An age-old question that plagues all martial artists once in their life is what is the best martial art? The answer to this question has many answers. Some will say the art that they train in is the best to them. As an example, a lifelong Brazilian ju jitsu practitioner may have the view that their art is superior to other arts.

The true answer to this question is that all arts have their advantages and disadvantages. It all depends on what we would like to achieve from training in an art and the why. So if I am looking to learn self defence and I go to a sports style karate club is this the best art for my objective? Probably not. If my objective is to learn stand up striking is Brazilian Ju-Jitsu the best art to learn? Again probably not. So when a martial artist states that one art is better than another or is more superior than another you must look at the context or how is it more superior? So if I want to learn about the art of kicking its best to look towards a taekwondo club. If I wish to learn about ground fighting, then Brazilian Ju Jitsu would be best.

Another factor determining the best art is looking at your own build, strength and weaknesses. So if I am light footed and generally a slim athletic built person and I am looking for a karate style then I would personally suggest a Shotokan karate club due to the explosive, in and out fast style of their teachings. Someone who is heavier and stockier built may benefit from a grappling art such as Judo or even Goju Ryu karate. These are simply basic examples and recommendations, and it is all an individuals choice and right to chose a style that they feel suits them. There is an old saying “don’t hammer square pegs into round holes”. This can relate to choosing an art in the sense that are you trying to fit yourself to the art or style or are you looking for the one that suits both you and your needs?

All martial arts have both strengths and weaknesses. So lets take sports Karate, advantages include development of focus, speed and timing. However its weaknesses it trains the practitioners to strike unrealistic or even dangerous targets in a self defence environment. Also sports karate does not usually teach any soft skills of self defence. As with all sporting styles they all have rules and this limits what you are taught and conditioned for.

So when looking for the best art look at what you would like to achieve, look at your physical build, your strengths and weaknesses and then decide which is the best martial art rather than asking the age old question of which is the better or more superior art overall.