One thing that gives people fear is being involved in a street fight and not being prepared. That is why many look up the best martial arts for street fight.

That’s why we compiled a list of the best martial arts for street fight. Read below to see the strength and weaknesses of each style, along with answers to common questions about street fighting.

What to Look for in the Best Martial Arts for Street Fight 

Before we get into the best martial arts for street fight, you need to know the qualities of good fighting styles. Here’s what you should look for in a solid self-defense system.

  • Realistic Training: Choose martial arts that have realistic training that has been proven effective in street fights.
  • Practical Grappling: Some of the best martial arts for street fight are grappling-based martial arts. This includes BJJ, Judo, and wrestling.
  • Effective Striking Techniques: The best martial arts for street fight are those with effective striking techniques. 
  • Situational Awareness/De-escalation: Learning situational awareness and de-escalation ability are equally important as physical techniques. They could save your life.
  • Adaptability: Martial arts consist of techniques that are adaptable to any situation. Street fights are unpredictable, and you must be prepared for any scenario.
  • Fitness & Conditioning: Your street fighting skills are at their best when you have good physical conditioning. The best martial art for street fight stress the importance of staying in good shape.
  • Pressure-Tested: Martial arts that have training where you practice techniques in live training. This pressure testing will enable you to better defend yourself in a street fight.

The Best Martial Arts For Street Fight

We’ve chosen six self-defense systems that are considered the best martial arts for street fight. Read the positives and negatives of these fighting systems below.

Boxing

Boxing

Boxing is one of the oldest martial arts people have practiced to improve their street fighting skills. Its techniques include the best hand-striking techniques of any martial art in the world. Check out the positives and negatives of practicing boxing to defend yourself in a street fight.

The Positive Qualities of Practicing Boxing For Street Fighting

If you’ve ever seen a street fight, you most likely saw the people fighting flair wild punches and clinch up. For whatever reason, punches are statistically the first strikes thrown in a street fight.

If you practice boxing, you’ll learn how to throw technical punches and learn about punching range. When you understand the punching range, it enables you to improve your punches.

You will be able to see wild and untrained punches coming, evade them, and then counter. These boxing skills will make you more comfortable holding your own in a street fight.

The Negative Qualities of Practicing Boxing For Street Fighting

While boxing will leave you prepared to defend yourself on your feet, you’ll still face uncertainties. If you just know how to fight on your feet, you’re more likely to get hit or outwrestled.

You are statistically more likely to get hit from standing than on the ground. Your boxing skills may be good, but you can still get cracked and severely injured.

This reliance on boxing also leaves you unprepared to defend against grappling. Boxing ability doesn’t matter if you’re put on the ground and can’t move.

Karate

Karate

Karate is one of the classic choices to improve street fighting skills. It has long been thought of as one of the best martial arts for street fight.

The Positive Qualities of Practicing Karate For Street Fighting

Karate consists of various striking techniques, including using both arms and legs. Possessing the ability to throw technical punches, kicks, and knees statistically improves your ability to protect yourself in a street fight.

It’s a linear counter-striking martial art, which is perfect for street fighting. A person you are fighting will always come forward, which will enable you to use your Karate skills.

The Negative Qualities of Practicing Karate For Street Fighting  

Karate has the same negative quality that boxing has with street fighting. You’re more likely to get hit if you fight from standing and have no answer when fighting a good grappler.

Also, being a linear martial art can make your movements predictable. It’s unlikely an untrained street fighter would pick up on them, but a trained street fighter can.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai

The art of eight limbs is among one of the best martial arts for street fight. Check out the positive and negative qualities of this striking martial art below.

The Positive Qualities of Practicing Muay Thai For Street Fighting 

Muay Thai has one of the most complete striking of any martial art in the world. Consisting of powerful strikes that involve using all eight of your limbs.

But what helps Muay Thai become even more effective is the inclusion of clinching and sweeping techniques. Your opponent in a street fight will likely try to clinch, which gives you a great advantage.

Solid Muay Thai skills will keep you safe and prevent your opponent from hurting.

