May 4

The 17 Best Martial Arts for Self Defence

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What are the best Martial Arts for self-defence?

Well, in this post I will walk you through the most effective Martial Arts and why I believe these this to be true.

Now while I have listed these arts in a number fashion that is not because I am ranking them in any particular order.

Everyone's needs are different and as such what works for one will not necessarily work for another.

However these are the most effective martial arts out there for self defence purposes, and you can't really go wrong with any of them.

Ready?

Let's dive in.

17. Savate

savate

Savate is a French Martial Art that focuses on punches and kicks. 

It does look a lot like Kickboxing, however there are subtle differences. For example, in Savate, you only strike with the foot. Where as other kickboxing styles use the shin.

The style is actually called La Boxe Francaise and originated in the streets of Paris.  The sport is practiced widely within France and has been around since the early 19th century. 

Is it any good for self-defence?

Well, yes, it certainly is. However there is a huge, issue with the heavy focus on the kicks. In self-defence, kicking to the head is a risky move. Think about it. To kick someone in the head, you need to be on one leg. This means you can easily be pushed off balance.

However, thankfully the art involves using the hands to punch, as such this makes Savate a much better style all round. 

Savate isn't widely taught globally so, you might struggle to find a school, but if this stylish looking art appeals to you, you could seek out online instruction.

16. RBSD/ Combatives

The best martial arts for self defence

Combatives or Reality-Based Self-Defence (RBSD) as it is also known, is a self-defence style or system where realistic and often very brutal combat techniques are used to defend yourself.

The core issue with combatives and self-defence is that it actually has no real system.

One teacher of combatives or RBSD will teach what they think are great techniques, others could, in theory, teach a totally different syllabus.

This means that there is a growing abundance of people that use combatives and RBSD as a way to teach self-defence with little training and experience

So, if you choose to train in these styles or systems I suggest that you do your research, look for reviews and also ask about the instructor's background and experience.

That being said, combatives/ RBSD can be the best type of self-defence training you can receive.

So, let's give a little bit of background to this broad style.

The Father of Combatives and Modern Self-Defence

A great deal of self-defence training owes it's existence to one man, William Fairburn.

Fairburn was a cop in the tough town of Shangai in 1907.

A former soldier that had developed ferocious combat skills and seen real battle, yet Shangai was a dangerous place where he would engage in over 600 violent encounters.

After years of testing his skills and learning others, he formed his Martial Art known as Defendu and was later involved in training commandos who would go into battle during WW2.

Defendu is still around albeit, with no significant organisation, brand assets or even structured syllabus, the art has been pulled apart, stolen by many and even had entire business models built around it.

However, Defendu has formed the base for most combative training for years.

What Is The Difference Between Combatives And Reality-Based Self Defence?


In simple terms, combatives is the style of self-defence taught to soldiers, however as it is a fashionable term, people have largely stolen its name to use as an umbrella term for the self-defence tactics they teach.

So, you will find Combatives being used to describe a style of self-defence that draws from Fairburn's work, but is not a direct manifestation of it.

Reality-Based self-defence  (RBSD) can be whatever it likes. I have seen RBSD instructors completely deviate from Faiburn's work.

Much of RBSD is a mixture of many Martial Arts, you could say 'the best bits' of various Martial Arts.

This means that one RBSD class can be very different from someone else's class.

What Techniques Are Taught In Reality Based Self Defence/ Combatives?


While there might be a wide variety of styles of Combatives/ RBSD classes, most follow a similar route.

Students will be taught about concepts such as 'The Fence', avoidance, awareness, pre-emptive strikes, hammer fists, elbow strikes, kicks, knee strikes, eye gouges, punches, grappling, weapons use, weapons disarms and the law.

In many ways, these techniques are the essentials that have been pulled out of the arts, the differences in how these techniques are taught will largely depend on the experience and views of the instructor.

Is RBSD or Combatives Effective For Self-Defence?


RBSD/ Combatives is the fastest route to self-defence expertise.

It removes the 'fluff' from many Martial Arts and teaches you the essentials.

However, choosing an instructor with a solid background is essential to ensure you are taught well.

Most RBSD or Combatives instructors are independent self-defence instructors with a background in the military, law enforcement or professional security.

So, if you can find a good instructor, RBSD or Combatives instruction is an effective Martial Arts style for self-defence. For children's self defence you will struggle to find a combative school that caters for them.

15. Russian Sambo

effective martial arts for self defense

What happens if you set out to make a combat system for the military that soldiers can use as a sport?

