Before you start, you must learn the basics of MMA training – endurance, grappling and striking. How about kick him? Kickboxers, karateka, nak muay, sanda fighters- all of them must study the hand strikes of boxing for success even within their sport, let alone outside it. Well, you would be right my friend. That is the main reason Boxing is so high on this list. This allows them to dictate the range, and keep the opponent guessing. I started training Muay Thai in 2013 and fell in love with many other forms of Martial Arts ever since, so much so that I decided to create this website to share my love of the martial arts. Having great Judo like Ronda Rousey will only get you so far, especially when you match up against someone like Holly Holm who has next level striking and takedown defense. Learning Boxing is very important in MMA. His style has kept him a top-ranked welterweight for years, and has even earned him two shots at the title. Wrestling has proven to be one of the most effective martial arts in MMA. Muay Thai is one of the most effective and prolific bases for mixed martial arts because of the sheer power and force behind its striking techniques. A notable feature of Taekwondo is its relative lack of punching. Answer Save. Boxing is a sport that has been celebrated by the masses throughout history. Karate is a traditional martial art hailing from the Ryukyu Kingdom (which is now apart of Japan). A full-contact martial art which has striking, kicking as well as grappling techniques, it is the fighting style used in the very popular Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC. Muay Thai (Kickboxing) is one of the most popular Martial Arts of choice for professional MMA fighters. Same goes for fighters like Conor McGregor, no matter how good your boxing is, if you find someone like Nate Diaz with better stamina and Jiu Jitsu you’ll end up getting submitted. If you’re frail or don’t like contact sports then Judo most definitely isn’t the Martial Art for you. Liddell likes to fight on the feet, Tito likes to ground and pound. Also, if your primary weapon is the takedown you better be sure to have the ability to take your opponent down.. or you’re gonna have a bad time. This is my personal opinion so you definitely don't have to agree with it, and it's what I mainly focus on for striking part of my MMA game. If you’re no longer in High School or if there isn’t a wrestling team at your High School, there are still many wrestling clubs to join. While submission wrestling is similar to collegiate wresting, it is much different. You'll have similar punches to a Boxer, and similar... everything else that's on the feet to a Thai fighter. I wish you luck on your martial arts journey, may it be filled with excellence. If you have dreams of becoming an MMA fighter then BJJ is a must have in your arsenal. This is because Karate practitioners are more used to punching than Taekwondo fighters are. Sparring is one of the most important aspects of any martial art, as you don’t know what works until you try it in real life, right? Striking arts such as Muy Thai and Savat employ kicks and punches. Because it is a "southern style" Chinese martial art, Wing Chun places heavy emphasis on fist and palm strikes, as opposed to "northern style" Chinese martial arts, which emphasize kicking more. It’s not only a great workout, but it’s also great for self-defense as almost every single fighting situation starts standing up. In Muay Thai, your offense IS your best defense. An established and lucrative sport of its own, boxing also has a place within the skill set of the MMA fighter.Boxing allows striking only with the knuckles of a closed fist and uses enclosed gloves larger than those in MMA. Many pundits will suggest that the best fighting style is a well-rounded fighter using all disciplines, however I tend to disagree. That depends on how much you value grappling and ground techniques. Karate is a traditional martial art hailing from the Ryukyu Kingdom (which is now apart of Japan). It was a difficult choice putting Sanda so low on this list, as one would expect it to be superior to Karate, Boxing, and maybe even Muay Thai, as Sanda includes techniques from each of these styles. I personally believe that there is a specific formula needed to find the perfect MMA fighter that involves only a few disciplines. Of course, Sanda is still the more complete fighting style, but strictly due to popularity, Karate edges it out for the #4 spot. When you think of one of the best fighters of all time, Daniel Cormier’s name comes to mind. BJJ is an amazing martial art to learn in general because of the practical self-defense it provides. However, unless you’re an olympic superstar like Henry Cejudo, that’s about as far as you’ll go with wrestling. Well, almost everybody uses Boxing in MMA because every fight starts standing up. Karate is much more popular among young children because of the availability of Karate classes around the world. The best martial art for you depends on what you want to learn or accomplish. Lethwei is a form of kickboxing from the country of Myanmar (Burma), which is also why it is also known as Burmese Bare-Knuckle Boxing. If you do decide to try out boxing, check out our article on the best boxing gloves for beginners! Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is very popular for self-defense, as the average blue belt can submit 99% of the population. However, Sanda was put at #5 due to its lack of definitive curriculum, as well as the fact that it is not widely practiced outside of China. Karate is the parent style of Taekwondo, but it does come with some key differences, as well as an explanation for why it is ranked so much higher than Taekwondo. Pick one. It can be very difficult for wrestlers to transition their game to learning striking, while other fighters such as Champion Tj Dillashaw (who started his career as a wrestler) have done an amazing job learning Martial Arts such as Muay Thai. Did I mention its bare-knuckle? Now at first glance you might think, “Hey that kinda looks like Muay Thai doesn’t it?”