Best style of martial arts for self-defense?

  • #26
Danger
Gold Member
9,647
251
...some of those laws are pretty weird... like how the Walther PPK is banned from import here, so they make a PPK/S which is almost exactly the same gun, but with a slightly different grip...and all of a sudden it's not banned...o_O
As an outside observer of your culture, I quite suspect that model-specific laws such as the one that you cited are the result of either one being used in some notorious crime, or due to lobby pressure from your domestic firearms manufacturers trying to whittle down their competition. Because your basic laws are so weird (2nd amendment and all that), something as simple as the placement of a magazine release lever can make the difference. I quit trying to figure out you Yanks decades ago.
 
  • #27
Matterwave
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,966
327
As an outside observer of your culture, I quite suspect that model-specific laws such as the one that you cited are the result of either one being used in some notorious crime, or due to lobby pressure from your domestic firearms manufacturers trying to whittle down their competition. Because your basic laws are so weird (2nd amendment and all that), something as simple as the placement of a magazine release lever can make the difference. I quit trying to figure out you Yanks decades ago.

Lol, I think the PPK was banned under the firearms control act for being 1/8" too short in the grip or something weird like that...
 
  • #28
Danger
Gold Member
9,647
251
Lol, I think the PPK was banned under the firearms control act for being 1/8" too short in the grip or something weird like that...
It's eerily similar to the way you guys deal with sports statistics:

A) Barrel of a .25—.32 calibre handgun with magazine capacity between 6 and 10 rounds must be at least 3 1/4" long and no more than 5 3/8" if carried in a shoulder holster. Up to 6 1/2" is allowable for an inside-the-waistband cross-draw paddle holster.

B) Most ground-rule double hits by an ambidextrous pinch-hitter on artificial turf during light rain between 10:00 am and 6:30 pm.
 
Last edited:
  • #29
Matterwave
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,966
327
It's eerily similar to the way you guys deal with sports statistics:

A) Barrel of a .25—.32 calibre handgun with magazine capacity between 6 and 10 rounds must be at least 3 1/4" long and no more than 5 3/8" if carried in a shoulder holster. Up to 6 1/2" is allowable for an inside-the-waistband cross-draw paddle holster.

B) Most ground-rule double hits by an ambidextrous pinch-hitter on artificial turf during light rain on artificial turf between 10:00 am and 6:30 pm.

To be fair though, men have spent their lives pursuing the record in most ground-rule double hits by an ambidextrous pinch hitter on artificial turf during light rain between 10 am and 6:30pm.
 
  • #30
Danger
Gold Member
9,647
251
I suppose that everyone needs a hobby.

I just noticed that I was redundant about the artificial turf in that post, and edited it. I hope that nobody reads your quoted of it too closely. That'll teach me to try watching the news while typing.
 
  • #31
Dale
Mentor
Insights Author
2020 Award
31,963
8,874
So which style of martial arts is best for self-defense?
Krav-maga is consistently rated as top for practical self defense, but I have no personal experience with it. I think that it is a less organized martial art than some, so the quality will vary significantly from school to school. I do hapkido (just received my black belt this past weekend), and my wife and kids do a mix of hapkido and tae kwon do, so those are the only ones that I know personally.

I actually think that TKD is good for kids and women because the kicks that you learn are good at keeping distance between you and an attacker. You definitely do not want to do any wrestling or grappling for self-defense. Even the world's best grappler will only be able to handle a single attacker, and if the attacker has any buddies nearby then the good wrestler will just be in a dominant position when he gets his head kicked in by the second attacker. TKD also has the advantage that it is offered everywhere.

Hapkido is TKD's mean cousin. It has many of the strikes and kicks of TKD, and adds in joint locks and breaks, knee and elbow strikes, and throws and so forth (including a little bit of grappling). Many TKD schools will also teach hapkido since they are both Korean martial arts.
 
Last edited:
  • #32
Simon Bridge
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
17,874
1,655
In NZ Judo used to be taught to women because of the training to break holds and throwing distances you from your attacker. The threat model here being that a potential rapist grabs you by suprise.
 
  • #33
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
19,842
3,326
I learned Tae Kwon Do - but off a Korean ex-military guy I lived with. It's what he learned in the army.
Very little kicking or fancy stuff - hit hard and run away philosophy. The biggest bonus, though, was psychological: I was unconsciously carrying myself different to the effect that people stopped bothering me - which was useful because I had to go to bad ends of town by myself a fair bit.
Getting fit didn't hurt either.