Well, the end result is Russian Sambo.

And it is perhaps one of the scariest Martial Arts on the planet.

Sambo is a Russian Martial Art and was virtually unknown outside of Russia until the 1980's when the USSR started to dominate the world Judo scene with their unorthodox grips and technique variations.

After this, people started to learn more about the origins of the Soviet fighters unique skills, and the answer was Sambo.

What is Russian Sambo and Why is it Effective For Self-Defence?


Sambo could be described as a combat sport and a self-defence system rolled into one.

Sambo athletes train to use punches, kicks, grappling and arm and leg locks to deal with their opponents.

Check the videos out to see what I mean.

Whilst very similar Sambo has a more combat orientated approach and as such, I recommend it over Judo for self-defence, sadly there is a lack of Sambo instructors in the world so you might be able to find a Judo club far easier.

I have trained in both Sambo and Judo and love them both

What Does Sambo Mean?

The word “sambo” stands for “SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya,” and the word can be translated in English to “self-defence without weapons.” 

What Sambo Techniques Are Great For Street Self-Defence?


There are essentially 3 forms of Sambo.

The grappling version, the Combat sports version and the pure combative military version.

The grappling version has no strikes of any kind and the rules are orientated towards combat. So, for example, if you are in what people refer to as the 'guard' in BJJ, you are actually pinning the opponent.

 Also, to get a win, you score points but the maximum score and win are if you throw the opponent and you remain standing. 

This is like an Ippon in Judo or a KO in boxing.

Combat Sambo has the same rules expect strikes are allowed, so it is a lot like MMA, and they don't use chokes in either version.

I expect for the grapplers/ BJJ and MMA people reading this, it won't make sense.

But think about the battlefield. If you were fighting an enemy soldier in the middle of battle, what is better?

Taking their back and getting your hooks in for the rear-naked choke, placing your body in close range to be stabbed with a blade they have on their belt?

Or taking a leg or arm of the enemy, which places your vital organs further away while you break the limb and leave them where they are.

This view is often explained by the fact that if you break a leg of the enemy, it takes 2 soldiers to carry them off the battlefield.

The military version of Sambo includes weapons training, fighting in water and resembles combatives.

But even with the .differences, the core techniques in Sambo are their devastating throws, arm locks and leg locks. Even an experienced BJJ grappler will not rejoice at the thought of grappling with a Sambo fighter.

14. Aikido

Aikido has one of the worst reputations in Martial Arts for self defence and this is something I am hoping to change a little with this ranking.

It is true that Aikido is next to useless against anyone that has decent Martial Arts skills, so while it features on this list, I also need to be clear....it is not an art I would rush to do if I needed a self-defence system.

So why have I included it?

Well, because Aikido is incredibly useful for people who have to control aggressive and unskilled people 'all the time'.

Police officers, security officers, prison officers are people who in my opinion would benefit from Aikido as it focuses on control of the arms/ redirection of energy and has a heavy use of wrist locks. 

As we will see, there are numerous arts out there that will teach you how to knock out an attacker, but professionals in security can't do this, they would have broken knuckles and have videos of them going viral.

So Aikido does have some excellent usage for professionals.

Origins of  Aikido


Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba who combined his experiences in several Martial Arts to create a system of self defence that is every bit a spiritual system as it is a self protection one. 

The physical techniques draw heavily from swordsmanship which can be seen as the Aikido specialist looks to grab the wrists of the attacker.

Aikido For Self Defence: Why Is It Good?

I am not going to lie, Aikido is a mixed bag. 

On one hand, you have some incredible wrist lock techniques and throws that are similar to those seen in Judo.

Yet when faced with anyone with decent striking and or grappling skills the Aikidoist will be destroyed. 

That being said I have worked as a police officer with some highly skilled Aikido experts and they tossed people around like rag dolls and hand their wrists locked up at lightning speed.

However as stated if you are involved in professional security I feel it has some good applications because it is a low impact system for dealing with aggresive and unskilled people. 

People who you would come across a lot in your duties and just need some techniques to deal with those.

So my advice really would be to only study Aikido if you already have Martial Arts experience in another art (one of those on this list). 

Check out this video to see some highl level Aikido on display: 

If you want to learn more about this art, check out our ultimate guide to Aikido

13. Silat

Silat is a Martial Art that will feature as an influence in many of the systems of Martial Arts or self-defence on this list.

The reason behind this is because Silat is such an effective Martial Art for self-defence. 

The dance-like motions of Silat proivide the base for an explosive style of fighting that features super fast strikes and manipulation of balance and destruction of limbs.

