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The Most Effective Martial Art

Most Effective Martial art?

What is today's most effective martial art to use in real life?

Would it be Aikido, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai or another form of martial arts?

Aikido is seen as the ultimate grappling martial art for self defence purposes as long as one finds a good dojo. A lot of criticism has gone into the fact that Aikido is not taught the way it was used to and that a lot of it's effectiveness has gone astray due to this lack of experience in the art. Aikido also takes a relatively long time to develop. It might look easy but when it comes to applying the technique taught..it's a whole new game. After mastering the art a bit though..between 2-4 years one can really start to see results of hard work. Aikido has no attacks and contains only defensive techniques. It is a system of fighting developed for a multiple opponent atmosphere...compliments of O-Sensei

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling art designed and developed by the famous Gracie brothers. This method of fighting is proven for it's effectiveness everyday. It is therefore seen as one of the most effective martial arts in an one-on-one match. The problem is also that though, since it losses somewhat of it's effectiveness when the opponents are more then one.

Muay Thai is a fighting form developed in Thailand and although it cannot, in the real sense, be put into the kickboxing category, it is probably the best description. Muay Thai focus only on striking and kicking. What makes this art so exceptionaly effective though is it's use of elbows and knees. Muay Thai fighters are seen as the toughest fighters in the world, being able to take a powerhouse beating and not even showing any signs of going down. The combination of these elements makes it a deadly art if used correctly. Muay Thai has some weaknesses as well though. Since it has no advanced form of grappling, fighting against an experienced grappler might be a bit of a problem

Then there is the Fear No Man:Fear No Man type martial arts that is apparently "UNBEATABLE". If you have a sense of humour go check out their site. The link is a google ad.

Which form is however the most effective?

Although all these arts are effective, each has their own weaknesses, therefore my advice is to combine them into a mixed martial art, cancelling out the weaknesses to form the ultimate art. Specializing in ground, grappling as also striking situations. a Martial art is only as effective as it's weakness...eliminate the weakness and one will have a devestatingly powerful martial art.

Please take a look at the different parts of this hub for more detail on each martial art specificly for more info. Part 1:Aikido is availible.

If you are looking for the most effective martial art for the street and self defence where guns, knives and multiple opponents usually are present, have a look at my article : The Most Effective Martial Art for Self Defence and the Street. I have highlighted the 5 best arts for these situations in my opinion as also the reasons why.


Muay Thai

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


Growls on March 16, 2015:

The deadliest martial art ever is Lancashire clogging - it\is was soo deadly all its practitioners died.

Anonymous on March 12, 2015:

I've been practising Aikido for 9-10 years and I know that Aikido is more a philosophy than a martial art and that it is criticised cause it "only shows a perfect fight" which might not be what will happen in real-life fight, however practising it for so many years can definitely open your mind. Some techiques are quite difficoult to learn, but other are very effective (such as Kotegaeshi, Iriminage, Koshinage, etc). In addition I think that the best martial art doesn't exist, cause in real life during a fight you can't think what technique you will perform. Finally I think that learning multiples martial arts and fighting styles is the best choice.

Robert Z on October 19, 2014:

HAving had 6 years of Aikido, 6 years of Hard Karate and 8 years of Judo coming to Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu, i could by no means consider Aikido the Most Effective Martial Art.

There are a number of limitations that make Aikido best suited to smaller and lighter person. Anyone like myself who is big and strong will feel very limited not being able to develop their full potential.

If we were to say look for the most elegant of martial arts i would rank Aikido and Crane Kung Fu as the top contenders; if we were to look for the least aggressive martial art i would again suggest Aikido and Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu (my style, Buddhist Phylosophy based) as the top choices. If we in turn look at the top fighting styles than we can not go past Muay Thai, Wing Chung, Combat Karate, Combat Kung Fu and Boxing.

And if we are looking for deadly styles than we should join ay Armed Elite Forces and not try and find it on a WEB page.

So, all respect to Aikido as a great and traditional style and if you have a couple of decades to devote to the style it become very effective. But if you need to learn to defend yourself in a relative short period of a few years, chose the well founded and grounded styles of Muay Thai, Wing Chung, Combat Karate, Combat Kung Fu and Boxing. Ones that you can hone your skills in a ring and learn what it is like to fight before you have to really fight.

Oh, and why do i not mention grappling; as a one-on-one style it is excellent but, i don't like all that grabbing and sweat sharing as well as not easily being able to handle multiple opponents.

And just to clarify, i am a martial art veteran of 50 years and i do not teach any of the 5 listed styles or seek to promote what i love most; Shaolin Animal Kung Fu.

Sijo Robert Z

butcher on August 01, 2014:

hy everybody must say most comments are from People who are no fighters so they say what they think not what they use you ha ve 2 Basics in a fight man against man that's kicking and striking or Wrestling anybody can test himself at least in his mind what would you do against kerr coleman ec not much i guess but on a average base the more trained weight you got the better you can take and if you give its effective choosing one main technike would be Sumo for if you got the statys who would fight you the visual Point is that a big hulking Frame saves you from having to fight 99 percent for me best fighters are Nelson asashoyru or how hes spelled a Young tank bac to Basics trained mass wins bye

topshooter on December 28, 2013:

I've been into martial arts for a long time . Been in the hood of west Atlanta and grew up off settling fights through boxing which was lame cause you got either side sounding like bitches saying no grabbing and holding. Then wrestled for two years and made quite the style of it in the streets till I joined the Marines and discovered martial arts and understood it. Plus learned some judo training in Japan with the Japanese military plus the Marine Corp Martial arts. When got out I on grappling but still cross train in srtiking and edge weapons. Theres no effective martial arts it depends on you to know when to and how use what's effective for you

The one who knows. on October 17, 2013:

Easy question. It's tai chi, for the simple reason.. nothing given, nothing taken.. and aikido has strikes it's not all defensive who ever thinks aikido doesn't have strikes is just stupid.

