Best Martial Arts for Women’s Self-Defense: Unleash Your Inner Warrior

Fight Like a Girl! The Hottest Martial Arts Disciplines for Badass Women

Best Martial Arts For Women
Best Martial Arts For Women

Martial arts offer a powerful way for women to enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. With countless styles available, it can be challenging to determine the “best” martial art to suit an individual’s specific needs and goals.

In this blog post, we will explore various martial arts styles that are particularly beneficial for women in terms of self-defense, strength-building, spiritual growth, and overall fitness.

Key Takeaways

  • Martial arts provide women with self-defense skills, confidence building, and physical fitness.
  • The best martial arts for women’s self-defense include Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, and MMA.
  • For women looking to improve strength while learning self-defense techniques, Judo and Karate are great options.
  • It’s essential to try out different classes before committing to a specific martial arts style.

Top Martial Arts For Women’s Self-Defense

Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai (Thai Boxing), Taekwondo, and MMA are top martial arts for women’s self-defense.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga
Krav Maga

Initially developed for the Israeli military, Krav Maga is one of the top martial arts for women’s self-defense. It emphasizes practical and efficient techniques to neutralize threats quickly and includes simulated scenarios to prepare for real-world situations.

Participation in Krav Maga can increase women’s confidence and sense of empowerment. Suitable for women of all body types and sizes, Krav Maga training offers numerous benefits, including physical activity, discipline, self-defense skills, and personal growth.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Jake Paul Jiu Jitsu Training
Jake Paul / Instagram

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a highly effective martial art for women’s self-defense, especially for smaller individuals. It was developed from traditional Jiu-Jitsu by the Gracie family in Brazil and focuses on grappling and ground fighting techniques to defend against potentially bigger attackers.

BJJ is considered one of the ultimate combat sports for its emphasis on submissions and joint locks that can disable an attacker without causing permanent harm.

Top female BJJ practitioners like Bernardo Faria, Gabi Garcia, and Mackenzie Dern have showcased the power of this martial art form in competitions worldwide.

Read more:

Muay Thai (Thai Boxing, Kickboxing)

Muay Thai Stances
Muay Thai Stances

Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing or Kickboxing, is a highly effective martial art for women’s self-defense. This combat sport originated in Thailand and incorporates the use of all limbs for striking and grappling techniques.

Muay Thai is particularly useful in close-quarters combat situations where most fights against women occur. It teaches efficient movements such as knees, elbows, punches, and kicks to disable attackers quickly.

Practicing Muay Thai provides numerous benefits to women beyond increased self-defense capabilities. The discipline instilled by this sport can build confidence and promote personal growth through increased physical activity levels and mental strength development.

Moreover, it can equip women with survival skills that increase their chances of surviving dangerous situations when they need them most.

Read also: 32 Best Muay Thai Fighters


Taekwondo Martial Arts
Taekwondo Martial Arts

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that emphasizes fast and powerful kicks. It’s a great option for women’s self-defense because they can keep their attackers at bay with their long-range kicking techniques.

Taekwondo practitioners also learn how to use hand strikes, blocks, and joint locks to disable attackers quickly.

One of the unique things about Taekwondo is its Do-no-harm principle. This means practitioners are trained not to unnecessarily harm others but only as a last resort in self-defense situations.

A great example of Taekwondo’s effectiveness is a recent incident when an Australian woman used her training to fend off a man who attacked her on the street.

Read more: Taekwondo Belt Levels And Ranking Guide


Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is popular for women who want to learn self-defense. It involves striking and grappling techniques, making it an effective form of combat training.

MMA is known for its real-world application. Therefore, learning this martial art can increase your chances of survival in self-defense situations.

Not only does MMA offer impressive benefits in terms of self-defense capabilities, but it also provides a comprehensive skill set that includes both striking and grappling techniques.

Many professionals like Anderson Silva, Jimmy Pedro, and Travis Stevens have proved their worth by showcasing exceptional skills in MMA competitions.

Best Martial Arts For Women’s Strength


Throws Train Judo

Judo is one of the best martial arts for women’s strength and self-defense. It focuses on grappling and throws, making it perfect for close-quarters combat against larger opponents or those with greater physical strength.

Women who practice Judo increase their fitness levels while learning self-defense techniques that can be applied in various situations, including armed or unarmed violent encounters.

