9 Martial Arts You Should Learn | Pros & Cons of each one

What martial art should I learn

Today, there’s a variety of martial arts one can learn. Because of that, you may get confused about which one you want to do. Therefore, knowing the different fighting styles and their pros and cons will assist you. 

Overall, Krav Maga, Boxing, Karate, Mixed Martial Arts, and Jiu-Jitsu are valuable martial arts. Because they’ll provide you with many benefits, training in one of them is beneficial. As a result, you’ll be able to develop as a person. Krav Maga, for instance, raises your self-confidence. 

Furthermore, most martial arts will benefit you similarly. Consequently, we need to look into what each one will teach us. Bare with me. Krav Maga, for instance, is extremely valuable as a self-defense fighting style. Hence if you’re looking to defend yourself, learning it will provide you with that.

On the contrary, Judo is a remarkable fighting style for increasing self-confidence and quickness. As a result, if you’re looking to improve these aspects, consider training in Judo. 

Still, I highly encourage you to read this entire post. That will ensure your knowledge in this subject. As a result, you’ll be able to pick up the suitable martial art for you. Thus you’ll have a more positive experience in the pieces of training. 

Before continuing, if you’re hesitant in starting to train in martial arts, I wrote an article just for that. To expand your knowledge of the topic, follow the link to read about the pros and cons of martial arts

1. Karate

  • Increases self-confidence
  • Build self esteem
  • Improves mental state
  • Suitable for self-defense
  • Improves physical condition
  • Attending classes is a must.
  • Expensive.
  • Takes a prolonged period to master.

Karate is an ancient fighting style. Additionally, it became an Olympic sport in the year 2020. Because people started recognizing it as a highly-skilled sport, its competitions made their first appearance on worldwide stages.

Generally, in Karate, you’re using explosive movements with your upper and lower body to knock the opponent quickly. As a result, you’ll notice many benefits, such as better quickness and being more aggressive. Overall, these will assist you in developing a powerful character.

I recommend you watch a Karate championship. By doing so, you’ll understand why such a sport can be of high value, not only as a self-defense method. 

Furthermore, if you’re interested in doing Karate, start watching YouTube videos of it. For some, it may be challenging affording personal or group classes. As a result, self-teaching is crucial for seeing results. As a result, pick an instructor you trust to teach you basics and advanced moves. 

Ultimately, I encourage you to learn Karate. Not only will it assist you in increasing self-confidence and building your self-esteem, but it’ll also be a means of self-defense in threatening situations. Hence doing it will provide plenty of value. 

2. Boxing

  • Self-studying is an option.
  • Simple
  • Increases self-confidence
  • Improves physical condition
  • Betters mental state
  • Expensive equipment.
  • Takes a prolonged period to master.

This martial art has been one that I invested plenty of time and effort in improving. Furthermore, I experienced an enormous number of benefits from it. Consequently, it’s unchallenging for me to recommend this to you. I know it works.

Boxing is the practice of using your fist to create powerful punches. A jab, for instance, is a quick punch. Consequently, impacting one’s head and body will knock one out. Eventually, the benefits it grants the trainee are countless, such as higher pain tolerance. 

When I was in the military, I did Krav Maga and Boxing. Because of that, I improved many aspects that created a more powerful me. I had more confidence, self-esteem, self-respect, and, most importantly, I was finally independent. 

Consequently, one of the most unchallenging things I can do in life is to encourage you to pick a martial art and start your training. There isn’t a single body part of mine that’ll tell you otherwise. 

Eventually, doing Boxing was helpful in life. The confidence and independence I had from it assisted me in accomplishing many goals in my life that I never would’ve been able to have. This site, for instance, is the outcome of hours of sweat, tears, and blood, which I would’ve never believed I could. 

3. Krav Maga

  • Highly relevant
  • Best for self-defense
  • Improves physical condition
  • Improves reaction time and awareness
  • Attending classes is a must.
  • Expensive.

The special forces unit I was in placed a big emphasis on the importance of Krav Maga for the operator. Hence I’ve gone through dozens of classes that built this fighting style for me. Eventually, it significantly assisted me in my service as an operator. 

Krav Maga is a martial art that began in the Israeli military. It’s most suitable to use in self-defense close-quarters combat situations. For people who want to defend themselves, learning Krav Maga is beneficial. Furthermore, you’ll naturally get into better shape. 

In addition, Krav Maga particularly benefited me in many situations. I was able to learn self-defense to a superb level. As a result, I came out injury-free out of many dangerous situations. 

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Furthermore, doing Krav Maga helped me increase the aggressiveness I could reach. Hence I’m able to disable an individual much faster. Because of that, the chances of getting hurt are lower than before I started to learn. 

