Kumdo Vs. Brazilian Martial Arts: How Do These Fighting Sports Differ?

Here, we'll compare kumdo and Brazilian martial arts such as capoeira and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, in terms of movement, self defense benefits, and many more.

Are you looking for a fun and, at the same time, effective way to improve your health and well-being? Practicing martial arts may be the way to go. Some of the health benefits of practicing martial arts include being a full-body workout already, increasing the practitioner's confidence, improving flexibility, providing better coordination, lowering blood pressure, and a whole lot more. Two of the most well-known martial arts today are kumdo and Brazilian martial arts. We are going to compare these right now, in terms of what they are about, who can learn them, and their different types.

Brazilian Martial Arts

Overview Of These Martial Arts

What Is Kumdo?

Kumdo is a Korean version of the modern martial art style (Kendo is the Japanese version). Kumdo, the Korean version, means "the way of the sword," and its mix of the modern Japanese version of Kendo and the Korean ancient form originated in Korea nearly two millennia ago as a form of sword fighting used by warriors to defend their territorial hold over the country.

Thus, kumdo is founded on a strong sense of patriotism and loyalty to one's fellow countrymen and family. These values are still being instilled in many kumdo schools worldwide.

Moreover, as a sword symbolizing power over one's life, this Korean martial arts soon developed into a true martial art and a way of life as well as opposed to just being a brutal method of combat.

During the 1900s, kumdo was reshaped to its form as it is known today using bamboo swords and protective gear, making kumdo much safer to practice without compromising its benefits for spiritual and mental health.

And though strength and speed play crucial roles here, a practitioner cannot master the art of kumdo with a pure and unadulterated state of mind and heart. This aspect of kumdo makes it fantastically appealing and beneficial as it intensively trains the person's mind and body. Kumdo is a very popular martial art with millions of practitioners worldwide.


What Are Brazilian Martial Arts?

From Korea, let's travel to the other side of the world, Brazil. Many people think Brazilian martial arts begin with capoeira and end with jiu-jitsu. They couldn't be more wrong.

Though those two are the most famous Brazilian martial arts, there are several other styles that show off unique and exciting movements, and you can gain a lot from learning them.

Brazil, which was once an enclave of the Portuguese, has a long legacy of creating spirited and competent fighters. Did you know that its indigenous people developed the first martial arts in the region? Soon, with the influx of other cultures from other parts of the globe, its martial arts developed from various sources and started to branch off into various disciplines.

Today, you can bear witness to practitioners of these different forms in every major fighting sport, most prominently with Brazilian jiu-jitsu in mixed martial arts or MMA. Then, you also have vale tudo, capoeira (of course), luta livre, kombato, and huka huka.

Who Can Learn These Martial Arts?

Who Can Learn Kumdo?

Everybody can learn kumdo. Kumdo is considered a "lifetime sport" that can be enjoyed by both men and women, both older and younger people. For youngsters, it teaches the right attitude and respect and improves confidence, endurance, and concentration.

Furthermore, unlike other fighting sports, kumdo uses a natural posture. This refers to a walking-standing posture that uses a straight spine and wide chest. This comfortable position lets older people enjoy kumdo without encountering problems with their physical well-being.

Who Can Learn Brazilian Martial Arts?

Everybody can also learn Brazilian martial arts. The various fighting styles are very varied that you can find one with movements and philosophies that you prefer.

For instance, you can select from styles that are about getting in better shape and controlling your body, styles that deal with keeping you safe all the time, or styles that work well in combat sports if you wish to compete.

Some forms of Brazilian martial arts are about speed and grace, but you can pick styles that center on strength and explosive bursts. But no matter which you learn, there will be a style that will let you lean toward your strengths as a practitioner.

And once you are decided why you want to learn martial art, you can always find a Brazilian style that will help you attain your goals and vision in a fun and helpful way.

Brazilian Martial Arts

Various Types

Are There Different Kinds Of Kumdo?

Kumdo is just one type of martial art. If you ask about the different types of kumdo, what we can tell you at least for this question is that kumdo belongs to a wide range of Asian martial arts. Kumdo is just one and does not have any sub-types.

What Are The Various Types Of Brazilian Martial Arts?: From Capoeira To Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu


Capoeira originated from slaves during the 1500s, disguising martial arts lessons as dance. So, you can see it has roots in slavery in Brazil, which tells a lot about how deep it is when you start learning it.

People who practice this form rely on fluid movements rather than fixed stances. Meanwhile, the strikes come from complex move sets that need acrobatics and stronger stamina.

Once you learn the style, you will also realize there will be larger movements leading to potent strikes. Oftentimes, these are kicks, but not all the time. When practiced well and good, the motion becomes an art form that resembles dance but also has devastating power behind each blow.

This nature of the movements in capoeira makes it great as a form of workout. It also uses music while learning the moves, adding elements of fun. In pop culture, Elena from "Street Fighter III" use capoeira in their bouts.

Vale Tudo

Also referred to as "No Holds Barred," vale tudo is a hybrid martial art that began appearing during the 1920s. It is young compared to capoeira. The style is known for its brutal and violent tone. It uses strikes, holds, and throws, combining some of the most dangerous aspects of other martial arts from Brazil.

However, the forms in vale tudo are often criticized because they often cause injuries among practitioners during events. So, many vale tudo events have added rules to make them safer. However, many are still wanting to learn the classic style of the sport, which is wilder and more dangerous.