Through Judo training, women gain more than just physical skills. They build socialization skills, discipline, focus, and personal growth that extends beyond the dojo (martial arts academy).

Practicing judo can also boost confidence among women by giving them an upper hand against potential attackers.


Training Karate
Training Karate

Karate is a martial art that focuses on physical strength and strong character development. It involves intense training to improve muscle power, speed, and reaction time.

Karate also teaches effective self-defense techniques, making it one of the best martial arts for women’s strength. Shotokan is a popular form of Karate that emphasizes continuous movement and accurate striking.

Moreover, practicing Karate has many benefits beyond physical fitness. It can help increase focus and concentration by improving mental clarity through meditation practices such as Zazen or mindfulness exercises like Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan).

Best Martial Arts For Women’s Spirituality


Aikido is a highly recommended martial art for women who value spirituality, introspection, and peace. Aikido’s ‘do-no-harm’ philosophy emphasizes harmonizing with opponents rather than hurting them, making it an excellent choice for women who prefer non-violent self-defense techniques.

One of the unique features of Aikido is its focus on using throws or submissions instead of punches or kicks.

In addition to being a form of self-defense, it also helps improve one’s mental state by emphasizing meditation and breathing techniques. It has been described as “moving meditation” because it requires practitioners to stay focused in the present moment and react quickly to unpredictable situations.


Tai-Ki-Ken is a martial art that is considered one of the best for women’s spirituality. This ancient practice focuses on balance, force, and effective movement.

Tai-Ki-Ken incorporates breathing techniques, meditation, and musical tones, which can benefit mental health by reducing stress, improving focus, and developing self-awareness.

The movements in Tai-Ki-Ken are slow and deliberate, emphasizing breath control and mindfulness. By participating in this martial arts form, women can develop inner strength while learning the value of harmony with themselves and others around them.

Martial Arts For Different Body Types

Consider Wing Chun for short women, Tae Kwon Do for those with longer reach, and Muay Thai for those seeking power and flexibility in their martial arts training.

Wing Chun For Short Women

Wing Chun is a martial art that can particularly benefit short women. This Chinese combat style emphasizes close-range fighting and quick strikes, making it ideal for individuals with shorter arm spans.

Wing Chun also utilizes trapping techniques to immobilize opponents, allowing shorter practitioners to defend themselves effectively against taller attackers.

In addition to being an effective self-defense technique, Wing Chun can help boost confidence and cultivate discipline in practitioners, making it an excellent choice for women looking to improve their physical abilities and mental resilience.

Woman Doing Elbow Kick For Self Defense Workout

Tae Kwon Do For Longer Reach

Tae Kwon Do is an excellent martial art for women with longer limbs due to its focus on kicking techniques. As one of the most popular Korean martial arts, it teaches practitioners how to use their legs to strike their opponents at a distance effectively.

Besides self-defense purposes, Tae Kwon Do helps improve coordination, balance, and overall fitness levels. The strength gained from performing various kicks also benefits taller women who need stronger arms and taller legs to overcome larger opponents or face dangerous situations.

Muay Thai For Power And Flexibility

Muay Thai, also known as Thai boxing or kickboxing, is an excellent choice for women who want to build their power and flexibility. This martial art combines punches, kicks, elbows, and knees for maximum impact and effectiveness in both offense and defense.

Muay Thai training involves rigorous physical conditioning that improves overall fitness levels. This can be done while developing specific techniques to deliver strikes quickly and accurately.

Not only does Muay Thai offer physical benefits, but it also builds mental toughness. This helps women improve focus, discipline, confidence, and resilience. 

Choosing The Right Martial Art For You

Assess your goals and interests, consider class availability and costs, and try a few classes before committing to choosing the right martial art for you.

Assess Your Goals And Interests

Before starting your martial arts journey, assessing your goals and interests is important. For example, if self-defense is a primary concern, Krav Maga or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu may be the best option. 

Karate or Judo might be a better fit if building strength and discipline is important.

It’s also essential to consider class availability and costs and try out a few classes before committing fully to one style.

Consider Class Availability And Costs

When selecting a martial art, it is crucial to consider the availability of classes and costs. Martial arts schools may vary in their schedules and locations, so finding one that fits your daily routine without causing undue stress is important.

The cost of classes can also add up quickly, so be sure to factor expenses such as equipment and testing fees into your budget.

