Types of Martial Arts for Self Defense: Explained

Martial arts are fighting techniques that can be used for self-defense. There are many martial arts you can use for self-defense, but not all of them are best suited for this purpose. Read this article to examine the different types of martial arts that people use for self-defense and which are best suited to your needs.

grayscale photo of a man kicking on the water

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu 

This is one of the most popular martial arts techniques in the world. Every single instructor whose expertise lies in BJJ at American top Team in Atlanta will explain to you that it’s an effective fighting style not many can match. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a martial art and combat sport, a method of close personal defense. It is also known as jujutsu or Jiu-Jitsu which means “gentle” or “soft technique”.

This martial arts style was developed from Kodokan Judo ground fighting fundamentals that were taught by a number of individuals. Nowadays, it’s used around the world to defend against bigger and stronger opponents.

It’s a martial art that makes it possible to totally control and subdue an opponent in seconds, using leverage and technique instead of strength. This martial arts style is known for its ability to position an attacker in such a way as the defender can effortlessly apply submissions or chokeholds without having much physical strength needed which means one doesn’t have all kinds of injuries after practice like he would with other martial arts styles (e.g Karate).


This ancient Japanese technique is created exactly for self-defense. It has been around since the 1400s and includes the following: 

  • kicks
  • punches
  • blocks
  • stances
  • strikes 

The karate belt colors indicate your experience in martial arts. White is beginner while yellow is intermediate. Ofter that orange and brown mean more advanced/ while the black belt is the ultimate prize. Karate requires focus to keep you safe from attackers or when being attacked by wild animals such as bears.

Mixed Martial Arts 

One of the most popular sports in the world nowadays, mixed martial arts includes many different fighting techniques. MMA has become so popular because it is one of the most effective ways to learn martial arts for self-defense purposes. 

Mixed martial arts are usually used when there is no other option than fighting back due to a dangerous or life-threatening situation that can occur in daily life. This fact makes this training extremely valuable and important among martial artists who seek mastery over their bodies.

Krav Maga

Krav maga is a martial art system that was developed for the military in Israel. It is designed so that if you need to defend yourself, your movements will be quick and efficient. Krav maga has been adapted as a way of teaching people how to protect themselves against physical attacks by using techniques such as striking and grappling on the ground.

Today many martial arts schools offer training programs based around krav maga principles which put an emphasis on real-life self-defense situations rather than sport or exercise. 

This martial arts style derived from street fighting techniques found in Europe and used for self-defense purposes. It was originally created under the direction of Imi Lichtenfeld for use by members of paramilitary organizations operating within Palestine prior to the formation of the State of Israel.


This popular style of martial arts is designed to allow martial artists to use an attacker’s energy against them. Aikido focuses on the idea of blending with your opponent and using their strength for your own advantage. It can be a great choice for those who are looking for something more than just punches and kicks but still want some variety in what they study. 

Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba, also known as O’Sensei, which means “Great Teacher” in Japanese. The founder of this fighting style studied many different styles of martial arts before he started creating his own system based on these experiences. He blended together ideas from karate training with movements used in traditional sword practices among other things too. Aikido is considered a martial art that involves no competition or aggression but instead focuses on the idea of defending yourself without hurting your attacker. 


Taekwondo is a fantastic type of martial arts for self-defense. Its origins are actually in the military, but it has evolved over time to become a very effective martial art form that can be used by anyone who is interested in learning taekwondo as a martial art type of self-defense. 

The best thing about taekwondo is that there are many different types of people who have found success with this martial arts type of training. Men and women, young adults looking for fitness benefits, even children can try their chances here! Taekwondo classes should always be supervised where you learn how to do everything correctly so injuries don’t occur.

Martial arts are designed usually for self-defense and can help a lot in hand-to-hand combat. The most popular types are Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Karate, MMA, Krav Maga as well as aikido and taekwondo. They all have different combo techniques and can be very effective if done right and practiced for years. Whichever you choose, they’re great exercises for your brain, body, and overall safety!

Krystal | Sunny Sweet Days
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