Is MMA good for self-defense

Self-defense: the 5 most effective martial arts

The days are getting shorter and the dark time of the year begins. The remote paths, which seemed so idyllic in summer, now appear dark and terrifying. Learning a martial art can help you feel more confident. Every good martial arts teacher says the first thing: escape comes before fight. If it is possible, you should avoid confrontation so as not to endanger yourself - especially as a martial arts beginner. But in an emergency, it is helpful if you know how to defend yourself against attackers with self-defense techniques.

1. On course for confrontation: Krav Maga

The Israeli martial arts are taught in the army and in the Mossad foreign intelligence service and are probably the most effective way to deal with an attacking assailant. "Krav Maga" comes from Hebrew and means "contact struggle". And that is exactly what it is: It goes straight to the point and without any distance - in the face, between the legs, it doesn't matter. The main thing is that you do not succumb to your attacker. Because if you are in a threatening situation and have to defend yourself, it brings you many advantages if you know exactly how to react successfully to your opponent - if necessary with unfair moves. The adrenaline rush that you get when practicing this martial art not only promotes strength, flexibility and endurance, but also your ability to react.

The martial art includes many components of other martial arts, such as fistfighting, wrestling, kicks from karate and throwing, levering and ground fighting from jiu-jitsu. In addition, Krav Maga incorporates natural reflexes and reactions. This makes the Israeli martial arts relatively easy to learn. After half a year of training you have the basics so far that you are able to fend off an attacker and defend yourself. Even if he is armed. Because this martial art also includes disarming the attacker. This is exactly why the martial art Krav Maga is very popular with police and security services.

Self-defense with Krav Maga:

  • Difficulty level: easy, techniques for self-defense that can be learned relatively quickly
  • Distribution: clubs in many larger German cities
  • Suitable for: all genders and ages; no particularly high level of physical fitness required
  • Also trains the psyche: yes
  • Competitions: no
  • Martial arts associations: International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF), Krav Maga Global (KMG)

2. Almost everything is allowed: mixed martial arts

For some professionals, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) are the toughest martial arts in the world. If you use other martial arts for comparison, there may be some truth in it. The mixed martial art includes techniques from kickboxing, muay thai, boxing, wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. One of the few rules that apply is that attacks against the eyes, neck and genitals are not permitted, and the spine and back of the head must not be the target of blows. Biting is just as prohibited as tearing the opponent's nose or ears.
However, MMA training teaches you so many grips and techniques that you will hardly be missing these special methods. You will learn how to deal with armed attackers, you will be shown techniques with which you can free yourself from (strangle) holds, and techniques with which you can proceed against several opponents.

Self-defense with mixed martial arts:

  • Difficulty level: difficult, extensive techniques, not suitable for beginners in martial arts
  • Distribution: clubs in large cities such as Berlin, Munich or Frankfurt; Schools in many large German cities
  • Suitable for: high level of physical fitness required
  • Also trains the psyche: no
  • Competitions: yes
  • Martial arts associations: German Mixed Martial Arts Federation (GEMMAF)

3. Raw but effective: Keysi

"I'm Batman!" You could say that ... and at least be right in that you fight like Christian Bale in "Batman Begins". The fight scenes in the film should look raw but effective. That was the reason why they were choreographed according to the rules of the Keysi Fighting Method (KFM). The relatively young martial art is not yet so widespread. But it is extremely effective, so it should be on this list.
Keysi was developed by the Spaniard Justo Dieguez Serrano. The martial art applies exclusively to self-defense. You don't need to cram rules for this and you can concentrate fully on the methods and their internalization. The training teaches you punching and kicking techniques, defense against holds and dealing with armed opponents. Much emphasis is placed on the triad of body, mind and emotions in this martial arts. The body should work well as a vehicle. He doesn't need to be a muscle pack for that. The mind is geared towards further development and you have to be able to guide your emotions correctly in order not to freeze in a real attack situation. In martial arts training, realistic situations are usually created in order to prepare you for an attack.

Self-defense with Keysi:

  • Difficulty level: medium, aims at mastering the body, mind and emotions
  • Distribution: only a few schools in Germany, for example in Hamburg or Augsburg
  • Suitable for: all genders and ages; no particularly high level of physical fitness required
  • Also trains the psyche: yes
  • Competitions: no
  • Martial Arts Associations: Keysi Fighting Method

4. Individual self-defense according to Bruce Lee: Jeet Kune Do

As early as the 1960s, martial arts master Bruce Lee Jeet developed Kune Do - a hybrid technique. This martial art is not static, but continues to develop. It should serve for the most effective self-defense possible. The name is mostly translated as "the way of the caught fist". That sums it up: you stop the attack before it reaches you.

At first Bruce Lee combined influences from boxing, Wing Chun and fencing in Jeet Kune Do. In the meantime, however, numerous other techniques have been integrated that come from Judo and Karate, from Kung-Fu, Kickboxing, Taekwondo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, to name just a few. In fact, the goal is to develop an individual style of self-defense. The training gives you the basics for this. The fighting techniques should be as simple and short as possible so that you can use them for self-defense even in a moment of surprise. In doing so, you omit all unnecessary movements that other classic martial arts usually involve.

Self-defense with Jeet Kune Do:

  • Difficulty level: difficult, the aim is to develop your own self-defense style
  • Distribution: schools in many larger German cities
  • Suitable for: all genders and ages, physical fitness beneficial
  • Also trains the psyche: yes
  • Competitions: no
  • Martial Arts Associations: -

5. Reflexive self-defense without thinking: Wing Tsun

Wing Tsun helps you to recognize dangerous situations early and to apply de-escalation techniques. In this way, some situations can be defused without any physical effort. Isn't that enough and your attacker is physically superior to you? Then you definitely need a technique that compensates for this disadvantage in order to be able to defend yourself. The best martial art for such a situation is perhaps Wing Tsun: It is designed to bring you to a successful end to a fight as quickly as possible. On the one hand, you will be taught the appropriate punching and kicking techniques, but on the other hand, you will also learn to read the body language of your counterpart: What is he up to, where are his weak points?

It is particularly important that you land the most efficient hits possible with as little energy and effort as possible. Your individual limbs act independently of each other, for which your coordination skills are trained. The aim of the training is to make the right reactions to a threat happen reflexively so that you can defend yourself without thinking about every step.

Self-defense with Wing Tsun:

  • Difficulty level: easy, movements and techniques are easy to learn, no previous knowledge required
  • Distribution: clubs in many larger German cities
  • Suitable for: all genders and ages; no particularly high level of physical fitness required
  • Also trains the psyche: yes
  • Competitions: no
  • Martial arts associations: Wing Chun Association Germany (WCVD), European Wing Chun Organization (EWCO)