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How To Find The Best Martial Art in the World

Updated on April 11, 2013
Wu Ming Ta Kung Fu
Wu Ming Ta Kung Fu | Source

There are those who believe the best martial art is from Asia. Asia is revered for martial arts with great styles and systems originating in China, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Thailand and others. It may also be argued that the best martial art known today is Gracie Brazilian Ju Jitsu.

However, the truth is that no particular martial art is superior. As my teacher Danny Inosanto once said to me; “Bruce Lee would have been Bruce Lee regardless of what martial art he practiced.” Most of my teachers believe it is not the art that is superior, rather it is the person. Each art has its strengths and weaknesses, although few martial artists like to acknowledge the weaknesses of their art. The weakness and strength of a martial art can be seen at the various distances between combatants. When it comes to hand distance, Western boxing has made short work of many martial artists. At kicking distance, who can dispute the power and effectiveness of Muay Thai? On the ground few arts are as devastating as Brazilian Ju Jitsu. Some arts fare better in close and others at a distance. However, in my 40 years of martial arts practice, I have not seen an art that was superior in every way to other arts.

I have however, seen martial artists that were superior to most others. I no longer follow the latest fighters, but for those of you who are a little older, let me remind you of several fighters from different systems. Bruce Lee, Dan Inosanto, Gracie Brothers, Joe Lewis, Mike Stone, Benny the Jet, Bill Wallace, Chuck Norris, Tony Ja, and Ed Parker to name just a few. I can make a list as long as you like, and you will find on my list, men of various styles, but all with superior ability. Can you tell me that it was the style they practiced that made them champions? Champions possess superior qualities; this is what makes them champions. A style is the compilation and implementation of ideas. It is a vehicle for the martial artist to carry out particular techniques, motions and movements. Perfection of a particular art does not in itself produce champions. In my humble opinion, there is no superior style, there are only superior men.

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