The self defense part of a martial art is not usually all that big-a part of what you learn - most of it is about discipline.
For defense: you need to know how to punch and grapple and fall down and gets lots of practice at everything.
The practice part is actually the important bit - street brawlers who are good got that way without formal training ... just getting into lots of fights.
Keep it simple - a real fight is not exciting to watch, very confusing to be involved in, and you rarely get time to think anyway.
I did Tae Kwon Do for several years, and I joined a friend in some classes in his Shaolin Kempo program. The Shaolin Kempo program was a derivative of Shaolin Kempo Karate - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaolin_Kempo_Karate The instructor was a former marine instructor. I thought the SK was pretty good. Krav Maga or Brazilian Jiu-jitsu are also very good for self defense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_jiu-jitsu
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krav_Maga

As Simon Bridge indicated it is good for training/conditioning and exercise. Most programs teach forms of self defense, in addition to basic kicks, punches, and forms.

The Shaolin Kempo program included grappling and wrestling.
 
  • #34
tae kwon do is pretty but it's useless because it relies on too much fancy kicking. Any wrestling or grappling martial arts will be much more effective. Say Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. For modern defensive arts you can look at Krav Maga and Sambo.

I took Taekwondo to the 2nd degree black belt level. I would agree and disagree with Greg here. It's definitely not useless, as you can easily see that some of the best MMA fighters utilize Taekwondo kicks (see Cung Le, Anderson Silva, etc.). In fact, Cung Le's successful use of basic Taekwondo (and I think other types of kicking styles) kicks is said by some (like Joe Rogan) to have revolutionized and revitalized that aspect of the fighting sport. Prior to that, MMA had not seen such a dominant kicker. It really is amazing what he's able to do with simple kicks done technically correct and with good timing (you can look up Cung Le's training videos or Joe Rogan teaching proper form of Taekwondo kicks on Youtube for reference).

With that being said, Taekwondo does have many limitations and should not be used solely as a comprehensive method of self-defense. Specifically, TKD focuses heavily on kicking, which leaves out development of the hands. So something like boxing would be a good complement to TKD kicks. But, even then, one would not have a complete range of fighting ability. According to Bruce Lee, there are four distances in fighting:

Kicking
Punching
Trapping
Grappling

Depending on how far away your adversary is, one of these major types of attack becomes appropriate. Of course, many people who don't possess certain skills for a particular distance will try to avoid being caught in that distance against someone who may have those skills (e.g., a striker avoiding a close range fight with a grappler).

Each martial art seems to have its pros and cons. I would think one could learn something useful in each of them, but keeping in mind that it's just as important to throw away those things that are non-useful (as Bruce Lee advised).
 
  • #35
Seth1533
In response to annoyingirl

I'll first start off with non-traditional martial arts. Almost all popular martial arts have roots in some previous fighting method. With that said, Krav maga takes on a lot of different styles (so many that for the purpose of this thread, I'll consider it a non-traditional martial art). To it's credit, it does have a belt system. I would say it's the most effective in terms of real life "no rules" fighting. It also teaches defense agains weapons and use of weapons (either ones you carry or ones that you take from the opponent). Next would be MMA basically for the same reason that it's a mix of fighting styles. However, in competition and training, there are rules to abide by which in a real life fight, you may resort to due to the training and not use "illegal" methods in the actual fight that could give you an advantage. For that reason, and since you can't use weapons, I'll consider it 2nd to krav maga. Although, I would argue that it seems to be more evolved and popular in its form than krav maga.

For traditional martial arts here's my rankings: Judo, BJJ, Wrestling, Boxing, Muay Thai, Kick Boxing.

I think judo is #1 because it takes on 2 major principals. 95% fights end up on the ground. Judo teaches you how to take somebody to the ground, and how to fight once in that position. It's not as evolved as BJJ but against a random person (chances are untrained in ground fighting), it gives you the advantage to finish a fight. The main reason I rank it number 1 is because when a judoka throws and opponent, they end up in a dominant position and often transition right into a submission hold. If that fails, the person still has the skills needed to win.

BJJ is a close second because it's like JUDO newaza on steriods. Any non-trained person is going to have a hard time finishing a bjj player with any method.

