What are the Most Effective Martial Arts for a Street Fight

No matter what your background is, nowadays, it is important to be safe and know how to defend yourself. Although street fighting is different than self-defense sometimes, self-defense is very important to women and men alike in our society because of the many horrific events occurring in our daily lives.

You don’t need to take one of these martial arts your whole life to be successful and capable of defending yourself.

What is the most effective martial art in a street fight? We pick Jiu-Jitsu as the number one martial art to learn to fight and defend yourself. You will see below we run down the top 7 martial arts we think are the best for defending your self in a fight or stopping an attacker.

The key is to find which one best suits your body type and natural ability so this is just a list of what we think but you have to ultimately decide. You can also check out the training we provide which covers many of the martial arts listed below so check out the join us page. Many of these martial arts you can defend yourself in a street fight effectively with only a few months of training. Here are the 7 top martial arts to learn how to a street fight.

#7 Muay Thai

This is the main combat sport that began at the same time as kickboxing. Muay Thai originated can also be called “Thai Boxing”. This is another style of street fighting that has to do with military defense. It was actually created after a similar type of fighting was used in actual combat and war.

Many people often see a large similarity in Muay Thai and boxing. Although they are similar, they are not the same. You can use punching, elbowing, kicking, kneeing, and wrestling in this combat. This specific kind of fighting takes a lot of conditioning and is not necessarily very easy to catch onto.  This is always a good combat technique to have under your belt, and it is one of the best for street fighting simply because of its brutality.

#6 Krav Maga

This is a well-known fighting system for self-defense in the military. It combines wrestling, boxing, judo, karate, and other forms of martial arts. It is known for being realistic fight training. It is basically meant for real-life and real-world situations and is very efficient.

Krav Maga was actually based off-street fighting from a well-known martial artist, Imi Lichtenfeld. This really focuses on channeling your inner anger to be a good street fighter. There are several military bases that teach this fighting style internationally and there are many different forces that use this currently in Israel. You can easily take lessons specifically on Krav Maga and you can also easily learn it from online lessons.

#5 Jeet Kune Do

This is a non-classical martial art that heavily focuses on the philosophy and experiences of Bruce Lee. This is not set on a fixed outline, it does not necessarily have any rules or patterns, it is completely guided by thought and perception.

Fighters of this martial art believe that to succeed the most and have the maximum effect, you want to have the least movement as possible. You do not want your opponent to know what is coming next, instead, you want to focus on attacking while your opponent is about to attack.

This would be good in street fighting because you could overcome someone who may be stronger or bigger than you simply intercepting their attack. Bruce Lee believed that this form of martial art was “dry land swimming” and that a good fighter should “be like water”.

# 4 (Mixed Martial Arts) MMA

This is a full-contact sport that basically mixes many techniques from all martial arts. The first MMA league was actually created in the United States. MMA is also not just currently based on men, there is also women MMA. So, no matter what your gender is, you are capable of street fighting and self-defense, don’t let that stop you.

There are not nearly as many rules and guidelines in MMA as some other martial arts. You can use all strikes in this combat driven sport. You can’t hit the groin, take out the knee, eye gouge hit the back of the neck and there are a few other rules for safety.

This is definitely a deadly street fighting art just look at MMA fighters where someone stupidly picked a fight with them on YouTube. The fights do not last long.

To learn more about training in MMA you can check out our free training videos or go to our join page to see how you can train at home in self-defense.

The video below shows you why you do not get into a street fight with an MMA fighter

The beginning of MMA had all types of martial artists of with different techniques and backgrounds fight against each other with barely any rules at all. MMA is great training for street fighting because it is a mixture of some of the top martial art techniques in the world.

#3 Judo

Judo is currently an Olympic sport. It is very modern and super competitive. This martial art focuses on getting your opponent to the ground, pinning, and putting your opponent in either a joint lock or a choke. It definitely focuses on your strength and can be very dangerous.

Judo also focuses on the mental part of martial arts as well. Judo has made a huge impact on MMA as I mentioned earlier as well. This could be great martial art to use in street fighting because you would learn how to successfully get your opponent to the ground.

#2 Boxing

Usually boxing would consist of two opponents wearing gloves, however, this may go a little different in street fighting. Boxing consists of throwing punches at each other. This is also an Olympic sport and actually has its own championships.

There is currently amateur and professional boxing. It is basically fist fighting. More than likely if this was the source of fighting used in a street fight, it would end up turning into a fistfight. However, boxing can be very damaging to your body and can cause serious injuries especially if no protective gloves are being used. It is very abusive to your body.

#1 Jiu-Jitsu / Grappling

Jiu-Jitsu is known as ground fighting. It originated in Brazil and is a combat sport. Jiu-Jitsu Is similar to Judo because it was created based off of Judo. The creator of the Ultimate Fighting Championship was created by a man who had been around the practicing of Jiu-Jitsu.

BJJ fighter Royce Gracie was the first UFC champion who used this fighting style. This is a very good skill and technique for someone who may be smaller or weaker than their opponent because it uses skills that do not depend on size and strength. This can be very useful in combat or street fighting.

This is the martial art I recommend people start with when looking for training in self-defense. You can learn the basic techniques in a quick amount of time that can be used in a fight or to defend yourself. This is also one of the few martial arts where a smaller more skilled Jiu-Jitsu fighter can beat a bigger opponent.

Grappling is used in some of the broader martial arts above, but as a specific martial art category, it is definitely going to be the most useful in a street fight. Grappling is always used in physical combat to take physical advantage of your opponent or get into a better position to defeat your opponent.

Jiu-Jitsu is well known for being used in MMA, hand- to – hand combat, and self-defense. There are several types of grappling including clinching, takedowns, throws, sprawling, and many more. You can use stand up grappling which is when you start fighting from a stand-up position. However, if you do not fight well standing up, you can take your opponent to the ground.

This is the best street fighting martial art because if you are up against a more skilled fighter, it allows you to use defensive positions from the ground to guard against an attack. Jiu-jitsu allows for controlling and defeating your opponent without severely injuring them. Many policemen or guards get trained in grappling because they take down the bad guys without hurting them too badly.


Overall, there are many good martial arts that you can train in to use in a street fight. There are many martial arts and you need to pick the one that is best for you. It is important to make sure that you take into account your weight, height, strength, and background with whatever martial art you choose. You also want to make sure that you can successfully win while doing the least amount of harm to the other person, which is why we like Jiu-jitsu.

You also want to account for what you are going to do if you start doing badly in the fight. You need to know how to recover or you will never be successful. This is yet another reason why Jiu-jitsu is number one on this list because there are so many ways to recover when you are in a fight using Jiu-jitsu.  It is also important to remember that self-defense and street fighting can be done successfully by any gender or race.

If you work hard and practice the technique you are capable of being a street fighter or defending yourself. Focus on using your best physical strengths and your best mental strengths to take down your opponent and come out on top. Mental strengths such as controlling your fear can be just as important as physical strengths when it comes to martial arts.

To learn more about the most popular martial arts in the world check out our article on which martial art is the most popular in the world.