Street fighting is a martial art

Martial arts: List A-Z | Comparison | effectiveness

There is a wide selection of martial arts, the best known being karate, judo, kickboxing and Krav Maga. But there are far more martial arts, not just from Asia. But which one is right for you? And how do they differ?

Information for beginners: First things first

  1. Benefits of martial arts: Promotes fitness, makes you self-confident, helps children learn and makes you defensible against attackers!
  2. Martial arts emergence: Most martial arts originated in Asia, but there are also newer styles, for example from the USA and Israel.
  3. What martial arts: Depending on the martial art, the focus is on fighting with weapons, defense, mental strength, etc. Depending on what you are looking for, a certain martial art is more suitable than another.
  4. Suitable for defense: Every martial arts helps with the defense, because you get fitter, recognize and practice dangerous situations, learn defense and attack techniques.
  5. Most effective martial arts: If you only want to train those for the real thing, and fitness and other factors are secondary, it is best to attend a self-defense course that is specially designed for defense.
  6. Good schools: There are martial arts clubs in your city too. You can recognize a good school by an experienced trainer, a good association spirit of the members, membership in associations and on the basis of opinions on the Internet.
  7. No fear of contact: As a beginner you do not start with competitive sports and not even in full contact. Therefore, you do not have to have any worries or fears. It starts with endurance training, important defense techniques and punching and kicking techniques.

Martial Arts List of popular martial arts

Below is a list of martial arts. Just click on a link, there you can learn a lot more about martial arts.

Which martial arts for seniors, children & women

In principle you can practice any martial arts, no matter which one you have. Your will is crucial. However, some martial arts are harder than others, require more flexibility, etc. Therefore, some martial arts are better suited for certain genders or age groups.

Martial arts for children

For children there is actually not a martial art that can be excluded. It is only important that you end up on a good course and that the trainer has a good knack for dealing with children. Most martial arts are more playful for children.

Special details about martial arts for children can be found in the following articles:

Tip: self-defense for children

Martial arts for women

There are no restrictions in martial arts for women. If desired, special courses for women are often offered that take place without men.

Since women naturally have different requirements in size and strength, suitable martial arts can be selected that include the Use the power of the attacker against this

  • Effective martial arts is Krav Maga or special self-defense courses.
  • The opponent's power is used against the attacker in judo and jiu jitsu.
  • But all other martial arts will also help you to be fit, to be prepared for attacks and to defend yourself.

Tip: self-defense for women

Martial arts for men

For men, as for women, there are no restrictions on martial arts.

  • Popular are also types of combat that involve a certain degree of hardship. This can be, for example, sports like MMA or kickboxing.
  • Effectively is i.a. Krav Maga.
  • Widespread are the classics like karate, boxing or taekwondo.

Martial arts comparison: which martial arts suits you?

You do not yet know exactly which martial arts might be suitable for you? Then you've come to the right place with our comparison of popular sports for self-defense. First of all we clarify the comparison criteria:

✅ How difficult is which martial arts?

How complex is the respective martial arts to learn, do the movements differ greatly from everyday life?

  • In principle, intuitive movement sequences are taught and sought in all martial arts.
  • Krav Maga, Sambo and possibly kickboxing should be emphasized here. Because these martial arts were partly developed by the military, with the aim that the techniques can be taught and learned quickly.

There are also fighting styles that require years of practice. Or, in the eyes of the teachers, it is a life's task to unite the technology, the mind and its environment.

✅ How long do you have to practice martial arts before you can master it?

In what time can basic techniques be learned and how long does it take to "master" the sport.

  • The basic movements, strokes, kicks, throws and levers can be learned in all sports within 12 months. Provided that the training is attended twice a week.
  • However, it takes years for you to master difficult kicks. That's because it's not just a matter of technology, but also of mobility.

Krav Maga previously pursued the goal of getting soldiers ready for action within a few weeks and therefore does well here too.

✅ How effective are the individual martial arts?

Can martial arts help in an emergency to defend against one or more opponents?

