To some people, starting a martial arts program may sound crazy. I mean, who wants to spend their time in a gym swinging their arms and legs around? But martial arts is far more than that. And if nothing else, it’s still a great form of exercise for people of all ages. However, once you start training in a martial arts form of your choosing, you will likely find that there are a lot of things to love about it. You’ll get to meet great likeminded people, discipline your body and your mind, and learn an awesome new skill. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular martial arts forms in the United States and discuss some of their similarities and differences so that you pick the one that’s right for you.

Wing Chun Kung Fu

Wing Chun Kung Fu had its start in southern China around 300 years ago. It’s focused on balance and can even involve relaxation techniques that can be used to keep the body in great performing shape. One of the main principles taught in Wing Chun Kung Fu idea of an invisible line through the center of the body. This helps you understand balance better and allows you to develop moves more quickly. Wing Chun Kung Fu is a close-combat system, so be prepared to get up close and personal.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

If you’ve ever watched a UFC tournament, then you know what Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It’s based on Judo and started to get popular during the earlier years of UFC. BJJ is a unique martial art in that it involves ground-based grappling techniques. This form is called “rolling” for obvious reasons and is usually enjoyed as a sport rather than a form of self-defense although it can be used to help you learn other martial art forms that are more suited for that purpose.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga means battle contact in Hebrew. It is a martial art form that was started by the Israeli Defense Force, intended to be used in real combat situations. As such, it involves training on how to disarm an opponent. Naturally, this is a great martial art to practice if you’re interested in real-life self-defense techniques.

Tae Kwon Do

Starting in Korea, this martial art includes punches, kicks and throws. It’s one of the most popular forms to study and is even broadcasted during the summer Olympics. Tae Kwon Do involves a lot of different drills from cardiovascular exercises to relaxation techniques and more. And the great part is, due to its popularity, you won’t have any trouble finding a gym that will train you. It’s also a great technique for self-defense.

Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts or MMA involves striking, finishing holds, and control as its main tactics. It’s a sport with a lot of different nuances and generally speaking, is very inclusive and it’s a great sport for just about any age level. Since it teaches fighters to handle a lot of different situations, it can be a good self-defense technique. Additionally, it’s made popular through the UFC which is broadcasted throughout the country.


Kickboxing is somewhat of a blanket term that includes a lot of martial art forms with kicking and punching. One of the most popular forms of kickboxing is Muay Thai which sets itself apart in several ways. Starting in Thailand over a century ago, it includes a lot of knee and elbow strikes and clinch which is a type of stand-up grappling. Muay Thai will require a lot of flexibility, endurance, and core strength, so you can expect to work on these often to start winning competitions.

These are just a few of the many martial art forms out there. As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, martial arts is a great way to get in shape, meet some awesome people, and learn new techniques that you never thought were possible. Naturally, not every form of martial arts is created equal, so it’s important to research each one a bit to learn which one is right for you. Forms like Krav Maga were specifically designed for self-defense training whereas Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA are more popular as sports. If you have any questions or you’re ready to start martial arts training, contact Brooklyn Martial Arts.