For centuries people have been seeking out knowledge of hand to hand combat. Different parts of the world have developed their own methods and styles of fighting. There’s a constant debate in the martial arts world about which disciplines are the most effective for self-defense. With the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) broadcasting events almost every Saturday night and Bellator MMA almost every Friday evening, many forget that mixed martial arts wasn’t always viewed as a mainstream sport.

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Poughkeepsie martial artists practicing at Precision Boxing and MMA

The UFC was initially started as a project to help determine the most effective form of martial arts. The idea was to have practitioners of different martial disciplines fight one another and see who came out on top. As people saw the dominance of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters such as the legendary Royce Gracie, many martial artists began studying submission defense. Wrestlers who learned to defend against the Brazilians chokes and joint locks became the next wave of dominant fighters.

Brian Teaching Grappling BJJ
Coach Brian McLaughlin at Precision Boxing and MMA specializes in ground and pound, submissions and grappling for mixed martial arts

Since then, many different champions have highlighted how effective their techniques can be. We’ve seen kickboxers such as Israel Adesanya come into mixed martial arts and become a dominant force. Adesanya has spoken about implementing a tremendous amount of grappling into his training to be able to achieve the success that he’s had in the past few years.

UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya

By this point in the development of mixed martial arts, it’s become clear that each athlete must devote time to multiple disciplines in order to keep up with modern competition. For a professional athlete that may be acceptable, but dedicating multiple hours a day to training striking and grappling may not be feasible for the average person. So which martial art is the most effective for personal self-defense?

Police officers can use Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to maintain the physical safety of themselves and the apprehended suspect

Each individual may find a different answer to that question. Although it’s a good idea to have knowledge of both grappling and striking, the key is consistency. Whichever martial art you choose to practice, make sure that you’re enjoying yourself! The only way to gain skill is to train consistently, and the only way to train consistently is if you look forward to training. Some people fall in love with a stand up art such as boxing or Muay Thai. Some have been training karate since childhood and made it an integral part of their lives. Others took up wrestling from a young age and then decided to study striking to develop a more complete combat system. If you’re willing to commit many days a week to training martial arts, it’s a good idea to train both grappling and striking. For example some choose to specialize in striking but spend a couple days a week practicing their takedown defense with skilled wrestlers in order to better implement their striking game against higher level fighters. Some people have careers that can determine which discipline may be best for them. Many who work in law enforcement train wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to assist them in safely apprehending suspects without having to strike them or use weapons.

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In short, the best martial art for self-defense is whatever discipline that you enjoy enough to train frequently. If you live in the Hudson Valley and want to learn to defend yourself, look no further than Precision Boxing and MMA. Being the Hudson Valleys largest martial arts academy, Precision offers classes seven days a week including boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, self defense and wrestling. Give Precision a call at (845)392-8495 or click HERE!

About the Author:

Oliver Swanson is a lifelong Hudson Valley resident. He is a dedicated martial artist who teaches boxing classes throughout the week at Precision Boxing and MMA. In his free time, he practices yoga, spends time in nature and enjoy writing about mixed martial arts.