What are the world’s most effective martial arts

Effective martial arts

When someone mentions martial arts you may conjure up images of the traditional styles of the Karate Kid, the innovative styles of Bruce Lee or even the seemingly brutal styles of Connor McGregor in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). All of these styles have their merits and play to their individual strength and particular styles to be effective in any given situation.

But which martial arts styles are the most effective out there? but before we explore the styles and what is the most effective for you lets take a look at things to consider before you start.

Effective martial arts : What To Consider

  • The reason you started
  • The style of martial arts
  • Your body type
  • Your psychological makeup
  • The instructor
  • The image you want it to portray
  • The  costs involved

Effective martial arts : Reasons To Train

  • Fitness and health
  • Self defence
  • Self esteem and confidence
  • All the above

Whatever the reason you want to study martial arts, it’s important that you pick the style best suited to you, not what your mate Billy does. Yes, it’s great to have a training partner, but if the style doesn’t compliment your body type and your psychological make-up, then you’re setting up to fail. Personally, I have seen so many people start training full of enthusiasm in the first month, only to stop training, even before they have even managed to get the packaging creases out of their newly-purchased training gear.

Ensure you stretch before practicing your martial arts.

Taekwondo: 752 calories/hour | 937 calories/hour
For an intense workout that will keep you motivated, take up a competitive martial arts like Taekwondo,Muay Thai, jujitsu, or karate. Taekwondo, which burns upwards of 750 calories an hour, will improve your cardio fitness, muscle strength, balance and agility – as well as helping to keep you supple.

Effective martial arts

Source AOL

Effective martial arts : Which Body Type Are You

That probably goes without saying, right? I mean, some of us are taller, some of us are shorter. Some of us have a small frame, whereas others seem to be bigger-boned.

But what you may not know is that there are actually three distinctive body type classifications, also known as ‘somatotypes’

But what you may not know is that there are actually 3 distinctive body type classifications, also known as “Somatotypes”.

It can be useful to know your specific somatotype, since it can help you tailor your fat loss or muscle building approach accordingly. ” It can also be useful to determine which style of martial arts would be more suitable to you

These 3 classifications are Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph.


Can you pick out your body type from the list?

This is important, because some styles rely on strength and brute force (Shotokan), while some rely on quickness of movement (Aikdo). I am not saying that you cannot do a particular style because of your body type, we are just looking to enhance what you already have available and construct the best possible experience for you. If you would like to find out more about your body type, please follow the link below.

read more at leanmuscleproject.com for more information on your body type by Chris Muir | Sep 15, 2014

Effective martial arts : Psychology

If you want to compete in martial arts, or you think you need training to be able to fight on the streets, then this is very important. Are you a thinker? Would you like to stand back and outsmart your opponent, and pick your kicks and punches like a chess master? Then maybe something like Wado Ryu, where most of your time is spent upright, would suit you best (this does not really apply in real life).

Perhaps you’re a bit gung-ho and like to get stuck straight in, and like the physical contact. In which case, a grappling martial art would suit you better. I do know that once it becomes real, you need to stay unemotional towards your opponent. Not angry, mad or enraged, as this will deplete your stamina quicker than a dose of diarrhoea.

To make matters even worse, you will even lose the ability to breathe naturally as you overthink the cool new martial arts move that you have learnt whilst getting your arse kicked around the carpark. Of course, this will improve with training.

Effective martial arts

If it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t work 

Seriously, even if you’re only practising martial arts as a sport for fitness and confidence, make sure you’re happy and comfortable rolling around on the floor with a 20-stone sweaty rag of a person before you start. Perhaps the virtual non-contact of Tai Chi would be a better choice for you, or would that be too serene? It’s all down to your personal choice.

The psychology of fighting is varied and complex. From why we do it to how best to be when doing it, there are some excellent links below if you would like to dig deeper into the psyche of combat. The subject of sports psychology is an even greater field of research (in which I am qualified but a non-practitioner for many years).

Fight or Flight

The most powerful tool you will ever own 

Combat psychology 

Effective martial arts : The Instructor

Not many consider this at all when choosing to train in martial arts, but why would you want to spend hours training with someone you actually didn’t like or – more importantly – respect? Does the instructor (Sifu, Sensei, Sabum, etc.) give off an air of confidence, poise and dignity, or is it more like swagger and arrogance? In the past, martial arts have sometimes been criticised for not being very professional in the way they conduct their business.

