For most people, the journey into the world of martial arts begins with this question: “What martial art is the best for me?” With hundreds of martial art systems out there—from traditional techniques used for thousands of years to modern styles created and developed in different countries—a beginner can find it daunting to choose the fighting style that suits him or her best.
Being familiar with different martial arts and finding your reasons for learning is the first step to answering the question, “What martial art is best for me?” Here are some of the top martial arts styles to consider:
Karate – If you’re after physical and mental workouts, Karate training is right for you. Flexibility, body coordination, strength, and fitness are the key factors required to succeed in learning this art. Strong self-control and discipline, mental toughness and confidence are developed through most schools training this style. This comes as no surprise as Karate was created not only for physical perfection, but also for building one’s character. Though the style can be lethal – harmony, peace and nonviolence are its central principles.
Aikido – It is considered a soft martial art. While other forms of fighting aim to oppose an attack, Aikido blends the force of an opponent’s attack and redirects it. If you plan to join the Police Department, this martial art would be beneficial as it allows subduing a lawbreaker with little or no injuries at all. Furthermore, if you want a less violent martial art, then this answers your question, “What martial art is best for me?”
Kung Fu – This is a collective term for various Chinese martial art styles. Some styles focus on the ki or energy, which fits those who want meditation more than physical training. Some styles, on the other hand, stress physical strength and fitness, which can be beneficial to cardiovascular health. Self-defense, personal/spiritual development, and health improvement are their common objectives.
Eskrima – If you are looking for self-protection with the use of weapons, Eskrima is the right martial art for you. Training includes attacks using a cane/stick and other weapons, such as a knife and sword and disarming an opponent. Its core lies on the principle of “cutting the snake’s fang”, which means forcing an opponent to drop his or her weapon to make them less of a threat.
Taekwondo – Strong legs and flexibility are the key elements that make a person successful in this martial art. Although it uses almost all parts of the body, including the arms, this art emphasizes kicking techniques. These techniques can be used for self-defense; however, there are other martial arts that can serve this purpose better. If you want to get into a sport that involves a dueling spirit, then this is the answer to your question, “What martial art is best for me?”. Taekwondo is the most popular sport martial art in the world and has been included in the Olympics.
Tai Chi – This is not your average martial art. Tai Chi is also considered a healing and meditation workout. Its principles can be divided into three stages: let go, relax, and be aware of yourself. With continuous training, it can regulate the immune system and improve posture by reducing bone degeneration and aligning the spine. Additional benefits include increased flexibility, strength, and stamina.
Capoeira – This is more on the fun side, with elements of martial art disguised in a dance. The techniques adapt to nature’s movements, such as the “wind blowing through the wheat” which describes the Ginga (the fundamental move of Capoeira). If you learn more effectively while having fun, Capoeira should be top of the list in answering the question, “What martial art is best for me?” Aside from strong fighting techniques, this is a beautiful performing art all by itself.
So What Martial Art is Best for Me?
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “the best martial art” because each presents a unique fighting style for a given situation and motive. “What martial art is best for me” is a very subjective question that needs an answer of the same level of subjectivity. This means that you are the only one who can determine the right martial art to learn through proper research and consideration. Hopefully, the information above makes your decision an easier task.