Best Types of Martial Arts

The Top Ten

Tae Kwon Do

Grand Master Kim's Taekwondo Is one of the best choices my family and I have made. My Three Girls and I have been attending classes for about two years now. Since starting I have lost over 100 lbs. From a size 20 to a size 4/6! My girls and I are learning the five tenets of taekwondo ( Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control, and Indomitable Spirit ) and learning how to apply them to our lives, also I love the fact that we have something positive in common to work on and learn together. Even if you take your time to get your belt rank up in the words of Master Grimm " Don't Give up or Quit! Quitters stay at home! " For someone who has never done anything close to this before Grand Master Kim, Sr. Master Flint, Master Grimm, and the rest are all great instructors and we will be apart of our dojang for our Black Belts and Beyond!

Tae Kwon-do isn't just kicking, I've been in it for about 7 years now, and I've learned how to punch, wrestle, kick, use a Katana, Nunchaku, and a bow staff.

pissed off japanese idiots will say tae kwon do can stand no chance against karate but they likely haven't tried or seen tae kwon do before xD

Taekwondo is a complete martial art, and rest assured that a fast kick to the knees will end a conflict very very quickly.
For those who state that a fight typically ends on the ground so grappling is the way to go... Have obviously never been in a real conflict; a typical fight will last less that a minute and only one person ends up on the ground!
Lets not confuse a real fight with a pushing match, where the participants actually don't want to fight and are actually waiting for others to come and separate the clinch

Kung Fu

In all forms of the traditional sense, martial arts is an art. Because of this, it is highly dependant on the person executing the art to be able to adapt to all situations, which makes for the best use of the art. Rather than emphasizing on one type of fighting, such as stance, wrestling, striking, kicking, weapons, grabbing, offensive, or defensive, Kung Fu has a great adaptation and usage of all of these. Wing Chun/Tsun of all the many chinese martial arts places emphasis on the technique and of attacking the attack, as opposed to the majority which defend and counter. The base concepts of all however take time. There is no wrong or right, and no better or worse style of martial art, but only what works best for you. Just as every martial art is different, every person is different, thusly every teacher is also different. Keep that in mind if you decide to study a martial art, and adapt it to make it your own.

It is a collection of all chinese arts one including wing chun/tsun. Wing tsun under leung ting is what I study and is proficient in all ranges with little effort of motion. Being a collection of 400 to 800 different arts kung fu is the ultimate term for martial art and wing tsun of leung ting is the most efficient and effective there ever will be

It's not really fair to just have "Kung Fu" as this literally includes any Chinse martial arts. There is more variation between Kung Fu styles than there is between Kung Fu and other styles. This is how Kung Fu influenced such varying systems over the centuries. You've got full contact Sanshou styles which rival other kickboxing styles in power and are great for competitions, grappling styles such as Qin Na and Shuai Jiao which influenced Jujitsu, soft internal styles such as Tai Chi, practical street defense styles such as Wing Chun and then of course the more acrobatic flowery styles which people usually tend to think of when you say Kung Fu. Put all this together though and Kung Fu is an unbeatable system.

Even though in a fight it totally depends on the person and the situation as well as the environment I believe that kung fu would have the best advantage. they are well diverse and have many strengthening and conditioning methods that go well above and beyond that of the norm. when I think kung fu I think of a ton of martial arts all well-versed in different things from striking, grappling, weaponry, and wrestling. I also feel that due to shaolin monks and their dedication to kung fu as art that they spend more than enough time and effort into not only honing speed, flexibility, power and skill but a strong physical mind and spirit.


Well there are many types for karate and each type teaches you different techniques, and it uses both hands and legs unlike TKD which uses legs most of the time, so in a real fight you won't be able to use your legs properly if you didn't warm up but if you know karate then you can use your whole body (fist, fingers, palm, legs, elbow... Etc)
And it is not about strength only most likely it is about speed, so it will help your to dodge easily and attack in a fast way therefore you might take down a guy in few seconds.

I(Rohit Dwivedi) am Karateka since 3 years. I have trend in four types of martial art but it's my fave-rate. Taekwondo have more jumping kikes they are stylist but no more powerful and useful in real life.

Karate can't be seen in sport as being effective because the only techniques one can use legally in sport fighting are the one that most resemble kick boxing so you very seldom see real Karate techniques in sport fighting so people sadly get the wrong impression and don't take it seriously! Karate offers everything Mauy Thai has to offer (in a slightly different way) and many techniques that when practiced with all effort can end confrontation and fight fast and in devestating manner if need be! The best part of Karate is that its a way of life and can can be practiced and studied an entire lifetime!

