Take a tour of some of the deadliest martial arts ever invented. These styles turn the human body into a lethal weapon, showcasing the awesome power warriors can harness with their bare hands.
Enter the dragon and see for yourself.
SilatMalaysia may not be the first place you think of when talking about martial arts, but their unique form of fighting - called Silat - is one of the deadliest in the world. Unlike some martial arts that stress spirituality or self-perfection, Silat is all about one thing: violence.
SilatSilat is an ancient art with no clear beginning, though some masters believe it was created by watching the movements of animals. This makes sense because the fighting style is all about exploiting weaknesses in your enemy and incapacitating them as quickly as possible. Another theory, proposed by "The Malay Art of Self-Defense," is that Silat grew out of a combination of Chinese and Indian martial arts.
SilatSpeed, leverage and devastating disabling moves are the basis for Silat. In the modern era, this fighting style is a sport like many others. But it's hard trying to regulate a form designed to break rules (and bones.)
Kung FuNo list of deadly martial arts would be complete without Kung Fu. The granddaddy of hand-to-hand fighting has been practiced for centuries in China, and used by its warriors to deadly effect for just as long.
Kung FuKung Fu is actually the general name for all Chinese martial arts. There are a variety of styles, but they all share the same root: striking your opponent with lightening speed and unstoppable power. Monks were once the guardians of Kung Fu, honing their bodies and minds into lethal tools of war - with or without weapons.
TaekwondoThe Korean fighting style known as Taekwondo is possibly the most popular martial art in the world. It is easily the most popular martial sport. But that hides its roots as a deadly form of combat. The name literally means "the art of kicking and punching."
TaekwondoThis ancient form of fighting goes as far back as the B.C. era, according to some scholars ("A Brief History of Taekwondo" claims the first evidence of the style was found in a cave painting dating to 37 B.C.)
TaekwondoThe emphasis of Taekwondo is on kicking. As the longest, strongest limb, fighters realized that using legs in combat gave them an edge over other fighting styles that focus on punching. The devastating power of a Taekwondo kick can drop opponents in seconds.
Muay ThaiFrom Thailand comes Muay Thai, also known as The Art of Eight Limbs. Yes, eight. This form of fighting relies heavily on elbows and knees, which the Thai count as limbs. Hard, lightening fast knee strikes form the backbone of this deadly fighting style.
Muay ThaiThough an ancient form of fighting, Muay Thai is a popular sport in modern Thailand. It is still extremely dangerous. Boxing gloves don't offer much protection - or soften the blow - from a knee to the ribs.
MCMAPWhen it comes to waging war, few organizations have as much experience as the United States Marine Corp. So it's no surprise that their unique brand of hand-to-hand fighting, the Marine Corp Martial Arts Program, is one of the deadliest forms in the world.
Troops learn a variety of moves, from simple take-downs and strikes to advanced bayonet techniques and how to fight unarmed against an opponent wielding a rifle.
MCMAPMCMAP is sometimes called "Semper Fu" by the troops. Believe it or not, this lethal art is actually less deadly than their previous style. The LINE System, used by Marines from the 80's to 2001, was deemed too deadly by command. Due to the variety of peacekeeping duties Marines undertake - as well as the simple fact that sometimes you want your target alive - the MCMAP fighting style was created.
Of course, less lethal can still be plenty deadly.