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The Best Martial Arts for Self-Defense

The Best Martial Arts for Self-Defense

There are many martial arts around the world, hundreds and hundreds of martial arts all with different variations.  It is difficult to find authentic, realistic, and practical martial arts that actually work in a self-defense situation.  It can be one of the most dangerous things in the world to learn a martial art that is not effective and develop a false sense of security. 

Learning martial arts that are not practical, realistic, and that may not work can actually do more harm than good.  Assume you have been training an ineffective martial art for years and you walk around with this false sense of security that you can defend you and your family.  Someone comes up to you and is trying to mug you at gunpoint and this martial art has led you to believe you know proper disarming that is actually dysfunctional. You attempt to disarm this person improperly and it can be the last decision you make.   This is the danger of learning ineffective and unrealistic martial arts.  They can get you killed, hurt, or injured. 

So what are good martial arts to learn for self-defense?  What martial arts actually work?  Well, there are two martial arts that actually work very well for self-defense; they are Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Both of these martial arts have been proven effective and they have been tested in several combat situations.  They are some of the best martial arts that you can learn for self-defense conflicts.

Krav Maga

What is Krav Maga?  Well, it is a relatively new martial art that was developed by Imi Lichtenfeld.  He had a lot of experience in boxing, muay thai, wrestling, and other martial arts.  This martial art comes from Israel and is the primary form of combat used to train the IDF or Israeli Defense Forces.  Imi migrated to Israel when it was recognized as a sovereign state and was the head instructor of a group of men that would protect Israel, these men would later develop the IDF.  For over 50 years this martial art has made Israeli Special Defense Forces, The Mossad, some of the best and tactically trained armed forces in the world.  The Israelie Mossad/Special Defense is actually one of the units that help to train our Navy Seals, Rangers, and Green Barets.  In essence, Krav Maga is a military martial art.

Krav Maga has spread rapidly across the world and is now recognized as one of the best martial arts for self-defense.  The only problem with Krav Maga, like any martial art, is that it is difficult to find authentic Krav Maga training.  When a martial art like this explodes with popularity many people perceive this as a business opportunity and claim that they are “Krav Maga Instructors.”  This is when people without the credentials to teach open schools and teach poor technique.  It is very difficult to regulate who is opening schools and teaching any martial art, so if you want to practice a martial art always make sure to ask your instructor what their background is, what their credentials are, and ask the students how they are as an instructor, try to get some testimonials and gauge whether or not what they are teaching is authentic. Check out this video below with Rodrigo Artilheiro teaching a knife defense, he is one of the best Krav Maga instructors in the world.

So why is Krav Maga so effective? Simply put, it has been tested in combat.  People have actually had to use this system to defend themselves from real threats, and guess what, it saved their lives.  Krav Maga is a combination of several different disciplines; it has techniques from Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Wrestling, Boxing, Wing Chun, Karate, Muay That, and Kickboxing.  There are so many different variations of techniques, but it is very practical and the single goal at hand in Krav is to dismantle your opponent so you can walk away safely.  In many of the martial arts we just mentioned above, they have a “sport” background as well, that is not to take anything away from them but many people that do Karate these days may be training for specific rulesets with points and this can deviate the authenticity of the martial art.  It may not be as good for self-defense if the academies are training for tournaments.  Krav Maga does not really have a sports bias.  This is a martial art made just for defending yourself, whether it is against a weapon, one person, two people, a knife, or anything.  Krav Maga is an excellent discipline that can provide you with the confidence to walk around and know that you can defend yourself.  Check out this video below of Rodrigo Artilheiro showing us another excellent Krav technique.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the most popular martial arts in the entire world.  Like Krav it is a relatively new martial art.  It became extremely popular with the birth of the Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC.  Basically the UFC was a no holds barred full contact tournament that brought the best martial artists from each discipline together for a tournament.  There was Karate champions, Wrestlers, Professional Boxers, professional Kick Boxers, and Street fighters.  There were no weight classes, no gloves, and no rules.  There were multiple fights in one night for victory.  The UFC was won 3 times in a row by a small, undersized, lanky guy named Royce Gracie.  He destroyed everybody every time.  He was a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt.  At the time nobody was really familiar with this style and Royce annihilated every single opponent with chokes, arm locks and more.  BJJ teaches you how to defend yourself off of your back, joint locks, chokes, and takedowns.  It is the most technical martial art and it has the steepest learning curve.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu exploded with popularity after Royce killed everyone at the first three UFC tournaments.  Everybody wanted to learn it, the proof was in the pudding, how could a measly 150 lb guy beat people up that were twice his size and had martial arts training?  It was because the world had never seen anything like this.  BJJ is the best martial art in the world for Self-Defense in a ONE on ONE conflict. That is the difference between bjj and Krav Maga.  Krav is made to defend you quickly against weapons, multiple attackers, and several situations.  BJJ is about controlling one person.    

 BJJ is by far the best martial art to defeat one opponent, it is perfect for that one drunk guy who is being bothersome, the guy tryingto mug you (without a weapon), and it is AMAZING for women.  It will make in between their legs the most dangerous place to be.  Jiu Jitsu fighters like to have opponents in between their legs, this is called the “closed guard” and in this position they can apply hundreds of chokes, locks, and submissions. Check out this video below of the Gracie’s fighting challengers at their academy.  After the explosion in popularity, martial artists would walk into the Gracie’s academies to challenge them because they did not believe BJJ could be that effective, they always lost.

If you want to learn some extremely authentic Krav Maga with friends or family from the comfort of your own home check out Rodrigo Artilheiro’s DVD set “destroy first ask questions later Krav Maga.”  This is an excellent resource to learn authentic and lifesaving techniques that can be practiced with a friend or family member.  Definitely worth looking into!