1980s

    American kickboxing was developed in the 1970s, as a combination of boxing and karate.


  • U.S.
    1980s

    Bruce Lee effect

    U.S.
    1980s

    The later 1960s and 1970s witnessed an increased media interest in Chinese martial arts, influenced by martial artist Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee is credited as one of the first instructors to openly teach Chinese martial arts to Westerners.


  • U.S.
    1989

    LINE

    U.S.
    1989

    The US military de-emphasized hand-to-hand combat training during the Cold War period, but revived it with the introduction of LINE in 1989.


  • Japan
    1993

    First Pancrase event was held in Japan

    Japan
    1993

    In 1993, the first Pancrase event was held in Japan.


  • Paris, France
    Tuesday Nov 29, 2011

    UNESCO inscribed Taekkyon onto its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List

    Paris, France
    Tuesday Nov 29, 2011

    On November 29, 2011, UNESCO inscribed Taekkyon onto its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List.


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