Top 10 Best Striking Martial Arts in 2021

Striking is a phrase used in martial arts to describe stand-up combat, that includes everything that is not wrestling. Attacking rather than karate or Muay Thai; better describes what they perform on their feet.

Since MMA athletes aim to blend many of the ultimate striking tactics from many martial arts, striking is frequently used in the sport.

1. Muay Thai

Muay Thai is often called Thai Boxing, and it is Thailand’s national cultural and sports martial art. It was created hundreds of years ago as a style of close-combat in which the entire body is used as a weapon.

Punches and kicks are authorized with the use of elbows, knees, and pushing, holding, and tossing (without using locks) according to the rules, which sets it apart from other related games (K1, kickboxing). Such restrictions necessitate a high level of stamina and polyvalence in the way warriors fight. Since the workload in bouts is so tremendous, the top participants in this sport have earned the moniker “fighting superman.”

Unlike Kickboxing, traditional Muay Thai as performed in Thailand normally consists of five rounds, with combatants using the first two rounds to “examine” each other before the true fighting begins in round three. Of course, this is primarily restricted in Oriental Muay Thai; European Muay Thai practitioners usually begin attacking from the beginning.

Muay Thai strikes are usually powerful and come from the ground, and the player’s leg does not flex while kicking. Muay Thai is a discipline that necessitates patience. As a result, a player’s footwork must be adjusted to attentively observe the enemy’s activity to attack at the correct time.

Muay Thai is the ultimate striking martial art you can learn, in our opinion. It’s a full-body standup routine that trains you for using your full body as a weapon. It is the most efficient striking style for both self-defense and fighting in MMA. 

Muay Thai athletes can inflict significant harm with punches, kicks, punches, and devastating knees-elbows in the clutch. A knee or elbow to the face of a rival can result in KOs, major cuts, and excessive bleeding. As a result, Muay Thai is frequently seen as a cruel martial art and a difficult sport to engage in.

Muay Thai strikes are typically strong and come from the ground, with the player’s leg not flexing while striking. Thai boxers also know about using numerous trips and smash from the clutch to knock down their opponents. For self-defense, knowing how to fight in the clinch with elbows and knees and completing a throw is critical.

To be honest, Muay Thai training is difficult and often brutal. According to legend, Thai boxers in Thailand run ten miles merely to warm it up! Even if it seems strange, you never see a Muay Thai fighter pass out during a battle. 

Kickboxers focus more on kicks and leg tactics, whereas Muay Thai fighters rely less on hand skills. Even though kickboxing and Muay Thai are comparable combat arts, they are very distinct in the eyes of well-known practitioners. Muay Thai is the best striking martial art in the world, but it has a serious competitor in the form of kickboxing.

Also read: Best Hand-To-Hand Combat Style

2. Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a mixed martial art that combines karate and punching into a single fighting style. It comes in a variety of forms, each with its own set of regulations, such as full-contact, sub, low kicks, or K-1. However, don’t be fooled by this. Almost any kickboxing facility will train you how to employ kicks and punches to their maximum potential.

Kickboxing is a modernized martial art that encompasses a variety of sports and disciplines, including semi-contact, light contact, kick light, full contact, low kick, K-1, Thai kickboxing (which follows the same regulations as Thai boxing), Musical Forms, and Aero-kickboxing.

Matches for the world and European pro championships are held in semi and light contact, except for disciplines where knockouts are permitted.

Kickboxing was developed from Kung Fu, karate, taekwondo, boxing, and other well-known eastern and western martial arts. K-1 is the most popular style, as it lets participants use kicks in between the waist, punches, and knees in the clutch.

Fights are usually 3–5 rounds lengthy, with each round lasting 3 minutes. With the establishment of “K-1,” a Japanese corporation that marketed kickboxing contests, the popularity of this discipline skyrocketed.