Wrestling comes next because wrestlers are tough and will drop you on your head. A wrestler rarely gives up a dominant position, in a street fight a wrestler will demolish somebody who's not trained on the ground. It's also probably the best fighting style that teaches somebody how to take the fight down. I still rank it behind Judo and BJJ because there aren't really submissions taught in traditional wrestling and the wrestler would probably be better off dropping punches.

I think boxing is next because most street fights you can gage distance and minimize getting taken down by sole use of hands. Kickboxers and other strikers take that risk when kicking. Since most fights end up on the ground I have to rank it behind the others because there's no ground fighting whatsoever in boxing.

Muay thai utilizes the use of hands, elbows, feet, and knees. More importantly, the clinch. There's still the risk of getting taken down though by using all of the kicks.

Lastly, I'll rate kick boxing behind muay thai because it doesn't utilize as many techniques as muay thai but still takes on the risk of getting taken down.
 
  • Like
Likes Dale
  • #36
380
250
eard good things about Judo and Aikido, but I'd say that you should do self defense training to learn self defense, not martial arts

This is by far the most on-target comment . . . if what you're after is really self-defense, not just learning a fighting method. Find a school near you that specifically states they teach practical self-defense. Not a martial arts school as such; martial arts are by and large sports-oriented and/or "tradition" oriented, both of which have nothing to do with self defense. I'd also suggest being careful about the newer schools & styles around, including those with military origins or orientation, that say they teach "street fighting"; this has a relation to self-defense but tends to assume you are hard-core, tip-top shape, apt to be involved in combat on the street, etc. Injury rates will tend to be high in such training, I'd guess; they're fairly high in most serious martial arts as well.

In regards to sparring, sparring at a martial arts school won't be directed at self-defense but drilling particular techniques; and more advanced sparring will still be confined to rules that won't be followed on the street. Whereas in a self-defense program you will have hands-on training with simulated attacks intended to be very much like actual attacks on the street.

If you have community-oriented women's centers or women's service organizations near you, you might contact them & ask if they know of any appropriate programs near you.

On the other hand if your real urge is not self defense but fighting . . . that's very different and then these other comments about which school of fighting is most bad-ass may appeal to you.
 
Last edited:
  • #37
Heisenburgundy Gold
The best striking arts to start off with is Western Boxing or Thai Boxing. The moves are not fancy or look as brilliant as Karate or Tae Kwon Doe but that's because all the boxing arts are battle tested. And under stress in a real fight the simpler moves are easier to remember. As Vitor Belfort said they're "just beans and rice but cooked to perfection."

Any grappling art will work for self defense whether it's BJJ, Sambo, Judo, or Wrestling(Catch, Freestyle, or Greco-Roman). The reason why is because sparring is done every time you come to class, allowing you to get real life reaistance. What you do in class is the exact same thing you would do in a real fight. And if your opponent has no ground game your grappling skills are magnified greatly. That is the reason grappling art has the advantage over striking ones when using them outside the dojo.

That being said a student must learn both for self defense reasoning because a real fight has both elements. And as despite how I boasted grappling it is best used to get to your feet quickly if you get put on the ground. If someone has a knife it's a lot easier to stab you while your rolling on the ground with them. One of his mates can easily head kick or stomp you while your setting up a hold.

On the same note sometimes grappling is a better option than striking. If your at a family get together and your favorite uncle gets drunk I'm sure you wouldn't want to hit him with a four piece combo and knock him out. So in that case taking him down and pinning him to the ground until he tires out is the best option.

My credentials with Martial Arts: yellow belt in Japanese/Traditional Jiu Jitsu.

One Stripe white belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (though my last two professors said I am a blue belt level).

Two year of Muay Thai boxing.

and Yellow belt/Level 2 student in Krav Maga.
 
  • #38
Douwe Geluk
Hello my name is Douwe Geluk from the Netherlands and i practise the martial art Tai Chi Chuan and also Chi Kung in Apeldoorn city.

Your question:

Well what is most effective? It depends on the person and the way he trains. These day's the UFC, MMA and BJJ are conddered as most effective.

For me the most effective was How Chuen Monkey Kungfu Sasquatch style, Kyokushin Karate and currently Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung.

I love to practise Tai Chi and i am happy with it and ot works for me.