  • Ultimately, all martial arts do well here. Because their background is defense.
  • Exceptions are very few, where it is more about fitness and flexibility (e.g. Thai Chi or Tae Bo).
  • Some fighting techniques have been developed by the military and are therefore particularly effective against several attackers.

✅ How much fitness do you need for martial arts?

How much fitness is necessary to practice the martial arts and how does the training affect the fitness level.

  • Anyone who has ever had a training match knows how exhausting it is. Therefore the condition point is an important factor. It is also very useful to have a certain level of fitness for self-defense.
  • The good thing about all classic martial arts is the increase in fitness. Only those who are only focused on self-defense do worse here, since the fitness exercises make up a smaller proportion.
  • Martial arts, which also include a lot of kicks, such as kickboxing, muay thai or MMA, are particularly strenuous.

✅ How high is the power requirement in martial arts?

Can the martial arts be learned or practiced without requiring a lot of strength - or how does the training affect the training of muscle strength?

  • Martial arts that explicitly use the strength of the opponent in order to use them against him are well suited for physically weak people. This is for example judo and jiu jitsu.
  • But very effective martial arts also compensate for this factor, so Krav Maga or Sambo are also good choices.
  • You will of course gain fitness during training. However, this does not necessarily mean you will gain muscle. Therefore, you can add muscle training to your martial arts training.

However, how much strength you have is rarely decisive. Rather, it is about repelling attacks well and hitting them at the right place on the opponent.

✅ How agile should you be for martial arts?

The demands on mobility vary considerably within martial arts. This primarily concerns the mobility for throws or kicks.

  • In every martial arts there are kicking techniques for advanced training that require a high degree of flexibility.
  • However, the beginner training can also be completed with little mobility. And you increase your flexibility with every workout.
  • Especially in martial arts that involve a lot of kicks (Taekwondo, Muay Thai and kickboxing), mobility is of course a significant factor.

Which martial arts is particularly effective in defense?


As most effective martial arts for self-defense we can do that for you with a clear conscience Krav Maga recommend. The founder attached great importance to the fact that it is effective, can be learned quickly and does not require excessive physical demands. Here you will learn specifically those techniques that can help you in an emergency. In addition, Krav Maga builds on natural reflexes and is therefore easier to learn than most other martial arts and martial arts.

More about Krav Maga

Martial arts FAQ

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about martial arts. If you have any further questions, just write us!

How do you find the right martial arts?

We often hear the question of which martial art suits you or which is the right one.

  • Of course, the individual fighting styles have a different orientation. However, each martial art can also be trained in its own way and appropriately trained the participants become.
  • In a kickboxing group of beginners, you don't break your teeth straight away. It's also first about endurance, flexibility and then about the techniques. A few are therefore recommended To attend trial courses and to get an insight. Because that The environment, your training partners and the trainer make a big difference.
  • Also think about something first your goal is: Do I want mental strength, is it about self-defense, about fitness? Read up on the individual styles and visit several schools.

In this way you will find an environment and a martial arts that suits you.

When are you ready for a competition?

It lasts at least years until you can fight in full contact and not go under completely. Depending on the fighting style, fighting techniques, levers, fistfighting, foot techniques, ground fighting or fighting with weapons must be practiced for a long time and perfectly mastered before one is ready for a competition.

You don't have to have a black belt to take part in a competition, but you should be more advanced. With hard training it is possible after 2 to 3 years.

How often should you practice martial arts?

It depends entirely on your goal.

  1. If you are on one competition participate and want to compete with the best, then you should train daily or at least 5 times a week. And that for several years.
  2. If you guys want to keep fit and defend in an emergencythen it is enough if you train twice a week. And one more sport (jogging, swimming, gym ...).
  3. If your goal is better prepared for an emergency then you should attend a few intensive courses (e.g. several afternoons) and deepen the exercises.

What does membership in a martial arts club cost?

  • Membership in the Association for Martial Arts varies greatly by region and amounts to € 30 to € 100 per month. It all depends on how many members there are, how expensive the rental is, what equipment is available.
  • A pure one Self defense coursethat goes for an afternoon usually costs around 100€.
  • But you don't have to become a member right away, a Trial training is usually free and gives you an insight.

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