The training is quite good, with emphasis on both punching and kicking. You’ll spend lots of time training, boxing or stomping rounds, and combining these two techniques. A cardio workout, which might be exhausting, should be done weekly, and you should not consume much before it.

Every fighter’s main goal is to outsmart his rival with superior technique, strength and speed, and while maintaining maximum tolerance, honesty, security, and honour.

In a nutshell, Kickboxing is a European sport that provides a distinct response to a variety of Eastern combat arts.

Kickboxing is a general term for a range of stand-up fighting sports that involve punching and kicking.

Even though kickboxing is not as effective as boxing in terms of hand hitting, it does contain boxing in its title for a reason: it heavily relies on boxing ability.

Kickboxers could fight alone in boxing combat, whereas the biggest and most successful striking martial-art in the world relies more on kicks and leg tactics than kickboxers. Kickboxing also employs greater punch combinations, including more headwork (as does boxing), and has movement that is more akin to traditional boxing.

Kickboxing kicks typically rely on twisting and retreating the foot just after kick rather than using kicks. Kick boxers prefer to start strong and aggressively from the first ring (or street battle), and the tempo lowers as the rounds (fights) progress due to the fighters’ declining energy levels.

3. Boxing

Boxing is among the most ancient and well-known hitting martial arts, with a history for being extremely effective. This is because boxing skills may be used in any form of battle versus any other technique. You also can count on the boxing abilities you gained in the gym, whether it’s a fight in the ring or on the streets.

Boxing is a combat sport in which competitors with similar body weights pound each other with cushioned fists. The battle begins in a gated rectangular ring and is divided into three to fifteen rounds of three minutes each. The purpose of the battle is to hit the competitor on the parts of the body above the belt (head, torso) as many times as possible while avoiding the player’s punches.

It can be won by knockdown, which occurs when an opposing player is thrown to the ground and fails to rise within ten seconds, or by technical knockout (TKO mark), which occurs when one fighter lacks the strength to continue the fight, or when the champion is determined either by the delegate.

Boxing can be done in a variety of ways. Sitting in a gap with the arms at shoulder height and fist in front of the head as shielding is the fundamental boxing posture. A guard is a term for this type of hand arrangement.

Uppercuts (kick from the ground up, commonly in the rival’s chin) are one form of punch, based on direct, crochet, quasi, and so on.

Fighters take varied postures during a battle depending on their fighting styles. For example, distance combat occurs when fighters are at arm’s length or more apart, and clenching occurs when fighters are close to each other. The fighter selects the most efficient blows and defense strategies based on his or her location.

The use of the legs is also vital in boxing techniques, as it allows the combatant to quickly move to a more advantageous position while dodging is the defensive skill of evading strikes. Nevertheless, every boxer’s foundation must first and foremost be the speed and power of his hand punches that he can direct at his opponent.

Boxing is by far the best and most effective hand striking style in the world, but because it does not employ legs, it cannot be ranked higher on this list of the best striking martial arts in the globe. 

Also read: UFC Referees Salary

4. Taekwondo

Taekwondo is a Korean combat sport that dates back to the 1940s and was created by merging several abilities that were popular. Its name is derived from the Korean words Tae, which indicates kick, Kwon, which means hand strike, and Do, which means hit.

Taekwondo is a striking combat sport practiced by approximately 100 million people throughout the world. Even though it may appear irrational, there are compelling reasons why Taekwondo schools can be found in almost every town on the planet. We’re not sure if any other skill will help you improve your kicking abilities.

Taekwondo instruction began with traditional postures, blocks, and punches, much like the original Japanese karate-do method. Traditional techniques are no longer given much attention, and they have been largely supplanted in most schools by exercises including constant stretching, jumping, movement, with objects or light bags, and using focusers.

Taekwondo focuses a lot on striking training, as you can see from its training, so it’s right up there with the best and most effective striking techniques in the world.

