There are a large number of distinct styles and schools of martial arts. Sometimes, schools or styles are introduced by individual teachers or masters, or as a brand name by a specific gym. Martial arts can be grouped by type or focus, or alternatively by regional origin. This article focuses on the latter grouping.
For hybrid martial arts, as they originated from the late 19th century and especially after 1950, it may be impossible to identify unique or predominant regional origins. It is not trivial to distinguish "traditional" from "modern" martial arts. Chronology isn't the decisive criterion, as, for example, "traditional taekwondo" was developed in the 1950s, while the "modern" hybrid martial art of Bartitsu was developed in ca. 1900.
A large portion of traditional martial arts can be categorized as folk wrestling (see the separate article), although in some cases a folk wrestling style and a modern combat sport may overlap or become indistinguishable from each other once the sport has been regulated.
List of martial arts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Styles of Chinese martial arts
The concept of Martial arts styles only appear around the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Before the Ming period, martial skills were differentiated only by their lineage.  There are now hundreds of different styles of Chinese martial arts, many distinctive styles with their own sets of techniques and ideas. There are themes common which allows them to be group according to generalized "families" (家, jiā), "sects" (派, pai), "class" (門, men), or "schools" (教, jiao) of martial art styles. There are styles that mimic movements from animals and others that gather inspiration from various Chinese philosophies or mythologies. Some styles put most of their focus into the belief of the harnessing of qi energy, while others concentrate solely on competition or exhibition. This rich variety of styles has led to the creation of numerous classification schemes.
Geographical location such as regional affiliation is one well known example. A particular Chinese martial arts style can be referred to as either a northern fist (北拳) or a southern fist (南拳) depending on its point of origin. Additional details such as province or city can further identify the particular style. Other classification schemes include the concept of external (外家拳) and internal (内家拳). This criterion concerns the training focus of a particular style. Religious affiliation of the group that found the style can also be used as a classification. The three great religions of Taoism, Buddhism and Islam have associated martial arts styles. There are also many other criteria used to group Chinese martial arts; for example, imitative-styles (像形拳) and legendary styles; historical styles and family styles. Another more recent approach is to describe a style according to their combat focus.
Styles of Chinese martial arts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia