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5 Deadliest Martial Arts

Updated on April 23, 2012

In today’s day, when danger can lurk around any corner, it becomes imperative that a person learns to defend oneself. The intention of learning a martial arts style is to defend oneself against dangers such as thugs and thieves. Here are some of the top 5 deadly martial arts that can help you save yourself from such danger.

When we think about martial arts, the first few that come to our mind are Karate, Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Judo and such sorts. No offense to any of the traditional martial arts. But most of them today have been reduced to mere sports rather than remaining actual combat forms. Most of these martial arts in their traditional form are also ineffective against street fights. While most of them focus on breaking boards, there are some deadly martial arts styles which are actual combat techniques that help you break bones in actual street fights. Here are some of them.

1) Muay Thai

Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. When I say sport, don’t be deceived. It is also one of the deadliest martial arts you can find. It is called the “king of martial arts” for a reason. While most of the martial arts teach you to use just fists and feet to attack an opponent, Muay Thai also teaches you to use your elbows and knees to deliver deathly blows to the opponent. A swift kick to the face or solar plexus of an opponent from your knee should finish him off.

2) Russian Sambo

Sambo is a Russian martial arts style and can be considered a form of wrestling. But don’t make the mistake of considering some ordinary wrestling form. In fact it is a very brutal form of wrestling which can teach you to rip your opponent’s arm off or break his bones. If that was not sufficient, it can help you use your opponent’s own weapon to kill him. Sambo in Russian is an acronym for Self-Defense Without Weapons. A special form of Sambo which is called Combat Sambo is taught to the Russian military and Special Forces.

3) Jeet Kune Do

Jeet Kune Do (JKD) is not actually a martial arts form. Bruce Lee, the creator of JKD never wanted it to be considered a martial arts style. The essence of Jeet Kune Do is to inculcate the best fighting techniques of various martial arts style to make your fighting style effective. In fact, JKD was the first modern martial art and can be considered the pioneer in mixed martial arts. Bruce Lee always used to say that traditional martial arts are too fixed and rigid, and contain too many fancy moves which are useless when it comes to street fight. JKD has no fancy moves, but it is pure business. It believes in delivering fast and explosive blows to your opponent to finish him off.


4) Ninjutsu

The deadly ninja assassins may have long gone, but their very mention makes a chill run down any brave warrior’s spine. And there is every reason to fear a deadly ninja. A ninjaken (Ninja sword) can slice you into two within a blink of an eye or a ninja shuriken (throwing star) can pierce your flesh before you saw where it came from. But the biggest asset of a ninja is his stealth attack. A ninja moves as silently as a cat. And when you least expect it, he attacks you and finishes you off with lightning speed. This deadly art is still taught around the world, albeit in a non-assassin way.

5) Krav Maga

Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art form. Its literal meaning is “hand-to-hand combat”. At first glance, it may look like any normal martial arts form. But it originated as a form of street fighting, hence becoming one of the most effective defense forms when it comes to street fight. Krav Maga focuses more on defense than offensive moves. If you still think, there is nothing much in it; it is good enough to be taught to the Israeli Special Forces which is one of the best in the world.

Now that you know some of the most deadly martial arts, do you still think your traditional martial arts style will help you beat a street fighter? And if you are asking the best fighting style against a gun… handing over your valuables, turning your back and walking away would be a good idea.

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    • GalaxyRat profile image

      Lila 3 weeks ago from The Crazy Rat Lady's House

      I do Krav Maga. It's helpful...

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      Rick mohr 3 years ago

      In early japan the ninja,s perfected the art of jujitsu and incorporated other martial art forms which then became nin-jit-zu and is considered the deadliest form of martial arts

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 3 years ago from India

      Dea1h: Thanks a lot for commenting. I am sure there are many martial arts today coming up which really help one defend oneself in a street fight.

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      Dea1h 3 years ago

      Combat Sambo should be nr 1

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 3 years ago from India

      Drew: Thanks a lot for your comments.

