Reference: FLAMEHORSE MAY 15, 2010

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Martial arts are great as spectator sports and a good way to get fit, but they really come into their own when they are used in self-defense – undoubtedly the ultimate result for many of them. This list looks at ten of the best martial arts for if you are especially interested in defending yourself against attackers.

10. Kickboxing

9. Karate

8. Aikido

7. Wing Chun

6. Jiu Jitsu

5. Jeet Kune Do

4. Western Boxing

 This hybrid mixes Jiu-jitsu’s standing throws and strikes with ground fighting, which emphasizes joint manipulation and overall control of the opponent, effectively ending a fight very quickly. The larger the attacker, the more easily he can be grappled off his feet, using his center of gravity against him.

2. Keysi Fighting Method

 It is Israel’s national martial art, developed largely by Imi Lichtenfeld,  for the purpose of street survival. It incorporates Western boxing punches, Karate kicks and knees, Greco-Roman wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu ground fighting, Jiu-jitsu throws and grappling, and most importantly, “bursting,” adapted from Wing Chun. This is a simultaneous defense/attack: instead of blocking an attack and then delivering a response, you block the attack and deliver a response at the same time, i. e., block with the left arm and push forward with the legs, striking with the right fist to the throat, all simultaneously.

Also stressed are attacks to vulnerable body parts: the eyes, throat, and groin.  Emphasis is also placed on disarming attackers with both knives and handguns, and turning these weapons on the attacker. It also exclusively trains hand-eye coordination, until defense becomes second nature and does not require thought. And a good Krav Maga instructor can teach all of this to anyone, regardless of athletic prowess.

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