Origins of  Silat


Silat is a Martial Art from South East Asia and is practised in Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. 

There are a number of origin stories around Silat but it is not known which is accurate.

Silat For Self Defence: Why Is It Good?


Silat is system of self defence that covers a wide range of fighting aspects. Weapons, ground work and even grappling are all featured making it incredibly dangerous.

However the speed of application of these techniques in often both spell binding and overwhelming.

Anyone that attacks a Silat expert will find themselves on the receiving end of strikes and limb destructions that would make anyone run for cover.

Check out this video below that showcases some stunning power strikes of Silat.

12. The Approach

It gives me great pleasure to place The Approach on our list of most effective Martial Arts for self-defence.

The Approach isn't a Martial Art but a system of striking that is drawing attention from law enforcement agencies globally.

It can be learned in hours yet can help people to deliver the most fearsome strikes.

I have personally seen Eddie teach these strikes and it has blown me away and also been on the pads for one of his instructors. Let me be clear, the power displayed is chilling!

Origins of The Approach


I won't pretend to know the true origins of The Approach but I believe it was created as a result of the founder Eddie Quinn's journey through Silat.

However also behind the system is Eddie's true life experience of being a victim of a stabbing. Eddie is lucky to be alive and this experience has shaped his life and his system.

The Approach For Self Defence: Why is it Good?


The issue with Self-Defence is that you can be defeated by someone who hits harder than you.

It doesn't matter if you are a boxer or a top striker, if you meet someone who can outpunch you then your options are limited.

The answer is to be able to destroy them with strikes and this is what The Approach does. It allows you to strike with incredible power no matter what size or age you are.

I personally think The Approach is so powerful it could change Self-Defence forever. Check it out below or click here.


Grab your copy of the Approach online training course today by clicking here.

11. Muay Thai

Muay Thai

Muay Thai deserves a place in any list of Martial Arts for self-defence

Muay Thai or Thai boxing as it is largely known is a devastating  system of kicking, punching, elbows and knee strikes.

Thai boxing is known for delivering some of the most powerful leg kicks in Martial Arts and has been a go to source of training for MMA fighters but it is equally superb for street self-defence.

Origins of Muay Thai


Muay Thai was developed several hundred years ago and many believe that it developed as  a result of tribes migrating from China before settling in Thailand.

Due to the close proximity of neighbouring countries the art was in regular use during battles.

Needless to say Muay Thai has proven itself both in the battlefield and the sporting arena.

Muay Thai For Self Defence: Why is it Good?


Muay Thai is a tough Martial Art to train in but it is one that uses all the skills you need in the street.

From elbows that cut the skin of the opponents and can cause terrifying KO's to punches and clinch work that is similar to wrestling.

The big issue with Muay Thai is the lack of ground fighting which was badly exposed by grapplers in the early UFC tournaments.

But we know that going to the ground is the worst idea in a street fight situation so while this area is lacking you could consider cross training with MMA, wrestling, BJJ or Judo to give you a more rounded skill set. 

Either way Muay Thai is an excellent system to learn from and would make you a serious threat to anyone who attacks you!

To see Muay Thai in action check out this video below:

10.Karate

karate for self defence

Karate- 

It may come as no surprise that I have included Karate as one of the top martial arts for self-defence.  The reason behind this is due to the sheer solid nature that the system has. Kicks, punches, blocks and even grappling are all parts of the Karate syllabus. 

Low cost to start, the student of Karate will develop very strong strikes both in punching and also kicking. I did Karate for a very short while in my younger days and have nothing but respect for it however on a personal note I do think that it lacks the defences and smoothness of other martial arts. The straight strikes and power kicks of Karate steal the show. 

As a youngster, I was heavily influenced by the Karate Kid film. Who didn't want Mr Myagi to be their teacher?? Karate is a solid system, and one that I believe has great self-defence applications. 

Origins of Karate


The exact origins of Karate are unknown however it is generally considered that it was created and developed on an Island called Okinawa and due to various bans on weapon use in the Islands history it was originally an empty hand style although further refinements were made over the years.

Karate For Self Defence: Why is it Good?


I have been around the martial arts for many years, and one thing that I know is that Karate is a very solid style of martial art. Almost everyone I have ever met who trained in Karate can hit hard and kick even harder. Karateka are also very fit, that speaks volumes for the fitness applications of the art. 