Karate is the BEST!, Its karate chop can KILL TRILLIONS of people!, TAE KWON DO is WEAK!, kicking is all they know, kicking here, kicking there, and everywhere, while KARATE has MANY STYLES, if the person is INFINITELY ANGRY and USES KARATE!, even the STRONGEST MARTIAL ART will be DEFEATED by KARATE!

Muay Thai

The anceient art of the eight weapons, hands, elbows, knees and feet. Definitely deserve the first place in this top ten, muay Thai is attack and self-defense at the same time. When well executed, it's deadly.

Underrated, it really is effective unlike a lot of the others it practices kicks punches knees elbows and some wrestling to

Muay Thai is best martial art because of it's powers and winning techniques. It will definitely serve you well in dangerous situations when you need to fight back against many attackers. In a fight, using Muay Thai you will be able to defend yourself and harm your opponents/opponent as well.

Although I practise Wing Chun, I am voting for Muay Thai. I have seen too many fights where someone is on the ground, being kicked in the head by multiple attackers, so learning to hit effectively it is where it is at. The modern laws regarding reasonable force have largely removed the self-defense/sport distinction. If I was to do more than one, I would add Krav Maga.

Krav Maga

Doing it for years, been attacked twice on the street (once with the knife), in both cases the preparation I got in the classes were more than enough to be successful in both cases without taking any damage, to tell the true my pulse did not even rise in both situation, because it was "way easier" than on the training, where we are going trough the very complicated scenarios and situations. KM provides real street smart knowledge, including no violent solutions for confrontations, avoidance, and prevention. I also doing other martial arts (BJJ purple belt, doing MMA and Mayi Thai for years) - all are great and I love those as well, but KM is for the street and for survival, the others for competition and personal improvement.

Krav maga is can only bested by tae kwon do. In my opinion, it should go, Tae Kwon do, Krav maga, Judo, Ju jitsu, and then anything else. Tae kwon do is in fact self defense, contrary to the belief of that guy who commented on the Judo (#8 as of December 2, 2012) In fact, that's all it really is. Besides a form, you must complete a self-defense for each belt. For black, you must complete all eight of them, as well as all eight of the forms. As a 1st dan black belt, I have NO idea how to attack someone, I only know how to defend myself if someone attacks me FIRST. So yes, Tae Kwon Do is a self defense. But Krav maga, (basically Israeli martial arts) is like a mix of like EVERY other martial art out there (except for tae kwon do), making it so awesome, and almost as good as tae kwon do itself. :)

Switched to KM after getting 1st dan black belt in Taekwondo to broaden my knowledge of martial arts. Observations: about 95%(+) kids get into a program because they get bullied at school and their moms put them in the class. Those kids will do great in Taekwondo, have a lot of fun and get some self defense skills in the process. The do jang owners LOVE taking the money from those parents. Let's be realistic about what a 9 year old Taekwondo black belt can do though. Not much, but the parents keep shelling out the $$$, the kids keep getting shiny-but-largely-meaningless trophies, and what the kid lacks in real skill maybe s/he makes up for in greater self-confidence and dedication to the art. Contrast that with the typical KM setup - no silly uniforms to buy, except maybe a t-shirt and necessary protective gear. Kids get a real workout, and if they're out of shape (which a lot of them are), they huff and puff and sweat and can't keep up with the requirements of the class. The KM ...more

Krav Maga is the ultimate fighting style/self defense system. The most applicable for real life situations. Killer workout.


hate that taekwondo! Tae Kwon Do is for sports only! not for self def. and I hate korean martialarts.. I love japanese martialarts because its very! very! lovely. judo, aikido, karate, kendo, jujitsu.

I practice the martial art and it is brilliant when it comes to dominating the fight as it enables you to take control of the opposing person and defeat them with a throw no questions asked

I don't think it deserves number one spot but definitely should be much higher than 17 so I voting for it.

Judo training is realistic (as much as it can be outside of real life situations) and fluff-free. You learn pretty quick if your techniques work or not in randori, as apposed to only learning stuff against fully compliant ukes. You also gain stamina and the right mindset for facing true violence.