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      Drew 3 years ago

      I grew up in a city so street fights were the norm & gang fights were almost every weekend I've been a black belt in Isshinryu for for 30 years now a lot depends on the person not style to much unless say TKD which is mostly kicks I know cause I went to a school to see what it was about when id jam up there kicks & go to the face with my hands they said it didn't count so im sorry I mean no disrespect to TKD or the people who study it it might have been just that school my teacher learned in the Marines in Japan for hand to hand combat we were taught 50/50 hands& feet & practiced a lot of people attacking us once instance I bowedto go on the floor & found my sself in a headlock & getting my hair ripped out this is b4 lawyers that ruined the arts I had to fight my way out we also made a ring of students in the center you were to close your eyes & the Sensei would point to a student & that student word grab u anyway they wanted to & u had to get out of it quickly or suffer the pain we didn't have pads on the floor we had asbestos tiles that were like concrete when u got flipped or knocked down we had people getting knocked out not by the hut but by the floor cause they failed to tuck in there heads when I went in I was always in fights on the streets got jumped a lot to sorry I love the martial arts but when u have 10 or more guys we were taught to through garbage cans thru store fronts its about survival & against 10 or more I don't care how good you are u get a bat or 2 swinging at you ect you're done but as far as 1 on 1 street fights if your teacher was like mine he was more heavy on self defense then tournament fighting in his words a trophy is nice but in the street a trophy won't help so for me I used karate to 1st off see how they were standing were there weight was so I had an idea of the attack The martial arts you can't just rely on unless your fighting someone who can't fight or won't but never underestimate anyone its up to you to make what you know work that's why I say it depends on the person if u get some one that's just going to throw kicks once he's caught he has nothing & probably will lose his train of thought & get knocked out & someone said about glass on the ground there right I have scars on my arms from knives over the years when I was younger one more saying ( THE TIME TO STRIKE IS WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTS ITSELF ) when I fought i never walked up saying im going to this or that I let my opponent decide until I had him beat wear I could do what I wanted to do it doesn't matter if your a black belt a white belt what style or if you're just a street fighter it matters on who u are

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      lflip 3 years ago

      it is not the art,but the artist.............

    • profile image

      rama 3 years ago

      we are very sad for about attack to others so we learn

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      AARON 3 years ago

      Lol ninjutsu and jeet kune do are rubbish....

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      uip 3 years ago

      uoihp

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      Syahrizad Akmal 3 years ago from Shah Alam, Malaysia

      try find some skill from silat called IBU GAYONG..in silat this skill is the legend..hehehe..

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      makk: Thanks for adding that. I am not much aware of Kali. Will definitely try to read about it.

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      makk 4 years ago

      you put jkd and krav maga here but no kali ? pekiti tirsia kali in particular

    • upal19 profile image

      Ashraf Mir 4 years ago from Dhaka

      I feel great interests in these martial arts.

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      MrMaranatha 4 years ago

      It is so much easier if it happens in aback alley... or in a foxhole... the there no one to criticise how you killed when you could have subdued... ah but alasss.... the real world and all of its politics.. and everyone who will critique your form if you win in a public show of force.

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      Ericajean: Thanks a lot :)

    • Ericajean profile image

      Ericajean 4 years ago

      Just learned what Krav Maga was reading a fiction novel by Viguie and Holder "Crusade". Thanks for the information!

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      Bob Yoder: Sure, I will check it out :)

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      Bob Yoder 4 years ago

      Check out Tai Shu Do "The Way of Ultimate Techniques".

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      David: It is an interesting take and by far the best comment I had on this post. Thanks a lot for commenting. I couldn't agree more with you.

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      David Ramses 4 years ago

      I have been involved in the martial arts, several disciplines, for many years. One thing I have noticed is the course of evolution the martial arts in America has taken. Not surprisingly, each "new" martial art that surfaces produces a large group of practitioners who claim it is the "best". Of course, it is impossible to determine the best martial art lol What they really mean is that they like it the best or that their instructor told them it is the best. And how can we determine the best martial art for street fighting without street fighting? And if the world were filled with street fighters who went around proving the effectiveness of their martial arts systems there would be no new martial arts surfacing because most of them would be crippled, dead, or in prison. It happens to be illegal, in most countries, to go about engaging in street fighting.......lol I am not saying that there are not street fighters, because there are. But I will say that I have seen a TKD black belt with no fighting experience, only TKD experience, defeat an experienced "street fighter" (actually a seasoned soldier) out of fear. I have seen it go the other way as well. I have seen nearly every martial artist on earth mistake martial arts for fighting skill and try to categorize prize fighting arts, traditional martial arts, and modern self-defense systems in the same category. Jujitsu Black Belts are very difficult to defeat in their arena (and they claim Jujitsu is the best). MMA experts claim their MMA is the next evolution and the best. Krav Maga practitioners are now doing the same thing. What happens when a jujitsu black belt fights in an alley full of broken glass and sharp rocks in the dark against multiple opponents? Does Jujitsu prevail or just common sense? What happens when a Krav Maga expert steps into the cage with GSP? What happens when an MMA expert gets on the battlefield against a Krav Maga expert??? Martial arts cannot be generalized nor can they be cross-eliminated. Those of us who practice for nothing more than personal achievement sit back and view the rest of the claims as entertainingly insane lol Good hub!

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      no name: Silat is definitely a good addition. Will include it :)

    • profile image

      no name 4 years ago

      how about 'silat'?

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      Bobby: Thanks. I don't know much about SYSTEMA though I have heard about it. I will definitely check it out.

