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Introduction to Olympic Martial Arts

The Sydney Olympic Games are here, and at About Martial Arts, we're ready for the spectacle. This year's Olympics introduce tae kwon do as an official Olympic sport, making it the first kick/punch martial art in the games. New advances in fencing might do away with the wires that attach fencers to their scoring devices; just like cell phones and remote controls, fencing is going wireless. And competition in judo promises to be some of the most exciting matches ever.

We've put together Viewer's Guides for these three Olympic martial arts, outlining the history, rules, and equipment of each sport. Consult these About Martial Arts special sections for more information:

En garde! Although fencers can sometimes look like big white spiders playing tag, this is a serious martial art, with a heritage of duels and medieval warfare. But don't think it just has merit for its historical value--Bruce Lee studied fencing for concepts to incorporate in his jeet kune do.

The "gentle way" of judo looks not so gentle, especially after a big throw that flips a player head-over-heels and smashes him to the mat. The first Asian martial art in the Olympic games, judo is one of the few sports that allows you to choke your opponent until he or she surrenders.

Tae kwon do makes its debut as a full medal sport at the Sydney Olympics. Noted for its complex and fast kicks, tae kwon do is an exciting combat sport for men and women.

Keep watching the About Martial Arts site; we'll have lots more commentary and insight for these Olympic events in the next coming weeks. And for the best sites about the Sydney Olympics martial arts, consult our About Martial Arts Olympics page:

The best sites about the Sydney Olympics martial arts.

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