The downside of Karate for me was the overuse of blocks, as I am of a boxing background I have always felt that Karate was quite 'stiff'. However that is not always a bad thing, and we have seen MMA fighters such as Lyota Machida do very well in the cage using Karate as a base. 

Overall, with great fitness, powerful punches and kicks Karate is an excellent martial art for self defence.

  • Karate In Action Video
  • Karate In Action Video 2

9. Keysi Fighting Method

Andy and Buste Reeves - Batman Stunt Double

I have reviewed Keysi before on this blog however there is no doubt that it is still one of the best self defence systems around.

Created by 2 men, Justo Duieguez and Andy Norman it can be described as a Spanish street fighting style which was inspired by Justo's time in Spanish mines as a child. It is a gritty and dynamic style that is designed for  a person who is attacked by multiple opponents. It was even featured in several films most notably Batman Begins. 

Sadly the two creators of this system split company a few years ago and Justo went onto create Keysi by Justo and Andy Norman created Defence Lab.However, Keysi is still a very solid self defence system and is highly recommended. The two video tabs below show the various keysi styles in action

  • Video 1  Keysi in  Batman
  • VIDEO 2 Keysi By  Justo

8.Wing Chun

wing chun self  defence

Martial arts training in Wing Chun Kung Fu style on a wooden dummy in the training gym or dojo

Wing Chun is a style of Kung Fu that has gained huge popularity in recent years, largely due to the success of the Ip Man movies starring Donnie Yen. 

The actual origins of Wing Chun are open to debate but according to wingchunmasters.com 

"The most popularized story of Wing Chun’s origin is that of the Buddhist Nun, Ng Mui. It is said that she was one of Five Elders of the Shaolin Temple that managed to escape prior to its destruction. With her high level of Shaolin martial arts, she created a form of self-defense which could transcend size, weight and gender. She drew her inspiration for Wing Chun from the movement of animals, primarily the crane. When applied to the human form, these delicate but natural movements required little force to block and strike effectively and efficiently.



Ng Mui’s first student of the yet unnamed form was a beautiful young girl named Yim Wing Chun who was being pressured by a bandit warlord into marriage. After mastering the art so as to defend herself and eventually drive off the bandit, Yim Wing Chun would have the form named after her as the first student of Ng Mui. This is how the lineage of Wing Chun began according to popular legend."

Wing Chun For Self Defence


With zero sporting applications, Wing Chun needs to be able to deliver solid self-defence skills, and I am pleased to say for the most part it does. Yes, as with any art there are going to be good and bad instructors but it is a very solid and practical close range self-defence system.

There are of course many people that would disagree, however having met a few Wing Chun instructors I have really had my views changed over the years, as I too failed to see the structure behind the art.  The power of Wing Chun lies within its direct approach. In the art, the practitioner becomes very strong and has almost laser targeted strikes to the face, a bit like being hit with a pole, repeatedly. 

Wing Chun for self defence is rarely captured on film however this amazing 'challenge match was captured on camera which shows a Karate student against a Wing Chun person, why would they do this? Who knows. The point is, you get to see the beauty of the technique of Wing Chun in action:

My personal view is that Wing Chun is one of those arts that is excellent for self defence, however it is unlikely that you will ever get to see it in action, and as such a lot of people will disagree. Solid straight punching is the hallmark of great skill and this is what Wing Chun delivers. 

Would you like to read more on Wing Chun? Check out my complete guide to Wing Chun for Self Defence.

7. Jeet Kune Do

jeet kune do self defence

Jeet Kune Do is translated into The Way of the Intercepting Fist, and it is one of the most well practised martial arts in the world. However essentially there is a lot of confusions about what exactly Jeet Kune Do really is. 

Created by the legendary film actor and martial artist Bruce Lee, the art is often described by many as a philosophical journey for the martial artist and not actually a system of martial arts. 

Bruce Lee was himself skilled in Wing Chun having learned directly from Ip Man himself, however after years of exposure and study of different systems and experience in real fights, Bruce developed Jeet Kune Do or JKD as it is known. 

I do not claim to be an expert of JKD but as Bruce died so tragically at a young age, we will never truly know what JKD would have ended up as. However for now, we can easily say that JKD is the embodiment of martial arts ethics and study. A good JKD school will often have instructors that are highly skilled in numerous arts.

Jeet Kune Do For Self Defence: Is It any Good?


If you take the time to read Bruce Lee's books on Jeet Kune Do you will see pure genius on paper. Every technical improvement is backed up with sound reasoning such as placing your strong side towards the attacker, and a range of other strategies.