Drake Looschen on June 09, 2013:

Jun Fan has got it right! I know from multiple opponent street-fighting experience, that JKD not only works - - it’s extremely devastating! The large brutal aggressors became pussycats, hobbling away with broken bones. JKD/ Kali can even be used successfully against hand gun armed foe. If you are fast enough with JKD/ Kali, say after at least 4 years of training, you are unbeatable and extraordinarily dangerous - - which cannot be foreseen with an average stature. The other martial arts are mostly just organized chaos/ bull shit. For example, the mixed martial arts ultimate fighting has got more rules than standard boxing. Check it out for yourself! Even a golden glove boxer is more realistic than a Karate man or Korean MA crap.

David Orman on May 02, 2013:

My choice would be the Russian martial art of Systema.


iodiskGog on March 07, 2013:

I utilized to get on top of life however as of late I have piled up some sort of resistance.

B on November 28, 2012:

Jeet Kune Do with an empahsis on take downs, submission, and vital point striking. It's hard to beat.

Kristian Go-Williams on July 27, 2012:

I think that all Martial Arts are effective... But, my favorite is Wing Chun. In Wing chin you redirect your opponents power and use it against them. And, if you've seen the Ip Man (Yip Man) series, he kicks butt.

Pierre on June 12, 2012:

The best MA is the one which adapts readily to any situation and which develops your mind and body to be prepared and strong.

I have done Yoseikan Aikido and Krav Maga (as well as a few other arts).

Honestly, Aikido takes many years to master to a point where you can use it effectively in a fight. The "soft" Aikido taught today is not really street effective.

Krav is a big contrast as a style. It is aggressive and explosive. Krav Maga is good for fighting. If you just want to be effective and take out opponents there are many types of "dirty" fighting systems out there.

I would say Krav Maga is quite realistic and takes little time to learn as it needs to be used for the real world.

Look at some of the military/police training tactics.

dave on June 06, 2012:

the most effective martial arts are out there, but 99% of the world will never see them. these are closed systems and are only past down to a very few. they are combat and war designed system that incorporate hard and soft styles, including weaponary.

Jon on May 31, 2012:

Agreed. There is no ultimate art. Combat depends on conditions, environment, training, the teacher and students skill and comprehension.

My focus is on the Koryu of Japan. Non watered down arts for practical combat. Sports (budo) are great for competition, but are immediatley at a disadvantage in natural/real world scenarios. Combat is almost never fair, predictable, honor based and one on one. My focus has been exclusively in the Japanese Martial Arts- but I respect all forms that a combatant may choose.

I study:

Bujinkan Ninjutsu: Taijutsu is our hand art. However 9 Ryuah and 18 disciplines cover a broad scope of combative techniques and weapons.

Aikijutsu: pure form of Aikido (again budo vs bujutsu/ Combat vs sport) Aikido is sport based.

Jujutsu: pure form of Judo

Kenpo: purer form of the various Karate styles (Shotokan, Washin Ryu, Shorin Ryu etc)

Kobojutsu: Okinawan art covering many weapons (Bo, Kama, Oar, Nunchuka, Hanbo etc.)

My point is that sport arts are great and effective to a degree- but are subject to failure in a true combative environment. Aikido, Muay Thai and MMA (Gracie Jujutsu) are all subject to this stubborn fact. You take any warrior on his terms and you will find you are not so very strong.

A practitioner of Martial Arts should be masters of the art of NOT Fighting. Never allow stupidity and pride to put you in such a foolish situation. Master the art of peace and diplomacy.

If you are so unfortunate as to find yourself surrounded by 'the savages' call upon your training and use restraint if you can. Because when you cross the line into REAL combat you will also have to live with its consequences.

dale on May 26, 2012:

I can't remember where I read it but 70% of success in sport is due to conditioning only 30% is due to skill if this apples to self defence then the best martial art is the one that gets you in the best physical condition. The average guy is not strong enough to knock another out you need to develop the strength and striking power before you can ever dream of taking on multipleattackers . Power lifting boxing wrestling and mma training are good ways to develop the necessary conditioning but not the only ways. By the way before you say I'm wrong I should point out I've been in fights against many opponents and been the stronger guy is what got me . Get strong and punch hard and you will best most people add some striking + grappling skills and you will be unbeatable regardless of what martial art forms you have chosen

Kaliradman on May 22, 2012:

Who says Kali is limited on Bladed weapons, sticks and guns? Its a close quarter combat, and it will give youn room to kick and response, you just chill coz it will kill you. Its abattle tested martial art.

JC on April 29, 2012:

Yeah, no martial art is the best, because if put out of your comfort zone in a fight, one or the other is going to show flaws in the style, and for example, ancient chinese martial arts were only relevant to the Chinese culture and way of life but if theres a fight between a Chinese martial art like wing chun and jujutsu, maybe one will have certain advantages over the other so they have to adapt to be sure that they keep their styles integrity . Wing chun has a third form witch is considered incomplete because as fighting evolves, so must the style, in china wrestling or grappling wasn't popular but today some styles have adapted their fighting to others.. Every style thinks and knows they are efficient but only when flaws are found will they get better.I'm 20 done goju ryu karate do for 5 years, boxing for over 7 years on and off with my grandfather, and have currently been practicing wing chun for 3 years and I find that each three of these martial arts have their their advantages and disadvantages separately but combined, they make a deadly cocktail.

Cody Cerkines on April 24, 2012:

okay well this is gunna sound a little stupupid compared to all these amazing quotes before me but, i was wondering if you can join a martial arts class soley on wanting to correctly weild and utilize the weopons. i was kinda hoping to be something like a weopons specialist and just want to learn how to weild as much weopons as possible, i somewhat know how to shoot and that wont be as fun as learning hand to hand combat and using something like swords and throwing knives. im only in my teens and would like to know if you need some sort of belt or certification from the sensi to order and purchase a weopon like throwing stars/knives, swords,the yawara thingy, or anything of the sort.