Vale tudo developed alongside Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and these two forms, interestingly enough, have developed a rivalry, with practitioners from each respective style claiming theirs is the best combat style. Brazilian people are competitive, isn't it?

Luta Livre

On the other hand, luta livre is a Brazilian martial art that takes inspiration from judo and catch wrestling, to make a newer form of grappling martial arts. Luta livre also became known as the poor kids' martial arts because there is no dress code and there are no equipment needed to start learning.

Once you learn luta livre, you will focus on the grapples and holds. Strikes are there but are not taught as part of the main curriculum.

Many MMA fighters use luta livre styles, and there is a healthy rivalry too between luta livre, and both vale tudo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (which you will learn about in a while).


Kombato is one of the newer Brazilian martial arts, only becoming a form starting in 1989. The Brazilian armed forces use this style, and it is famous among bodyguards who need something to protect themselves and others under their wing. When you practice kombato, you will use a combination of strikes and grapples to neutralize threats.

The principle in kombato is to learn protecting yourself in the real world, so it places focus on real combat scenarios. It trains the person on how you end engagements effectively and quickly. Here, there are techniques for both the feet and on-the-ground grappling to help in every fight.

Kombato, however, does not focus on the philosophy or mental state, unlike other martial arts, particularly in Asia. It is all about learning how to protect yourself as much as you can.

Huka Huka

Huka huka is a wrestling style that started as an indigenous funeral ceremony in the Xingu region in Brazil. Interesting, right? Originally, both fighters begin on their knees and compete to see who could knock the opponent to the ground first.

Like other Brazilian martial arts forms, the combat is almost entirely about grappling. However, there are also various throws you can learn.

Nowadays, the fights are still performed as part of the culture among Brazil's native people, but the techniques have also been used by the São Paulo State Military Police. Many MMA fighters also use concepts from huka huka.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Unlike kumdo, which stands as one, you can see there are many forms of Brazilian martial arts. The last on our list (though there are certainly more) is Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It is regarded as the most popular fighting style in Brazil, and its fame in the MMA contributes to this. It was in 1920 when the form officially became a style among judo practitioners. Once you learn jiu-jitsu, you will often focus on submission holds and ground fighting.

Should you decide to learn this form, you will also get to know how to grapple from various positions. You will get used to being wrapped up with your opponent, and see how you can gain an advantage once the fight goes to the ground.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a great way to equalize a fight, so whether your opponent is big and strong, or smaller, you really cannot tell if the odds are in your favor when you start. You will learn to use leverage to get your opponent on the ground and focus on weaker joints to inflict pain.

Once you start jiu-jitsu classes, you will get a traditional gi or the uniform, as well as belts that show your rank, such as in taekwondo. However, many modern Brazilian jiu-jitsu schools are moving away from the gi to focus on learning the sports as combat.


Learn Kumdo From US Hwa Rang Kwan

Are you finally decided to enroll in a kumdo class? Yes, you need to find the right school for your needs, and US Hwa Rang Kwan, a kumdo school in the United States, just checks all the boxes. What is US Hwa Rang Kwan all about?

US Hwa Rang Kwan is a martial arts school and institution dedicated to promoting and teaching kumdo in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. However, they also have branches in Chantilly, Virginia, and Ellicott City, Maryland.

This school offers classes for students seven years and older. Interestingly, its focus is not just on martial arts for self-defense, but also on self-development through spiritual maturity, inner strength, the calmness of the soul, and a pure heart. Together with speed and strength, these principles for the essence of kumdo.

If you wish to learn more about kumdo (if you are not yet decided on enrolling here yet) and the US Hwa Rang Kwan school, you can read more articles at blog.ushrk.com.

Now That You've Learned About The Two Types Of Martial Arts For Self-Defense, Let's Answer Some Popular Questions About Them

How Old Is Kumdo?

Kumdo holds a history of around 2,000 years. During this long history, it has continually been studied, enhanced, and re-established both in its philosophy and practice.

Is Kendo And Kumdo The Same?

No, kumdo and kendo are two different types of martial arts. However, they are related to each other. Kumdo is the Korean version of kendo, which hails from Japan. The rules and how instructors teach are slightly different.

What Is The Strongest Korean Martial Art?

Practiced by millions of people across the globe, the strongest Korean martial art would be taekwondo. This Korean martial arts centers primarily around self-defense with the use of kicks, blocks, throws, takedowns, and grappling. And to further put the popularity and reach of taekwondo into perspective, it is the only Korean martial art that is also an official sport at the Olympics.

What Is Capoeira Dance?

Capoeiristas, or the people who practice capoeira, would tell you that capoeira is a Brazilian martial arts disguised as a dance and performed to musical instruments like berimbau, as well as traditional Brazilian songs. It is also comprised of specific offensive and defensive movements. Plus, unlike in other martial arts, the participant is constantly in motion because of the basic movement called the ginga. Other movements include roda.

What Is The Best Martial Art Workout?

Many people learn martial arts because of its benefits for the health. If you are looking for which martial arts to practice for workout, the best ones would be kumdo, capoeira, taekwondo, karate, escrima, wing chun, and tai chi.


Kumdo and Brazilian martial arts may be both for self defense, but martial arts practitioners would tell you that they are very different and come from two opposite regions of the world. While kumdo is more about combat, most Brazilian martial arts are generally all about rhythm, graceful movements, and acrobatic stunts. But whichever of the two you wish to pursue (or actually, you can do both for more fun!), whether it's kumdo or the Brazilian dance fighting styles, you are surely going to get their benefits not just for self-defense, but also for your health.

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