If you grew up watching Bruce Lee movies, or happen to have memorized all of Chris Tucker’s lines in Rush Hour 2, you probably think that you know a few things about martial arts. When it comes to which type of martial arts is the best, unless you have practiced against Jackie Chan, then chances are you probably do not have the knowledge or experience to say which martial arts is the most effective. In the end, it all really boils down to the person and their style. Maybe they work better in sparring than they do in free-play— it all depends on who you might be asking. If you are interested in learning martial arts and a bit on the fence about which style to choose from, or just curious as to what the different styles have to offer, we are going to give you the run down on different types of martial arts out there to help you figure out which is the most effective martial art style for you!
The 10 Most Effective Types of Martial Arts
There are various types and sub-types of martial arts, but it is safe to assume that the most popular forms of martial arts are also the most effective. With that said, let’s go over the top ten most popular forms of martial arts that are practiced today. By having an overview of each of these, you will be able to see which one will be the most effective for your style and individuality. Here they are, in alphabetical order:
Akido: If you enjoy flowing and fluid motions, Akido is the form for you. Akido works to incorporate very fluid motions towards an attacker rather than attacking them in a straight-on fashion—which might seem a lot easier, but is actually a lot less controlled. Akido is good for people who might not have a lot of physical strength, but want to work with turning motions and various entering forms to get their momentum going. Your goal here is to direct your attackers moves away from you, whether it be in various throws or straight punches.
Hapkido: Hapkido is a very balanced form of martial arts that incorporates kicks, punches, locks, and other attacks into its style. Additionally, Hapkido is different in such that it incorporates weapons into the mix, such as: swords, ropes, nunchakus, and staffs. This does not necessarily mean that you are going to use these weapons when attacked, but it helps you practice your moves while holding onto and incorporating objects for more controlled and absolute attacks. By focusing on balance, Hapkido focuses on you getting control of your attacker by using your body position and footwork to gain strength.
Judo: Judo is a more modern form of Japanese martial arts. In Judo’s style, your goal when being attacked is to get your attacker down on the floor to immobilize them. You will go about this by using a: lock, hold, choke, or grappling maneuver to subdue them. In competition or free practice, hand and feet thrusts are not allowed, which makes Judo more confined.
Jiu Jitsu (Jujisu, Jujutsu): This form of Japanese martial arts is going to help you against an attacker who is both armed and armored. Jiu Jitsu incorporates 5 areas of training, which are: blocking, fulcrum throw, non-fulcrum throw, escaping, and striking. You may use a short weapon, and your goal here is to use your attacker’s energy against him. This is different, because usually when attacked, people are used to directly opposing their enemy’s movements.
Karate: Unlike other martial art techniques, karate stresses striking your opponent in such ways as: punching and kicking with knee and elbow strikes and open-handed strikes. Karate incorporates a lot of hand techniques coming from traditional styles of karate like Shotokan, Shito, Ryu, Goju, Ryu,and Wado Ryu.
Krav Maga: Like karate, Krav Maga uses a lot of hand techniques in its style. It involves wrestling, grappling, and striking techniques. Krav Maga is known to have very effective counter-attacks. This style of martial arts which originated in Israel is known for its hand-to-hand combat system and has no official rules.
Kung Fu: When people think of martial arts, their minds usually gravitate towards Kung Fu, which is a popular style of Chinese martial arts. There are many different styles of martial arts that have individual physical exercises that mimic animal movements and others that work from philosophies, religions, and legends. However, all styles of Kung Fu focus on one’s “Qi”, which is supposed to improve muscular and cardiovascular fitness and coordination.
Muay Thai: This style of martial arts from Thailand focuses on eight points of contact and utilizes striking and clinching techniques done in a stand-up position. A lot of these techniques are found in MMA.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA): You have probably heard of Mixed Martial Arts from the attention that it gets from televised fights. It is a full contact sport incorporating various striking and grappling techniques that can take place either standing up or on the ground.
Tae Kwon Do: This Korean self-defense style is the most practiced style of martial arts in the world today. Tae Kwon practices all types of blocks, kicks, punches, and strikes used to take down your opponent. It also incorporates a lot of kicking techniques that are practiced in sparing. When learning Tae Kwon Do, you will practice it in sequences or forms.
Tai Chi: Although it is also a form of martial arts, Tai Chi is also widely practiced for helping an individual maintain proper health and spiritual well-being. In China or Asian communities, you will see a lot of the older generations practicing Tai Chi. There are different forms of training that exist today, and almost all of them emphasis slow and controlled movement.
The Best Martial Art Style for You!
Now that you are in the know with the most popular forms of Martial Arts today, you can determine for yourself which you believe to be the most effective. If you plan on testing one out, try out a few, and that can help you figure out which is the most effective Martial Art style for you. Remember that all forms of these forms and styles have strengths and weaknesses – it all depends on how you use your body to apply the form well. As always, you can practice these techniques online with Udemy’s helpful online courses to help you suit up for your next stage of self defense!