Rezac. on April 19, 2012:

I was in ShodoKahn for a few years and I really enjoyed it. I thought it had many practacal movements and it is always very effective for me. I will honestly say thought that everybody should just start by thinking that your body is just like any other leatheal weapon. You need to understand how to use it. Like a gun. Nobody can fire a gun without ammo. Consider being in shape and alert as ammo. You must also know where the trigger is. Consider your aggression and will to attack your attacker as your body's trigger. Not everybody has a very crisp trigger if you catch my point but everybody has one. Finally you need to know how to aim a gun. You also need to know where to hit, grab, wrap, kick, or gouge your target with your body. I also like to think that you can upgrade your body just like a gun as well. If a gun doesn't have a magizine with enough rounds you may not survive long enough to reload. Same with your body, but your ammo is stamina. If a gun isn't comfortable or doesn't seem practical to the user they may dislike it and never want to use it. Think of your martial arts style as you type of gun model. I am in no way a blackbelt, a sensi, or a certified fighter but I can sure as hell seem like one when sh*t goes down.

Matthew on April 12, 2012:

DIM MAK, nuff said

marcus marcus on April 12, 2012:

what do you think of shootfighting,is it effective in the real world? and what about catch wrestling?

which do you think is the best street effective grappling art- sambo,bjj,catch,shootfighting or greco-roman?

And what do you think of japanese jujitsu,i always thought that was the best art out there,but everyone ignores even mentioning it.


ipsot on April 12, 2012:

wing chun is more effective for real self defense situation

Colin Knox on April 02, 2012:

All martial art systems are good and effective. The thing that everybody needs to realize is that there is no ultimate and invincible martial art. (Simply put, there is no martial art that is the best.) no matter how much you train and how much devotion you put into the art and who you learn from, there is always going to be someone who is better than you and will be able to beat you. Therefore, it is pointless to try and promote a style of fighting to be better than another because they all have their strenghts and weaknesses.

Roddie Lumsden on March 31, 2012:

if you look at history one of the most deadliest of fighters and unbeaten is rocky marciano so in my opinion in a street fight or pub brawl boxing is the most effective system as all pre arranged fighting is useless i myself have a 2nd dan TKD and also done shotokan and judo but after boxing the best martial art i have come across is Go Ju Ryu karate a really underestimated style cause it's not flashy like TKD

J on March 23, 2012:

In a street fight people would want to use BJJ? Grappling on concrete is not fun. Taking a shot at someone's legs or writhing on the ground for control would hurt on concrete. Throwing and striking arts would be the best for a street fight.

Rob on March 14, 2012:

WING CHUN great system

Pekit Tirsia!- filipino martial art taught to ilipino special forces

(warning, these arts are for KILLING, not playing in a cage)

if u want to learn to fight, learn navy seal hand to hand (Rapid Assault Tactics) fomr PAUL VUNAK in california

Mister Q on March 05, 2012:

Soon, there will be a martial art that no average human being could ever learn. No great muscles or knowledge will be able to beat this new martial art. Only those who understand themselves could learn this martial art. Pity, it will be the only ultimate martial art and only few could learn it. I myself is still unable to learn it. This martial art will be called Pure Soul. You all are going to witness it's true power soon.

Corey on February 28, 2012:

Honestly a mix but I would go with a solid wrestling or bjj game every. Fight starts standing and usually ends on the floor

franzhwoarang on February 26, 2012:

@nightcrawler... Boy please... I was a yellow tip when i took on an 8th dan shotokan master... I kicked his ass in every aspect of the word... If you're stupid enough to think that karate can compare to itf taekwon-do then there is no hope for Ýou my boy...dumbass


Josh on February 24, 2012:

Nobody I think you have some very good points in your post.

Josh on February 24, 2012:

Its not the style its the warrior.

EIRC on February 23, 2012:

Hm hello all I have read through a few comments and have seen the though of MMA being best, muay thai, BJJ, JKD, etc. Well my own personal opinion is that one BJJ isn't good enough do to the more than one person would be to difficult, muay thai if they get you on the ground its basicly game, JDK is basicly the same as muay thai in that position. I've never seen a JDK fighter go with ground game it is good yes but not ground game from what I've seen. I've had a friend that's done it and he said there is no ground game for it. And as for. MMA I believe that there are 2 forms of it. MMA in the ring and MMA in real combat situations. If one were to learn all of these styles or atleast abit of each like I have my self with over 6 styles you will gain truly the greatest martal art what stumps me is that noone dissided to take the stuff from all the martial arts they learn and mix them. Not bound by MMA rules but rather combind them and tweek them to make a new style with its own flag to represent. My personal list that I beleave is all that would be needed for the greatest fighter is Akido for dodgeing, BJJ for throws and ground game, muay thai for striking, karate for stance, disaplen and more striking, TKD for the variety of kicks,and Kung FU for the unpredictablity of a fight (I say this due to the fact that in true kung Fu they have basicly no rules at all even if people try to clean that up they do nut shots and eye shots so they might as well hit everwere else along with the fact that they have such a varriety of styles that they would basicly know every angle and way people would try to fight in). That's my personal opinion on this cuz I've basicly done everything but akido sadly can't find a teacher, dojo, and doing it from home and reading only goes so far sadly. V.V...oh well I hope you all enjoyed my little rant and such and enjoy your day see ya.

Nobody on February 23, 2012:

There are several deadly styles of fighting!!

With that said there are there are two points to all types of Combat hand to hand or weapons combat

("keep it simple stupid")

1, Defending

2, Attacking

With that said strategy now becomes important!

1. Awareness (Know your enviroment threats etc...)

2. Know the weeknesses of the human body and or weapon you are using (There are several week areas on our fragile bodies btw) this is key for strategy for both points of fighting know what to defend and know what to attack!

3. Know the natural strength of the human body and the strength of the weapon you are using! Again this is key for both points of fighting.

