As prepared as you may want to be, sometimes you just don’t have what you need. So when it comes to self-defense, the only tool you’ll always have on you is your own body. To offset this, you can learn a martial art. But which one?
We’ll break down some of the most popular forms of unarmed self-defense and whether they’ll be a good fit for you.
1 – Boxing
Known as the all-American fighting sport, boxing has deep roots in American and British culture. It’s an incredibly dangerous sport, too. The fighting style focuses exclusively on punching, using the upper body to strike the foe while the lower body focuses on control and movement.
it’s not all punches and fun, though. Boxing has a variety of sub-styles, ranging from Sluggers to Counter Punchers. An effective boxer can physically overpower almost anyone. Regardless of style, the fighter needs to be both fast and strong. If you’re down for some muscle training and want something patriotic, perhaps boxing is for you.
2 – Jiu Jutsu
On the other side of the planet is Jiu-Jitsu, this is one of Japan’s oldest forms of martial combat. Originally developed for the battlefields in the late 1400s, it was meant to supplement when the soldiers could not use or rely on weapons.
While boxing needs power to be effective, Jiu-Jitsu relies more on manipulating the opponent’s body in your favor. This includes throws, grapples, immobilization, lock joints, and choke points. If you can restrain someone, you don’t have to worry about knocking them out. If you’re someone that doesn’t want to worry about being strong enough to beat down a goliath, then Jiu-Jitsu might be for you.
3 – Judo
What if you could do Jiu-Jitsu, but waste less energy? Then you essentially have Judo. The main idea of Judo is to restrain and manipulate an opponent, but with as little wasted energy as possible. This is mainly done through carefully using the opponent’s momentum against them. They attack, you dodge, push, and redirect. Before you know it, they’re heavily panting and ready to collapse while you’ve hardly broken a sweat. If you’re looking for a non-aggresive way to win any fight, you might like Judo.
4 – Krav Maga
Judo and Jui-Jitsu are very non-aggressive forms of combat. But that isn’t always for everyone. That’s why there’s Krav Maga. This form of combat derives from Czechoslovakia and has a strangely contradictory purpose. Krav Maga focuses on disabling and disarming an opponent to keep yourself safe, similar to the last two fighting styles. But for Krav Maga, they do this in a rather aggressive manner.
It’s a relatively young fighting style, so it takes notes from many other older styles. The main idea of this style is to, quickly and powerfully, strike a flurry of blows to an opponent with fists and improvised weapons in order to overwhelm and incapacitate an opponent. This is the kind of style that will break your wrist to keep you from using a weapon or will take your punch, pull you in, and slam a palm into your chin. If you like power and control, try Krav Maga.