Finally, I wrote an article on the five reasons to start learning Krav Maga. If you’re hesitant or unsure of whether it’s the right one for you, I highly encourage you to read it to sort your ideas and thoughts. In addition, read is Krav Maga effective for self-defense?

Read more on the topic of Krav Maga and the benefits in a study by Ace.

4. MMA

  • Suitable for self-defense
  • Improves physical shape
  • Betters self-cofidence
  • Dynamic
  • Expensive equimpent
  • Takes a long time to master
  • Complicated

If you’re on social media, you know what MMA is. Mixed Martial Arts is the most dynamic and rough fighting style there is. Because of that, it’s one of the most entertaining martial arts to watch. As a result, there’s a worldwide following for such content.

Mixed Martial Arts is a dynamic fighting style. Because of that, one can take his training in any direction he wishes. Consequently, MMA has plenty of positive experiences and benefits to offer. Even if you’re uninterested in martial arts, you’ll still enjoy doing it.

Furthermore, MMA is all the martial arts combined. Consequently, no matter what your goal is, you’ll be able to train and enjoy doing MMA.

In 2020, there was an average of 831,000 viewers for a particular UFC card. If you’re unfamiliar with UFC, it’s the organization for MMA fights. It’s challenging to comprehend such a number as a following for martial arts. It’s genuinely superb seeing such viewership for Mixed Martial Arts

I highly encourage you to check out MMA if you’re looking for a dynamic fighting style. It’ll provide you with many benefits and positive training. 

5. Jiu-Jitsu

  • Highly relevant
  • Suitable for self-defense
  • Improves physical condition
  • Attending classes is a must.
  • Expensive.
  • Takes a long time to improve

While many fighting styles focus on sending a powerful punch, some use momentum and force to cause a submission. Jiu-Jitsu is one of them. 

Jiu-Jitsu is a combat martial art that emphasizes ground fighting and submissions. As a result, it’s challenging to learn the basics of it. Additionally, it’s a demanding activity. Because of that, burning 900 calories an hour doing it; is realistic. 

Furthermore, you’ll get into fantastic shape doing it. It’s demanding for the body type of martial art. For people who solely want to improve their physical condition, doing Jiu-Jitsu is suitable. 

If you end up doing it, understand that it may be expensive. I’m not saying you can’t self-teach Jiu-Jitsu. However, to get to a reasonable level, one must train with others. Therefore attending Jiu-Jitsu classes is a must. 

Additionally, it may get complicated. An average individual who does Jiu-Jitsu may have trouble understanding the essence and basic moves. Hence the training process may get lengthier than you first think. 

Eventually, I highly encourage you to consider learning it. Although it may be intimidating, you’ll develop yourself in a way most people can’t picture. Therefore, I highly encourage you to start doing Jiu-Jitsu; or any other martial art

6. Judo

  • Not as good for self-defense as other martial arts
  • Improves physical condition
  • Improves quickness and reaction time
  • Attending classes is a must.
  • Expensive.
  • Complicated

Many people recommend the martial arts you should learn to skip over Judo. While there are many reasons why one will do so, I believe it’s underrated. 

Judo is a modern Japanese martial art. To win a fight, one must pin or throw the opponent to the ground. Consequently, punching and kicking are not allowed. Additionally, it became an Olympic sport in 1960. Therefore, many people from around the world do it. 

Similar to most martial arts, one will experience many changes. An immediate boost in self-confidence, for instance, is a benefit you’ll gain. Therefore, I highly encourage you to consider doing it. 

Lastly, like Jiu-Jitsu, you can’t do it on your own. Therefore, you may need to attend Judo classes. Hence it may get rather expensive. 

7. Kick Boxing

  • Best for improving physical condition
  • Relevant
  • Suitable for self-defense
  • Improves self-confidence
  • You can self-study
  • Expensive equipment

Various martial arts are more focused on getting the person in shape. Kick Boxing, for instance, is one of them. Because of that, if that’s your goal, consider picking up one of the martial arts that focus on physical shape. 

Kickboxing is a suitable martial art not only for your physical condition but also for self-defense. Today, being in good shape is highly desirable. By doing Kick Boxing, you’ll better your condition immediately. 

Woman boxing
Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Furthermore, for people who want to have the capability of defending themselves, doing a particular martial art, such as Kick Boxing, is wiser.

There are other various fighting styles one can train in to learn self-defense. If you’re interested in learning more, I highly encourage you to read an article of mine on everything about self-defense.

8. Marine Corps Martial Arts 

  • Highly relevant
  • Suitable for self-defense
  • Improves physical condition
  • Attending classes is a must.
  • Expensive.
  • More relevant to soldiers.