. From a self-defense stand point, it’s good but not great. Although he doesn’t use many traditional karate style kicks (mostly focusing on boxing technique), he still imitates the wide stance of a traditional karate practitioner. There aren’t too many defensive techniques in Muay Thai when compared to the footwear and weave techniques learned in Boxing. Karate isn’t all that important in professional MMA today. These attributes typically carry over when the wrestler starts learning other martial arts. You can't call yourself a strong Mixed Martial Arts fighter unless you understand the nuances of grappling. Without a doubt, the most popular striking art practiced by MMA fighters. The rest of Savate’s kicks are very similar to the point-Karate style: sharp, quick kicks with emphasis on landing versus doing damage. Not to mention actually throwing around your partner is physically draining for the body. Striking (obviously) consists of anything that happens on the feet. Aside from that, striking martial arts are pretty self-explanatory, so I’ll waste no further time. Muay Thai also focuses on the clinch technique which is useful for many other martial arts such as judo and wrestling. A newer BJJ practitioner that has a great guillotine and triangle choke is Brian “T-City” Ortega. I personally have never trained Judo in my life and I don’t really plan on it, wrestling is good enough to get you by in MMA. Muay Thai also is known for ”art of the eight limbs”, is a combat sport that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques, which means, Instead of constant use of punches and kicks, Muay Thai fighters are able to use deadly knee and elbow attacks to hurt their opponents. level 2 This first become clear when Gracie dominated combat sports by utilizing Jiu-Jitsu grappling moves to defeat bigger opponents. Muay Thai. He uses many Judo style throws and take downs during his fights to dominate his opponents. The ABCs of Mixed Martial Arts training. It is a very complete martial art, encompassing many different types of striking techniques. Wrestling is a great combat sport to get into at a very young age. Yes, as you can see in the image above, competitors do not wear gloves, only hand wraps. For good reason too. Boxers also practice head movement more than any other martial art on this list. Muay Thai Vs. Boxing: Which style is more effective? Not only is Karate popular in movies, but it is also going to be seen in the 2020 summer olympics. Other great boxers in MMA include: Cody Garbrandt, Jorge Masvidal, and even BJJ practitioner Nate Diaz has great boxing. Another popular fighter with a “karate-style” stance who we discussed earlier is Conor McGregor. To put it in perspective, almost every MMA fighter has taken a Boxing class. The best Martial Art for MMA is a combination of the fighting styles we talked about above. Mixed martial arts is continuously improving. Jon Jones vs Rampage is also a good example. This forced other practitioners to adapt with other styles and thus, mixed martial arts started to evolve. Muay Thai is a martial art that emphasizes simplicity and effectiveness. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will also teach you some amazing life lessons. If you know a bit about martial arts, then you know that the vast majority of martial arts can be put into two categories: grappling arts, and striking arts. It’s also extremely effective in self-defense situations, as most fights start standing up. Wrestling also has the ability to get you a college scholarship if you’re good enough. After time, this pain eventually went away. Here are the 7 best martial arts style for self defense: 7. Learning them will make you a complete fighter but then again, mastering all of them will take a considerable amount of time and experience. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) has been the most effective grappling art in MMA and another solid base. A good majority of it has to do with their natural ability, their obsession for the arts, and their heart and dedication to MMA. Wrestling involves a scoring system based on control of your opponent and is one of the oldest combat sports in recorded history. If you want to become a better boxer check out our article: become a better boxer with practice. There are many defensive techniques that are taught in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and that are very useful for a real-life situation. This doesn't mean Muay Thai is "the best" martial art for … Karate is very similar to Taw Kwon Do in which both involve a variety of kicks, however most aren’t practical for MMA. However, any martial art in this list can be effective in a striking competition if you know how to use it. This includes the devastating spinning back kick, which can end fights instantly when landed correctly. Ultimately this list could go on and on all day, this just shows how important wrestling is in MMA, which brings us to our next point.. Takedowns and takedown defense is absolutely crucial to MMA, especially when it comes down to the score cards. It is obviously effective, noted by the fact that it is practiced by UFC fighters Zabit Magomedsharipov, Cung Le, and Strawweight Champion Zhang Weili. Sanda (also known as Sanshou or Chinese Kickboxing) is a form of kickboxing that is not too well known around the world, due to being practiced mostly in China. His idea was that the power of a technique was based more on the speed of the technique, and less on the mass of the object you were striking with. Yoel has