Fast, wild, and forceful kicks are a speciality of Taekwondo fighters. Their footwork and kicks are lightning-fast, which is why they are so fascinating to watch in MMA.

Taekwondo produced some of the best K-1 and MMA fighters, who frequently used its weapon. Former UFC champions Anthony Pettis, Bas Rutten, and Rose Namajunas are among the most well-known personalities.

Taekwondo practice is both challenging and enjoyable. Respectful behaviour and rigorous discipline are expected in class. The majority of the time was spent learning numerous punches, kicks, and blocks. When you’re done, you can put your talents to the test by sparring with a partner, that’s always exciting.

5. Karate

Karate is a well-known martial art that employs all of the body’s muscles in fighting. Individual attacks, blocks, postures, and other elements are learned in the fundamental technique. Kata is a unique collection of motions that are specified (strikes, stances, and blocks). Fights (Kumite) can be unrestricted or sanctioned (agree on which blow will be performed, and which block will block that blow).

Kumite (fighting) is a component of karate practice that includes punches, kicks, punches and throws. There are several types of fighting in karate, including Ippon-Kumite (agreed fighting), Jiyu Kumite (freestyle fighting), and Sport Kumite. 

Karate is a striking martial art that originated in the Okinawa Islands off the coast of Japan. It works well because it trains you how to strike with all of your limbs as a weapon. Karate may be the most beneficial traditional martial art, and it provides a fantastic foundation if you wish to switch to MMA later.

In various Japanese martial arts, the phrase Kokoro is used. In Japanese, Kokoro refers to the spirit, sentiment, heart, or foundation of everything. Not only are techniques crucial in karate practice, but so is how you treat people. Karate is not only a martial art that teaches you how to use your body, but it is also a martial art that teaches you how to utilise your mind.

Karate comes in a variety of styles, and not all of them are equally efficient as a striking method. Some people are more concerned with katas and agreed-upon sparring sessions, while others are more concerned with fighting. Karate remains one of the strongest striking martial arts in the world, but it is no longer at the top.

Also read: Mixed Martial Arts in the Olympics

6. Kung Fu

Kung fu is a martial art that is both a type of exercise with a spirit world derived from focus and soul and a mostly unarmed technique of personal fighting commonly compared with karate or taekwondo. The phrase kung fu can also refer to the thorough preparation of any skilful endeavour without the use of one’s brain or feelings.

Chinese martial arts are referred to as kung fu. Quan Fa is the original name.

Wai Jia, or “hard” Kung Fu, is a type of “external” Kung Fu. Shaolin, Tang Lang, Five Ancestors (Wu Ching), Li (Li Gar) Family Style, Cha Quan, and other styles are examples. Typically called after a creature, location, or family that becomes well-known for their fashion sense.

“Interior” or “soft” styles are known as Nei Jia. Bagua Zang, Tai Chi Chuan, and Xing Yi Quan are the most well-known. Ba Ji and Yi Quan are two lesser-known systems (boxing intentions, also called Da Cheng Quan). They’re frequently termed by complex philosophical beliefs, dubious combat values, and a wave of commercialization and New Ageism that brought them to the west.

Kung Fu is a fantastic martial art for speed and accuracy, but it lacks the effectiveness and strength of some of the other disciplines on this list when it comes to striking methods. There are several different types of Kung Fu, but they always have the same goal: to strike your opponent with breakneck speed and unstoppable power, making it among the toughest martial arts.

Also read: How to Become a Professional Boxer?

7. Krav Maga

Krav Maga is just an Israeli fighting technique that is widely used in the army, police, and other law enforcement agencies to defend against unarmed and armed attacks. It performed admirably on the field and was named after its originator, Imrich Sde-Ora. For almost fifteen years, Eyal Yanilov has served as the founder’s right hand and now runs the Global Krav Maga Association.

