10 Effective Martial Arts You Should Think About Studying

Nak Muay Farang practicing Traditional Muay Boran

Since the beginning of time human beings have been developing survival skills and tools to defend themselves. These skills and tools range from sticks and stones to today’s powerful and effective martial arts. It may surprise you that there are specific arts designed to break bones like some break boards.

This article is about 10 effective martial arts. This list consists of a mixture of popular modern martial arts as well as long-established lethal martial arts that you may never have heard of.

10. The Effective Martial Arts of Muay Thai

Thailand’s most celebrated “Art of Eight Limbs” is renowned for its substantial use of elbow and knee strikes. It is no surprise that such a ferocious form of self-defense emerged from a country faced with so much violence and conquest.

Shaolin Monks practicing Kung Fu
Shaolin Monks practicing Kung Fu

9. The Effective Martial Arts of Kung Fu

Kung Fu is the general term used for Chinese martial arts. Often referred to as the Grandfather of hand-to-hand fighting, Kung Fu has been practiced for centuries. Used by Chinese warriors as a form of attack as well as for self-defense. Although there are a variety of styles of Kung Fu, they all share the same root: to strike the enemy with lightning speed and power. Monks are renowned practitioners of Kung Fu, shaping their bodies and minds into lethal tools of war – with or without weapons.

Royce Gracie beating Ken Shamrock
Royce Gracie locking down his first UFC title beating Ken Shamrock (Image Credit: Hubpages)

8. The Effective Martial Arts of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, also known as BJJ, has gained its current fame through the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first, second, and fourth winner, the legendary Royce Gracie. He is renowned in his victories, defeating much larger opponents who had previously trained in a variety of other styles. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, however, it is more advantageous for smaller practitioners to employ their bodies’ leverage, since the sport emphasizes on-ground fighting.

Eskrima was outlawed by the Spanish
Eskrima was outlawed by the Spanish for being ‘too dangerous’. (Image credit: Itimes)

7. The Effective Martial Arts of Eskrima

Eskrima (Arnis or Kali) is the national sport and martial art of the Philippines which emphasizes weapon-based fighting, employing the use of sticks, knives, bladed weapons, and various improvised weapons. What you may not know about this particular martial art is that it was prohibited during the Spanish invasion, and yet still exists to this day because the locals were able to disguise the powerful fighting style as a dance.

Bacom was born on the streets of Peru’s Capital.
Bacom or Vacon was born on the streets of Peru’s Capital. (Image Credit: Livingtravel)

6. The Effective Martial Arts of Bacom

Though it is not as renowned as many of its martial arts counterparts, Bacorn or Vacorn is just as effective and deadly. This martial art style, which is native to Peru, was born on the streets of Lima. It is a fusion of numerous martial arts and fights often resulted in death due to its emphasis on the use of hidden weapons and deception.

Vale Tudo events are often brutal

5. The Effective Martial Arts of Vale Tudo

Though considered less popular than other Brazilian martial arts such as Capoeira and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, this full-contact combat sport is as lethal, and its name literally means “anything goes”. The sport consists of a very limited number of rules and combines techniques from numerous martial arts. Fights are mostly held underground because it is quite brutal and dangerous, so it often creates a stir in the media.

Ninjas were referred to as non-humans
The Ninjas were commonly referred to as hinin (non-humans) (Image credit: Pinterest)

4. The Effective Martial Arts of Ninjutsu

Ninjutsu is not really a martial art, but is known as one in popular culture. Everyone is familiar with the term ‘Ninja’. Back in feudal Japan, Ninja’s, those who practice Ninjustu, focused on unconventional warfare, espionage, and assassination. Because of their use of deception and “magic” Ninjas were even often referred to as hinin (non-humans).

Rough and Tumble in Georgetown
Rough and Tumble in Georgetown (Image credit: WETA)

3. The Effective Martial Arts of Rough and Tumble

This brutal martial art gained its fame during the American Revolution in the 17th Century. It is said to be one of the few fighting styles native to the United States. This colonial blood bath emphasizes maximum disfigurement and the use of eye gauging and tongue-biting. Today Rough and Tumble is a term used for rough disorderly unrestrained fighting or struggling.

Line US Marine Corps’ method of combat
Line is used as US Marine Corps’ method of combat since the 90s (Imagecredit: Flickr)

2. The Effective Martial Arts of Line

Line is the abbreviation for “Linear Infighting Neural Override Engagement”. This lethal warfare art is made up of a combination of various martial arts techniques including Judo’s classical “hip-throws”. It was used by the US Marine Corps throughout the 1990’s and is still employed by numerous special forces.  Line was relatively inflexible, especially for non-emergent situations such as peacekeeping operations, because its main objective is to end the life of the opponent. In recent years, Line has been succeeded by Marine Cops Martial Arts Program,

Krav Maga’s renowned unofficial motto Hurt them real bad and then get away
Krav Maga’s renowned unofficial motto: “Hurt them real bad and then get away.”
(Image credit: Ultra Krav Maga)

1. The Effective Martial Arts of Krav Maga

It’s probably no surprise that the world’s most effective and dangerous form of combat comes from one of the most conflicted regions of the world, Israel. KravMaga is a non-sport form of martial arts, meaning that there is no competition in this art. Krav Maga is not concerned with the opponent’s well-being.

This popular martial art was developed for use by the Israeli Defense Force with the sole purpose of inflicting pain and debilitating the opponent as quickly and efficiently as possible which often included deliberately ending the life of the opponent. According to the New York Times, Krav Maga’s unofficial slogan is “Hurt them real bad and then get away”.

Are you interested in improving your self-defense skills? Why not train in one or more of the 10 effective martial arts style we mentioned above.

Find out more about BookMartialArts.com’s collection of martial arts training camps across the globe and give yourself the gift of powerful skills of survival!