4. Don't waste time! Time is vital no need to say more!

(Simple example: if your running a race? If your smart you would run from point A to B and not waste time going from A to B to C right? So with that said throwing hooks etc... to me are pointless and costly!)

I will stop with that unless anyone wants to read more!

With all that said I would say any style of combat that teaches you the basics and doesn't waste time and energy on looking cool is a good start the rest is up to you.

I also would like to add if you can run/avoid the situation that is your best option.

What you see on TV is a sport not real life. The styles you see are good and also you don't see the full fighting style due to rules of the sport and it is not life or death situation! Real deadly situations there are no rules besides to survive! There are several fighters in this world that wont compete in these events due to beliefs, morals etc....

One more thing keep an open mind closed minds don't learn and real tuff guys don't pick fights they finish them if is a must!!!!

Tory on February 19, 2012:

Most posters on here seem to over think things, form opinions with no merit, and really don't know shit

Jit on February 05, 2012:

Any martial art is effective if done properly.

Lee Paxton on January 30, 2012:

It's not the style, but the man, and there is where exactly, for years, prize fighters or pro boxing, produces men that in or out of the ring, are capable of taking & inflicting sever punishment, i.e., in a real fight anywhere, they would not have problems with grapplers; especially, they would not encounter a problems with the so-called martial arts.

Richard on January 23, 2012:

The best martial art is the ones you don't hear about. also on topic the best martial art to use in a bar brawl is drunken fist even if you have multiple opponets it is the best to me. ( MY OPINION) you can email me your thoughts on that at properfist@gmail.com

azmi on January 21, 2012:

just read mac young book. boxing,wing chun,silat,aitkido ,muay thai concepts. Improvised weapons. Avoid grappling ground game if possible

Jackson on January 19, 2012:

Akido and Tai-chi both teaches you to relax, most martial arts tense your muscles and restrain the flow of energy, energy is power (chi or ki) , power comes from balance and we are more firm and balanced when our bodies are relaxed. It doesn't matter even if you can defeat 10 guys at a same time, you can't find joy in violence but you can find joy in peace and love and Aikido teaches that.

paul liversidge on January 18, 2012:

I love the way everyone says this art or that art -

it is what suits you're lifestyle & bodytype and what's available at the time.

There is no one art that is best! Lets get that clear from the start !!!

It is down to the person who makes the art work! Regardless - then again a punch thrown & connects, no matter what art you do or whatever grade you are, be it a 17th dan gold belt, if that punch is a good connection you are going to go down ! Now I'm not saying that the art you train in is no good - every art has something to offer - so choose the one that suits you and if works for you then great - THAT IS THE BEST ART

ip man on January 16, 2012:

hello..well for me i would go for wing chun..wing chun is a close combat and also ul b taught to not only see the attacks but feel it..so before and opponent punch or kick, u already know what to do in jst split of a sec..but it al depends on the student..nt the martial art..adios woooooowahhhhhhhh

wrestling on January 15, 2012:

Where is wrestling in all of this...

7 star on December 30, 2011:

Its not the style its you!

Gop on December 20, 2011:

The best martial art is the one that wins. For unarmed combat, you would have to consider those developed for war such as Krav Maga, Sytema, Ninjitsu. BJJ and others may be popular and good at what it does, but I'd rather run than clinch in a street fight.

Physical: Are you fit and have you drilled in the basic techniques so that you can do them quickly and with little thought? Is your body conditioned to deliver effective techniques, last through a fight, and maybe take a few hits?

Mental: Can you recognise a life/death situation is coming? Are you willing to poke out eyes, bite throats, or do any other technique that may kill without hesitation?

Common sense: Use your surroundings. Turn off your ego and run away if possible. They may have a knife or gun. They may be better than you, or have more mates present, or just be luckier at the time. Recognise danger and avoid it. Yes Mr Miyagi, you are correct. "Best defence, no be there!"

Koo Koo Barra on December 12, 2011:

I would just keep a gun - and use it without any hesitation. Then lets see which is faster the trigger finger or the foot and hand. I think that is the best form of self-defense.

El_Greco on December 09, 2011:

The most lethal martial art is called "Pankration" used by ancient Greek soldiers. This is not for self defense, but for killing enemy soldiers in combat. A very "lighter" version is today a ring sport

jamesw on December 06, 2011:

BJJ is a grappling art, and u need to be up close in the correct position. Many got whacked before they could get in position. It is preferred in MMA simply because it is the best way to subdue an opponent.. w/o killing or breaking his limbs.

Dave on November 26, 2011:

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Try to argue.

leslie tafadzwa muguti faffydee on November 23, 2011:

i lyc a combination of all martial arts styles i practise that myself thus the best

lemonhead on October 29, 2011:

I think some of you guys have drifted off the point.

I think the point of the question is, if you had to choose ONLY ONE art to study in- because that's what most people would be forced to do (we don't have unlimited funds or time after all), which would be the best choice. Hate to give a wimpy answer- but you have to decide what the most likely scenario is for which you'll want to use it.

For instance, if you want protection against life-and-death situations (late night parking lot encounters, or weapons being brandished), then I'd recommend Krav Maga, as they spend a great deal of time training to handle exactly that. I know because I trained in it for awhile and it's very good.

So why wouldn't it be the best period? Well, because if you really want to just be able to defeat a bigger bully, or handle yourself in the typical drunken barroom brawl, many of the techniques could be a little extreme and cause permanent damage (think eye gouges and throat strikes). This is where I feel BJJ (particularly Gracie JJ- which is much more reality/street focused), is the best choice. It will allow you to defeat the larger opponent, and give you more control over the outcome, as you can decide whether to inflict a little pain, or, snap an arm, or rip a shoulder out of a socket, or choke an opponent out......that's why I prefer and train in GJJ (currently a blue belt)..