If Krav Maga is for the Israeli military, marine martial arts is for the US army. Therefore, the US military trains its operators to be familiar with and know how to use it. 

The Marine Corps Martial Arts is a hand-to-hand fighting style. The US Army teaches its operators know how to use it. Because they want their soldiers to use their bodies to defend themselves, they’re going through dozens of classes with them.

Learning that one; will allow you to know self-defense on a high level. That way, you’ll be able to protect yourself and others close to you. 

In addition, similar to Krav Maga, you’ll get into shape while doing it. Therefore, it also fits those who desire to better their physical condition. 

9. Wrestling

  • Improves physical condition
  • Build self-esteem
  • Improves reaction time and awareness
  • Usable technical skills
  • Attending classes is a must
  • Expensive
  • Higher risk of injury

Some martial arts don’t require using punches and kicks. Therefore, physical force and momentum are more important. In wrestling, for example, you need to pin the opponent to the floor. By doing that, and only that, you’ll be able to win.

Wrestling can grant many benefits. An immediate increase in self-confidence, better physical condition, mental stability, and better aggressiveness are a few benefits. Because of that, the rate of people getting into wrestling and other martial arts is rising. 

Furthermore, similar to many other fighting styles, training in wrestling will better your physical condition. Therefore, if that’s your goal, consider looking into it. 

What is the most effective martial art for self-defense?

Krav Maga is the most effective martial art to learn for self-defense. Because its training resembles real threatening situations, such as a sudden knife attack, it prepares you to respond to such scenarios. As a result, when you need to react, you’ll be able to do so without hesitation.

Additionally, various martial art fit the criteria of self-defense. Because learning such fighting styles in their essence is beneficial for inflicting physical force, they all will assist you in defending yourself. As a result, doing any martial art will help you prepare for said situations. 

The following list is suitable fighting styles for self-defense.

  • Krav Maga
  • Boxing
  • Kickboxing
  • Jiu-Jitsu
  • Muay-Thai
  • Karate
  • Judo
  • Wrestling
  • MCMA
  • MMA

For that reason, if you want to use self-defense, doing Krav Maga, Boxing, Karate, and MMA are the best ones from my experience. 

Are martial art classes worth the money?

A bag of cash
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

At times, attending fighting classes will get costly. As a result, many people prefer to self-study and reach a lower level than they would if they followed said lessons. 

As a general rule, attending martial art classes are worth your money. Not only will it help you to get into a better physical shape, but it’ll also help you mentally. As a result, joining martial art is a form of self-help. However, if you can self-study such fighting styles, you’ll save money. 

Because such classes get costly over time, you may not be willing to invest that much money in them. If you’re one of these people, consider picking a mentor on YouTube to help you learn more quickly. 

That way, not only will you be able to save money, but you’ll also get to know yourself better. 

What is the Easiest martial art to learn?

Generally, Boxing is one of the less challenging martial arts to learn. Because of its simple mechanics and rules, reaching an advanced level is not as tough as other martial arts, such as Karate. As a result, if you’re looking to learn a simple fighting style, consider Boxing. 

I must note that reaching a high level in martial arts is demanding. You’ll need a solid grade of discipline, motivation, and willpower. Because of that, don’t expect to improve without a concrete work ethic. 

How to decide which martial art to learn?

Doing any martial art is demanding. It’ll require you to invest your time and sometimes money to improve. As a result, if you’re unwilling to do so, consider improving yourself before you start. If you won’t, you’ll end up giving up in the middle of the process. 

To decide which martial art to learn, first, you must understand your goals. If you want to improve your physical condition, kickboxing training is suitable. However, if you desire self-defense, doing Krav Maga will serve your purpose. 

FitnessSelf-DefenseKrav MagaKrav MagaKick BoxingBoxingWrestlingJiu-JitsuMCMAMMAMartial arts you should learn depending on your goal.

If you’re still hesitant, read the pros and cons of each martial art I listed in this article. That way, you’ll be able to come up with a wiser, more solid decision. 

Additionally, if you’re unsure of whether you should start doing a fighting style, read an article of mine on should you learn a martial art?


Eventually, doing martial art will highly benefit the trainee. Because of that, there isn’t a single part in my body that will not recommend you to start doing one. 

Additionally, the nine martial arts you should learn are the following.

In addition, taking martial art classes is worth it. However, it’ll require you to invest plenty of money on it over time. As a result, many people prefer to self-study and reach a lower level.

I’ve been a special forces operator. Hence, I’ve had experience with most of the martial arts I listed. As a result, I can share the benefits I had from each one. That way, you’ll know which benefits you can expect from doing each one of them. 


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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