Yes, business. Martial arts has now become very big business. So much so, that some places I have visited treat the students like cash cows. YES, do expect to pay a fair price, as there are professionals out there and it is their living. But you need to avoid the money makers who do pointless gradings every few weeks just to separate you from your hard-earned cash, so choose wisely. If you do decide on a particular style, club or instructor, do take the time to ask them to show their qualifications, what governing body they are affiliated to and importantly what insurance (professional indemnity insurance) they have in place.

Also, it’s a good sign if they tell you that you need to get you own insurance just in case you are unlucky enough to experience a sporting injury that keeps you off work. Professional instructors will be more than willing to provide you with this information. If they start to get a little defensive when you’re asking these questions, stay well clear and find another place to train.

Another important reason to like and respect your instructor is for when the going gets tough, really tough. When you think you can’t carry on, the instructor will be right behind you, screaming in your ear to keep going (especially as the grades progress), and the last thing you want to do is to turn around and tell them to stuff it.

Jim Carey below displays exactly what your not looking for

Effective martial arts : The Image

I mention this because image is important and even everything to some people but DO NOT get drawn into the current  trendiest martial discipline.  I am sure that after the Connor McGregror  – Mayweather fight people are queuing up outside the MMA clubs even though he did not win. Have you heard of Tae Bo  by Billy Blanks from the 1990’s ? It was a roaring success around the world and reportedly made him some $30 million, like I said, big business.

Don’t follow the fad do what is right for you. Another thing to consider when choosing is do you need the club  to be at the newest swankiest health club/ sports centre or would you be just as happy in the village hall. Remember its not about trying to impress your friends about what and where you are training in an effective martial arts. The training gear looks so cool, STOP NOW its not a fashion show, Its about you so choose wisely.

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Effective martial arts : The Costs

The money, the bucks. What should you be paying to be trained in an effective martial art? Many of the martial arts clubs have now moved over to monthly payment methods, as all sustainable businesses have. This way, the instructors can plan their lives with a regular income, so don’t be surprised if they ask you to sign up to a direct debit for 12 months.

All you need to be aware of is what cancellation polices are in place if you decide that you no longer want to train. Come on, I am sure that most of us have some subscriptions to things we no longer need but never got round to cancelling.

The training gear varies in price depending on the discipline. For example, kickboxing usually requires just silk bottoms and a t-shirt. Probably the most expensive gear would be Kendo, which requires a plethora of protective equipment. But beware of paying too much for a basic GI if you can only purchase from the club you have joined.

Check online to see what the average price for a Karate GI is. The prices do vary vastly depending on the quality (thickness) of what you are purchasing, so just be aware. Just because they have a club logo on a cheap shirt shouldn’t escalate its value.

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Gradings usually cost extra to the monthly fee but as long as the club don’t make you have monthly mini gradings that can spiral your monthly pocket emptiness to greater depths. The most extravagant cost I heard of personally  (15 years ago) was £100 for the belt and they had to attend a weekend course as well but the student was to embarrassed to tell of the additional cost.

If someone has been teaching for 30 years it does not automatically qualify them as a good Instructor

Gradings should typically be 3 months apart for the lower belts and then towards the higher belts, 6 months apart and finally at least a year before taking your black belt. I say finally but the black belt is just the beginnings of a journey towards learning an effective martial arts

So what should you be paying for your martial arts instruction? the same rules apply as in all walks of life. What would you be willing to pay a tiler or a plumber. In some instances you do get what you pay for. Just for the record I was a terrible business man when I ran my club as it wasn’t about the money or making a living I just did it for the love and passion.


In this article, we explore some popular and lesser known styles of martial arts from striking arts such as Muay Thai Kickboxing and Karate, grappling sports like Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitus all the way through weapon based Eskrima and self-defence Krav Maga. By understanding the individual weapons utilised in each style we hope to help those interested in potentially perusing a martial art to choose the one that is best suited to them.  With considerations of the history, application and best practitioners for each this article will act as a guide to help you understand the basics of all of these martial arts.

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Effective martial arts : The Styles

Effective martial arts Shotokan Karate

Although you may well not have heard of Shotokan Karate you will almost have certainly seen it in practice. Originating in Okinawa, a small island in Japan, this is the name of one of the most popular karate style and was made so by the introduction of a number of public demonstrations and the introduction of some of the first ever university karate clubs.

Shotokan is one of the oldest popular style of martial arts, and it is still popular for a number of reasons, not least it’s effectiveness. This has been made apparent with its application by world class UFC fighters such as Lyoto Machida who contributes a number of his wins to the highly accurate style.

