Each country though out history has had its own form of self defense or un armed combat. Many times to find the original art you must go back hundreds, and sometimes thousands of years. One problem that the researcher may come across is the influence of travelers into the country that bring in their respective form of defense aspects watering down the original art form. That is not to say that this is a bad thing, due to the fact that many arts did this in the past to improve upon a technique. or to implement one that did not excist to meet a current need that was plaguing the area of the country form evil doers and invaders.
While it may be a sign of our base culture as a whole, you can trace the progress of a country or a people by how efficiently they kill each other. I think this may be a sad commentary on man in general, but as a purely historical and educational standpoint is quite telling about each country and their development as a people.