Greeting

Douwe Geluk
 
  • #39
morrobay
Gold Member
806
349
So since this is a physics forum is the following correct: A pure boxing punch say a straight right has more momentum than any martial arts punch because a boxer pivots the body during the punch as opposed to the martial arts "arm punch" So the boxer in a match with a martial artist would have the advantage. As Floyd Mayweather demonstrated.
 
  • Like
Likes gibberingmouther
  • #40
630
425
I'd say outside of competition sports, which applies to most of us, if one is inclined to learn about self-defense, train something that'll allow you to incapacitate, not injure. The smartest thing is to always avoid fighting (while not in the ring).
During the military service, we had elements of wrestling and jiu-jitsu in our routine. (To be fair, in the service we're trained to kill not dance). Worrying about 'power of punch/kick' is redundant, you don't want to ever have to use that punch/kick.
 
  • #41
15
6
I've practiced different martial arts basically my whole life, mostly traditional martial arts (i.e. not martial arts where you intended to compete or view it as a sport) and thus not the most practical for actual self defense. I've mainly done it because i enjoy it.

Strictly speaking for self defense (asuming it's not a possibility to walk away or talk your way out of it), i would say the most important aspect is that it contains a lot of actual sparring. Being able to throw a good punch or kick against pads or a punching bag is fun and may give confidence in your ability, but it is not nearly as important as reflexes, mental attitude and adapting to what the other person is doing.

It's also useful to get something that incorporates both punching, kicking and wrestling/grappling. At least to some extent, so you get comfortable with all "stages". I would say the least important feature is kicking probably. Kicking ability can greatly be hindered by choice of pants, shoes and to some extent the environment around you. If it's a closed space there is not much room for kicking.

If i personally would go for a martial art for the sole purpose of self defense, i would go for something who isn't intended for sport, probably like Krav Maga because it is more "practical" and with the purpose and attitude to actually be "practical" more than "just" to become better your sport or martial art.

But probably all (legit) martial arts will probably put you above anyone who doesn't do martial arts. It's also important to find a good club or instructor that isn't overly confident, in his martial art. What i mean with that is that a lot of instructors seem to say that "this works against a knife" for example. The best unarmed defense against a knife is to comply with the agressor or run the hell out of there. Teaching people to make them confident that they can avoid knifes with "this move" is very dangerous.

So since this is a physics forum is the following correct: A pure boxing punch say a straight right has more momentum than any martial arts punch because a boxer pivots the body during the punch as opposed to the martial arts "arm punch" So the boxer in a match with a martial artist would have the advantage. As Floyd Mayweather demonstrated.
It all comes down to mass, acceleration and momentum ;-)
There more mass you can move (for example, how good your technique is to put more of your body behind the punch) and how fast you can move this will matter more than the name of the technique.
It would probably have to be measured on a sensor to see which punch delivers the most amount of force.

One reason why boxers punch in one way and mixed martial artists does it in another way, could be that the boxer only have to worry about punches and thus doesn't have to worry about his stance making him more vurnable against kicks or takedowns.

So everyone does their best within their frame of "safety" against the opponents arsenal.
 
  • #42
HAYAO
Science Advisor
Gold Member
355
218
I practice boxing, and have practiced kickboxing and MMA, and in terms of self-defense, I would have to go with boxing on this one. But it is quite situational.

For example, if you are in a 1 vs 1 situation where you don't really have to worry about the opponent being dirty (for example, challenge to a fight), then MMA works nice. If you have done enough sparring, then you are prepared for most of the opponent's move. You also keep relatively long distance between you and your opponent in kickboxing and MMA, so if the opponent has a weapon, you naturally have that distance you need.

On the other hand, if you are in a 1 vs multiple situation, then you are likely to last longer if you are a boxer than a MMA fighter. The most important thing in a 1 vs multiple situation is to handle each one of them quickly, just enough to keep the fight 1 vs 1. You don't have time to kick and/or be slightly off balance utilizing a kick, much less taking the opponent down and attempting submission moves. Boxers dedicated their time on training only on the strikes with the hands. This will give you better hand and feet coordination to give you a quicker knockout than if you were a MMA fighter where you have used some of that time doing grappling and kicks.
 
  • Like
Likes pinball1970
  • #44
The best martial art depends upon the physical and psychological makeup of the student who studies it.