As a full contact striking martial art Shotokan can be applied with devastating effectiveness. Using both kicks and punches to overwhelm opponents it requires explosive power and dedication to master, but rewards those that do with incredible knock out power. Not only is Shotokan an effective martial art, but is also an excellent way to practice discipline and keep fit.

Shotokan typically meets force with a greater force so if your a Ectomorph body type then this might not be the style for you.

Kata = a predefined set of moves designed originally for its teachers and practitioners to memorise the effective martial arts moves. It is rumoured to be that the first Japanese instructors got on the plane in Okinawa as green belts and got off in America as Black Belts. They then taught children karate to the masses from the the Katas they had learnt back in their homelands. Once studied correctly the katas contain devastating attacking and defensive moves so what may look like a little prancing around the mats think again.

Effective martial arts Wado Ryu Karate

Another effective form of karate is that of Wado Ryu. This martial was started by karate legend Hironori Ōtsuka when he combined a number of karate styles that he had mastered throughout time, he registered Wado Ryu as his own specialist hybrid style in 1938.

As the video demonstrates, once the practitioner reaches a higher level of expertise, the punch should be delivered a split second after the foot makes contact with the floor, rather than waiting for the foot to hit the ground before punching. Milliseconds are the difference between winning and losing; or, in extreme cases, walking home safely or hoping an ambulance turns up to take care of you.

Effective martial arts

Again this is a striking based martial art and depends primarily on kicks and punches to deliver damage to the opponent. Although Wado roughly translates into ‘the way of peace and harmony’ this may be forgotten by anyone that goes toe to toe with a master of this art. The katas practiced through Wado Ryu are an excellent way to get in touch with your body, understanding your bodies strengths and weaknesses as well as developing a skill that will both keep you in shape as well as being able to protect yourself.

Wado Ryu the style I first majored in. It differs from Shotokan because it employs evading techniques (Tai Sabaki ) rather than fighting force with force. It also uses techniques learned from Jiu-Jitsu. This could be suited to both ectomorph and mesomorphs, and don’t rule it out if you’re an endomorph. I have had my butt kicked by one because I totally underestimated them. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘big people are light on their feet’?

Effective martial arts Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) originated from Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, specifically the first school to open in Brazil by Geo Omori in 1909 where he began to teach members of the Gracie family. By learning and adapting the art, Helio Gracie gently began to adapt the art to work more effectively for himself, a smaller man, against much larger and stronger opponents.

BJJ rocketed to fame after the birth of the UFC where the best practitioners from the most renowned martial arts tested themselves against each other in a no holds barred fight. Royce Gracie came to the UFC and shocked those watching by defeating all those he faced, he won the first two championships as well as the fourth which highlighted BJJ as one of, if not the most effective martial art of the time.

A non-striking art, it focuses primarily on ground work and submissions either by putting a huge amount of stress on the joints and muscles or through choking or strangling your opponent. BJJ maintains its roots as a highly devastating martial art where size and strength is outweighed by skill and technique, as well as remaining highly utilised in the octagon, with almost all MMA fighters extensively practising BJJ ground work to improve their game.

As BJJ to continues to grow rapidly in its popularity, it is becoming easier and easier to practice the sport with new schools appearing all of the time. With some of the best academies in the world such as Gracie Barra, Checkmat and Alliance ever expanding their locations across the globe there is no better time than now to find your local school and get training

If your into the unclose and personal style of combat then this could be the one for you  

Effective martial arts Taekwondo

Taekwondo (TKD) was developed in the 1940s and 1950s as a hybrid of the most effective parts of traditional Karate and Kung-Fu. This was developed into one of the highest impact striking sports in the world.

With athletes competing to the highest level, TKD is one of the only martial arts that is competed in the Olympic games. It also has a reputation to deliver knock out power as a cage fighting style with some of the worlds most famous martial art knockouts being delivered by fighters such as Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis who practises the style.

Although punching is an accepted part of TKD, it is famous for the incredible power of kicks that are thrown by practitioners. These are primarily delivered by well-timed spins that build momentum and therefore increase the power of the kick significantly. Those practising TKD often wear a type of body armour to add some protection to their ribs and internal organs, showing the power of the strikes being landed.

Effective martial arts Muay Thai Kickboxing

Originating in Thailand, Muay Thai Kickboxing is by far one of the most brutal martial arts in the world. Developed for close combat, its history is somewhat of a debate amongst historians. Although now it draws massive crowds of tourists to the country it is certainly still used to devastating effect.

