What Martial Arts Style Should I Learn?

Fitness Or Self Defense? We Break Down The Best Martial Arts Styles

When you’re looking to stay in shape and keep your body performing at its best, engaging in martial arts training is a fantastic way to build confidence, maintain your fitness, and learn how to protect yourself in any situation.


Finding the right style of martial arts to practice can be a bit of an undertaking. There’s no shortage of options–from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) to Krav Maga; you can get in shape and get your full-body workout done in one short training session.
In the course of doing your research, take your time to examine the long-term goals that come with each style. Some forms focus more on ground fighting and grappling, while others focus on building strength for strikes during heated combat. Whichever style fits you best, the training involved with mastering a martial art takes discipline, drive, and a willingness to overcome discomfort to grow as a man. It also is a great way to increase confidence and makes for a great hobby for men.

Real-life comes at you fast, and you’ve got to be able to defend yourself, and your family should the need arise. Many men have an idea in their head of how a street fight would go, and it usually shows them as the victor in the altercation. While the fantasy is satisfying, fighting is a serious thing, and it can have deadly consequences if you don’t know what you’re doing. Land the wrong punch or turn your head too slow, and you could be the one laying on the floor, unprotected.

Most martial arts techniques will teach you the skills you need to defend yourself, so choosing a style comes down to personal preference. Does your profession require you to maintain the ability to protect yourself or others? Or, do you simply want to work up a sweat and get in a great workout? We’ve compiled a list of the top martial arts styles and how they can help you achieve your goals. While there isn’t much difference between them on the macro scale, each style has a different method, feel, and pace. Depending on what you choose, your skills will quickly transfer to a different style.

Whether your opponent is a stranger, your friend in the ring, or the guy in the mirror, martial arts give any man the power to turn himself into a warrior.


What is the Best Martial Arts Style To Get In Great Shape?

If you want to get into a warrior’s mindset and train like your life depends on it, choose Mixed Martial Arts. Similar to what you’d see in a UFC fight, mixed martial arts blends boxing, grappling, kicks, and strikes to create a cardio-intensive experience that will push you to the edge. Drawing from many different styles, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has karate discipline with Wing Chun and BJJ’s power.

Once you feel the power of your kick, you’ll become obsessed with being the most outstanding fighter you can be. The training to become a strong fighter can take a reasonable amount of time, and you’ve got to make sure first that you’re in it for the long haul. You might want to try out a few different gyms or look up a few MMA workouts to do at home before you fully commit to the lifestyle.

If you’re just trying to land some punches to stay in shape, you can use a boxing bag and set it up with enough room for you to kick. With fitness as your goal, you just have to push yourself to the breaking point and train hard. When you feel like giving up, keep going like you would in a real fight. Strength comes through struggle, and MMA will definitely leave you feeling the burn. Taking the time to train every day takes discipline and the optimal time to start is right now! If you’ve got the will and desire to work out like the greatest fighters on Earth, you’ll be well on your way to fitness and success.

Fighting and contending with an opponent can be done through many techniques, but most of the time, you’ll be using the traditional methods that are effective on the street and in the gym. Using real-life scenarios, you can learn what it feels like to be under attack and then work your way out of the situation.

Sparring with a partner has its benefits as well. When you’re paired up with a well-trained fighter, you’ll be able to learn new, useful techniques that can help you become a better MMA fighter. Make sure to get to know all of the guys at your gym; this is a great way to get involved in a close community while learning how to fight well. Kicks and punches may not seem like the most excellent idea for a social outing, but you’ll be in love with MMA once you get onto the mat and give it a try.


What Martial Arts Style Is The Deadliest?

Judo is one of the oldest martial arts–and also one of the most deadly. Created in Japan during the 1800s, Judo focuses on throws and chokes while avoiding striking the opponent. Judo–meaning “gentle way” in Japanese–was created using jujutsu as a base form. So if you’re looking to get in some mean right hooks or good kicks onto your sparring partner, this isn’t the martial art for you.

The Japanese masters created the sport intending to throw the opponent to the ground, immobilizing them, and overcome the challenge. Much of the original fighting style still remains to this day. You might find your personality is more suited to the classic elements of martial arts. If that’s the case, Judo is the perfect fit for you.