      Vibesites: Thanks a lot :)

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 4 years ago from United States

      Yeah, I agree with Bruce Lee's opinion of traditional martial arts (like kung-fu). Those fancy moves are not practical to use for real-life self-defense. Anyway, very interesting list of martial arts, I don't know Russia has their own too. Voted up and interesting.

    • Bobby Wilson profile image

      Bobby Wilson 4 years ago from Plano, Texas

      You forgot the most effective martial arts of them all. SYSTEMA !

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      kevin: Interesting. I didn't know about these martial arts. I will check them out. Thanks for letting me know :)

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      kevin 4 years ago

      what no mention of silat kuntao, kapap , haganah, gracie jiu jitsu. kyokushin, hapkido, muay thai first REALLY paahahaha ok tell me does the army the marines sas or any other unit adopt it no only elements of it and i am not disrespecting muay thai at all it's a SPORT after all

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      SPK5367: thank you for sharing :)

    • MrMaranatha profile image

      MrMaranatha 4 years ago from Somewhere in the third world.

      SPK5367 What tradition is the school your kids are in? is it one of Steve Armstrong or George Shinn? Curiosity... I was in Armstrong's school in Tacoma Wa back in the day...

    • profile image

      Michael 4 years ago

      I think people notice arts due to the hardwork of its students

    • Djaak profile image

      Djaak 4 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

      I am a MMA guy so I liked this way a lot. Have you watched "I am Bruce Lee". It is amazing and I learned a lot from that documentary. Bruce Lee was the best ever and he was very dedicated to his art form. Thanks for a great article!

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      David Ramses 4 years ago

      I love hapkido, aikido is cool too but I found hapkido to be more dense with technique. If you are already familiar with striking you could just do aikido and mix in strikes and achieve something similar to hapkido on your own. KM is good for drilling. The effectiveness of the km practitioner depends a lot on past training. If they have a background in an eclectic system that is practical they tend to get to the point quicker. Bad thing about many other arts is they would dominate if they took their techniques and trained them the way km is trained. I've been at it 28 years. I have experience with Kenpo, aikido, Tkd, hapkido, wing chun, jkd, boxing, judo, jujitsu, kuntao silat and km. in km there are many techniques presented that I discard and replace with something more effective but train it hands on the way km is trained. When we stand in mirrors making our techniques look pretty we are not making them effective.

    • MrMaranatha profile image

      MrMaranatha 4 years ago from Somewhere in the third world.

      Best Self defense is just that... a Defense. There is a reason that the martial arts start with defense in your training... a good defense by a white belt can sometimes neutralize a black belt... if he is not careful and gets overconfident... Ive seen it happen more than once...

      KM looks interesting... But from the Vids I saw the KM guy could have disabled the attacker much faster with some other moves he did not use... simple moves in my opinion. He already had the Limb when he blocked the Punch or Kick.. he could have exploited it then.

      Thinking about Hapkido and some other variations of Aaikido that blend some offensive kicks etc in with the grapple and break defenses...

      I Would like to hear what some of you think about it..

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      sorry guys, haven't replied for some time. Just been busy. Thanks David Ramses and Raven Hubbard.. Justin, I am a martial artist too (JKD is my favorite). I didn't like the "head up their ass" part as it sounds offensive (I usually don't take a liking to offensive comments on my hubpage) :D But anyway, KM is not a defensive martial arts, I agree. However, when I talk about being defensive, I am talking about the defensive moves and not the nature of the martial art. JKD is not a defensive martial art in any way. But every martial art style teaches defense first and attack later. And a principle I always believe is that when an attacker attacks, use sufficient defense/offense that he is lying defenseless, and not getting killed.

    • profile image

      David Ramses 4 years ago

      I think if he wasn't trying to be offensive he should have excluded the offensive part about the "head up their ass" thing; which is an unnecessary verbal insult. Everything else he said may have been true to an extent but also false to an extent. Either way, the insults were unnecessary in the message and the hub writer did not warrant insult.....but he did a good job of facilitating discussion. "Rudeness is a weak persons excuse for strength" and "no second hand information can prepare you for a first hand confrontation" are eternal facts of martial arts. Krav Maga did not miraculously change them. There is nothing new under the sun. KM is great. I study it too...6 years now. But it has not taught me to verbally abuse people.

    • SPK5367 profile image

      SPK5367 4 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Just a mom here, and not a martial arts student at that. My son studies Isshinryu karate and the dojo also teaches Krav Maga. We wanted our daughter to learn at least a little about self defense before she headed off to college and so we enrolled her in Krav. She loved it! It seems to be such a fast way to learn effective defense moves and she had a lot of fun with it also.

      I am impressed that it is really for everyone - men and women of a variety of ages and physical conditions. My daughter is like me - a musician, a reader, not a serious athlete, but it was a great experience and increased her confidence. She's heading back for more this summer.

      Thanks!

