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martial art
what is the best martial art
martial arts instructors
types of martial arts
mixed martial arts
striking arts
grappling arts
tae kwon
complicated question
two elements
good art
footwork
The Best Martial Art
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The Best Martial Art

One of the most popular questions I've been asked during my many years of teaching is, "What is the best Martial Art?" This is actually a very complicated question with many layers to it. Ultimately the benefits derived from any Martial Art comes from the instructor and not the art itself. I've always said, "if you have a good instructor, you have a good art." However, I won't use this answer to sidestep the question. To find the best Martial Art you first have to decide what you ultimately want from that art.

There are three main types of Martial Arts. Striking, like Karate and Tae Kwon Do. Grappling, like Judo and Ju Jitsu or Aikido. And a combination of both, like MMA (Mixed Martial Arts.) I am purposely leaving out the study of weapons and focusing on empty hand arts.

The striking arts focus mainly on punching and kicking. There is a strong emphasis on power. Their main strategy is a strong counter attack. Peace through strength is their motto. Board breaking is an element of the striking arts. These arts are usually very flashy with their fancy kicks and footwork. It's very effective against both single and multiple attackers. If punching and kicking is what you're interested in then this is the best Martial art for you.

The grappling arts focus mainly on wrestling and throwing moves. These arts perform at a very close distance. You usually need to grab on to your opponent for these arts to be effective. Since there are a lot of throws and take downs involved and the goal of these arts is to make your opponent give up, they are really great for children but adults benefit greatly as well. They are sometimes referred to as "the gentle arts." They are not that effective against multiple attackers. If you prefer a gentler, less aggressive art then this is the best martial art for you.

Finally, I'm going to talk about the Mixed Martial Arts or MMA. This is a relatively new discipline even though Martial Arts instructors have been mixing these two elements since the beginning. MMA combines the best moves from both the striking and grappling arts. It's very aggressive and all about fighting. It's more effective against single opponents but will also work against multiple attackers. The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Challenge) is a very popular venue for MMA. These fighters are incredibly conditioned and tough. They take lots of abuse. It's definitely a young man's art! (for me, it's the best Martial Art to watch!)

So, there you have my take on the three main types of Martial Arts. Which is the best is entirely up to the individual. I feel that if you can find a good instructor, (just because you can perform doesn't mean you can teach,) then you have a good art!


Street Talk

That was a very interesting article. My sons are interested in martial arts, so this will prove useful.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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