Similar to Karate or TaeKwonDo, Judo is based on traditional forms and discipline. If you’re going to train in Judo, you’ve got to be prepared to hit the mat quite a lot. The only time strikes come out is during a scenario type exercise, and even then, it’s strictly for defense. A typical session consists of you and your partner practicing Judo throws until you both perfect your form and technique.

Even with BJJ being more popular than Judo, it’s still an essential martial art that can be learned with the right amount of patience and practice. If your fighting form is more about eliminating the threat without the need to strike, Judo is a great choice and would fit your personality well. Judo is designed to end a fight quickly, as many of the other styles. Judo allows you to disable your opponent first, ending the battle before it can start with a vicious force. A powerful Judo throw won’t only leave you fighting for air; it can also tear your tendons and fracture your bones!


Which Martial Art Style Is The Easiest To Learn?

Basic boxing is one of the easiest forms of martial arts that you can learn quickly. If you can practice to the point of mastering your feet placement and really want to get good at landing punches, boxing is the perfect martial art for you to start with. If you’re looking to slim down, a round of boxing every day will take the weight off in no time at all. The techniques are simple, and it’s super easy to get started.
Learning how to land the punches directly on the bag is easy once you know how to count your movements. Boxing moves with a rhythmic foundation, and you’ll count your moves out as your body swings with the tempo. One, two–that’s your jabs. Three, four–those are your hooks. Practice those for a few hours each week, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a real fighter.

Boxing is super useful when it comes to fitness and strength. You’ll focus on building your core and landing effective blows that stun your opponent. It may seem like these skills come quickly, but it actually takes years to develop the skills needed to be a professional.

Many of the world’s greatest professional fighters started out in the boxing ring. Mixed martial arts rely heavily on the concept of punching and blocking, but you won’t find any kicks or grappling when you’re learning how to box. All you’ve got to do is focus on the bag and keep your mind centered. Try your best, and you’ll get the results you seek.
Back before all of the modern martial arts were part of the popular culture, boxing was the original combat sport. The same qualities still remain, and the best fighters throughout the history of boxing could easily contend with today’s professionals. The sport is challenging, and it uses your entire body–not just your arms and your core. Your legs provide stability for you to slam those hands into the bag during your drills and in the fight.


Which Martial Arts Is The Best For Self-Defense?

Krav Maga is the absolute greatest martial art for self-defense. Invented by the Israeli military, it’s the preferred system for law enforcement and military units worldwide. Krav Maga teaches strength through punches, knees, elbows, and kicks–while the defensive side teaches useful tactics against strikes, weapons, and chokes.

With brutal and swift offensive techniques, Krav Maga is great for a beginner looking to learn the art of self-defense as a sport. This is one martial art where you won’t find rituals or any holds barred–Krav Maga is about defense against violence. When you’re in a situation that calls for using the most pain to get away from danger, there are no rules or belt lines. It’s just about pure strength and effective defense mechanisms.

Krav Maga has been battle-tested on the streets and in physical fights on the battlefields across the world. The practice is big on giving you the tools you need to arrive home safely and uses a practical approach to self-defense. You’ll learn how to keep calm under pressure and work with the shock that comes from striking you or trying to land in a punch.

People that want to harm you aren’t playing in a sparring match. They’re not worried about the rules of UFC or the years in prison–they’re just concerned with getting their way no matter the cost. If you’ve got to take someone down while they’re kicking and screaming, Krav Maga will give you much more bang for your buck in regards to self-defense. You won’t need weapons to defend yourself with Krav Maga. You’ll develop the necessary skills through drills and breaking down the movements in each of the techniques–the object is to send your opponent to the ground, and you can use any means necessary to accomplish your goal.

Traditional Krav Maga calls for students to progress through a core set of combat drills to prepare for real-life situations. You’ll use your body and your brain to overcome the fight and your body to eliminate the threat. Great for men of all ages, this is one where you can take your kids to learn self-defense techniques. You won’t find traditional grappling techniques, but you’ll learn how to take down threats with bear hugs, strikes, and other martial arts combat training.