Krav Maga has been around since the creation of Israel in 1948, although the originator himself taught many people shortly after his exodus from Bratislava to what was then Palestine in 1940, just before the Nazis arrived. We would have been abandoned without one useful and efficient martial art if he hadn’t deserted.

A practical fighting approach that teaches how to prevent, resist, and respond to any form of violence or attack. Krav Maga teaches self-defense, martial arts, and combat abilities, as well as how to protect others, in a unique and simple method. Yet, in a setting where defeat would be fatal, the core principle of training and coaching is a “he or I” dilemma.

As already said, Krav Maga is an incredible and world-class martial art for self-defense, martial quarters, and practical surveillance. The goal of Krav Maga is to cause as much harm as possible in as little time as possible while still defending yourself, thus you’ll be drilling explosive combos, maybe starting with a block, to defuse the situation and flee.

That would undoubtedly aid you in the situations for which Krav Maga was designed, but we do not consider it to be the best striking martial art in the world.

8. Sambo

Sambo, unarmed self-defense and striking martial art, evolved in the Soviet Union, where it was used by elite groups. Sambo, a hybrid of Thai boxing, judo, kickboxing, and boxing, gained popularity around the world in the 1990s. Sambo was first taught by Red Army soldiers and government agents, but as crime increased, security guards and private bodyguards began to teach it, adding certain novelties such as batons, knives, and other weapons.

Sambo is a multi-disciplined martial art. Since competitors compete without punches, sports sambo is similar to judo. Sambo for self-defense is based on jiu-jitsu and aikido, and it can be used in sports.

Combat sambo is a much more difficult discipline aimed largely at the police and military, in which practically everything is permitted, including elbow, head, and knee hits. Special sambo is a type of martial sambo in which the methods are kept hidden from non-specialists.

In the United States, freestyle sambo has evolved as a civilian version that is not taught in traditional sports groups. Fighting and Special Sambo are deserving of a place on our list of the world’s deadliest striking martial arts.

Also read: Least Violent Martial Arts

9. Brazilian jiu-jitsu

BJJ is a grappling and ground fighting martial art that focuses on acquiring a strong position and forcing the rival to surrender using joint locks and choking.

The style evolved from a modified version of Judo practiced before WWII, which included certain classical Jujutsu techniques and a concentration on non-Waza (floor techniques).

It promotes the idea that a smaller, weaker individual may successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using balance and technique.

Self-defence, sports combat contests, and mixed martial arts can all benefit from BJJ training (MMA). Sparring with a partner is a key part of training.

It can be a lethal martial art, and it is especially beneficial to smaller people, but it all depends on the circumstances in which it is applied.

Also read: Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Worth?

10. Silat

Silat is a name that refers to a group of traditional martial arts from Southeast Asia’s Nusantara and neighboring geocultural zones. It is originally practiced in Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Southern Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam, where the Malayo-Sumbawan and Javanese-speaking peoples call home.

There are hundreds of various styles and schools that emphasize attacks, joint control, weaponry, or a mix of those things. Silat differs from most martial arts in that, unlike others that emphasize spirituality or self-perfection, Silat focuses solely on violence, making it one of the world’s deadliest martial arts.

Its combat strategy focuses on exploiting your opponent’s flaws and immobilizing them as rapidly as possible.

Silat is solely focused on inflicting pain. The style is distinguished by a rapid attack in which it is critical to immediately approach the rival, crack him in 10 seconds, and then strike him out with a powerful punch to the throat, face, or kidney. There was no respect, no fame, just nasty punches and exploiting flaws.

They even promote crotch punches. In the testicles, to be precise. All pupils learning this talent must taste what it’s like to have a row of bricks put on their ribs broken or to have to bend metal bars around their neck.

Silat also uses the word “Kri or Keris” which means “dagger.” A curved knife is used to stab an attacker into soft body regions swiftly. Yes, they normally place one of the world’s most potent neurotoxins on a dagger that will kill an opponent in a matter of tens of seconds after being injured.

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