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5 Best Martial Arts for Women: Find Your Inner Warrior

Two women train in martial arts using a stick.

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Martial arts as a form of exercise, self-defence and a booster of self-confidence building have become increasingly popular over the years. In particular, women have embraced martial arts as a truly effective way to learn self-defence techniques. Helping improve their skills, along with physical and mental well-being.

We will discuss the best martial arts for women readily available today. Including the most effective ones along with self-defence classes for women. What is best suited for small women. We will also answer frequently asked questions.

A female teacher and student bow in the dojo.
A teacher and student bowing in the dojo

First, we will compare various martial arts and outline the factors to consider when making a decision. We will then provide a list of the best martial arts for women. Providing a comparison of various self-defence techniques that exist.

Additionally, we will examine the benefits of practising martial arts for small women. We will compare the most feminine, as well as list the best women’s martial arts for self-defence. Finally, we will answer some frequently asked questions, providing a summary of the very best.

So What are the Best Martial Arts for Women

Each martial art has its own unique benefits and drawbacks. And so it’s essential that you as an individual get a good overview of what would best suit you. Here are some of the most popular today are:

  • Karate: Karate is an excellent choice for women who want to improve their strength and cardiovascular health. Teaching very useful punching, kicking and blocking techniques is also very effective for self-defence.
  • Judo: Judo is a very good option for women who want to improve their coordination and flexibility. Focusing mainly on throws and grappling techniques.
  • Taekwondo: Taekwondo is a good self-defence option for women that helps develop their lower body strength. A high-intensity sport that involves a wide range of striking techniques.
  • Muay Thai: Originating in Thailand, Muay Thai is known around the world for its striking techniques. And is a great choice for women who want to improve their striking power, speed and agility.
A female taekwondo student sitting on the ground in the dojo.
A female Taekwondo student

There is a range of things which need to be taken into consideration before you settle on your martial art of choice. So consider these important factors before making your final decision:

  • Fitness level: Choose a martial art that suits your fitness level and goals.
  • Self-defence skills: Choose one that includes practical self-defence techniques.
  • Body type: Choose a martial art that suits your body type and size.
  • Age: Choosing one that is appropriate for your age and physical condition.

So with that knowledge in mind, we can now move on to some of my top recommendations. This selection is not exhaustive, but I feel offers a solid and practical representation of the technique that should be sought out. So here is a list of some of the best martial arts for women:

  • Krav Maga: Developed in Israel, Krav Maga is a self-defence system designed to be practical and easy to learn. And is effective for women of all ages and levels of fitness.
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Focusing particularly on leverage and technique as opposed to brute strength and is ideal for smaller women.
  • Kickboxing: Kickboxing is a great overall choice for women who want to improve their fitness level and coordination. Along with their all-important striking skills.
  • Boxing: Boxing can help improve cardiovascular health, hand-eye coordination, and self-defence skills.

Now we will discuss each of these in more detail, comparing their individual benefits and drawbacks.

Let’s Talk About Women’s Self-Defense

A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu student makes a purple belt tap to a choke.
A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu submission

As women are often targets of violence and harassment, self-defence is a very important skill to have. Learning self-defence can help women feel more confident and prepared in potentially dangerous situations. And is also a great way to stay fit and develop mental toughness.

When looking for the best self-defence classes for women you need to consider the quality of instruction. As well as the focus and purpose of the training itself. Whether they teach practical techniques and help to instil confidence in the skills you will learn.

Comparison of Various Self-Defense Techniques

Various self-defence techniques exist and each with its own strengths plus weaknesses. Some of the most popular techniques for women include:

  1. Krav Maga – A self-defence system developed for the Israeli military. Which emphasizes practical and effective techniques for real-world situations.
  2. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – While there are striking and self-defence aspects. This martial art mainly focuses on grappling and ground fighting. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu helps to teach women how to use leverage and technique in overcoming bigger opponents.
  3. Muay Thai – A combat sport that originated in Thailand, Muay Thai teaches women striking techniques using punches, kicks, knees, and elbows.
  4. Boxing – Boxing is a great way for women to improve their fitness and learn self-defence techniques using their hands.
  5. Taekwondo – A Korean martial art that mainly uses kicking techniques. Taekwondo can help women improve their balance, flexibility, and coordination. While at the same time learning some crucial self-defence skills.

Overall, the best technique is one you are most comfortable with. Can practice regularly to develop their skills.

The Best Martial Arts for Women’s Self-Defense

A female Muay Thai kickboxer hits the punching bag in the gym.
A female Muay Thai fighter

While all martial arts can provide self-defence skills, some are better suited for women. Here are some of those:

  • Developed by the Israeli military Krav Maga is mainly a self-defence system. It focuses on real-world scenarios, using a combination of strikes, kicks and other techniques. Teaching students how to defend themselves against attackers.
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: The main focus of BJJ is on grappling and ground fighting. Making it a great way for women to learn how to defend themselves in close-quarter situations.
  • Muay Thai: Muay Thai evolved from Thailand and involves strikes using fists, elbows, knees, and shins. It is a great way for women to improve their striking skills. And to learn how to defend themselves against often multiple attackers.

