Do Martial Arts Really Work? Pros & Cons

Martial arts

Individuals who practice martial arts will highly benefit. Overall, in doing so, you’ll see an increase in confidence, mental clarity, and better physical condition. However, it’s not all pink. While there are many advantages to doing it, there are many cons. For that reason, before you begin your journey, ensure you consider both sides. 

While martial arts have various disadvantages, they’ll assist you in real threatening scenarios. Hence practicing them will grant you plenty of benefits, such as an increase in self-confidence, the capability of defending oneself, mental clarity, and better physical condition.

For anything other than self-defense, martial arts highly benefit the student. A better reaction time will come naturally with practicing such fighting styles. However, as for defending yourself, it all depends on the fighting style you do. 

  • They assist in a real fight
  • Increase awareness
  • Build self-confidence
  • Improve mental state
  • Take a long time to master
  • Require discipline and motivation
  • Inferior to weapons

If you want to read more about self-defense and how to arm yourself to ensure you don’t get caught with your pants down, I highly encourage you to read everything on the topic of self-defense on my website.

They assist in a real fight.

The truth is, practicing martial arts will assist you in various aspects of a real fight. Therefore, if you’re worried that it won’t help you with self-defense capabilities, I assure you that it will. 

For that reason, if your purpose of training fighting styles is to defend yourself, there are specific martial arts I would consider. Krav Maga, for instance, is a fantastic way of fighting that suits self-defense the most. 

Additionally, boxing and Karate will help you in a real fight. Not only will it increase your self-confidence, but it’ll also increase your mental clarity and physical conditions, all of which will assist you. 

Increase awareness

As a general rule, doing any physical activity will increase your awareness in various aspects. Yet, practicing in boxing, Karate, or any other martial other will vastly benefit your overall attention. For that reason, doing any fighting with others or alone will assist in that. 

Additionally, by training to be ready for an alarming scenario, you’ll be more aware of your surroundings. Thus, noticing prior clues will become natural. That way, you’ll be able to neutralize a threatening situation before it occurs. 

Build self-confidence

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

One of the leading benefits of practicing martial arts is an immediate increase in self-confidence. Because of that, the recommended age to start practicing them is from the age of ten to fourteen. Hence the student will build up his character and confidence while training. 

How can you do that?

Attending classes and having a mentor for the student will highly assist one to build self-confidence and a powerful character. Additionally, by training a martial art, one will notice awareness increase and a more stable mental state.

In addition, being confident in your overall skills and capabilities will vastly benefit one in life. Thus it’s much more valuable to train a fighting style. In doing so, accomplishing extraordinary feats in life is effortless with high self-confidence. 

Improve mental state

Overall, training your body and physical condition will correlate to an increase in mental state. Therefore, doing martial arts will increase your self-confidence, which will affect your mental state. 

You’ll become more calm, independent, and stable. The number of benefits doing such training can grant the student is way up there. Thus I don’t see a reason not to consider beginning to do one. 

If you’re interested in picking up a martial art, and you’re unsure of the pros and cons, I wrote an article just on the pros and cons of learning a martial art, and I encourage you to read it. 

Overall, you’ll become a more stable person, which is highly desirable these days. That’ll lead to you focusing on yourself and accomplishing fantastic feats in life. Because of that, if you’re looking to be an all-rounded individual, I highly encourage you to pick up a martial art.  

Take a long time to master.

That said, having the capability of defending yourself isn’t easy. Instead, most people who begin their martial arts journey will not reach that point. Because of that, I encourage you to pick up a fighting style you want to learn. That way, you’ll stay on track and enjoy the process. 

When I first started, I learned Krav Maga. As you know, one of the most practical and straightforward fighting styles is Krav MagaI wrote an entire post on that, and I highly encourage you to read it

Because I enjoyed it as much as I did, it was unchallenging for me to get to a point where I could use it to protect myself. Thus not only did I enjoy my journey, but I also trained efficiently. 

However, you’ll be required to train consistently to reach such a point. Hence ensure you’re ready to work hard and often. If you don’t, you won’t notice the results you wish to see. 

Require motivation and discipline.

A man meditating
Image by Štefan Tóth from Pixabay

Today, many people aren’t used to working hard. Because of that, it’s undemanding to go to the safe spots in life. When it comes to martial arts, the opposite is true. When you train a fighting style, I assure you you’ll get uncomfortable at times. That’ll lead to an improvement in your mental state and work ethic.

If it were easy, everyone would do it.

Generally, learning a martial art will require discipline and motivation. Thus many people will begin learning a fighting style and quit in the process. Hence ensure you pick up a martial art that you’re eager to learn and master, or else you’ll end up discontinuing. 

Inferior to weapons.

A man holding a knife
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Overall, when it comes to self-defense scenarios, the attacker may have carried a firearm. In that case, if you rely on martial arts alone, you’re inferior to the hostile. Consequently, you’re putting yourself at greater risk. 

Because of that, I highly encourage you to carry a weapon on yourself. That way, you’re ensuring your safety in additional ways. Don’t get me wrong, you can and should use the fighting style you picked up to defend yourself. However, if you’re in danger, always put yourself at an advantage.

If you’re interested in learning more about self-defense weapons, I highly encourage you to read an article I wrote.

How effective are martial arts in a real fight?

Having the proper knowledge before you begin learning a martial art is crucial. Hence I highly encourage you to consider the pros and cons of the fighting style you want to train. However, some may not even start training because they believe it won’t assist them in a real fight.

As a general rule, training a martial art will ultimately assist the student in a real fight. That said, various fighting styles are focused on street fighting. Because of that, if your goal is to use it as a self-defense means, ensure you pick up the suitable martial art, such as Krav Maga.

Before you continue, I included a video that I believe will change your perspective. If you’re hesitant on training a martial art because you think it won’t be helpful in a real fight, watch the video.

What martial arts work?

Today, the number of fighting styles people do is endless. As a result, you may get confused to which one you should pick up. Hence before learning a martial art, ensure you’re familiar with the pros and cons of each one. 

Generally, Boxing, Krav Maga, Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, and Muay-Thai are martial arts that’ll benefit you. Hence if you’re hesitant on which ones you should begin learning, picking one of these would be wise. Lastly, all of these will end up assisting you in a real fight.

That said, for each individual, there’s a suitable fighting style. Therefore, I can’t tell which one you should pick up; because I don’t know you. Because of that, I highly encourage you to do your research before training.


While there are plenty of martial arts you want to consider picking up, there are a few prominent ones suitable for today’s society. Krav Maga, for instance, is a practical one that fits for real fights. Therefore, if using it for self-defense is your goal, you may want to consider doing it.

Additionally, there are many pros to learning a fighting style. However, there are also plenty of disadvantages. Consequently, understand that training a martial art may not suit you. Therefore, before picking one up, ensure you’re familiar with them. 

I highly encourage you to read a post I wrote on the pros and cons of self-defense before moving on. 


I've served in the military as a special forces operator for 4-years. In that period, I've trained in many martial arts, including karate, MMA, BJJ, boxing, and even Krav Maga. I want to share my passion with you, so here it is!

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