As a result, JKD offers a really detailed look into the physical applications of martial arts with a variety of options. It is likely that no two JKD schools will be the same however all are based on solid fundamentals.  JKD is a great martial art for self-defence, it has huge depth and variety, and I highly recommend it.   Take a Look at some Jeet Kune Do instruction below

6. Judo

Judo for self defence

 The sport of Judo is perhaps one of the most well known martial arts due to its inclusion in the Olympic Games. Judo is free to watch and is broadcast live across the world on YouTube. So what makes this sport so great for self-defence?

Judo For Self Defence


Judo has a rich history dating back to the samurai. However today it is a modern grappling sport with very strict rules.

Since 2008 there have been even more rule changes that have shocked the Judo world by taking away leg grabs from the competitive side of Judo.

Despite this, the sport is bigger than ever and for self-defence, it offers a unique journey.

If you train Judo you will do zero self-defence training, it is all about learning to throw, pin, choke and armlock an opponent. There are zero blocks and zero strikes (unless you look deep into the art).

For that reason, you would think Judo as being very poor as a self-defence system.

The thing that makes Judo so good for self-defence is its single-minded approach to throwing people on the floor. A throw on a thick Judo mat can take the wind out of your sails yet a throw onto concrete will cause serious injury.

Judoka spend almost 80% of their time learning how to throw people who don't actually want to be thrown, so how do you think a non-Judoka will do against the Judo player.

Simply put, if a Judo player gets their hands onto you then you will be hitting the ground with serious force.

What Judo Techniques Are Good For Self-Defence?


While Judo does not train specific self-defence techniques, many of the techniques are great for self-defence.

However, some more than others and in the video below you will see some great examples of Judo for self-defence.

5.Boxing

boxing

I started learning boxing at an early age and the skills I learned are perhaps the ones that have allowed me to do well in other arts, the main reason I chose boxing though was simply that I wanted to learn how to punch

And boxing does this really well.

On the surface boxing is  simple, no grappling,  no kicking, just a few types of punches. Yet it takes years to master boxing but only months to grasp its fundamentals. 

It is this simplicity that makes boxing such a great art or self-defence. Like Judo is focused on just one thing boxing has become a specialist at punching.

It would be impossible to describe boxers as 'complete' in their training when their focus is on such a narrow field, however, they often possess amazing footwork, defence and fast powerful combination punches. 

Boxers train on the heavy bag and pads using heavy bag gloves and use other gloves for sparring.  This allows boxers to train by striking with full power, increasing skill, fitness and power quickly.

Other great aspects of boxing are the fitness drills

The conditioning in boxing is one of the most strict and most punishing regimes in martial arts. Skipping, press ups, burpees and much more will make up a boxing session along with sparring and bag work.

4. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an art that needs to be mentioned. On a one on one situation, BJJ is pretty amazing as a system of self-defence. It does however have weaknesses when it comes down to weapon defence and group attacks. 

The art is the offspring of Judo and is focused almost completely on the ground and it became world famous when it was the style used by so many to win in the early days of MMA. 

The system is well known for its  locks and chokes and as we can see from the footage of a street fight below it is a very capable style.  

BJJ does not focus on sefl defence these days and has become more of a sport. Guard passing, mount  and other postitions earn points for the player in competition. 

BJJ  is a great art to train in for fitness, fun and sport and yes it does have some great self-defence applications, however it also areas that are weak such as striking, knife defence a vulnerability to group attacks.

Read my indepth guide on BJJ for Self-defence.

3. MMA Mixed Martial Arts

The sport of MMA has become a global phenomenon and for good reason, explosive takedowns, striking, chokes and leg and arm locks. The sport of  MMA has created the modern gladiators proving ground. 

The downside of MMA is the training is seriously hard on the body. I did it for a long time and suffered more from MMA than I  ever did in Judo or boxing. 

An average MMA class will be very testing on your fitness levels. You will perform grappling, striking, and a lot of sparring along with avariety of specilaised MMA drills for fitness.

The plus side of MMA is that your skills levels increase very quickly in all areas. As such you soon become a very skilled opponent for any attacker. The downside of this is of course that you are focused on sport and not self defence. There is zero knife defence and no multiple opponent training however your individual unarmed ability becomes very impressive. 

P.S. If you want to get fit, why not check out our huge guide packed with MMA Workouts.

2. Krav Maga

krav  maga self defense

Krav Maga is perhaps the most well know of any self defence system in the world.   The word Krav Maga in Hebrew means "contact fighting" and it is the official self defence system of the Israeli Defense Forces,

It was created by Imi Side-Or (Lichtefield) and it is totally self defense orientated. 

