When you think of karate, you probably think of a bunch of little kids karate-chopping each other. When I think of karate I think of the short, non intimidating, chubby little Asian kid who introduced my face to the floor last month. Karate is likely the most popular martial art because its relatively simple and easy to learn. Unfortunately, that’s what most people are looking for. The reason karate is on this list (and the reason its only number 5) is mainly because of the sheer number of people who are involved in it.
Sambo is a Russian/Japanese martial art developed by Vasili Oschepkov and Victor Spiridonov. It incorporates many different martial arts including judo and juijitsu into a form of ground fighting. Look up “sambo takedown” on youtube and you’ll understand why sambo is number 4.
#3 Muay Thai
Also known as the art of 8 weapons, muay thai fighters are a force to be reckoned with. Normally when your in a fight, you have to worry mainly about fists and feet coming at you. In MT, fists, elbows, feet and knees are all included in breaking your face. Fun.
#2 Mixed Martial Arts
You never know whats coming your way, because MMA is a little bit of everything. From Brazilian Jui-jitsu to Karate, greco wrestling to full on boxing, MMA is a potentially lethal weapon in the hands (and other body parts) of someone who knows what they’re doing.
#1 Krav Maga
Krav Maga was invented by Imi Lichenfeld and is used by SF teams and law enforcement all over the world, primarily in Israel. KM focuses mainly on self defense, as opposed to competition fighting like other martial arts. Many times you’re put into a scenario where you are either severely outnumbered, at some sort of disadvantage (aren’t allowed to use your legs, can’t get off the ground, etc.) or simply in a position that you have to fight your way out of. Sometimes its all three that’s when it gets fun. Its not easy, it hurts and its physically demanding, but at the end of each session you’ll feel amazing and confident.
All of the previous martial arts have one thing in common; they all have some sort of competition based training course. When you’re learning karate you learn to control your motions, as to protect the person you’re sparring with. In sambo you can perform a takedown, but you have to be careful not to bump your partners head on the training floor.
Krav Maga is different. There are no rules, there are no boundaries. And that is why its number one on this list.