Strange Martial Arts You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

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Strange Martial Arts You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

When you hear the words martial arts, the first things that come to your mind are probably Karate, Judo and Jujutsu, or something similar. We consider these martial arts honourable and fairly safe, as it is very rare for competitors to get injured while fighting these days.

Contrary to modern and popular martial arts, there are others which you probably have never heard of. These martial arts tend to be more obscure, brutal and practised by smaller communities. Some of the practitioners of these fighting styles even indulge in unregulated and sometimes illegal fights that people bet on, unlike modern matches where betting is regulated and you can even get promotional codes like the 22Bet Bonus code to earn extra benefits.

Without further ado, let’s talk a bit about the weird world of the lesser-known martial arts.

Canne de Combat

Imagine being a noble in 18th century Paris. You are returning home from a bar, minding your own business, when thugs ambush you and beat you up. For that reason, some residents developed a fighting technique that utilizes their heavy-ended canes which they usually carried to protect themselves. 

With canes out of fashion and the improved security in the city, this martial art eventually died out. Its rebirth came in the 1970s when it was redeveloped and received a new set of codes and techniques. 

Rough and Tumble

Imagine MMA fighting with brutality turned up to eleven. If you can visualize it, then what you are seeing is called Rough and Tumble. Developed in the 18th and 19th century in the Southern United States, these fights were a common form of entertainment at the time. 

While most other martial arts have rules to prevent participants from hurting each other, this technique does exactly the opposite with eye-gouging as one of its prominent techniques. It wasn’t even uncommon for fighters to file their teeth down and use them as a weapon for biting off pieces of their opponents. 


Ancient African boxing with a twist! There was a caste of travelling butchers in Nigeria who, in order to earn money, used to organize fights in the villages they visited. 

These fighters wrapped a cord around their hands and chains around their legs. The chains would be used both offensively and defensively. If that wasn’t enough, they went a step further by dipping their fists in resin and then in broken glass. 

This fighting style was used in the past to prepare young men for war, but in modern times, dambe fighters are trained in gyms, and pre-fight rituals involve marijuana smoking.


By now, most of you have probably heard of eskrima, the martial arts style from the Philippines. Well, kinamotay is basically the same, except pinching, eye-gouging, scratching and biting are allowed.

This technique actually revolves around biting, as it is used to ‘improve’ grappling. The rules teach you what are the best body parts to attack (nipples and face are the prime targets), how much flesh to put into your mouth and even how to chew during the fight.