Samuel on October 25, 2011:

the most effective submissive martial art is MMA/BJJ

there is no comparison between MMA and other martial arts people say the rules ruin its effectivness but in the street you're no going to particullary use rules are you Yes akido is effective but it could'nt beat MMA my suggestion is just to incorporate akido with mma on youtube look up bbj vs all those chinese gay martial arts and you will see who wins.

Jak Blimmonds on October 16, 2011:

As usual people look at the aggressive and grappling martial arts and self defensive arts are usually overlooked. Defence is far stronger than attack; for any physical move can be countered by full spacial awareness, perfect technique and homed reflexes. All listed techniques are taught in the slow, thoughtful and deadly art of Tai chi where attack follows defence and not in the wrong order! Tai chi is under estimated and should be considered and taken seriously.

Nightcrawler on September 30, 2011:

There is no ultimate martial art for each martial art contains its own techniques, forms, arts and weaknesses.

Muay Thai, Karate, Boxing, Wushu, Wresting, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kung Fu, Savate, Capoeira, Judo and other martial arts are all effective and lethal.

I'm a Shotokan Karateka myself. I took down my opponents who trained many years in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Taekwondo and Krav Maga, and I can notice that it's not the art, it's the user.

I used techniques that would counter their techniques, and they also used techniques that would counter my techniques, and I can see the wonder of each martial art. Each is so unique and jaw-dropping.

This means that there are no ultimate martial arts. Respect each martial art. You can compare, but one is never better than other and the other never better than the one.

Alessio on September 22, 2011:

Wrestling combined with boxing and karate is enough. I've seen state champion HS wrestlers easily defeat supposedly advanced grapplers of other forms (e.g., BJJ). Karate adds the kicking element and boxing provides the punching element, and the ability to take a punch. The rest of this stuff is not really that effective, except in very rare cases where someone is so dedicated that they truly do become an expert. In summary, wrestling is the most superior martial art, as is evidenced by the number of wrestlers who win in MMA competitions vs. other practitioners.

Drake silver on September 19, 2011:

Overall i think ninjitsu would be a good choice to practice but it all acords to the situation. Thinking there is a "universal fighting style" is a sure way to deaviate from sanity. The more variaty of fightting styles you learn the better but extensive pratice in 1 is a good choice to.

Eternal springtime on September 17, 2011:

Traditional Wing Chun is the most effective.. It's good to learn any martial art but If u really wanna learn how tO defend your self try and find a traditional wing Chun school if u can! Ther are only so meny schools in the country.

Anonymous on September 13, 2011:

I think that Krav Maga is the best martial art in a self-defence situation because its so effective for us in the IDF.

LEEfan33 on August 01, 2011:

While there is truly no single most effective style there a handful which can be considered to stand above the others. Among them include Muay Thai which involves KILLER KICKS, and makes the body hard as steel. Then there is the lesser known art of Kali, a flowing style in which if the Kali fighter finds anything knife or pole like the other fighter has already lost. And of course Jeet Kune Do which incorporates the style of no style making a highly unpredictable fighter.

legend on July 18, 2011:

A true master can accomplices all skills no matter the task, the art of style is only one half of the coin the other half is the person wielding the ability to do so.

malay silat practitioner on July 18, 2011:

in my opinion, there is no such thing as 'the most effective martial arts'... it depends on the the practitioners and how they train... regards

MARV on July 02, 2011:

You know the artist in his prime who can leap over cars and destroy others - a.k.a. a bully. My crippled self would shift slightly at the last moment and put superman to sleep. Adrenaline and a refusal to lose makes me temporarily uncrippled. At my age I assume all fights are to the death. For 60 seconds I am the ghost of Bruce Lee on steroids- controlled berserker power and accuracy. Avoid and defuse potential violence. When forced to fight or flight, do just that. If there was an ultimate belt for wisdom, it would be above ALL black belts in all styles. I remember being afraid of tai kwan do kicks. Later, I remember smiling at how easy those kicks were to control or avoid.I remember the fact that I would never reach into a man's belly, reach up and pull his heart out. I remember the fact that one could punch thru a breast plate and explode a heart. A one minute fight is a LONG fight. My days of tossing around linebackers like rag dolls are over. My days of a knockout bonebreaking jab or uppercut in 0.1 seconds are just upon me. An intercepting fist IS a form of defense.A hit is a hit; a miss is a miss ...

MARV on July 02, 2011:

Timing and footwork will beat punching, kicking, grappling, etc. Those who referred to state of mind, give yourself a hand. Gracie shmacie - if you are fighting three or four foes, grappling for 2 or 3 seconds is useful. Grappling for 30 seconds is your funeral. A Mr. Miyagi will most likely whup 3 or 4 foes. Use what works,learn many moves yet simplicity rules. Be like water. Practice practice practice! JKD (a CONCEPT- NOT a STYLE!)

MARV on July 02, 2011:

testing testing 12 3

daveydoka on March 11, 2011:

Hands up all those martial arts practitioners that go around picking fights. In the modern world where the undisciplined and untrained thug whom may choose to use a knife or a gun is the most likely suspect to attack another human being for no good reason I would say that any martial art or self defense system would be suitable provided the practitioner feels comfortable with the style they choose. I would recommend that every martial arts practitioner train hard so that your art becomes natural to you. That way you won't have to think when attacked. I am an Aikidoka and would happily recommend other arts if anyone were to ask my advice on an alternative to their current art. At the end of the day, all arts find their roots in arts that were developed with the intention to defend from those with weapons. Ju-jutsu - used by samurai to defend their Masters (Evolved into jujitsu, aikido, judo etc). Ninjitsu - used to assasinate others (would occasionally involve face to face combat against weapons or hand to hand). Karate - developed in Okinawa when weapons were banned from the island but settlers had to defend themselves from law breakers. These are just a few but all share a common philosophy, to be able to fight someone whether they are armed or unarmed.

manofpeace on March 09, 2011:

correction. or martial women

manofpeace on March 09, 2011:

I reiterate Martial=war ,modern warfare is most often by small arms, therefore most effective martial art would be the one in use ,soldiers, REAL martial men shoot each other not charge each other

Nora on February 24, 2011:

Everyone is going to believe that their own martial art is the best. I believe that the most effective would need to be able to change in any situation. It would need to follow simple physics, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line etc. Any martial art where there are rules, like not hitting in certain places are ineffective because another group will take advantage of that. A good martial art should never go down on the ground because if your fighting multiple opponents you'll be majorly disadvantaged. An effective martial art should teach the two hands to one rule. meaning that your opponent never has a free hand to hit with. My choice of martial art is Ving Tsun. Not only do you train your body but you train your mind as well.

