Martial arts: list, comparison, effectiveness & best martial art

There is a wide range of martial arts, among the best known are karate, judo, kickboxing, boxing, MMA or Krav Maga. But there are many more martial arts, not only from the Asian region. You are probably asking yourself, which martial art suits me? What are the differences and which martial art is best for self-defense?

Here you will find a list of the major martial arts, a comparison, FAQ and learn which martial arts are particularly effective for self-defense!

Defend yourself with martial arts

Violence is not a solution, never! Unfortunately, however, violence, assaults and the need to be able to defend oneself occur again and again in everyday life, in relationships, while traveling, etc., as these statistics show.

33% of all women in Europe experience physical or sexual violence
23% of Germans feel rather or very unsafe in public spaces.
In 2021, there were 5.05 million crimes, including about 0.5 million violent crimes.

Our aim is not to spread fear. We want to encourage those affected and ensure that people can react better in emergency situations

Is it even possible to defend oneself with martial arts?

The answer is yes, absolutely. However, it depends on the situation, of course. Against a bear or an attacker with firearms, there are limits, of course. However, knowing martial arts techniques and vital points, as well as fitness, gives you a significant advantage in an emergency situation of any kind. In the video you can see what forces act during a blow:


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Information for beginners: The most important things in advance

Advantages of martial arts: Promotes fitness, makes self-confident, helps children learn and makes you defensible against attackers!
Origin: Most martial arts originated in Asia, but there are also newer styles, for example, from the USA and Israel.
Which martial art: Depending on the martial art, the focus is on fighting with weapons, defense, mental strength, etc.. Depending on what you are looking for, a certain martial art is more suitable than another.
Suitable for defense: Any martial sport helps with defense, because it makes you fitter, recognizes and practices dangerous situations, learns defense and attack techniques.
Most effective martial arts: If you want to train only those for the emergency, and fitness and other factors are secondary, it is best to attend a self-defense course, which is designed specifically for defense, less on the training and fitness.
Good schools: martial arts clubs are also available in your city. You can recognize a good school by an experienced trainer, a good club spirit of the members, membership in associations and by opinions on the Internet (be critical).
No fear of contact: As a beginner you do not start with competitive sports and also not in full contact. Therefore, you do not have to worry or fear. It starts with endurance training, important defense techniques and punching and kicking techniques.

Martial Arts List of Popular Martial Arts

Below you will find a list of martial arts. Just click on a link, there you will learn much more about the martial art.

Which martial arts for seniors, children & women?

In principle, everyone can practice any martial art, no matter what age or physical condition you have. Your will is decisive. However, some martial arts are harder than others, require more agility, etc.. Therefore, some martial arts are better suited for some genders or age groups.

Martial arts for children

For children, there is really no martial art that can be excluded. It is only important that they end up in a good class and that the instructor has a good knack for dealing with children. Most martial arts are more playful in nature for children

Read more: Self defense for children

Martial arts for seniors

Seniors are mostly limited in their mobility, strength and speed. Therefore it is important to find a suitable martial art

  • Focused on self-defense is Krav Maga or a self-defense course. Judo also uses the attacker’s strength and is suitable.
  • If it is more about the fitness factor, Wing Chung, Jiu Jitsu or Tai Chi can fit very well.

Read more: Self defense for seniors

Martial arts for women

There are no restrictions on martial arts for women. If desired, special women’s classes are often offered without men. Since women are naturally different in size and strength, suitable martial arts can be chosen that use the strength of the attackers against them

  • Effective martial arts is Krav Maga or special self-defense courses.
  • The force of the opponent is used against the attacker in Judo as well as Jiu Jitsu.
  • But also all other martial arts will help you to be fit, to be prepared for attacks and to defend yourself.

Read more: Self defense for women

Martial arts for men

For men, just like for women, there are no restrictions in martial arts.

  • Martial arts that involve a certain degree of toughness are alsopopular. These can be, for example, sports such as MMA or kickboxing.
  • Effective is among others Krav Maga.
  • The classics such as karate, boxing or taekwondo arewidespread.

Martial arts comparison: Which martial art suits you?

You don’t know yet which martial arts could be suitable for you? Then you are exactly right here, with the help of the following questions you can determine your sports for self-defense

1. First of all, you need to know that martial arts have partly different objectives: Defense (for the military or population), athletic training or training of the mind/ concentration. Often it is a mix.

2. Some martial arts are harder than others: Kickboxing and MMA are very hard, while Tai Chi is designed to be gentle. And don’t worry, a beginner’s group in kickboxing won’t knock your teeth out right away. Each martial art can also be trained in its own way and appropriate to the participants.

3. The proofof the pudding is in the eating – take part in a trial training: It is highly recommended to attend a few trial classes and get an insight. Because the environment, your training partners and the trainer make a lot of difference. They are decisive for your success. Because only if you are motivated and train regularly, you will learn the martial arts.

➡️ Think about what your goal is first. Choose a few suitable martial arts and check the offer on site and just try it!

In the following questions we compare suitable martial arts to offer you some assistance.

Which martial art is most effective for defense?

As the most effective martial art for self-defense, we can recommend Krav Maga in good conscience

  • The founder placed great emphasis on the fact that it is effective, can be learned quickly and does not require too high physical demands
  • You learn here specifically those techniques that can help you in an emergency. In addition, Krav Maga builds on natural reflexes and is therefore easier to learn than most other martial arts and combat sports.

Read more: More about Krav Maga


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FAQ about martial arts

Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions about martial arts. If you still have a question, just write us!

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