If you’re looking for a workout, consider training with a more intense martial art. Krav Maga focuses on the benefits and techniques of self-defense, and these exercises can move relatively slow when you’re learning. If you want to work up a sweat or lose weight, you’ll find a big difference between MMA and Krav Maga.


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The Breakdown Of The Most Popular Martial Arts Styles



The classic, all-around martial art. Great for self-defense and the perfect way to start the day, boxing is one sport that has given men the ability to learn how to defend themselves and even throw a mean punch. If you’re not one for fighting on the ground, boxing will make an excellent choice for the man who needs a quick workout or even just wants to let out some steam after a hard day at work.


Muay Thai Kickboxing

Muay Thai Kickboxing is one of the original combat sports. Focused on using your legs to drive power, this is one of the most incredible martial arts for new MMA fighters to learn. First invented in Thailand, this martial art makes use of stand-up striking and body clinching techniques. To really accomplish the most with Muay Thai, you’ll want to learn from a certified trainer. Muay Thai is broken into major and minor techniques, and the superior technique is striking your opponent swiftly. You’ll aim for body shots, and you’ll want to land them right where they’ll be the most effective. If you don’t feel like hitting the ground, go with Muay Thai.


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

BJJ is known by many to be the quintessential martial art. First developed with techniques formed around joint locks and grappling, BJJ and MMA fighters use their strength to pin their opponents to the ground and use their body to win by submission. Many BJJ fighters found their start with wrestling, and the training techniques translate quite well to MMA and BJJ.


Kung Fu

Known mostly for those movies from back in the day, Kung Fu is the umbrella term for Chinese martial arts. Closely related to Thailand’s styles, this Asian martial art combines several hundred fighting styles from Wing Chun to the art of eight limbs. Many of the same styles can be found throughout China, and it is known to be one of the first martial arts ever to exist.



Developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom, Karate takes influence from Kung Fu and is a wonderful choice for martial arts training. Perfect for self-defense, you’ll make your legs scream with powerful kicks and disciplined training. You’ll use open hand techniques for knife hands, palm heel strikes, and spear hands.


Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do hails from Korea and has been featured in numerous Olympic games. Tae Kwon Do was adopted by the Korean military thanks to the discipline of the training and the Theory of Power. Tae Kwon Do uses the concepts of physics and places importance on speed overpower. If you need to work on fast strikes and kicking quickly, TaeKwonDo is an excellent choice.


Krav Maga

Krav Maga holds nothing back and turns your hands into lethal weapons. Suppose you’re the type who wants to shut down a threat before it becomes a real problem. Krav Maga will teach you the skills you need to know to build the most from your defensive technique. Again, if you don’t like laying on the ground when you’re training, this is an excellent choice for your training needs.


How To Choose The Best Martial Arts School and Instructor.

When you’re looking to gain peace through strength, you’ll have to start with some help from a great instructor. From MMA to the Art of Eight Limbs and everything in between, the type of martial arts you choose will take you on a journey and help you live a better life. It’s not hard; it just takes a bit of research to find the best around. Search the local dojos and martial arts houses in your area. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; everyone once started as a beginner at some point in time. When you’re training in MMA, you’ll have to find an instructor that knows their stuff–from Brazilian jiu-jitsu to ground fighting mechanics, be sure you’re learning from a trusted coach.

Preferably, find an MMA coach that is UFC certified and has a bit of weight in the sport. This isn’t the same as your old high school wrestling days. These sports are highly technical and require the close eye and joint understanding that a professional can provide. Many men have found their entire lives changed completely after taking on the challenge of martial arts training. If you’re looking to make new friends, you’ll have the chance every time you step into the gym.

From joint locks to extreme weight loss, MMA and martial arts training can bring the pain. While it may be uncomfortable, this pain will provide you with the skills you need to live with confidence, power, and masculine strength. If you’ve been wrestling with the choice of how to train, hopefully, you’ve got a better idea of where you fit in on the spectrum of martial arts training.

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Jack Davis

My name is Jack, I'm the founder of Uncivilized Man. I started this blog for men because I wanted to use my expertise as a therapist to help other men find better physical and mental health. As men, so many of us see ourselves as a lone wolf. But this is not good, and not needed. Follow UCM to learn more about how to find better fitness, better health, better relationships, and a better lifestyle.

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