03 May 2022

There are hundreds of martial arts around the world. Karate, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, MMA - they all have something to offer. But which one should you choose?

What do you want to get from martial arts?

This is the first question to ask yourself. Are you looking to learn something traditional or modern? Do you want to get fit? Do you want to learn to fight? Do you want to compete? Do you want to learn fancy kicks? What about weapons? Knowing the answer to some of these questions will give you the best starting point.

Learn By Doing

The best way to learn is to do. Don't spend too long researching - an hour should be plenty of time to research and contact schools in your local area. Try out a few and see which school feels right for you.

Best Traditional Styles

  • Shotokan Karate - one of the main styles of karate. This art focuses on basic striking, throws, sparring and forms.

  • Japanese Jujitsu - an old martial art that was used by Samurai. It focuses on throwing techniques, joint locks, striking and weapons.

  • Kung Fu - traditional martial arts from China. Shaolin Kung Fu is probably the most well known style that has Buddhist roots.

Best Styles for Self Defence

  • Krav Maga - a military system developed for the Israeli forces. It focuses on efficiency and realistic self defence.

  • Thai Boxing - also known as Muay Thai or 'The Art of 8 Limbs'. Thai Boxing utilises powerful punches, kicks, elbows and knees to defeat an opponent.

  • MMA - a sport that utilises techniques from a range of martial arts. MMA covers striking, grappling and ground work.

Best Styles for Fancy Kicks

  • Taekwondo - a Korean martial art. This style features many flashy jumping and turning kicks.

  • Capoeira - the Brazilian art that combines combatives with dance and music.

  • Tricking / XMA - a modern sport that focuses on acrobatic tumbling and kicking.


Every martial art has something to offer. Start by thinking about what you want to get from martial arts. Try out some schools and find one that fits. Move on if the school no longer fits your goals or requirements.