Ninjutsu is one of the most effective fighting styles in any situation. Instead of mindless punches we end the fight as soon as possible by paralyzing the opponent... It is no holds barred like Jeet Kune Do. Not to mention we learned strategy and tactics in real world situations. We also learned with the Ninjato, Katana, Bo-Staff, Kunai and many many more. Unlike most martial arts, Ninjutsu is very spiritual like Kung Fu. Overall, I think Ninjutsu and Jeet Kune Do should be in the top ten. And where is Wing Chun!?

Ninjutsu would be my first pick simply because of the diversity that it has, as a practitioner of ninjutsu must know all other martial arts. and if you become proficent at joint locks with it, you can successfully defeat some very good jujitsu artist. I was just sparing with a girl that was quite good at jujitsu and I allowed her to get a wrist lock started, but then I reversed it within a split second. do not underestimate ninjutsu it could be proven a fatal mistake.

The only reason I voted for Ninjutsu is that I studied it and I can vow for its efficacy. But I also want to say that these polls are a bunch of bull.
There is no way to prove that one martial art is better than the other. It all depends on the practitioner. While martial arts that feature an entire arsenal of techniques are really tempting (there are 18 disciplines of ninjutsu, ranging from empty handed and armed combat to manufacturing bombs and poisons), simple and empty minded fist fighting can prove just as efficient.
Also, ninjutsu and aikido are very much alike as techniques (not ideology). I don't understand why they're so far apart in this poll...

Although I picked ninjutsu as my style of choice. For it's well roundness. All the styles listed can be used for self defense as it's not so much the style as the practitioner that will decide who wins. Fact is if you practice at something long enough. Your gonna be more than capable of defending yourself no matter what the style you train in is

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

BJJ is such a great set of techniques, that you know exactly what to do when the fight hits the ground. In a normal given situation, the fight almost always goes to the ground. The people with Stand-up (No offense! ) do not usually have that proper skillset to keep the fight on their feet, as opposed to BJJ knowing exactly how to get the guy to the ground, and gain the control necessary. From there he can choose from literal hundreds of techniques he could perform, as opposed to Boxing where it seems like the two are just punching. A boxing guy does not know how to grapple, because he has been taught stand-up all his training, while the guy who's learned BJJ can get him to the ground.

It's the only art that proves a smaller person can defeat a larger opponent

Bjj should be number one on the list of martial arts and just think if you take a person that only knows stand up and you take him down he is a turtle on his back but if you study gracie jiu jitsu it has both ground and stand up its just an opinion of mine what do you think.

My dad and my uncle were doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu for a long time and my uncle reached army level and I am going to take a guess that jiu jitsu fighters are in really good shape because my dad bench 330 pounds and he is stronger that so mms nfl players

Ju Jitsu

I love ju jitsu I have been doing it for ages and it is very challenging as well as enjoyable in my opinion it is a lot more than just brute force there are many very clever techniques combinations throws locks and fighting styles also the amount of satisfaction you get when you make an opponent tap out finally it can unlock possibilities and your full physical potential for example I am only 13 and in fight against people who are more experienced older faster stronger already being able to match up to them is amazing and only time will tell what my full potential will be like

I'm all about ju jitsu. It's my favorite art and I love making people tap out! If you want to have great self defense when somwon is messing with you this art is definitely for you!

Ju jitsu isn't just throws, in fact its little throws. Mostly you learn basic techniques in which you can put together to make it good.

Ju Jitsu is about respect and it should be top of list it's not just throws its techniques and a lot more

Boxing Boxing is a martial art and combat sport in which two people wearing protective gloves throw punches at each other for a predetermined set of time in a boxing ring..

People have become so enamored with the esoteric and exotic practices of the East that they have forgotten all about what the Western world had to offer to the art of self defense.

"It's just fighting", "It's not a real martial art". How easily we forget about legends like Muhammad Ali dodging 21 punches in 10 seconds or Jack Dempsey knocking a man out with a single punch.

Boxing is a science and an art. Boxers are trained to be fluid and fast, darting into and out of the enemy's range and testing and dismantling the opponent's defense with quick jabs before delivering devastating straights and hooks to the liver. The strength behind these punches is not generated from the arms, but instead from powerful torsion of the entire body and the ground. I've seen this technique send heavy sandbags crashing into the wall behind them.

