10 Hardest martial arts to learn, want to challenge yourself?

Finn Mitoma
hardest martial arts to learn

Martial arts are an ancient practice that has been around for centuries and are still practiced today for self-defense, physical fitness, and even competition. While all martial arts require dedication and hard work, some are more difficult to master than others. This blog post will explore the hardest martial arts to learn, examining the challenges each one presents and what it takes to succeed in them. From the physical demands required to the mental and spiritual dedication necessary, this blog post will explain why these martial arts are considered some of the most difficult and rewarding. Let’s get started.

1. Krav Maga

Krav Maga is a form of self-defense developed in Israel. It is one of the most difficult martial arts to learn because of its intense physical and mental training. It is a mixed martial art, combining techniques from aikido, Judo, boxing, and wrestling. It is also a blend of striking and grappling styles, making it a powerful and highly effective form of self-defense. Training focuses on counter-attacking, so students must be prepared to move quickly and instinctively. Krav Maga also emphasizes the importance of situational awareness and the ability to defend yourself in any situation.

2. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art and combat sport focusing primarily on ground fighting. It is a complex art that utilizes technique and leverage to overcome a more extensive and stronger opponent. It is considered one of the most difficult martial arts to learn, as it takes many years of practice to master the techniques required to succeed. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is often used as a form of self-defense and sport and is commonly practiced in martial arts classes. It is also used by many professional MMA fighters.

3. Aikido

Aikido is a Japanese martial art often considered one of the hardest to learn. Aikido focuses on using the energy of an attack against the attacker. It involves the redirection of the attacker’s force and controlling their balance. Students of Aikido learn to use an attacker’s momentum and energy to their advantage by using throws and pins to subdue their opponents instead of blocking or striking. Aikido is a complex martial art requiring skill, technique, and timing mastery. It also involves a lot of patience and practice to become proficient in the art.

4. Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a form of hard martial arts that originates from Thailand. Its main focus is on stand-up striking, using punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. Muay Thai is an incredibly physically demanding martial art, requiring intense cardiovascular conditioning and powerful, sharp strikes. It also requires a great amount of skill and technique, as strikes need to be delivered with precision and power. Muay Thai is one of the most difficult martial arts to learn and master, and it is often used as a form of self-defense.

5. Taekwondo

Taekwondo is the world’s most popular martial art and is a staple of the Olympic Games. To excel at Taekwondo, one must possess speed, agility, and strength. This martial art involves a variety of kicks, punches, and blocks, as well as a great deal of flexibility and agility. It is a highly competitive sport; becoming a black belt in Taekwondo can take years. In addition, learning the correct form and technique is very important in Taekwondo and can be difficult to master.

6. Judo

Judo is a Japanese martial art focusing on throws and grappling techniques combined with pins, joint locks, and chokes. This martial art is considered by many to be one of the hardest to master due to its complexity and the need for intense physical conditioning. Training in Judo can take years to achieve proficiency, as it requires great skill and technique to execute the intricate throws and holds successfully. It also requires great athleticism, strength, and balance. Those brave enough to commit to learning Judo will find that it is a rewarding and challenging martial art that teaches discipline, respect, and perseverance.

7. Wing Chun

Number 7 on our list of hardest martial arts to learn is Wing Chun. This ancient Chinese art form is famous for its practical self-defense and martial arts approach. Wing Chun focuses on using structure, proper technique, and balance to deflect and deflect an opponent’s attack. It also utilizes soft hand techniques, such as trapping and redirecting, to create openings and counter-attacks. It’s an effective self-defense system that requires minimal strength and power, making it suitable for many different body types.

8. Kendo

Eighth on our list of the hardest martial arts to learn is Kendo. This Japanese martial art, which translates to “the way of the sword”, is based on traditional swordsmanship. It is practiced with bamboo swords and protective armor and emphasizes strong mental and physical discipline. As a martial art, Kendo is considered both physically and mentally demanding, and it takes a lot of dedication and commitment to become a master. In addition to the physical requirements, Kendo also requires a strong sense of propriety and etiquette, which is why it is often referred to as “the gentle art”.

9. Jeet Kune Do

Ninth on the list of hardest martial arts to learn is Jeet Kune Do. Developed in the late 1960s by martial artist Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do is a hybrid martial art that combines elements of kung fu, boxing, fencing, and other disciplines. Its primary focus is on simplicity and directness, allowing practitioners to rapidly and efficiently neutralize an opponent through the efficient use of energy. To this end, Jeet Kune Do emphasize body mechanics, timing, and positioning rather than using brute strength. As such, it is a difficult martial art to master, but its practitioners can be some of the most effective martial artists on the planet.

10. Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that combines a variety of martial arts disciplines. It is one of the hardest martial arts to learn due to its complexity and wide range of techniques. It requires the practitioner to be proficient in various martial arts styles and techniques, from boxing and Muay Thai to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo, wrestling, and kickboxing. MMA fighters must also be adept in the physical and mental aspects of the sport, such as agility, balance, conditioning, and strategy. As a result, it takes years of hard work and dedication to master MMA and develop the skills necessary to become a successful fighter.

In conclusion, while martial arts are difficult to master, some are significantly harder than others. Karate and Kung Fu are two of the most difficult martial arts to learn due to their complex techniques and forms. Muay Thai, Taekwondo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are also very challenging martial arts, albeit slightly less so than the above two. Ultimately, the hardest martial art to learn is the one you will devote yourself to and master.

Finn Mitoma

Founder @ The Combative

5 thoughts on “10 Hardest martial arts to learn, want to challenge yourself?”

  1. Krav Maga 😂😂 this is the shittiest article ever written take any guy that does a little but of krav maga and put it in front of a 6 month boxer he will kill him

  2. I’m interested in the rubric you used to rank these. As a BJJ black belt I appreciate being ranked so highly, I’d selfishly say we were #1 tho. Was sparring live considered in its difficulty? Thai, boxing , and judo would all rare more highly in my opinion due to the actual exertion needed to train. Thanks for provoking thought.


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