Again, popular in the cage, Muay Thai delivers blows through a combination of every possible weapon on the body. Fast and precise kicks and technical boxing puts distance between opponents and keeps them uncomfortable, conditioned shins and forearms are used as shields against strikes and knees and elbows are landed like hammers that completely shake the world of those on the receiving end.

A fast fighting style, Muay Thai favours the quick and those with a bottomless pit of cardio. Famous camps in Thailand such as Tiger Muay Thai offer high levels of training to martial arts ‘tourists’ to Thailand.

Effective martial arts Judo

Created in 1882 by Jigoro Kano, Judo has been a staple and popular martial are across the globe for many, many years. Next to wrestling this martial art is one of the most popular and effective grappling sports practised. Like TKD, Judo is taught and learnt to the highest level due to its prominent position in the Olympic games. Developed from the older style of Japanese Jujutsu, a martial art developed by the samurai, Judo is now sports focused and practiced by individuals called judokas in dojos.

Judo has been used extensively in mixed martial arts, with the most effective throws and holds finding their way into top level competitions such as the UFC. This is clear in the success of fighters such as Ronda Rousey, who also represented the USA in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Similar to BJJ, this is a non-striking martial art and often relies on turning the strength and momentum of the opponent against them. Often those who are short, stocky and with a good balance make excellent judokas due to their ability to get under the centre of gravity of their opponents.

Effective martial arts Eskrima

Also knowns as Kali or Arnis, Eskrima is a form of martial art developed and practiced in the Philippines. With much Spanish fencing influence passed on during their invasion of the country, the history of this type of martial art is somewhat hazy due to its age. This is also due to its general development within the Philippine peasant class, meaning little is written about the early use of the art.

Primarily focusing on the use of sticks, knives, blades and other improvised weapons as a way to overwhelm and disabled the opponent, this is certainly one of the most devastating and potentially deadly martial arts still popularity practised today. The best Eskrima fighters are both lighting fast and accurate with their attacks, with a thorough understanding of the human anatomy as to where best to hit, slash or stag to maximum effect.

Effective martial arts Krav Maga

Developed for use by the Isreali Defence Force, Krav Maga is a high speed, high impact and highly aggressive form of martial art. Calling upon many elements of other combat sports such as Wrestling, Boxing, Aikido, Karate and Judo this realistic form of combat is widely practised across the globe as a form of self-defence. Not only is this popular with individuals civilians looking to learn to defence themselves, but it has also been adopted by many military organisations as a way to protect themselves in hand to hand combat situations.

Krav Maga practitioners focus in on the application of both defence and attach at the same time, both disarming and damaging their opponent simultaneously. Unlike more traditional martial arts that are often practised through kata’s, showing a calm and smooth application of the art, in Krav Maga there is a big focus on overwhelming the opponent with aggression. Due to its position as an ever-developing combat art, there is also a big focus upon innovation and using every-day objects as a form of defence and attack.

Effective martial arts MMA

Not really a martial art in its own right, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) calls on various elements of many others to make up what might be considered as the best fighting style of all time. This is due to its adaptive nature; MMA is always changing with new elements of other martials arts being added or taken away as people grow and learn.

The primary difference between MMA and other martial arts is the fundamental goal derived from their purpose. Many martial arts have been created or developed from fighting styles that were meant to save or take lives in some way, shape or form. MMA on the other hand was born out of the idea of sport, with rules in place.

The major benefit of MMA is that practitioners can adapt to their own strengths, body types and state of mind. For example, many fighters will focus on grappling and ground work whilst others will favour stand up, striking and knockouts. The best Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the world work systematically to improve on their strengths whilst looking to mitigate their weaknesses.

Effective martial arts : The Conclusion

In conclusion, we can see that there are a number of effective martial arts out there, each with their individual benefits, styles and weapons that can cause devastation for opponents in a very unique way. Mind-set is one of the biggest differentiators across the board with some requiring highly technical and disciplined approaches such as karate or BJJ and others relying on speed, agility and tanks of energy such as Muay Thai or MMA. When choosing a martial art style to practise you should consider both your personal preferences in terms of attack and defence styles, but also your own personal state in terms of being passive or aggressive, body type in terms of being fast, strong, agile and balanced.

Ultimately, the best way to find the best martial art style for you is to give a few a try. Schools are often welcoming of beginners and teachers should take the time to talk through the particular styles application and suitability for yourself. A simple Google search of any of the arts above followed by your local city will shows lots of options to get involved, be careful to read reviews and don’t ever get sucked in to paying huge sums of money to an academy until you have had a chance to try it.