The Ultimate Guide to Ranking All Martial Arts [2023]

Two Jiu Jitsu competitors working out on a really hot day.

Welcome to our extensive guide on ranking all martial arts! Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned martial artist, this article will provide you with valuable insights into various martial arts styles. Let's dive right in and explore the world of martial arts!

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Muay Thai
  3. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  4. Karate
  5. Taekwondo
  6. Boxing
  7. Judo
  8. Krav Maga
  9. Wing Chun
  10. Kickboxing
  11. Capoeira
  12. Sumo Wrestling
  13. Kung Fu
  14. Frequently Asked Questions
  15. Useful Links
  16. Reference Links


Martial arts has always been a fascinating subject for people around the world. It combines physical skill, mental discipline, and self-defense techniques. With so many martial arts styles available, it can be overwhelming to determine which one is the best fit for you. This comprehensive guide aims to give you an in-depth overview of various martial arts, their ranking, and key features. By the end of this article, you'll have a clearer understanding of which martial arts style resonates with you.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a high-intensity combat sport known as "The Art of Eight Limbs" due to its heavy emphasis on punches, kicks, elbows, and knee strikes. Originating from Thailand, Muay Thai is widely regarded as one of the most effective striking-based martial arts in the world. Here are some key points about Muay Thai:

  • ✅ Highly effective in self-defense situations.
  • ✅ Promotes excellent cardiovascular fitness and overall strength.
  • ✅ Emphasizes powerful strikes using various parts of the body.
  • ✅ Teaches clinching and grappling techniques.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a ground-based martial art that focuses on grappling and submissions. Developed from traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, BJJ emphasizes technique and leverage to overcome larger opponents. Here's why BJJ is highly regarded:

  • ✅ Suitable for all body types and sizes.
  • ✅ Emphasizes ground control, submissions, and self-defense.
  • ✅ Enhances problem-solving skills and mental resilience.
  • ✅ Promotes flexibility, core strength, and body awareness.


Karate originated in Okinawa, Japan, and is known for its disciplined training regimen and striking techniques. Karate practitioners develop focus, speed, and power through years of dedicated practice. Here's what you need to know about Karate:

  • ✅ Promotes physical fitness, discipline, and self-confidence.
  • ✅ Incorporates punches, kicks, knee strikes, and open-hand techniques.
  • ✅ Provides effective self-defense techniques for real-life situations.
  • ✅ Offers structured belt ranking systems to track progress.


Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that heavily emphasizes high and fast kicks. It combines striking techniques with agile footwork and impressive acrobatics. Taekwondo offers numerous benefits, including:

  • ✅ Enhances flexibility, balance, and agility.
  • ✅ Fosters self-discipline, respect, and perseverance.
  • ✅ Incorporates powerful kicks and dynamic sparring.
  • ✅ Provides effective self-defense techniques.


Boxing is a combat sport dating back to ancient Greece and has evolved into a refined and technical striking art. Boxers focus primarily on punches and footwork. Here's what makes boxing a popular martial art:

  • ✅ Enhances cardiovascular fitness and overall conditioning.
  • ✅ Develops hand-eye coordination and reflexes.
  • ✅ Teaches proper punching technique and defensive maneuvers.
  • ✅ Provides a rewarding and challenging full-body workout.


Judo, meaning "gentle way" in Japanese, is a martial art that emphasizes throws, grappling, and ground control techniques. Founded by Jigoro Kano, Judo is both a competitive sport and a form of self-defense. Key points about Judo include:

  • ✅ Relies on leverage and technique over brute strength.
  • ✅ Develops physical fitness, balance, and coordination.
  • ✅ Teaches valuable self-defense skills.
  • ✅ Instills discipline, respect, and mental focus.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga is a modern hybrid martial art developed for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Known for its effectiveness in real-life situations, Krav Maga combines techniques from various martial arts and focuses on practical self-defense. Here's what sets Krav Maga apart:

  • ✅ Targets vulnerable parts of the body for maximum efficiency.
  • ✅ Prioritizes real-world self-defense scenarios.
  • ✅ Teaches practical strikes, joint locks, and defensive maneuvers.
  • ✅ Enhances mental resilience and situational awareness.

Wing Chun

Wing Chun is a Chinese martial art known for its close-range combat techniques and simultaneous offense and defense. Developed by a Buddhist nun, Wing Chun is characterized by its economy of motion. Here's what makes Wing Chun unique:

  • ✅ Focuses on close-quarters combat and trapping techniques.
  • ✅ Enhances hand speed, sensitivity, and coordination.
  • ✅ Emphasizes efficient and direct strikes.
  • ✅ Applicable for self-defense in real-life confrontations.


Kickboxing is a hybrid martial art that combines elements of boxing and various kicking techniques. Known for its dynamic and high-energy style, kickboxing has gained popularity as a competitive sport and a fitness activity. Here's why you should consider kickboxing:

  • ✅ Offers an intense full-body workout.
  • ✅ Develops cardiovascular fitness and stamina.
  • ✅ Trains punches, kicks, knees, and elbows.
  • ✅ Challenges coordination, agility, and reflexes.


Capoeira is a unique Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. Capoeira is characterized by its flowing and rhythmic movements. Here's what you need to know about Capoeira:

  • ✅ Fuses martial arts, culture, and music.
  • ✅ Improves flexibility, coordination, and rhythm.
  • ✅ Combines acrobatics, kicks, and sweeps.
  • ✅ Encourages creativity and self-expression.

Sumo Wrestling

Sumo Wrestling is a traditional Japanese sport that dates back centuries. Known for its heavyweight nature, sumo wrestling requires strength, technique, and agility. Here's why sumo wrestling is fascinating:

  • ✅ Focuses on pushing techniques and grappling.
  • ✅ Emphasizes discipline, respect, and tradition.
  • ✅ Requires physical strength and endurance.
  • ✅ Showcases the rich cultural heritage of Japan.

Kung Fu

Kung Fu refers to a wide range of Chinese martial arts styles, each with its own unique techniques and philosophies. Kung Fu is deeply rooted in Chinese culture and has gained worldwide recognition. Key points about Kung Fu include:

  • ✅ Combines striking, kicking, and grappling techniques.
  • ✅ Promotes body control, fluidity, and balance.
  • ✅ Offers a philosophical approach to martial arts.
  • ✅ Enhances overall fitness and mental discipline.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which martial art is the best for self-defense?

A: When it comes to self-defense, it's essential to consider your personal preferences and circumstances. Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Muay Thai are often considered highly effective for real-life self-defense situations.

Q: Which martial art is suitable for kids?

A: Many martial arts styles cater to children, such as Karate, Taekwondo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. These arts instill discipline, respect, and confidence while promoting physical fitness.

Q: Can I learn multiple martial arts simultaneously?

A: It's possible to learn multiple martial arts styles simultaneously. However, it's important to give each style enough time and dedication to fully grasp the techniques and concepts.

Q: How can martial arts benefit mental health?

A: Martial arts training can improve mental health by reducing stress, increasing self-esteem, and promoting discipline and focus. The mental aspect of martial arts is as important as the physical aspect.

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