There is fluidity, power, and speed behind the art of Boxing, and it deserves consideration by every decent martial artist for what it has ...more

In mma boxing is a must have. It is the bread and butter to striking. Yes wrestling and jujitsu are great for mma. And muay Thai is up there as well. But when you set up for just about any style you use your fists. And boxing is all about that. Even bruce lee recognized that and incorporated it into his jeez kung do. In my opinion boxing can hold its own against any martial art.

I think it is very dangerous game... because in this game the most punch connecting area is our head.. so..*but if you want ko your enemy quickly then it can help you...

Everybody I know wants to be just like Manny Pacquiao these days. Can you blame them? Boxing is no doubt the most resilient kind of fighting style there is.

The Contenders

Wing Chun

Wing chun is the world's greatest martial arts

David can beat all the Goliath by using only the hands..

Wing shun was used by ip man techer of bruce lee 70 precent of the hands and 30 of the foot it is a flow of life used by bruce lee to

Bruce lee had to learn it and he is regarded to be the best martial artist ever, and this is also shown on this websites top then as well


Aikido is the best Martial art. It is defensive and effective at the same time.

Aikido is the best art for self-defense without violence and bloodshed...A real gem of a martial art from ever awesome Japan.

This art can be practice at any time regardless of age or gender, surprisingly takes longer to master but definitely a good foundation to start your martial arts training, not just the development of timing and fundamentals of proper falling but understanding techniques through training with weapons. The vast majority of practitioners welcome each other worldwide on open mat. Clearly, aikido is a very beautiful art to enjoy in one's daily practice.

Aikido is a martial art that's tailored to respond to any type of Attack. There's that saying, the ultimate offense is the ultimate defense, and Aikido is a living proof of that. I even remember watching that UFC or that Japanese fighting championship ( I don't remember which one was it) the aikido dude got disqualified because he didn't beat up anyone, his opponents quit, because they could not defeat him lol

Keysi Fighting Method

It doesn't bull around. It is just used to kill and maim

Keysi is a great martial art for self defense

Batman used it in two movies. The pensador stance fails, though...

Its really great fighting method but its really effactive for street figth but not for martial arts

Mixed Martial Art

I used to do mma it was fun but tough at the same time I miss those good time learning how to fight

Its a combination of all type of martial art so its definitely the best laugh out loud

I was doing a lot of mma and my uncle was an mma world champion he taught me a lot about and he teaches me all the ways how to break out of a choke all you have to do is put both of your arms between his and you use your elbows to break out of it

MMA shouldn't even be on this list. MMA is not ONE martial art, it is (just as the name says it) a combination of different martial arts. This list is for THE best martial art, therefore MMA cannot be on this list


A. Combo of karate jujitsu Kempo Chinese boxing. Very street effective. Also known for being dirty and sadistic fighting

Mixed makes it intresting

Karate, Judo, Jujitsu, Kenpo, Boxing, and Chinese Boxing.
Formed in 1947, it's the first traditional mixed martial art. Used to help train military and federal contractors, law enforcement, etc. This along with Krav Maga is what makes these guys such bad asses... Yet so low-key in public.

This is very good martial art I would like to introduse this type of art in india, shihan hasrat khan

Wrestling Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds.

Everyone can do a punch or kick or whatever the form it's. But not everyone can grapple or lock properly. See MMA the majority of movements are wrestling. Wrestling is dominance.

by the way the list and voters are sucks too much eat movies brainwash. Most of the list are a joke irrelevant and outdate.

My friend is amazing at wrestling, but he uses both his arms and legs to pin me down, leaving him open in many places. Not a good position to be in with a person like me. He left his face open many times, and his nuts, but I didn't want to hurt him. I told him he needs to cover his body or he will get really hurt.

Wrestling should be a lot higher because if you watch mma or have anything to do with it. They will always talk about the person's wrestling

Are you joking. This is best MA. Wrestler would beat any other martial artist. Vote for it


The mother of all martial arts the most older and violent.

By far the best


Sambo is a great form of martial art it uses throws, traps, and locks to knock down your opponent. There are different types sport, freestyle, and combat. Combat is more useful because it adds in kicks and punches also the stuff I listed above

Sambo is very useful for self-defense, it's way more useful than kwon do

Vladimir Putin does Sambo and Judo.

