Which Martial Arts Style Should You Learn?

By: Torrance Grey
Image: Shahril KHMD / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Why should you practice a martial art? It might surprise you to know that many practitioners do not list "self-defense" as the reason they put on a gi or lace up boxing gloves. Instead, many people turn to martial arts as an interesting alternative to putting in hours at the gym, on the treadmill or lifting weights. Martial arts challenge the body, but they can also tame the mind. Some have an explicitly meditative aspect, but all fight disciplines require focus and single-mindedness.  

Different fight styles, and schools, offer different benefits. Some schools might encourage, or even require, sparring, and see their sport as a viable self-defense method. Others consider their style more like a historical art form, and do not stress sparring or self-defense training. Some martial arts use weapons — sticks, staffs or swords — while others use nothing but the practitioner's body as a weapon. (The translation of the word "karate," as you might know, is "empty hand.") 

What kind of fighting should you learn? That depends on you! Does the idea of an ancient discipline appeal to you, or are you more drawn to something modern and more practical? Are you willing to fight on the ground (or mat), or are you more of a stand-up striker? If you're not sure, we've got a quiz that'll help you figure it out. Settle in and try our quiz now!

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