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The Top 4 Most Effective Martial Arts

Updated on February 21, 2018

It is difficult to state exactly when humans first started to develop fighting codes, but it is safe to say that fighting has always been a big part of human nature and, even though some try to deny it, fighting is still significant and will probably be for a long time.

The following list will describe some of the most effective Martial Arts for one on one hand to hand combat. It is important to point out that these forms of martial arts alone are not a full self-defense system.


Muay Thai

As the name suggests, Muay Thai is originated from Thailand and is considered by many as the most effective striking style. Muay Thai consists of techniques that use almost the whole body: Punching, kicking, elbow strikes and knee strikes. One of the signature moves from Muay Thai are the vicious Leg Kicks. Many self-defense experts agree that the only leg strike that should be used in a street fight is the leg kick.



Jiu-Jitsu is basically the opposite of Muay Thai regarding fighting style. While Muay Thai relies on the striking techniques, Jiu-Jitsu is exclusively a grappling style, which means that a Jiu-Jitsu practitioners’ objective will be to take his adversary to the ground and apply a lock or a choke to finish the fight. Although Jiu-Jitsu works very well against a single person, it is not a good choice while fighting multiple opponents, as taking the action with an adversary to the floor can get you in serious trouble against the other opponents who will still be on their feet.



With a wrestling training, you will be able to dictate where do you want the fight to happen: on your feet or on the ground. This is particularly important when fighting skilled, but unidimensional fighters. For example, if you are up against a skilled boxer, you will not want to stand in front of him, so you can try to take him to the ground and finish the fight there or get up and run. It is also important to point out that a suplex throw done on concrete will be much more damaging than the same move done on a wrestling mat.



Boxing is also a striking martial art but, unlike Muay Thai, uses only the hands. This could be viewed as a disadvantage, but it isn’t necessarily one. In a fight, the hands will be the most used instrument, so it is an advantage to have focused their training. Additionally, throwing too many kicks in a street or in a MMA fight can give the adversary an edge to take you to the floor, so a good background in boxing will prevent you to get off balance too much.

Which do you think is the most effective?

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There a few arguments to consider these styles, the four most effective martial arts.

These are the most commonly used styles in MMA. it is obvious that an MMA fight cannot always be a good instrument to evaluate how a fight would go in real life but, considering the whole sports universe, it is the closest we can have. Many other factors must be taken into account, as for example the use of weapons or the number of opponents. These are all great styles to use against a single adversary in a hand-to-hand combat.

Another point is that unlike a large number of martial arts, these ones actually use numerous sparring sections. Sparring will simulate a fight and get the practitioner used to it. It will also promote endurance, resistance and strength, while helping you get used to take some punches. Opposed to martial arts practitioners who have little to none fighting experience, this will probably be a decisive factor in a fight.

Everything said in this article refers to hand-to-hand combat. An effective self defense system must combine these techniques with others, such as awareness, scanning, gun disarming and fighting multiple opponents.


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