Be prepared for anything with these top martial arts types. From Muay Thai to Judo, we’ve got it all covered and will make sure you choose the right discipline for you.
Martial arts types: overview
Will it hurt? Yes. Will you get punched in the face at some point? Probably. Is it worth it and super fun to learn a new sport that will help you get out of a life-threatening situation? 100%.
If you’re thinking of learning an excellent new skill, martial arts is the perfect thing for you. It teaches your discipline, self-defense and will keep you active and healthy. We’ve rounded up the top martial art categories and what you can expect from each of them. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in MMA or Jiu-Jitsu or maybe you’ll even love them all. It’s up to you!
Muay Thai is often called kickboxing. But kickboxing is a broad term covering anything that involves punching or kicking, and Muay Thai is so much more than that.
Muay Thai has a few defining features that separate it from the rest of the kickboxing world. Firstly, it is centuries old and is said to have originated in Thailand in addition to the usage of fists and feet; this martial art also involves knees and elbows when attempting to strike your opponent. You may even come across the odd form of standing grappling called clinch.
Muay Tai is a great place to start if you want to learn a martial art that will eventually lead to competitions. Most MMA competitors’ fights are based on Muay Thai, and amateur kickboxing events are available when you’re ready to take the next step.
If you’re looking to learn a new form of self-defense, it’s probably the middle of the pack in terms of practicality.
Wing Chun Fu is a close-range fighting style that originated in China. This martial art focuses on balance and has a deep-rooted history of tradition. It also helps keep the body in shape by focusing on vital relaxation techniques to help you perform.
If you struggle with personal space issues or have found that your reflexes aren’t very fast, Wing Chun Fu is not the sport for you. This martial art is less about leg work and more about your forearms.
When deciding to take up this martial art, you must prepare yourself to come away from lessons bruised and worn-out. Wing Chun Fu requires excellent concentration and balance and students practice on hard wooden dummies to make sure they stay in peak physical shape.
A variation of Judo from the 1990s, Jiu-Jitsu is all about ground-based grappling. This martial art took off when master Royce Gracie first debuted it in his UFC tournaments. The main objective is to get your opponent to the ground and into a submission hold, either knocking them out or inflicting enough pain for them to tap out.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not the choice to make for those looking to learn a bit of self-defense, as you’ll rarely find yourself in a situation where you can pull an opponent to the ground and not get covered in whatever is lying around. If you have personal space issues, this is not a martial art for you.
If you’re in it to learn a new skill, this is the martial art for you. Be prepared to take a bit of a beating in your first few tournaments, so don’t forget your headgear! Rugby players aren’t the only ones who get cauliflower ears.
Krav Maga means “battle contact” in Hebrew and is precisely that. The idea behind this martial art came into focus in real-life combat situations by the Israeli Defense Force. When learning it, instructors will teach you how to punch, kick and throw in an attempt to disarm your attacker.
Be prepared for some rubber knives and guns, exciting tools used to mimic actions when learning the right techniques.
For anyone looking for a contact sport, this is the one for you. There’s plenty of striking and twisting involved, and you’ll leave a few classes feeling sore. The higher up in the course you go, the more you will develop and test out your skills.
This martial art is perhaps the most practical of them all and involves very little ground game. You won’t get to compete in many tournaments, but you’ll be prepared for whoever and whenever.
Taekwondo originated in Korea and is one of the broader martial art styles. We mean that there are countless moves, attack styles, punches, kicks, and throws, and Taekwondo has one of the largest followings out of all the martial arts on this list.
It’s a great idea to watch a class before you decide to join. With so many programs and styles out there, you’ll never really know what you’re signing up for until you’ve watched it for yourself. Most of the sparring is done fully geared up, so make sure you budget for all the equipment you’ll have to buy. Finding a competition to take part in won’t be difficult when taking up Taekwondo.
MMA, or Mixed Martial Arts, is precisely what the name says it is. It combines several different skills and techniques from all martial arts and requires fighters to be prepared for anything. MMA hasn’t been around for long but has come a long way since it first appeared in the UFC. The industry went from a cockfight-like situation to a more mature sport with a massive following and significant investments.
MMA has so many layers to it. That’s why you must go into the sport fully prepared for the amount of time and money needed to achieve the results you desire. Classes will provide you with a superior workout while teaching you how to handle plenty of diverse scenarios.
Judo first came about in the 1800s and is said to have originated in Japan. This martial art focuses on throws and chokes and almost no strikes. Martial arts like Sambo and Jiu-Jitsu are both branches of Judo.
Judo is one of the most popular competition martial arts. There may be no striking, but the impact certainly isn’t lacking when it comes to self-defense. It’s far more practical than Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu and offers a full-body workout, focusing mainly on your core and grip strength.
With all the martial arts options out there, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the perfect self-defense class for you. Why not try them all out? That way, you’ll be prepared for anything.