    • Raven Hubbard profile image

      Raven Hubbard 4 years ago from USA

      I think Justin wasn't trying to be offensive to the writer of this hub, but is trying to convey the ideology that is taught in KM, about being aggressive towards your attacker. In the real world you can't break limbs and eye gouge someone who bumped into in line that's excessive force, and you're now the attacker. My instructor mentions this a lot especially when he's talking about assessing the area while you're counter attacking your attacker, that if you're sitting on top of them pounding their face into the pavement and the cops arrive who are they gonna think is the attacker? But why they teach us like that is because you have to be alive to be arrested and if you're not the more aggressive party in a fight you can be the one seriously hurt or killed during the fight.

    • profile image

      David Ramses 4 years ago

      I think you are right, Raven. Either that or he meant it is defensive because there are so many defensive scenarios in which a person tries to attack you and you defend against it. Of course, I do like the edge KM displays with the flowing follow up drills that train the practitioner to continue until the attacker is subdued. Either way, I think KM must be defensive in nature otherwise it cannot be advertised as a "self defense" system. Without a defensive nature and the purpose to defend, any martial art would become an art of bullying....which is what just happened in this comment forum. Cyber-bullying, insults, and impulsive comments are the type of things that leave a person wondering if they really want to learn the art or not. I mean, are the instructors really that rude and confrontational? Are they really teaching a non-defensive art that trains people to just go around beating the crap out of innocent people for no reason? It seems that all the training and advanced skill would lead an instructor to more enlightened approaches to conveying a message. There are definitely more ways of debating in a friendly forum than by insult, especially when it is just a creative writer discussing his viewpoints about something he is reporting on. I mean, the writer never claimed to be an expert in Krav Maga, he just gave us a report on what he researched and was trying to promote the art in general. Then, the instructor who is supposed to promote the art, made us all think it is the art of no self control, no emotional control, no sense of humane wisdom, and no polite respect. If it truly isn't defensive in nature, which is not the case, it must be the opposite; which is offensive. Now, we all know the best Defense is a good offense but, in that sense, it is still a defensive mechanism. Besides, we have all witnessed tons of KM techniques where the attacker initiates the aggression and the kM practitioner defends against it. I liked your article bro. Good job. And don't let this guy discourage you. KM would be an awesome system to learn from the right instructor.

    • Raven Hubbard profile image

      Raven Hubbard 4 years ago from USA

      I think they meant "defense" in the sense you're not hurt but the idiot who attacked you is.

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      Justin 4 years ago

      Someone doesn't know what they're talking about.

      Krav Maga is NOT defensive in nature, and anyone who says it is has their head up their ass.

      I teach Krav Maga. The only defensive move is the first block you make when someone attacks you. From there, apply AS MUCH DAMAGE AS POSSIBLE until your opponent stops moving. If that means breaking multiple limbs, snapping joints, gouging out your attacker's eyes or even cracking the skull, you do it. The movements are fast and simple; the outcome devastating and almost impossible to stop.

      THAT is Krav Maga. Did I mention the eye-gouging?

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 5 years ago from India

      thanks a lot David Ramses for your comment :)

      StephenCowry: You can always start with the basic training and then start going advance :) And martial arts can be learned by anyone with any kind of physical stamina.

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      StephenCowry 5 years ago

      I've always wanted to learn martial art for self-defense though it looks like my body won't sustain in the training :) Great hub!

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      David Ramses 5 years ago

      Muay Thai doesn't have much deadly intention. On the sport side it is sport. On the martial art side it is brutal fighting method that could end a life, but not necessarily designed to. Ninjitsu is deadly but impractical because of how it is trained in the traditional methods of training. Sambo, Krav Maga, and JKD are trained right but JKD is geared toward street fighting not necessarily killing. I guess it depends on how you define "deadly". I have been training for 28 years, including some of these systems, and I have only ever seen one completely deadly system: conceal and carry firearms training. Sambo and KM are definitely potentially deadly systems trained correctly though. Good article.

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 5 years ago from India

      true Raven :) In fact, every form must evolve to keep up that age. As Bruce Lee once said, you have to be like water.

    • Raven Hubbard profile image

      Raven Hubbard 5 years ago from USA

      It seems like Krav Maga is quickly becoming a favorite for those of us who want the best, and quickest way to learn self defense. I like that we'll steal stuff from other forms of the fighting arts to really make it the best, and it's always changing and evolving to best help us out in the real world situations.

    • karthikkash profile image
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      Karthik Kashyap 5 years ago from India

      thanks kjrzeek1 :) I recently saw an episode of fight science on NGC and it dealth with Krav Maga. Indeed it is a wonderful martial art :)

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      kjrzeek1 5 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      I have been practicing Jiu-Jitsu for about 8 years now and just started learning Krav Maga. Krav Maga is the best martial art for street fighting and self defense. Good hub!

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