Thursday, December 25, 2014

Olympic Martial Arts

What martial arts are included in the Olympics?

First of all, from looking at the Olympics website, they don't have a category of Olympic martial arts. They seem to treat them as separate sports (the Olympbics also don't have a "ball sports category" such as soccer, basketball, and vollyball).  Some people, such as Mike Lee of His post on Olympic Martial Arts lists 6 martial arts but his list seems to only focus on combat sports:

  • Olympic Boxing 
  • Olympic Fencing 
  • Olympic Freestyle Wrestling 
  • Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestling 
  • Olympic Judo 
  • Olympic Taekwondo
Mike reports that in 2020, wrestling will be dropped (both Greco-Roman and Freestyle?) but despite earlier efforts, Wushu karate is not yet planned to be included.

But, there are two other sports that I feel are martial arts although they are not direct combat:
The official Olympic website is particularly useless at providing info on whether these sports are going to be maintained or dropped. I'm also unable to find anything on eligibility. I remember, for instance, that professional basketball and soccer players were not allowed to play in the Olympics when I was young. Then, at some point, to keep it interesting and to balance the Eastern Blocks definition of amateur, new rules about Olympic eligibility rules were created having to do with age and number of allowed Olympic appearances but I can't seem to find any info on it.