Some Martial Arts for Smaller Women

Martial arts can be especially beneficial for small women who may feel vulnerable in certain situations. Learning one can help them develop physical strength and confidence. As well as improving overall self-defence ability.

Some are more suitable for small women than others. Consider these options:

  • Krav Maga – Krav Maga is a self-defence system that emphasizes practical and effective techniques. Focusing on using leverage and technique, making it well-suited for smaller persons.
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – With a focus on grappling and ground fighting. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is ideal for smaller individuals who may need to use techniques to overcome bigger and stronger opponents.
  • Aikido – A Japanese martial art that uses an opponent’s energy against them, like a charging man. Aikido can be a great option for small women who may need to use an opponent’s size and strength against them.
  • Taekwondo – Taekwondo is a Korean art whose main focus is on kicking. Making it advantageous for smaller individuals who may not have as much upper body strength.

Benefits of Practicing Martial Arts for Small Women

Practising martial arts can provide many benefits for small women. While initially, it may seem like a tall order, excuse the pun. Eventually, you will grow to love and appreciate the value and practical experience and skills you gain. These include:

A young woman doing ground fighting with her partner.
A woman grapples on the mats
  1. Improved physical fitness – Martial arts can improve strength, flexibility, and overall fitness.
  2. Increased confidence – Learning self-defence techniques and becoming proficient can boost confidence and self-esteem.
  3. Self-defence skills – They can provide small women with effective self-defence skills to protect themselves in potentially dangerous situations.
  4. Mental strength – They can help develop mental strength, discipline, and focus, which can be beneficial in all areas of life.

Overall, small women can benefit greatly from practising martial arts. But it is crucial to choose one that suits their individual needs and preferences to ensure the best possible outcome.

Introduction to the More Feminine Martial Arts

Martial arts are a great way for women to build more confidence while learning important self-defence techniques. Women’s classes are becoming increasingly popular. Providing a safe and empowering environment for women to train in various forms of combat.

Some martial arts styles are more feminine than others. Here is a selection of the most well-known to choose from:

A couple trains martial arts on the beach.
A woman and man doing martial arts
  • Capoeira: This Brazilian martial art combines dance, music and acrobatics. And is a great way for women to improve their coordination and flexibility. While at the same time learning self-defence techniques.
  • Tai Chi: This Chinese martial art is often referred to as “moving meditation.” Involving slow and gentle movements that are suitable for all ages, sizes and fitness levels. Tai Chi is great for really great for improving balance, reducing stress and increasing overall well-being.
  • Kalaripayattu: This is an ancient Indian martial art that focuses on weapon-based combat. It involves a combination of strikes, kicks, grappling, and weapon training. Kalaripayattu is a great way for women to build strength and endurance while also learning important self-defence skills.

In Conclusion

Martial arts classes offer women a great way to improve their fitness and build their self-confidence. While also learning all important self-defence methods which might save your life. Whether you choose a feminine style like Capoeira. Or a self-defence-focused martial art like Krav Maga.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many women are curious about martial arts but have questions about the best style for their needs. Here is some useful information for you to think about:

Is Krav Maga Actually Good for Women?

An excellent choice for women’s self-defence, Krav Maga was designed to be efficient in real-world situations. And its techniques are pretty straightforward and easy to learn.

Is Taekwondo Suitable for Girls?

Taekwondo is a good option for girls interested in martial arts. Which mainly focuses on kicking and striking techniques that can help in self-defence situations. It additionally emphasizes discipline, respect, and self-control. Which are all very valuable life skills.

Is Jiu-Jitsu a Good Choice for Small Women?

Jiu-Jitsu is an excellent choice for smaller women, with a focus on grappling and emphasizing technique over strength. It teaches leverage and joint locks that can be used to defend against larger opponents. However, it requires more time and dedication to master than some other martial arts.

Is Aikido a Good Option for Women?

Aikido is another martial art with an emphasis on technique vs brute force. Making it a very suitable option for women of all sizes. It uses joint locks, throws, and pins to subdue an opponent rather than striking. With a particular focus on harmony and non-aggression.

Was There a Martial Art Invented by a Woman?

Created by Morihei Ueshiba his wife Hatsu Ueshiba played a major role in its development. Who was then the first person to ever teach Aikido to women. Thereby helping to develop many of the skills and techniques we still see today.

Martial arts are an excellent way for women to develop both their confidence and self-defence skills. By understanding the various styles and techniques available they can choose the best martial art for their needs and goals.