It is a good martial art


Been a practitioner since I had this as part of my subject in college, at first we might thought that it was just a simple stick fight, but when you go deeply, it involves different useful tactics that will greatly save your life in a common street fight, with or without weapon, it was a complete package, you can do it empty handed or use just anything in your surrounding for added reach advantage(even a barbeque stick would do), from proper stances, blocks, evade, disarming, pin down, etc., with all kind of weapon, from short swords to long sword, dagger to spear, maybe if arrows are still on the mainstream they might have tactics to block those like a spartans.

Common misconception is that eskrima focuses only on weapons. Think again... It is one of the most complete fighting systems ever created. There are a lot of styles and systems other, so do research first and look for what fits you and make sure you train under a legitimate teacher.

For real world self defense there are few martial arts that are as equipped as this one. The fact is the majority of attacks on the street are with weapons. Given that fact this style may save your life if attacked by someone with a knife. You'll be glad you trained in this style

I think a complete art is necessary for me, because this art means to master one, you will receive three capabilities. In hand to hand it would take out 60-80% of the hand to hand threats. In a stick to stick situation it is 100% effective. In a knife to knife situation it is fatal.


Silat is a martial arts from Southeast Asia, but I think Indonesia is best for this. If you've ever watch "The Raid : Redemption" movie, there's a lot of silat there. And silat it's not just for self-defense, it's an art.

Very impressive and effective martial art though difficult to master. To truly be able to use Silat for self defense would take serious training. It couldn't just be a past time.

Silat not just grow in Indonesia only, It also grow in Malaysia, Brunei and many countries more. Besides that, we all like a family =D

Silat is the Real Martial Arts because the motion is kind of Indonesia Traditional dance and each motion usually followed by Indonesia Traditional Music
It is an incredible harmony


Kickboxing is ausome... Better than boxing as in this both arms and legs are used.

Although no martial art can beat another, it's all about the practitioner, I'm gonna go with kickboxing... I've been a kickboxer for years and tried some other martial arts (taekwondo, aikido, kung fu, MMA) I find that kickboxing is the real deal, competition wise and I'm self defense situations, no meditating no ground grappling, just effective striking

Allows more attacks and damage to be simply applied

Have you see that kickboxer movie of jean Claude Van Damme then you will have a dream to become a kickboxer

Tang Soo Do

Like Tae Kwon Do but much more emphasis on stances and power

My children have just started this class and they love it.

Tang so do for the win

Tang so Do is the best! I also do Tang so DO

Jeet Kune Do

Kon'ichiwa, I am a practitioner of Japanese Jujutsu and want to express my views as a martial artist. Jeet kune do fighters are-like Bruce Lee said to be like water. Actualize yourself as a fighter and not do pick and choose which style you like. To understand fighting you need not to become a product of patterns and fixed thinking throw away prejudice etc. Things like Boxing and Judo (no offense to those people) are styles which could cloud the truth of combat and hide the expression of human emotion though patterns; you should aim to utilize all types of combat skill and self awareness, to use only punches or only to grapple somebody is ineffective against a group if you are no master. I'm a martial artist myself but I find that some locks and other techniques may not be useful in the quick reaction situation but do not hate technique, seek to understand every technique forward and backward, to understand what is useful and what is uniquely your own philosophy. Any martial artist ...more

Jeet kune do also has basics of wing chun I swear that JKD is best as bruce lee himself told that he has found a new way not a style please refer as all of them know about sifu bruce lee he is the world's best martial artist please don't confuse Jun fan JKD with MMA and JKD concept practicioners

Bruce Lee is the inventor people, ring a bell? Has simplicity, speed, agility and no holds barred.

I like jeet kune do it is created by bruce lee and it is also have some wing chun in it plus short distance like wing chun yeah its good


True Hapkido as taught in the military is brutal and effective.

Hapkido is the only martial art that operates in ALL four self defense ranges, beats ALL the martial arts listed above.

Although Taekwondo is a good martial art, it's kind of limited compared to Hapkido. Also, Taekwondo is considered more of a Korean sport rather than a martial art. It's still good, but Hapkido has more things to do.

Idiot, all martial arts can operate at all four ranges it just depends on who and how it is being taught.

Tai Chi

The basic idea of using the opponents strength to defeat your opponent. "nothing is softer than water, but nothing is stronger than water. All depending on the wind" & taichi is good for your health.

I used it against my friend

Haven't leraned this art but I know only one technique in which I used in my life. I was gonna be pushed on violently to my chest but I reversed it and pushed my aggresor back, avoided an ugly fight thanks to tai chi!

Tai chi is a Chinese martail art

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