Choosing a Martial Art Based on Body Type

You want to look at martial arts and not sure which one to pick based on your build. This is a really good way to look at it but you will need to go into more depth on what you are looking for. The question should be why do you want to learn martial arts?

There are so many reasons people do martial arts training. Let’s look at many of them to see if you fit into any of the reasons. We will then look more in-depth at each reason and take a look at how body type plays a part.

Reasons to do martial arts

  • Many people do it for fitness

  • Parents will put kids into a program for discipline

  • People do it to learn self-defense

  • Some people train in martial arts to fight in a ring

  • Maybe a person just wants to do things no one else can

  • You may just love martial arts

  • Parents make you do it

  • Competitions

Martial Arts for fitness

Many people doing martial arts do it to stay in shape. I have been doing MMA to get back into shape the past three years. The last three years of training has gotten me into to awesome shape. I am probably in as good as shape as I was in my late twenties.

When you talk about fitness in martial arts there are some varying degrees. The training I do in MMA would be much different than a traditional karate school. Some schools focus on traditional styles like katas and light sparring while others will do harder workouts.  If you are looking for the ones to just get in shape then you can look to traditional schools like Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Tai Chi or Kung Fu. You also have a place that teaches boxing or kicking but is not considered martial arts schools like 8 Rounds and Title Kickboxing.

The body type does not matter in doing martial arts for fitness. If someone is severely obese they would need a doctor ok to do the programs.

Kid programs

All kids no matter body type can do martial arts. The best kid programs include Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Jiu-Jitsu and boxing. I know boxing is not really a martial art but it does teach kids how to punch which is helpful to protect them.

The discipline aspect is another reason for parents to put their kids into a martial arts program. Classes really help kids focus and help with many aspects of life.

Martial arts for self-defense

The best martial art for self-defense is Jiu-Jitsu. Jiu-Jitsu allows you as a weaker or smaller opponent to subdue a bigger opponent. This, in my opinion, is the best training for kids, women, and men. I had my son do it from the age of 7 years old to 10 years old. It gave him a lot of self-confidence and he was in great shape. Jiu-Jitsu is like riding a bike once you train in it for several years you never forget the moves and can easily still subdue a bully long after training has stopped.

Jiu-Jitsu is really good for all body types big, tall, skinny or heavy. Here are some other martial arts I think will work for all body type and is good to learn self-defense.

  • Krav Maga

  • Jeet Kune Do

  • MMA

  • Muay Thai

There are probably more of them that are effective but these are the most known worldwide.

Martial arts for fighting in the ring

You have probably heard of the octagon in the UFC. To learn how to fight in the ring as an amateur or pro fighter you need to learn MMA. Mixed Martial Art is a combination of fighting styles that when put together is hard to beat.

The body type for MMA fighting should be very athletic and able to take a punch. You should not go into MMA training if you are not physically able. This is a very tough and brutal sport.

You can also do other martial arts like kickboxing and Muay Thai which both disciplines have amateur and pro fights. They have different rules than the UFC does but it is a fight in a ring. You would also need to have an athletic body type to do both of these fighting systems.

Do things no one else can

I use to like Bruce Lee movies and it amazed me how he moved. His speed in fighting was amazing. I always wanted to move and fight like Bruce Lee. It was that ability to do what most people cannot do that attracted me to martial arts training.

I feel anyone can take whatever body God gave them and train it to be better plus faster. The body type does not matter when you are working at a goal of just getting better at your art every day. We cannot be Bruce Lee’s but we can get better by training hard.  

You love martial arts

You tried it as a kid, teenager or adult and you just fell in love with it. I have liked martial arts and the old martial arts movies since I was a kid. If you love something and you want to do it then your body type would not matter.

Parents make you do it

Parents will make their kids take martial arts to toughen you up or provide discipline. I have really heard some moms tell me they hope it toughens their boy up. I don’t agree with that in the way they make the statement. Parents should have kids do it to become more confident, stronger, disciplined and respectful.

All kids no matter body type can enroll in the kid’s programs at any martial arts school. Almost all schools really make their money on the kid’s programs. They create training programs that will help boost the child’s confidence and abilities.

There are 3 main body types

  • Endomorph

  • Ectomorph

  • Mesomorph

Ectomorph – This is a thin person that struggles to gain weight. These people are not really good at storing fat or gaining muscle.

Ectomorph – This body type would have a medium bone structure with wide shoulders and a narrow waist. This group finds it easier to add muscle yet they do not store much fat.

Mesomorph – If you have this body type it will be easier to gain weight. You will have larger bone structure and it is tougher to build muscle but easy to store fat.

No matter your body type any martial arts below you will be able to do. The key is which one is right for you and your athletic ability. We are going to list some attributes that would be good to have but not set in stone.

  • Kenpo – Any body type can do Kenpo it is traditional martial arts which focuses on forms and kata.

  • Jeet Kune Do – Combative art and is more rigorous training which everyone can do but not everyone should do or would want to do it.

  • Wing Chun – Any body type can do Wing Chun it is a traditional martial art that focuses on drills for hand and feet combat.

  • Jiu-Jitsu – Any body type can do Jiu-Jitsu but this is a lot of rolling on the ground to submit opponents. Some people do not like the wrestling aspect and close-quarter fighting.

  • Krav Maga – Any body type but training can be rigorous. This is a self-defense type training so it is combative and that is not for everyone.

  • Aikido – Any body type can do Kenpo it is traditional martial arts which focuses on forms and kata.

  • MMA – Only people looking to fight in octagon matches or are skilled athletic fighters should do this type of training. The training is hard on the body especially training with high-end athletes.

  • Karate – Any body type can do karate it is traditional martial arts which focuses on forms and kata.

  • Taekwondo – Any body type can do Taekwondo it is traditional martial arts which focuses on forms and kata. This martial art does a lot of kicking.

  • Muay Thai – Athletic body type and training can be rigorous. This is a martial art that is used in Thailand to fight in the ring. This is a combative art and it would not be for everyone.

  • Tai Chi – Any body type can do Tai Chi it is traditional a martial arts which focus on set movements.

  • Judo – Athletic body type and training can be rigorous. You get thrown a lot in training so you need to be able to take falls and be thrown. This would not be for everyone.

There are many more martial arts that are out there in the world. We covered most of the more popular ones known. Your body type will be a factor in a few of them but most martial arts any body type would be able to do it. Which martial arts you choose really has more to do with what you are looking to get out of it. Once you know that picking the right one will be easier.