Ka Pow on February 22, 2011:

You will learn in time to be very effective with whatever body you have. One of the smallest boniest black belts in my class who also practices Aikido is so fast with such perfect timing he can tie most anyone in a pretzel or strike them before their eyes reopen from a blink. I do recommend you practice multiple styles and try multiple instructors in each style. As a fellow Shotokan karateka I highly recommend you and all others read "Shotokan's Secret" by Bruce Clayton.

Essentially it analyzes Shotokan in it's historical and cultural context. The primary thesis is that all of what are now considered separate Japanese martial arts such as Shotokan, Aikido, Judo, Kendo, Jujutsu, etc were one and the same at one time. The men and women who developed these arts practiced a MARTIAL (aka military) means of deadly force. He examines the Bunkai of the Heian kata to show that they are not just blocks, punches, kicks, and strikes, but also contain grappling, throwing, and techniques to disarm an opponent to use his weapon against him. The most effective techniques of all the arts are the most basic ones -if properly taught. Per another gentlemen's advice study JKD (developed by Bruce Lee). Bruce nailed it by breaking the mold of rote learning that had been passed down by multiple generations that had lost knowledge of the practical applications of the arts. Be creative and imagine fighting in your mind especially when doing kata. Read and practice on your own. Always respect your Sensei and fellow karateka. Practice safely and with control. It takes a lot of time and dedication, but you will be rewarded in ways you cannot imagine.

amateurmartialartist on February 17, 2011:

I'm an amateur martial artist in Shotokan Karate and it would be much appreciated if an expert would give me a word of advice...for instance, I'm extremely skinny and not muscular at all; what then is the point if I can't grab someone and pull them down or toward me properly? Just one of the MANY questions I would like to ask. I would ask my instructor, but you know...I'm learning.

Brian K on February 06, 2011:

Definitely Muay Thai and Systema. I've never seen such an efficient style as Systema. And the strengthening of your bones through Muay Thai can gives you an unbelievable advantage.

Flowerundertheleaf on February 05, 2011:

If your art is complete you would have all of this components. Look at any real traditional school of kung fu (any style)the all have kicking, striking, locks, holds, throws, etc. The problem that arises today is that many schools have teachers who left their masters to early so the never gained the full system. For example most people say that Brazilian jujitsu is the best at locks. Not true they just emphasis it more. In fact Jujitsu comes out of Japan and means to seize and control. Chinese martial arts have the exact same concept its just called chi-na. Therefore by the proposed definition all arts are in a sense mixed if they are complete because the methods are not supposed to be you kick, punch, lock, or bludgeon. It’s whatever the situation calls for or more realistically what’s available based on distance and body. Finally, NO style is every really more or less superior it is only the individual practitioners experience and refined skill that sets them apart

VFORCESFC on January 24, 2011:

I do NOT agree with Aikido, Mauy Thai or even Brazilian Jiujitsu being the MOST effective art, its arrogant to say. Every SINGLE martial arts has a super star(s) in them. It comes down to what Martial Arts can replicate that HIGHER NUMBER. Basically meaning, the ratio of good fighters in real situations against all versatile types of attacks.

MMA has brought 3 of the most effective fighting methods into one combines art. Now the only thing that would make it better is what I did with it. Added a few more Martial Arts into it and made it street realistic. Kind of what the first UFC was all about. I train my students in everything I have been trained in and it actually even goes further to deal with mindset and aggression.

The question should have been, What martial arts produces the most amount of individuals who can handle them in many street scenarios against multiple attackers, bigger,stronger and faster and so on.

Personally, any martial arts that spars/fights or competes against the same fighting style is inferior.

There MUST be cross training. So I agree with your ending statement.

arnis boy on January 02, 2011:

Arnis of the Philippines is the most effective known as Eskrima or Kali because you learned how to defend edged weapons like knives and blades.And you learned how to fight using sticks,knives and hand to hand combat,The mano y Mano or the empty hands concentraiting in striking,locking,and throwing techniques effective in street figthing like other martial arts,But filipino martial arts concentrating in weapons.Now i love the art of my country the Philippines.

Spikethe2nd on December 13, 2010:

As an official martial art, I would recommend Lethwei (Burmese Boxing) as I think that the use of stuff like headbutts and raking fist strikes are incredibly practical. However, the British Special Forces CQC (Close Quarters Combat) program is an excellent self-defence system. However, although I've been practicing Lethwei for 8 years now, before that I got into a lot of fights and from that, I've learned that really the best way to fight is hit anything, with anything. Also to remember that the idea is not to win points, but to stop the other guy hitting you.

just my 2 cents

manofpeace on November 20, 2010:

although many have jkd about guns on this page I have to say if you're gonna include weapons "the way of the gun" is a valid MARTIAL ART(martial as combat not sport) and most gun guys i know practice shooting more than the "martial artist" practice their arts . And a well placed shot is gonna kill you (unless it's a banger's .25auto ) years of training, "superior" martial arts ,body conditioning none of these will help you in the end if you don't fully commit to the fight when there is no other choice I've picked up a few "tricks" from different MA over the years and enjoy the UFc fights like everyone else on here but know that in the end many people don't have the mental conditioning to permanently hurt,incapacitate,or kill their opponent .My favorite example was a guy who conditioned three times a week ,attended a MMA gym , and boasted several belts in MAs and was put in the hospital by a 120lb mentally disabled person he was supporting who decided he wanted to kill his staff thankfully enough cops were on scene (4 with tasers) to subdue the disabled gent before he could make good on his promise . (BTW for those who know about mant and the rules for MHRT work that stuff went out the window when this guy attacked he's one of the only people in our state that is allowed to have takedowns preformed) the words of my Drill Sergent will always ring true it's you or them not a tickle fight hurt him sissy

lemonhead on November 17, 2010:

Unfortunately, the UFC really is about the best modern day proving ground for all of these martial arts. And if you watch it, you'll find that most matches end either via good old American boxing with a punch to the head, or a BJJ submission, or less frequently- with a Muay Thai knee or elbow to the head. So there you have it. I don't see any Ninjutsu guys, or any of these other disciplines doing any damage in there. Lyoto Machida is supposedly a Karate guy, and he's good, but my Karate friends tell me that even he has had to modify his style so much that it really doesn't resemble Karate anymore.

So again, I like and train in Gracie jiu Jitsu.....

smg on November 17, 2010:

Go-ju-ryu is an excellent martial art it really does combine all of those kinds of things explained in the article! no fancy stuff tho! this martial art is meant for serious self defense!!!(knives, guns, multiple people, etc...)its very strict but if you stick with it you'll love it! the higher you go in rank the more you learn. im fifteen and i already have a second degree black belt in this martial art! ive been doin it sinse i was five and haven't stopped!(btw the 2nd degree thing is actually a big deal considering the age requirements and old fashioned rules and/or training!) try it out its fun! :D

TRACY on November 03, 2010:

In my opinion I think Kempo, Ninjutsu/Ninpo and Jeet Kune Do would be the most dangerous martial arts. All three of these arts can be used on multiple attackers or one on one attacks. They teach how to use weapons and how to handle an armed attacker. The also incorporate ground fighting techniques as well. This has you more well rounded for most sitautions on the streets. Jujitsu is good for one attacker and hopefully one without weapons. Eveybody is so hung up on BJJ (jujitsu) b/c of UFC but this was used for one on one competition. Try to think outside the ring. Also, I think the name Jujitsu should be the only word that refers to this art. It was brought to Brazil and taught to the Gracies by a Japanese man and was modified to fit to Grandfather Gracies short stature. Jujitsu is a Japanese word and putting Brazilian in front of it to me is just disgraceful. I also do not see anywhere in Royce Gracies mathces where he defeated a guy trained in Ninjutsu and even if he did at some point I can guarantee you in a street fight the outcome would be much different. Gracie would be defeated!

Jake on October 31, 2010:

i may be speaking out of line, but in my opinion bruce lee is the baddest man to ever walk the planet. and he created a form of martial arts known as jeet kune do.. and i believe if used correctly it would be the most powerful form of martial arts to learn

raheel on October 29, 2010:

I think eskrima because?you learn how to defend sharp weapon like knife or of blade weapon,and you learned how to armlock,breaking bones,grappling techniques in eskrima empty hands.

Grafight on October 21, 2010:

A lot of interesting comments on a subject open to many possibilities. Today there are complete martial arts which combine striking, blocks, locks, throws and many other techniques, such as Kempo, Tang Soo Do and Ninjitsu. I would not consider MMA, UFC or any regulated sport a good gauge to determine the efficiency of a martial art on the street. Quite the contrary, Some of the least used MA in MMA, like Taekwondo, can be efficient on the street. In TKD you learn to strike and to strike fast. You learn to kick and recoil fast to avoid your leg getting grabbed. A well placed-fast kick may be all you need to stun the attacker and get out. To me FMA looks just like Kempo or Hapkido, except when they take the weapon they stab the attacker multiple times. If that's what you want, Just take your regular MA and add murder.

Atomisk on October 12, 2010:

Systema........Russian systema and RKC training seems to be among the elite fighting systems. As are Ba Gua, Tai Chi, and Hsing I. Soft power seems to be more efficient. Look up "principles of power" on amazon/books as it explains the science of softer martial arts. I think Ba Gua is the most realistic and complete. Shaolin, thai and karate have great resilience techniques like that of hard qigong and kicking through baseball bats. There is a video on youtube of a shoilin monk throwing a needle into glass......and its real. Mas oyama killed bulls with his bare hands. jack dempsey knocked out a bull with a punch. Being a ninja and setting a trap while observing from a far is also very efficient. training to shoot a gun really really fast and accurately is also highly suggested as this is the most advanced handheld weapon available now. I would say that shooting is as much a martial art as learning any other weapon. Real ability take a lot of time and effort, and includes relaxing techniques with breathing and everything! Learn gun martial arts. Use bruce lees ideas but know that there is no ultimate technique. If you read his work he clearly states that jeet kune do is not the ultimate martial arts. he just wanted people to free their minds and learn for themselves rather than let someone else learn for you and make yourself a stale copy of other humans work. learn from others but don't try to be others. ALSO I think for the fastest results as far as fighting skill boxing is the best as it puts student in actual sparring/fights from the get go. the best way to learn is to FIGHT.... Legally as close to the real thing as possible. You can't learn to swim outside of the water.

Sorry I'm not editing this ramble to make it make any sense..... the above is on the spot idea storming.

lemonhead on October 12, 2010:

That's easy- Gracie JuJitsu. Why you ask? The Gracies STARTED the UFC back in the early 90s to prove a point- whatever skill or martial art you wanna bring- bring it and lets see which is best. And there were no weight limits, no time limits, and hands down, the Gracies beat down EVERYONE. Even opponents weighing 50-100 pounds more. Yeah, I study it, and I'm a little biased, but the reason I CHOSE to train in it was because I did my homework first and knew what it could do. I also like it because I have control over the amount of force I will apply and therefore- the outcome. So you can inflict a little pain to send a message, or, break an arm or tear a shoulder out of a socket.....