For instance, Spark Membership offers member management software for martial arts academies that simplifies scheduling class times and managing payments. Additionally, using Perfect Gym software allows members to create appointments during class breaks or other free periods when they are available.

Try A Few Classes Before Committing

It is crucial to sample different martial arts classes before committing to one. Each form has unique techniques, movements, and philosophies, which may or may not align with a learner’s interest or personality.

For example, someone interested in self-defense might want to try Krav Maga for real-world scenarios. Or BJJ for grappling techniques against larger attackers. Similarly, those seeking an all-around workout could try MMA. While those looking for spiritual growth might consider Aikidoor Tai-Ki-Ken.

Additionally, participants should be mindful of choosing a class suited for their body type, as some styles require more upper-body strength than others.

Importance Of Martial Arts For Women

Martial arts for women are important because they provide self-defense skills, build confidence, and promote physical fitness.


Martial arts offer a highly effective means of self-defense for women, empowering them to ward off potential attackers and protect themselves in precarious situations.

For example, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is designed for smaller individuals to defend against larger opponents using leverage and technique rather than brute force.

This martial art teaches ground fighting tactics such as joint locks, chokes, arm bars, and sweeps, which can neutralize an attacker irrespective of size or strength. 

Similarly, Krav Maga is well-known for its real-world application focus on awareness and conflict avoidance alongside effective weapon defense techniques—a vital aspect of self-defense due to its roots in Israeli military combat training.

Read also: 13 Best Martial Arts For Self-Defense (Ranked According To Experts)

Confidence Building

Martial arts training is a powerful tool for women aiming to boost their self-confidence. As they progress through learning various techniques, mastering new skills, and overcoming challenges, women experience an increase in their belief in themselves and what they’re capable of achieving.

For example, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) encourages using leverage over brute strength, enabling women to handle larger and stronger opponents. Developing this understanding can give them greater confidence during physical confrontations or self-defense situations.

Similarly, Muay Thai teaches effective striking methods while promoting discipline and respect – qualities bolster overall self-esteem.

Physical Fitness

Martial arts provide an excellent way for women to improve their physical fitness while learning valuable self-defense techniques. Engaging in consistent martial arts training develops strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance, allowing participants to enjoy a full-body workout that is both fun and challenging.

For example, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu focuses on grappling techniques such as takedowns, joint locks, and chokeholds, strengthening the upper body and core muscles.

Combining high-intensity movements with precise skill execution found in martial arts classes helps shed unwanted pounds and promotes enhanced muscle tone.

Participating in various drills and sparring sessions that push both aerobic and anaerobic limits consistently over time can significantly improve one’s overall physical health.

Furthermore, many martial arts styles – from Taekwondo to MMA – encourage socialization among classmates, which may foster personal growth through mutual support and encouragement during each class session.


1. What are the best martial arts for women to learn?

The best martial arts for women include Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Krav Maga, Muay Thai Kickboxing, and Taekwondo. These disciplines offer a combination of self-defense techniques, physical fitness training, and mental discipline. These can help women stay prepared and confident in any situation.

2. Are there any specific benefits that make certain martial arts better for women?

Yes, each martial art has its own unique set of benefits. For example, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu emphasizes grappling and ground fighting techniques. It is effective both on the streets or among competitors in a sports setting because of its focus. At the same time, Krav Maga trains practitioners to protect themselves against attackers using weapons such as guns or knives.

3. Do I need prior experience before learning martial arts as a woman?

No prior experience is necessary before learning martial arts! Many gyms offer beginner classes, especially catering to newcomers. So individuals can get up to speed quickly, no matter how athletic or coordinated one may be.

4. How long does it take for a woman to become proficient in a particular type of martial art?

It generally takes several years of consistent practice to develop proficiency in any given type of martial art. However, one should remember that progress happens differently depending on one’s goals. 


In conclusion, the best martial arts for women depend on individual goals and interests. Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, or MMA could be a great choice if you want to improve your self-defense skills.

For strength training, Judo and Karate might be more suitable. Aikido and Tai-Ki-Ken offer spiritual benefits with meditation techniques, while MMA is an all-around option for fitness enthusiasts.

It’s important to assess class availability and costs before committing to a specific martial art. Remember to try out classes before deciding which style suits you best.

Stay up-to-date with the latest MMA news, rumors, and updates by following the RED Monster on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Also, don't forget to add MiddleEasy to your Google News feed Follow us on Google News for even more coverage.


Leave a Comment