For me,the best martial art for self defense is BALINTAWAK ESKRIMA.
Ninjitsu. It is the baddest martial arts around. Spike TV did a special on martial arts a couple of years ago and came to this conclusion. After seeing it, I agree.
A defensive handgun training course. Not much beats someone with a gun who knows how to use it. But if we are talking hand to hand, i would go with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Krav-Maga is the best martial art for self defense. Wing-Chun is the second......
Krav-Maga is by far the best martial art in terms of real life hand to hand combat.
I studied Goju ryu karate and, currently, Wing Chun kung fu.
Krav Maga is a jujutsu adapted by the Israeli military for use in special situations like armed captivity, execution (on knees gun to head) situations, disarming, and grappling. It utilizes brutal tactics for brutal situations. However, like most jujutsu varieties and japanese styles, it emphasizes the physical and external, rather than mental capacity and development and mastery of the body's qi.
Unfortunately, modern karate has been desensitized in an exposure to free market, and students are often put on a conveyor belt through overpopulated schools for the sake of the sensei's wallet, so be cautious. I've had an amazing experience with kung fu thus far, because it focuses on developing the self, through which self defense comes naturally if necessary.
Good luck with everything!
The best martial art is the one that the individual can adapt to and use most efficiently. There is no 'best' in terms of one size fits all, and mixing various styles is the best way to find what suits you.
I agree with M_Cep - you simply cannot say "this is the best martial art" because there are too many factors involved with the decision. Example - a physically fit male in his 20's can perform some of the arts mentioned here such as Krav-Maga or Ninjitsu. However, that won't work for a woman in her 50's (nor for the guy in his 20's when he's 80!)
For long-term self-defense, it would be much better learning an art that stresses using the opponent's physical strength to their disadvantage such as Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido or Hapkido - what are known as "soft" martial arts. They are more geared for women and the elderly, but are equally effective when used by anyone.
The others mentioned above as well as Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, etc. are "hard" styles that are more suited to those physically fit, or who desire to be.
However, nothing you learn matters if you don't know how to develop the proper mindset for combat - all the techniques you know won't do a bit of good if you're frozen in fear or if your adrenaline is rushing so bad you can't perform a move effectively.
Of course, nothing beats a gun, but I wouldn't consider that a martial art!
Hope this helps you find your way...
This has been an age long debate, however each art has its strengths and weaknesses. It is best to be rounded. Each art that I have studied has and can be very effective for self defense. The single most important factor in any martial art is the student and the dedication they are willing to put in for proficiency. There really is no best, no art that after a couple of lessons is going to make the student reign supreme. There are a lot of good suggestions in the responses. Ultimately it depends on the individual and what style (or school) works for them.
Advanced grappling techniques (locks and holds) but it is not good to practice some of them because you can easily kill someone
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