Sadly today's Krav Maga differs in standard across the globe. We have hard core self defense versions and far softer ones that appear as if they were kick boxercise classes. 

However despite these differences Krav Maga is one of the best martial arts for self defense. You will learn both  gun and knife defense along with striking, grappling and much more. You just need to  ensure your instructor is qualified. T

1. Defence Lab

defence lab

Defence Lab is a Martial Art that few know of but definitely deserves a place on this list.

Created by Andy Norman after he left the Keysi Fighting Method, it heavily features aspects of the training that made KFM so popular.

Defence Lab, however, has evolved the KFM model and taken it even further.

DL is now a brand of Martial Arts with several aspects to it.

From a fitness system, a self-defence system, a children's Martial Arts system, a Krav Maga programme and a combat sports system.

This broad group of programmes means that a DL instructor tends to have a background in many Martial Arts and can run a variety of classes, much like any MMA school.

However, it is the core Defence Lab self-defence syllabus of which I have experience.

Defence Lab's self-defence element is focused completely on self-defence situations that are both armed and unarmed, group attacks and also it now covers MMA style opponents with its growing technique range.

However, it is most known for it's unusual approach to group self-defence situations.

What Techniques Does Defence Lab Teach?


The students of Defence Lab are taught to simultaneously attack while defending their heads.

This has brought about the creation of a headcover system that they call shapes.

These shapes, all the students of Defence Lab to protect their heads, avoid strikes with body movement and then return strikes, while still protected.

The goal of always keeping your head protected is the core of Defence Lab and comes from their extensive study of groups self-defence situations.

But that is just one aspect.

Defence Lab's tactical focus is one which is often referred to as 'smash then enter'.

The idea behind this concept is that a DL student will move into the attacker, reducing their striking power, and allowing them to strike at close range and use their 'shape' system to good effect.

As for techniques, DL covers a wide variety.

They use hammer fist strikes, forearms shots, punches, low leg kicks, stomps and elbow strikes.

Both standing and groundwork situations are covered.

Is Defence Lab Any Good For Self-Defence?


Defence Lab is a superb system for people who want to learn how to protect themselves, yet do not want to engage in sports martial arts.

The techniques are solid and based on sound principles, in addition, most of their instructors come from a background in Martial Arts or professional security.

So, yes, Defence Lab is a practical system for self-defence and I have no issues in recommending as one of the most effective Martial Arts for self-defence


Want to learn more? Check out our review on Defence Lab.

Conclusion

So there you have it,the best martial arts for self defence.

So what are your thoughts?

Comment below and let me know.

And if your are looking beyond self defence reasons to study Martial Arts.

Then check out our guide covering 'Which Martial Art Should I learn'.

This article was written by Andrew Holland

Andrew is a UK SEO Expert and Copywriter as well as being a former Police Officer and Judo Black Belt

“Hi there, I am sure you will love any products or recommendations on this page, but just to let you know, if you click on a link or advert we may get some revenue. ”

Andrew Holland


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  1. I have spoken to you before Andrew.. To be honest I’ve come to the conclusion that all martial arts have pro’s & cons… If there was one above the others we would all be doing it, but I know as well as you it doesn’t really exist… yet!! Like you, I started off with judo, gravitated to boxing during my militay service in the Royal Navy, 1968 – 1974, then back to judo for a while, came into contact with Goju Ryu Karate and Wing chun Gung fu which I did concurrently for about 18 months… Then came across Tomiki Aikido, fell in love with that as it had aspects of all that I had done before and it, and it appealed to my nature… Studied that for 18 years and moved on to do my own thing which was based on the Tomiki Ryu syllabus, but involved a self defence aspect using all the experince I had in my previuos training… So it was a mixed bag similar to what we see now in all the hybrids coming out… I’m now retired and just practice my method of Isometric/Isotonic training to keep in shape which I’ve used since the Royal Navy and was taught by a RN PTI… I would concur with just about everything you’ve covered in your insights and article!! Well done!!

    1. Hey Tony, thanks for the superb comment and it’s great to see what a varied background in Martial Arts you have.

  2. My list is different than yours 14. shotokan 13. shaolin kung fu 12. kuntao silat 11.escrima 10. american kenpo 9. wing tzun 8. dan zan ryu jujtisu 7. keet kune do 6. aki jujitsu 5. chow gar kung fu 4. san soo kung fu 3. hapkido 2. kajukenbbo 1. there is no 1

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