the ability to completely dominate someone on the ground, it’s absolutely terrifying to watch. Outside of the self defense arts of sambo, krav maga and their international relatives, boxing simply offers you the best overall control of any situation. Muay Thai is extremely high intensity training that involves conditioning of the shins and core. At #1 for the best striking martial art ever, we have the brutal art of Lethwei. Another great wrestler is Yoel Romero, who is a physical freak. Please continue to visit The MMA Guru whenever you are looking for the best MMA, Boxing, Muay Thai, and Jiu Jitsu knowledge and guides. The second-best striking martial art on our list is Muay Thai. It helps to build a strong work ethic, power, and extraordinary cardiovascular endurance. Demian Maia is one of the best BJJ practitioners that was able to translate his BJJ dominance into the UFC as well. In its arsenal, Sanda includes the basic punches of boxing, but also combines techniques used in Muay Thai and Taekwondo, including hook kicks, roundhouse kicks, and wheel kicks. Your email address will not be published. While I consider #1 (at the bottom of this page) to be the most effective martial arts style for self defense, not every martial art is for everyone (so I suggest you watch the video on each). Do you understand what I’m getting at? If we go back to the beginning UFC days, fighters like Royce Gracie completely dominated the sport because he was a master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. So Lethwei is the best striking martial art by the allowance of headbutts. Not to say Taekwondo fighters don’t punch, they simply rely more on their kicks. It’s important to remember the best Martial Art for you and the best Martial Art for MMA won’t always necessarily be the same. After all, it’s called “Mixed Martial Arts” for a reason. We have an entire article dedicated to the differences between Muay Thai and Boxing, check it out here: Muay Thai Vs. Boxing: Which style is more effective? Savate is a martial art that was developed as a form of self-defense from the streets of France. With its no-nonsense training style and an emphasis on sparring, it is easily one of the best striking arts. To sum it up in total, their are three major fighting styles that an MMA fighter will have to train in order to be successful in professional MMA. Stand-up MMA fighters had to adapt and learn this specific discipline so that they could stop getting submitted by BJJ specialists such as Royce. There really isn’t a right or wrong answer when it comes to those select disciplines as they are all great and there have been successful championship fighters that specialize in each. Boxing encourages head movement, lightness on the feet, and is highly strategic, hence its nickname, the “swee… I highly recommend studying Muay Thai if you plan on one day becoming a professional MMA fighter. Those who are well-versed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are always in a fight, even when they’re getting dominated. Also, a huge reason for this pick was the most noteworthy Karate-style fighter in MMA today, UFC Welterweight Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. These three are absolutely necessary to become adequate at. R. Nath FOLLOW. Hi, I’m The MMA Guru. Karate isn’t a martial art that translates very well to MMA, however there are fighters such as Stephen Thompson who have been an outlier in the UFC. This could include boxing and kickboxing, along with Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai, and more. Arguably no other striking art can make that claim as authoritatively, though Muay Thai comes pretty close. But if Muay Thai is so good, what could possibly be ranked higher? MMA stand-up skill set encompasses a lot of details from just about any effective striking art, so in case that your end goal is to end up competing in MMA bouts, you might just go and start training it right away and learn what’s actually usable. If you’re hopeful of one day becoming a professional MMA fighter, then boxing is a necessary martial art to learn. Boxing is something that almost everyone should try at some point in their lives. Not to say you can’t learn some good moves from it though! In this post, I’m going to rank the best striking martial arts by how effective they are. The Best Heavy Bag Mounts (Ceiling & Wall), MMA Fighters vs The UFC: Revenue Share and Lawsuits, How to Maximize Your Earnings as an MMA Fighter, Hi can i ask if judo is better or MMA i like MMA but some people say both is good please may i have your opinion. -Striking (Boxing, Muay Thai, Karate) And one of the most effective techniques in any martial art, is the leg kick. The techniques of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu or BJJ are used in the highest order in MMA … im interested in fighting in amateur mma compatitions, and i know i need at least some standup game. At #4 on our list is a traditional Japanese martial art: Karate. It’s great when you specialize in a specific discipline, however it will only get you so far. However, boxing is a very popular martial art, with boxing gyms being common in every city. I’ll go into more detail on the differences when we talk about Karate later on. best striking martial art to take to help if i ever get in a streetfight.....im not really tryin to pick fights,but its always a good precaution. By this, I mean that sparring is very common. Robert Rousseau is a martial arts expert and a former senior writer for MMA Fighting. I think the complete MMA set consists of these 7 styles. Most styles are divided into striking and grappling. The criteria for this list is that the art can contain no grappling at all, so complete systems such as MMA are not considered. This is also the reason why Muay Thai is more popular than Lethwei, as headbutts are illegal in most combat sports, such as MMA. There are many different styles and disciplines that professional MMA fighters train in, and for good reason. Boxing is an important Martial Art for MMA because it teaches fighters head movement and footwork technique. The second-best striking martial art on our list is Muay Thai. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves or another against a bigger, stronger, heavier assailant by using proper technique and leverage. The 7 Best Martial Arts Styles for Self Defense. Secondly, it focuses on the most effective techniques. Max Holloway is another example of a Muay Thai style fighter, he is very successful in the UFC. Savate is an interesting martial art, that is probably the least popular from the ones on our list. Karate isn’t that great for self-defense, however it is great for controlling emotions. Respect your fellow students as well, who at the end of the day are trying their best to learn the martial arts. Well, no need to wonder my friend. A lot of fights from Jose Aldo, Donald Cerrone and Edson Barboza are good examples of this. He has been able to translate his karate style of fighting in MMA successfully well. MMA is a mix of all Martial Arts that were created worldwide. It’s safe to say that Judo is one of the most physically demanding martial arts out there. Not only does it include the punches and kicks contained in many of the other martial arts already listed, but much more. Is it a stand-up style like Muay Thai or Boxing, or is it something that involves grappling like Wrestling or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? BJJ has a lot of similarities with other grappling styles but its finishing ability has no equal. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a ground based grappling technique that involves the use of joint locks and chokeholds. I no longer feel pain in my shins when I kick heavy bags. Thai people celebrate Muay Thai in the same way Americans do Baseball. Ronda Rousey, who completely changed women’s MMA as we know it, is also a bronze medalist in Olympic Judo. Karate is a more complete version of Taekwondo. However, unlike Karate and Taekwondo, Savate allows the use of low kicks, aimed at the shins of the opponent. You might want to refer to our “Which Martial Art Should I Learn First” guide if you’re looking for a Martial Art to train for fun. Unfortunately, it doesn’t rank higher on this list due to its lack of punching ability. Another MMA fighter that practices Judo is Fedor Emilianenko. MMA wise, Muay Thai definitely is the best martial art to transition from, but then again striking in MMA is still very much more different than that. From this theory, Taekwondo developed into a martial art focused on fast kicks. Although you don’t have to be a black belt to be successful in MMA. It’s well known that wrestlers have dominated MMA from the very beginning of time. That’s right folks, headbutt knockouts are legal and fairly common in Lethwei fights. This means no kicks or other types of strikes, and no backfists or open-palm strikes. The best MMA fighter isn’t just made from their specific discipline. Here is an explanation on a few of the more common striking disciplines. Who doesn’t use wrestling in MMA? BJJ has literally countless s… Wrestling has a good argument for being the most important ingredient for making the perfect MMA fighter. The leg kick is a strike unique to Muay Thai that is effective enough to end fights on its own. However when they do, things can get interesting. This is one of the most debated topics when it comes to the ultimate MMA fighter. Muay Thai is extremely important in MMA. No matter how proficient you are in BJJ, you can still get knocked out like Royce did if you don’t have proper striking. But what makes this art so effective? Which fighter doesn’t use a push kick? Depending on your background and culture, your body type and athletic build, and even your genetics all play a factor into deciding which fighting style is best for you. The benefits of Karate is that it helps you gain balance and find peace within yourself, both useful for MMA fighting. Edson Barboza is a good example of a traditional Muay Thai fighter, however he has struggled with wrestlers recently (another reason why it’s important to have more than one discipline). Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground. The great thing about wrestling is that it’s usually accessible to anyone who goes to an American High School. At the end of the day whoever has superior wrestling can ultimately decide where the fight takes place. If you have ever received a hard leg kick, then you know they work. Nicknamed the art of eight limbs, it teaches fighters how to use their elbows and knees, how to sweep and clinch, as well as kicking and punching. I would honestly say Muay Thai is the most important stand-up discipline you can train for MMA. -Takedowns (Wrestling, Judo) What I liked most about the early UFC’s was the hype videos before the fights. Boxers can strike to the head or torso, but not below the belt or to the back of the head, back, or kidneys. The martial art is very similar to Muay Thai due to their geographical proximity, as Myanmar is on the northern border of Thailand. Muay Thai will teach you discipline that is needed to study any other martial art, and it will get you leaps ahead other fighters when it comes to stand up fighting. As far as striking martial arts go, Muay Thai is the most effective. He has been able to use wrestling as a superior advantage throughout his long career in the UFC. And lastly, Muay Thai is a very diverse striking art. Boxing has been practiced for centuries, and has been used as a competitive sport since as early as 1600 BC. 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