ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Martial Art Works in Real Life

Updated on February 17, 2020
NateB11 profile image

I've been training in martial arts since the 1980s and consistently since the '90s. I am a 2nd-degree black belt in Kenpo Karate.

Low quick kicks are practical in terms of real fighting.
Low quick kicks are practical in terms of real fighting. | Source

I suppose when considering taking up a martial art, a foremost question in a person's mind is whether the discipline is effective in real situations. It's only logical that this would be a first thought among many interested consumers.

So, what should you look for when shopping for a martial art? First, I would offer, does the system talk to controlling the opponent. If you let the opponent loose to attack you, then you have no hope. The first thought should be, How do I control the threat? Then, the next thought should address how to end the threat. Putting the guy on the ground in a position where he can no longer attack, attacking his vital targets so he is disabled and so on.

Consider what strikes are most effective in a real fight. Elbows are compact and so harder; they are quick close range weapons and fights quickly reach close quarters.

Consider targets: Obviously, when the eyes are attacked the opponent is immediately preoccupied with his own safety and pain. A kick to the groin requires immediate attention. A low, strong kick to the thigh nerve is painful and difficult to defend against.

Remember that strikes must be learned and learned correctly to be effective. This involves understanding body mechanics and also training them over and over again so that you become faster and strike harder and more efficiently.


Krav Maga

With its emphasis on simple technique, strong strikes and control of the opponent and it's foundation in Israeli special forces, Krav Maga is an excellent self defense system.. The idea too, is to use what comes natural to you and, fact is, you will most likely do what comes natural to you in a real situation so you might as well train it.

Self Defense by and large is natural. We naturally draw the hand up when something approaches our face. In this way, Krav Maga exploits our natural tendencies and puts it to use for preserving our lives. It also recognizes that certain weapons on the body are more damaging than others, like the compact, hard pointed elbow strike and knee strikes. These are fast devastating weapons that potentially end fights quickly.

Muay Thai Kick Boxing

Muay Thai is standard training for MMA fighters and a practical system of self defense. With strong low and high kicks, devastating elbows and knees and head butts, in addition to use of the clinch, Thai Boxing is a strong martial art for real situations. It has been around hundreds of years and has been known in martial arts circles for a long time but has recently become very prominent due to the fighters proficient in it in the UFC and other MMA bouts and also the movies of Thai superstars like Tony Jaa.

Fun Fight Scene with Tony Jaa

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is known for its immediate control of the opponent which, as soon as possible leads to a submission of that attacker with a joint lock or choke. While this is well-known around the world in tournaments such as the UFC, it also has definite street application. Control of the opponent is always important for obvious reasons: An opponent who is controlled can't attack you. Grabbing and grappling are crucial in this regard. Obviously control is rarely the end of it, usually something disabling follows control of the opponent in any system of combat. In Jiu Jitsu this involves choking someone until they pass out or dislocation of a joint. Of course, throws can also knock someone out or even kill a person.

Kenpo Karate

Focusing on attacking vital targets and practical methods of reaching these targets, like eye pokes and low kicks, Kenpo is a formidable system for fighting in the street and elsewhere. Another interesting aspect of Kenpo is its almost academic study of science as it applies to martial arts; for instance, rules of physics. Thus, you learn how body mass works with momentum to create power and learn about body mechanics. It is a comprehensive study of motion and how it applies to fighting.


Take Away

The point is, fighting must involve controlling the attacker and getting rid of the threat. This means grabbing in some form and then disabling the opponent. You want to use strong strikes and kicks that target vital areas like the eyes, throat, knees and groin. These areas are easy to damage and, when struck, cause immediate paralysis and pain that offers an end to the threat that the enemy imposes.

This, in other words, is the structure of an analysis for finding a decent martial art that works: Whether it offers methods of controlling the attacker and a way of effectively disabling that attacker. Practical application of principles should show, through logic, that the methods offered by the system are effective.

What Do You Choose?

Which Martial Art Sounds Best to You?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)