I, for example, have Asperger's . . . and this entails a certian amount of motor clumsiness, as I don't have the fine motor skills of, say, a talented dancer.

So, I don't do well with Choy le fut gung fu, but fare better with krav maga.

If someone (not neccesarily you) is very overweight, then study sumo wrestling.

And so on.

Assess your personal inclinations, your body type, your strengths and weaknesses, and then research which style works best for your situation.
 
  • Like
Likes Klystron
  • #45
Spinnor
Gold Member
2,180
391
Oh. I also forgot to mention that I am female, so I dont have much upper body strength.

Get a friend and Wrestle. Women can get scary strong but it takes time.

 
  • #46
Vanadium 50
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
27,585
11,787
Best for self-defense? I keep coming back to this...

 
  • Like
Likes Bystander and Dale
  • #47
HAYAO
Science Advisor
Gold Member
355
218
Best for self-defense? I keep coming back to this...

I always wanted to do that...only except owning a handgun in Japan is virtually impossible.
 
  • #48
morrobay
Gold Member
806
349
IMG_20190108_133647 (1).jpg

Floyd Mayweather floors Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in bout with boxing rules. A boxer because of the stance, left foot forward while throwing a right, pivots at the hips and transfers weight to forward left foot at contact. With a left hook the boxer pivots and weight ends up on back right foot. The stance of a martial arts fighter is front facing : both feet on a line that would be at right angle to an extended arm. The boxer has more momentum in a punch than the "arm punch" of a martial arts type fighter.
So unless someone is going to dedicate many hours to learn one of the various martial arts I would suggest just learning a few basic boxing punches, straight right and left hook. By the way some fights have ended with just a left jab.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/boxing...egor-with-10th-round-tko-20170827-gy54lb.html
And here is Mayweather stopping mixed martial arts fighter Conor Mcgregor
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20190108_133647 (1).jpg
    IMG_20190108_133647 (1).jpg
    105.4 KB · Views: 199
Last edited:
  • #49
Dale
Mentor
Insights Author
2020 Award
31,963
8,874
Floyd Mayweather floors Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in bout with boxing rules
And here is Mayweather stopping mixed martial arts fighter Conor Mcgregor
Both fights were conducted using boxing rules. Self defense situations don’t use boxing rules. So learning boxing style punches may be good self defense advice, but not learning boxing as a whole.
 
  • #50
HAYAO
Science Advisor
Gold Member
355
218
Hmm...

Self-defense scenarios falls into two categories: 1) no weapons, and 2) with weapons.

For obvious reasons, boxing favors 1) scenarios. Almost all fights in the absence of a weapon start out with one of them punching. This means that one must a) defend the attack, and b) neutralize the threat as fast as possible. Boxing is obviously advantageous in this situation considering one can defend and counter using hands, and because of the dedication to the hands-only striking game, one is more likely to stop a fight faster than any other form of martial arts. This also means higher chances of 1 vs many being kept 1 vs 1. Yes, at certain point, the fight could go to the ground. However, skilled boxer will probably not let the opponent grab you because a boxer knows distance. If you are taken to the ground, yes it is better if you know some grappling as a secondary measure. Kicking in street fights is a big no-no, because it's slower than punches, requires a bit of a longer distance than punches, and could end you up off balance.

Unfortunately, no martial arts is truly effective against 2) unless you have a weapon yourself. For example, a knife defense is extremely difficult; this video explains well. You can throw aikido, krav maga, kung-fu, and everything at them, but you can't truly be prepared against a knife that has significant unpredictability, where each slash or stab is potentially fatally damaging. If you have a guy with a handgun or a rifle pointed at your head in point-blank range (which is extremely stupid), then yes, weapon defense is easier in this case. If you have a guy with a baseball bat, then you still have some decent ways to defend yourself. But knives? Handguns (with fair amount of distance)? I am sorry, but give them what they want. No martial arts can effectively deal with such situation in self-defense.
 

Related Threads on Best style of martial arts for self-defense?

  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
4K
  • Last Post
6
Replies
144
Views
15K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
67
Views
16K
Replies
12
Views
10K
Replies
13
Views
2K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
74
Views
11K
Replies
47
Views
4K
A
  • Last Post
5
Replies
116
Views
30K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
888
Replies
10
Views
2K
Top