December 14, 2023 5 min read

Martial arts have received a whole new coverage and following since MMA promotions like UFC and Bellator became mainstream. More people are interested in martial arts as a form of exercise and for self-defense. With the rising popularity of martial arts,Kung Fu classes in Owings Mills MD are in high demand.

But before settling for a martial arts option for self-defense purposes, you should first understand your options and how to choose what works best for you.

There are many considerations, preferences, and objectives to review before selecting a martial arts practice. While some people are interested in strength-oriented activities, others are more concerned about power, speed, and quickness. Each martial art has its own priority. Find out which is which below.


Boxing is one of the simplest forms of martial arts. It relies solely on the fist to deliver blows and punches to the opponent and defend against attacks. Although boxing primarily relies on fists, it requires some training to get the boxer fluid in terms of movement and body skills.

Boxing is highly regulated, meaning there are specific rules of engagement. One of the important rules is no blows below the belt. There is also a rule prohibiting the use of other body parts like the legs, knees, and elbows during fights.

If you find boxing appealing to defend yourself, you can enroll in a boxing gym to get started. You’ll be taken through the learning process, which often involves a punching bag, boxing gloves, and more.


Unlike boxing, wrestling involves more grabbing and grappling. Wrestling can be done in a standing position or while on the ground.

With a rich history traced back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans, wrestling is a great sport to learn for self-defense as it teaches you to neutralize the attacker.

It’s important to note that although wrestling is great, street fights rarely go to the ground, which may require you to pick up additional skills to improve your defense strategy.

If you’re happy with wrestling as your chosen form of self-defense, you can learn by visiting a boxing gym or wrestling arena for inquiries. You’ll need protective headgear, a wrestling unitard, wrestling shoes, a knee guard, and other accessories.


Unlike boxing and wrestling, Aikido is one of the least violent forms of martial arts out there. This martial art is focused more on self-protection than meeting violence with violence. Practitioners are trained in skills and techniques they can use to immobilize their attacker, thereby subduing them and halting their aggressive assaults.

The Aikido practice is drawn from its name, which means “The Way of Harmony of Spirit.” It is an excellent martial arts choice to learn, especially if you’re against violence and wish to protect yourself in highly tense environments or situations.

To get started with Aikido, you’ll need a judo mat, a karate/judo suit, and a trainer. You may also need a wooden training weapon like jo or bokken at the start or later during training.


Unlike Aikido, which teaches attacker immobilization, Sambo is a more violent martial arts practice. This martial art relies on several tools and techniques, including choking, punching, kicking, elbowing, locks, and even under-the-belt strikes to immobilize and harm the attacker.

Sambo teaches pure violence and aims to inflict as much mortal pain as possible on the attacker. This is a great self-defense option for many people who would rather teach their attackers a lesson, instill fear in them, and ensure they do not repeat such threats with others going forward.

To learn the sambo fight, you’ll need a trainer and a classic fighter’s uniform comprising a trouser, a jacket, and a belt. You should also invest in a good number of accessories to protect your knees, shin, mouth, head, and groin areas during training.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

This is the most common form of martial arts in Brazil. It is focused more on incorporating the grappling techniques in wrestling and the striking techniques in other martial arts practices. The combination of moves and strikes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu makes it a great option for smaller and shorter people looking to learn self-defense.

Similar to wrestling, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu is focused on the ground game. Bringing an opponent to the ground allows you to practice semi-deadly moves like arm locks, rear-naked chokes, leg locks, and others on them.

But Brazilian jiu-jitsu may not be the ideal martial arts option for people who struggle with personal space issues or those looking to fend for themselves in street fights.

Muay Thai or Thai Kickboxing

Muay Thai falls under the kickboxing category, leveraging the combination of kicks and fist punches to disarm an attacker and subdue them. In this martial arts practice, the fighters employ the use of their knees and elbows more than in any other type of fight. They also leverage both stand-up grappling and floor fights, depending on where the opponent is.

Thai Kickboxing is a great pick for self-defense because it teaches us to use the different parts of the body to defend against attacks. To learn this, you’ll need a trainer and some fighting accessories like hand wraps, boxing gloves, a mouth guard, and protective headgear. You may also need a punching bag for training kicks and elbow attacks.

Mixed Martial Arts

As the name implies, mixed martial arts combines a number of contact sports into one. If unsure, it is the type of fight you see when watching a UFC or Bellator game.

Mixed Martial Arts combines a number of martial arts into one, thus equipping practitioners with a range of experience, skills, and techniques to neutralize their opponent in any situation.

MMA is perfect for self-defense because it offers several strategies and tools that can be deployed instantly and in different situations. To learn this, you’ll need a trainer, a mixed martial arts studio for practicing, and a range of padding accessories.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga is literally translated as “contact combat.” It teaches the art of combat while encouraging striking and disabling an attacker.

The martial art was developed by the Israeli Defense Forces as a technique to improve their odds in real-life scenarios. The approach is quite aggressive, aiming to neutralize an armed opponent as quickly as possible. The training involves the use of deadly weapons like knives and guns to mimic real-world scenarios.

It’s a great self-defense option, especially if living in a highly sensitive environment where survival is important.

Learn more about the best martial arts for self-defense by visiting

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U.S. Kuo Shu Academy, 10999 Red Run Blvd - Suite 214 Owings Mills MD 21117, 443-394-9222

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