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Some forms of martial arts were already present in classical civilizations of Europe. Nell ' ancient Greece fighting spirit was part of the lifestyle and boxing (pygme , pyx), the fight ( blades ) and the pankration ( pankration , from pan , meaning "everything" and kratos , meaning "strength") were among the forms of competition Olympic most appreciated. A Roma were practiced boxing techniques arising from pancrazio and arenas clashed gladiators sometimes in combat martial.
Many of the martial arts practiced in Europe soon became obsolete with the advent of firearms. Some such as boxing, wrestling, fencing have survived and became sport. Even in Italy there were different types of martial arts, especially those related to the use of one or two sticks, often of different lengths, as it was not often allowed those who were not noble to carry the sword. One example is the Genoese stick , the stick of Puglia or the Sicilian . The latter, now called Liu Bo, was used mainly by the poorer classes in self-defense, for example against the bandits during the Bourbon rule, and is still practiced.

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