If you are looking for the best martial art for self defense then there are a lot of different things to consider. The truth is that there is no single martial art that is clearly better than all others for self defense. While there are some that use techniques that are more effective than others, the reality is that just about any traditional martial art can be modified to be used effectively in real world situations. The key to being able to learn a martial art that will allow you to defend yourself is to choose one that suits you, to choose one that utilizes effective real world techniques, and to find an instructor that focuses on real world applications in their teaching. While there may not be a clear cut best martial art for self defense, there are several that are more practical and make more sense to learn if you are interested in being able to protect yourself. While flashy kicks and other techniques may look good, the reality is that they usually aren’t that effective in a real fight. If you want to learn the best martial art for self defense then any of the following would be a great choice for you.
While most people probably don’t consider boxing a martial art, the truth is that it is a highly effective stand up combat system. If you stop to think about it most street fights start with pushing, some type of aggressive posturing, and then often a series of wild punches. Someone trained in boxing is capable of defending themselves from this type of assault, and then throwing counter punches to knock their opponent down or out.
2. Muay Thai
Originating in Thailand, Muay Thai is another standing combat system that is very effective in most situations. While boxing focuses on throwing punches, Muay Thai also includes elbows, clenching, knees, and kicks. While throwing a kick in a street fight often leaves you vulnerable to attack, the low kicks taught in Muay Thai minimize your risk while still being effective at injuring your opponent and keeping them at a safe distance from you.
Judo is a combination martial art that employs standing throws with ground based grappling skills. In Judo you learn to use the weight and momentum of your opponent to evade an attack and then execute a counter throw. While throwing someone may not seem as effective as a punch, the truth is that a throw can inflict a lot of pain and damage on someone. Judo also includes a lot of ground based submission techniques such as chokes and joint locks so that you can quickly take a downed opponent out of the fight.
4. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ is a grappling martial art made famous by it’s heavy use in modern mixed martial arts. BJJ is a ground based fighting system that emphasizes learning to take an opponent to the ground, and also being able to defend yourself while in a ground fight. BJJ practitioners learn to use a variety of submission moves in order to incapacitate an opponent. While a joint lock is usually only employed until an opponent taps out in the ring, in a street fight it can be employed until serious injury is inflicted, thus preventing your opponent from being able to hurt you.
5. Mixed Martial Arts
Today one of the biggest and fastest growing sports in the world is mixed martial arts. Mixed martial arts gains it’s name from the fact that those that compete in this sport employ martial arts techniques from multiple different styles. If you are looking for the best martial art for self defense then learning MMA is something you should seriously consider. When you learn MMA you learn how to strike and protect yourself while on your feet, and also how to submit and opponent and protect yourself if you end up on the ground during a fight.
6. Krav Maga
Krav Maga is a close combat system that originates in Israel and is now the chosen close combat system employed by many of the world’s top intelligence and law enforcement agencies. What sets Krav Maga apart from the other martial arts on this list is that it is never employed in any type of sports capacity. Instead it is specifically designed to enable you to do whatever is necessary in order to emerge victoriously in a street fight. What you have to remember is that any time you are in a street fight you must treat it as a life or death situation. You must assume that if you lose the person attacking you will try to kill you. Krav Maga teaches a variety of strikes, throws, and joint locks, each one meant to inflict maximum damage on your opponent. There are no illegal moves, in fact moves that would get you banned in most sporting martial arts are encouraged. When you are fighting for your life, the lethal and brutal techniques taught in Krav Maga can be invaluable.
When choosing the best martial art for self defense you need to look at what your physical capabilities are, and what your needs are. If you are an average person that is rarely in a potentially dangerous situation then you probably don’t need the same level of training as someone that works in law enforcement. You also need to keep in mind that the style of martial art you learn isn’t anywhere near as important as how hard you train and how well versed you become in said art. While flashy martial arts that use high kicks and other techniques may not be the best choice, if you develop a high level of skill in them, and then learn to use the right kinds of techniques then they can work for you. The best martial art for self defense is the one that you are comfortable in spending a lot of time learning and practicing so that you can master it’s techniques.