The Negative Qualities of Practicing Muay Thai For Street Fighting

Muay Thai may keep you the most protected from standing, but it also includes no-ground techniques. You can keep yourself protected on the feet and defend against clinching, but there’s no takedown defense.

The fight could always go to the ground, and just knowing Muay Thai will leave you less prepared to defend yourself.

BJJ

BJJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ) was designed to fight bigger opponents in a street fight. Check out the biggest positive and negative qualities of learning BJJ to improve street fighting skills.

The Positive Qualities of Practicing BJJ For Street Fighting 

Possessing good BJJ and wrestling skills will statistically keep you safe in a street fight. If you have the ability to get an opponent to the ground and control them, you can quickly end the conflict.

Your opponent can’t hurt you if they’re stuck on their back with their hands pinned. You can still reverse them or lock on a submission even if you find yourself on your back. If you want to learn how to protect yourself, you will need to possess BJJ and grappling skills.

The Negative Qualities of Practicing BJJ For Street Fighting

While BJJ will keep you safer than just possessing striking skills, the martial art has two noticeable flaws. It doesn’t include striking techniques or striking defense, and modern BJJ is sport-based. 

Grappling is a must for street fight, but you also need to learn how to block strikes. Modern BJJ being more sport-based doesn’t help either, as the techniques are now trained for sport and not self-defense. Techniques like pulling guard in a street fight is a horrible idea and could turn tragic.

MMA

MMA

MMA might not only be the best martial art for street fight but the most complete of all martial arts. Here are the positive and negative qualities of learning this martial art for street fighting.

The Positive Qualities of Practicing MMA For Street Fighting 

Since mixed martial arts is a hybrid martial art, it includes a variety of techniques. These techniques were adopted from the best martial arts like Muay Thai, BJJ, Judo, and Karate.

In MMA, you practice self-defense both on the ground and standing. You constantly drill striking and grappling techniques to ensure that you have solid self-defense skills.

This ability to fight from anywhere gives better odds of defending yourself without sustaining significant injuries.

The Negative Qualities of Practicing MMA For Street Fighting

While on paper, MMA seems like the perfect martial art for street fighting, it isn’t perfect. Being a sport-based martial art like BJJ does put you at a disadvantage in a real fight.

When you train, you’re training with people that respect the rules of sport. In a street fight, there are no rules, which leaves you at risk if your opponent fights dirty.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga

Krav Maga has been gaining popularity in recent years for being designed for conflicts on the street. Check out some of the reasons below as to why Krav Maga would be good to learn for street fighting.

The Positive Qualities of Practicing Krav Maga For Street Fighting 

Krav Maga’s positive over the other martial arts listed is that it doesn’t have sport-based training. It was designed to protect yourself in a street fight and uses various techniques that are considered dirty.

In Krav Maga, they teach various effective yet debilitating techniques like striking the kneecaps, testicles, throat, or eyes. Effective techniques that will help you will a street fight.

The Negative Qualities of Practicing Krave Maga For Street Fighting

Krav Maga seems good on paper, but there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors with this martial art. There are many good Krav Maga practitioners, but there are also many scam artists.

Teaching flawed techniques that will get you hurt if you attempt them, like attempting to take someone’s gun from them. Many of the striking and grappling techniques are also better done in the other martial arts that Krav adopted.

What are the Best Martial Arts For Street Fight Against Multiple Opponents? 

One common self-defense question is, what are the best martial arts for street fight against multiple opponents? In reality, you should avoid any circumstance against more than one person.

You may have good fighting skills, but against multiple people, this won’t matter, especially if they are armed. Your best bet is to learn a self-defense style that teaches you situational awareness.

Learn to read situations where you could be threatened by multiple people and leave the area. This will keep you safe and out of harm’s way.

The Verdict

To be optimally prepared for a street fight, you will have to be a well-versed martial artist. Possessing the ability to protect yourself from standing and on the ground. Consider learning these martial arts listed to better prepare yourself for a street fight.

A martial artist and former coach for two decades from Houston, Texas. Specializing in the disciplines of kickboxing, karate, MMA, and Jiu Jitsu.