Me :) on August 30, 2010:

Hello everybody. I've been practising Aikido and I can say that it's useless. Enemies will NEVER come to you with hands extended for you to grab them, and executing those extremely difficult thecniques requires most times the collaboration of the enemy, WHAT IS OBVIOUSLY IMPOSSIBLE IN REAL FIGHTS. Aikido is a way of life... call it philosophy, but not a martial art. You can see that there aren't any Aikido championships, and at Aikido Demonstrations enemies take an absurd behaviour and act without violence and waiting for the Aikido fighter to look at them and prepare before they attack him. I gave up in Aikido months ago. I feel bad cause I made friends there, but is extremely hard to play those extrange "choreographies" knowing that is totally useless.

For me the best martial arts, the most effective are those created for the war. Ninjutsu, Krav Maga, Karate, etc.

Muay thai and those craps (sorry) are just peasant stuff. They have no thecnique and soul, what is valuable in a martial art. I know Ninjutsu is algo a "peasant" martial art, originated in Japanese peasants, but it was just it beggining, after that and with years and decades it become an extremely precise art.


Dan on August 25, 2010:

Aikido is terrible!

quaresma on July 30, 2010:

any style is great as long as you can use it in the right way.

but this is what anyone should do

1. finish him as fast as possible.

2. don't be a hero and run as fast as you can if you are outnumbered

3. look for help.

because this is a matter of life and death,, not a competition

Sensei Lewis on July 29, 2010:

Hi My name is Sensei Roy Lewis and i am a fully learned expert in karate and teach karate with sum other martial arts. I believe the only way to bring your personal

fighting with martial arts is to truly have self discipline an respect for you opponent and never to underestimate or degrade you opponent by thinking you are better than him when in reality it is not the martial arts that are at fault in some cases but it is the user of the art. You should never allow yourself to build a bigger than life ego and that is the first thing i install in my students and that karate and mixed pressure point and weaponry combat is not for deliberate harm but for reasonable and defensive purpose in the name of defense rather than offense but don't get me wrong all of my students and myself are strictly trained and i also trained in the arts of preying mantis and also the tiger two extremely strong forms of original martial arts mixed with karate to create a deadly andalso at times inpenitrable defence and offence. The agression and power of a tiger and the patience and lightning fast reactions of the mantis are a perfect combination in both strength and agility therefore i believe that a true mix up of the arts is in some cases unbetable but as to the user who admires UFC which is cage fighting mixed martial arts these are peoplethat combine grapples and kick bxong and boxing an use them below the potential that is fitting of these forms and is not a real, in my opinion martial art i have fought and beaten opponents like Mo teague i trained under Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki and also sensei butch white in the England Sankukai squad i currently hold a 5th Dan Renshi in Wado Ryu Karate please google me under sensei roy lewis and click the clockworkmouse link at the first option to see for yourself.

pinoy ako on July 27, 2010:

I'm used to streetfighting since in my elementary years. And at High school my father though me bushido where I train hard (And banana tree was used to be my heavy bag) because in our school there is likely called underground fight during lunch time and recess and the rules are (30 secs. all action fight, no striking to the eye, groin adn throat.) And I find my style effective. I'm brown belt judo, purple in jiu jitsu, and blue in shotokan. And me and my couzin start to create our own martial arts... :*

tom on July 18, 2010:

i think learning parkour would be benifitial

FRANCO on July 08, 2010:

well in my opinion fma is the most effective

it's not flashy but it's really effective

like a comment above

"we are not trained to win.... but we are trained to survive"


FRANCO on July 08, 2010:

well in my opinion fma is the most effective

it's not flashy but it's really effective

like a comment above

"we are not trained to win.... but we are trained to survive"


Dalton on June 29, 2010:

Ive been training brazillian jiu jitsu and mma for a number of years now and in my opinion brazillian jiu jitsu it the most effective from a sport and self defence aspect.

Martial Artist (author) on June 21, 2010:

Hey Juan,

If its a life threatning situation krav maga will definitely be the best, especially where guns and knives are present however since it also does the most damage it might not be suited for a bar brawl since krav maga concentrates to completely neutralizing or killing the attacker. In a bar brawl muay thai might be more suitable. All the best

Juan on June 14, 2010:

yes it is i just want to know if im ever in a situation ware i have to fight i can thank you

Martial Artist (author) on June 10, 2010:

Hey Juan,

If Self defence is your aim then Krav Maga in my opinion. If you want to do a sport aswell then Muay Thai or BJJ. Depends on what you are looking for. All the best

Martial Artist (author) on June 10, 2010:

Hey Juan,

If Self defence is your aim then Krav Maga in my opinion. If you want to do a sport aswell then Muay Thai or BJJ. Depends on what you are looking for. All the best

MT on June 05, 2010:

Muay thai for striking and BJJ for grappling.

Juan on May 28, 2010:

ive been taking wing chun tho it feels like everythings a set way of moving, i was wondering your thoughts on it many ppl hype it up and recommend it im not sure its for me tho, i simply want a way to defend myself after reading this im almost sold on krav Maga. some say jeet kune do would be better because it aparently is more real time? idk our sifu also teaches in praying mantis this is his actual page http://www.authentickungfu.com/about_sifu.html what are your thoughts

Neat on May 26, 2010:

Makes sense. Some people should stop watching so many movies and playing video games. There is no "deadliest" or "most effective" anything. The best approach is to combine different styles.

miked246 on May 25, 2010:

One of the most effective and deadly no-nonsense martial arts is the Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu style, mixed with Dim Mak/pressure point fighting. It cannot be used in the ring, and it's techniques are lethal. (example, See Master Gin Foon Mark). Bruce Lee trained this art in New York, when he could not use his Wing Chun effectively against Gin Foon Mark's students. Bruce then studied this art to help him perfect his Jeet Kune Do. If you get a chance to practice SPM from a real master. DO IT !!

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