Rogue Magazine

Rogue Magazine Health 7 Best Martial Arts for Self-Defense (According to Professional Instructors)

7 Best Martial Arts for Self-Defense (According to Professional Instructors)



Learning martial arts is one of the best ways to defend yourself in any situation. Discover the best martial arts for self-defense, so you’re always prepared. 

During the Olympics, one hundred and ninety-seven countries participate in martial arts competitions. But the reality is, martial arts is gaining popularity in everyday life, and many start at a young age.

But the real question is, what is the best martial art for self-defense?

For those looking for the best ways to stay protected, check out the seven best martial arts for self-defense, according to professional instructors. 

Read on to learn more.

1. Judo

One of the most effective martial arts for self-defense is Judo. This unique type of martial arts uses an unarmed combat technique to take down an opponent. It is a clean style of combat that aims to:

  • Throw the opponent
  • Pin the opponent
  • Cause the opponent to yield

It uses methods that apply pressure to both the neck and arms, using the opponent’s own force against them. Judo is an excellent martial arts technique to learn if you have a smaller frame and lack brute physical strength.

Judo also promotes readiness of the mind and instills confidence in its learner. An advanced student who masters Judo is awarded a black belt. 

This martial arts technique was developed in 1882 by Kanō Jigorō from jujitsu knowledge he learned from Japanese samurai. 

2. Karate

Karate is arguably the best martial art style for self-defense. This classic martial arts technique utilizes striking, kicking, and blocking techniques with both the legs and arms to defeat an opponent.

In Karate, you are taught to concentrate a strike on one specific point of an opponent using parts of the body, such as:

  • Knuckles
  • Forearms
  • Knee
  • Heel
  • Foot

Karate emphasizes the importance of timing and physical toughness. 

This ancient martial arts skill was first developed in East Asia in the seventeenth century, likely from townspeople who were not allowed to carry weapons.

3. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

Another one of the best martial arts for self-defense is Mixed Martial Arts, commonly called MMA fighting. Mixed Martial Arts is a combination sport, coupling several martial art techniques like:

  • Boxing
  • Wresting
  • Judo
  • Jujitsu
  • Karate
  • Muay Thai

The sport is thought to have derived from ancient times, as far back as 648 BCE, in ancient Greece. Originally called Pankration, this sport was once a brutal contest that often rendered an opponent unconscious and even dead.

Today MMA is played in all fifty states and is a multi-million dollar industry, often portrayed in Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). The sport has made significant progress and now has many more regulations than at its conception.

Mixed Martial Arts competitors fight each other based on weight classes. They are as follows:

  • Strawweight (115 pounds)
  • Flyweight (125 pounds)
  • Bantamweight (135 pounds)
  • Featherweight (145 pounds)
  • Lightweight (155 pounds)
  • Welterweight (170 pounds)
  • Middleweight (185 pounds)
  • Light heavyweight (205 pounds)
  • Heavyweight (265 pounds)

This self-defense style is a great choice for those who already have a background in other martial arts styles.

4. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a Japanese martial arts technique that utilizes paralyzing strikes to take down an opponent. Originally used to test the skill of a swordsman, today, the sport still uses weapons at times.

Some of the most common techniques in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu include:

  • Kneeing
  • Throwing
  • Choking
  • Hitting
  • Immobilizing holds

Eventually, the sport was further established in Brazil under Carlos and Helio Gracie. 

5. Muay Thai

Muay Thai is one of the best martial art styles for self-defense. Also called kickboxing, this impressive self-defense sport emplores close-combat techniques. Muay Thai is unique in that it uses the entire body as a weapon.

Originally developed in Thailand in the 14th century, much of the history of the sport remains in existence than to written knowledge found in Burmese temples.

The sport utilizes the idea that the hands, legs, and knees are extensions of weapons of war. It gained international attention after World War II and quickly spread through Europe and the Americas.

6. Krav Maga

One of the toughest self-defense techniques is Krav Maga. This close combat skill was originally developed in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s as a way to protect its people from the violence of World War II.

Originally designed as a military self-defense technique, Krav Maga considers real-world situations in its techniques. It has many remnants of classic street fighting and emphasizes aggression and offensive maneuvers.

It promotes the idea that physical violence is a last resort, but in the event that confrontation takes place, it should be quick, assertive, and aggressive.

7. Boxing

A list of the best self-defense martial art techniques would not be complete without including boxing. Boxing originates in Egypt and has existed since 3000 BC. Boxing prioritizes the use of fists for both attack and defense.

You often see boxers wear padded gloves for added protection. A boxer will best an opponent by both avoiding blows and also hitting an opponent with fists. 

Traditional boxing bouts consist of three to twelve rounds, each lasting three minutes long. Famous boxers include Sonny Liston, Cassius Clay, and Muhammad Ali.

The Best Martial Arts for Self-Defense According to Professional Instructors

In today’s world, it can be an overwhelming place to be. Take off the edge and learn martial arts for self-defense so you feel prepared for anything situation that may come your way. 

What are you waiting for? Your new martial arts skills await your learning! 

Want to see more posts like this one? Check out the rest of our blog to learn all about current news and trends. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TopBack to Top