Top 25 Deadliest Martial Arts in the World

This list contains the top 25 deadliest martial arts in the world, according to the experts.

Best Martial Arts
Best Martial Arts

There are a lot of martial arts practiced since ancient times. These martial arts are mostly used to improve body and mind, while others are used as contexts. But do you know that these combat sports can get so brutal that fighters can lose their lives?

This piece shall look at the world’s top 25 deadliest martial arts showcasing how the human body can be turned into the most deadly weapon.

The martial arts are arranged from the least deadly to the deadliest.

Best Martial Arts in the World

25. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial arts sport focusing on grappling and fighting. In the Japanese language, Ji means gentle while Jitsu means art. BJJ started as a gentle art used for self-defense but has since evolved into a deadly martial art.

Practicing Jiu Jitsu
Practicing Jiu Jitsu

The history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu dates back to the 1900s when Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Judo were brought to South America. These two combat sports were merged to become Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Indian monks initially used Jiu Jitsu to protect themselves from assailants without harming the attacker. It later spread, transitioned into hand-to-hand combat, and later became a competitive sport.

Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t mostly involve kicks and strikes; it involves grappling and holding techniques. The objective of this martial art is to obtain a dominant position by neutralizing your opponent with submissions or ground techniques. Fighters use muscle compressions, joint locks, and other techniques to make their opponents surrender.

BJJ has a lot of benefits to the human body and mind. Dynamic and fierce holding, pushing, and grappling improve muscle tone and promote cardiovascular health. It also improves reasoning skills as a person is put in a position to think fast about their next move, whether in an offensive or defensive position.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can get deadly, especially when both fighters are professionals. That’s why it’s also called human chess.

More on BJJ:

24. Bokator

Bokator, also known as Lbokator, is an ancient martial art from Cambodia. The name Bokator means ‘pounding lion.’ Bok means ‘pound’ while tor means ‘lion.’

History had it that the Angkorian people mixed the martial arts techniques of the Chinese and Indians to form Bokator.

The Angkorian developed this combat to protect themselves from wild animals attacking them and their domestic animals. Though there are many techniques involved in Bokator, the martial art has three main elements which are “Kro Pue Haa,” which means the crocodile has opened its mouth, the “Aro Ngnae Pin,” which means the wheat has blown wind; and the last one is “Kla Krap” which means the tiger has lied down.

Each of these three elements comprises many techniques, movements, holds, and strategies.

Bokator is a deadly combat sport whose main objective is to win on the battlefield. Therefore, fighters used a diverse form of kicks, strikes, and submissions to neutralize their enemy or even kill. In the olden days, weapons like bamboo sticks could be used to fight against an opponent.

Today, Bokator has become a martial art that’s recognized around the world after the inauguration of the Cambodia Bokator Federation and a lot of Bokator gyms and training centers.

During training and matches, Bokator fighters wear the uniform of the ancient Khmer armies. A krama scarf is tied around the waist, and a sangvar (a red and blue silk cord) is tied around the head and arm. In the olden days, sangvar was believed to increase the power and strength of fighters.

23. Combato

Combato, now known as Defendo, is a combat sport and self-defense system created in 1945 by Bill Underwood in Canada.

Initially, Underwood created Combato in 1910 and taught it in some parts of the country, and it was from there that Defendo was born. Bill Underwood got his inspiration from Japanese wrestlers like Taro Miyake and Yukio Tani, who demonstrated Jiu-jitsu sports in theaters.

Defendo includes joint locking technique and striking skills, which makes it more like traditional Jiu-Jitsu. However, defendo consists of techniques that are easy to practice but can be lethal in dealing with enemies. On the other hand, traditional Jiu Jitsu involves techniques that require much practice before perfection is achieved.

During world war II, Bill Underwood was asked by the Canadian Law Enforcement Agencies to teach soldiers the Combato techniques, but he refused to claim that the techniques were too lethal. He was then made to modify the system, remove the deadly techniques of this martial art, and add self-defense and control techniques that can help law enforcement agencies.

After these changes, Underwood felt he could not call the martial art Combato again, so his daughter Pat named it Defendo. Under this new name, Underwood taught his self-defense system from 1945 to 1950. He later published a book called ‘Defendo, Police System of Self Defence.’

22. Sibpalki 

Sibpalki, the Eighteen Martial Methods, is a name shared by a Chinese and Korean Martial Arts collection. It includes 18 Korean martial practices divided into three elements; strike, thrust, and slice.

The history of this martial art dates back to the Korean Military Manual Muyejebo. A system that was compiled by a top military officer Han Gyo. At first, Muyejebo involves 6 deadly techniques, namely, ssangsudo, dengue pae,

Gonbang, Langston, dang pa, and jangchang. Later in the 1700s, 12 more fighting techniques were added to the Muyejebo by Prince Sada, making it even more lethal.

This Prince was shortened from Bonjo Muye Sib Pal Ban (“18 Martial Arts Techniques of the Yi Dynasty”) to Shippalgi.

Kim Kwang Suk brought the modern form of Shippalgi in 1936 after spending his early life learning Korean Martial Arts in secret.

21. Judo

Judo (Gentle Way) is a modern Japanese martial art and an unarmed combat sport. Though Judo has been part of the Olympics since 196, many don’t know how deadly the combat sport can be.

Two Judokas Fighters
Two Judokas Fighters

The martial art was created in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Judo differed from other Japanese Jiu-Jitsu arts because it focused more on free sparring and didn’t involve weapons.

Judo aims to submit an opponent with a choke, pin them to the ground or throw them. There are 3 basic categories in Judo, the striking (atemi-waza), grappling (katame-waza), and throwing(nage-waza) techniques. However, grappling and throwing are the two most used methods.

While most think Judo isn’t a lethal martial art because striking and using weapons are illegal, the gully gets dangerous outside competitions.

If a player doesn’t know how to land quickly, they can easily be disabled by Judo’s brutal throws and movements.

There have been many vicious attacks by Judo instructors that have left a lot of students disabled or even dead. A report showed that about 4 judo students die yearly from accidents while training in Judo schools.

Maybe we aren’t seeing how lethal Judo is in competitions because many techniques were considered too lethal and banned.

20. Taekwondo

Taekwondo is a Korean Martial Arts and one of the most popular combat sports focusing on punching and kicking. It was created in the mid-1900s by a group of Korean professional martial artists supervised by Choi Hong Hi.

Taekwondo Fighter Expert
Taekwondo Fighter Expert

After the second world war, Korean martial artists opened martial arts schools in Seoul. At that time, most Koreans have forgotten most of their indigenous martial arts due to years of regression in the hands of the Japanese. At that time, each Kwan (a martial art school) practiced its fighting technique until 1952, when the Korean president requested that martial arts be introduced to the military. For that, the heads of Martial arts schools started discussing how to come up with unified Korean martial art techniques, and that’s when Choi Hong Hi suggested using the name Tae Kwon Do.

This martial art allows players to use their limbs to attack or defend themselves anytime. Fighters tried to knock out their opponents by kicking them on the head and torso with both legs and hands. Punching the face, attacking body parts below the waist, and grabbing opponents aren’t allowed.

This combat sport made it to this list due to its emphasis on dangerous fast kicking techniques and head-height kicks. Taekwondo means the art of punching and kicking; the players mostly use their legs to knock down opponents in no time.

Read also: Taekwondo Belt Levels And Ranking Guide 

19. Combat Sambo

A martial art that allows strikes on the groin can’t be anything more than deadly, and that’s Combat Sambo! The sport started in the 1920s in Russia by the Soviet Red Army to train their service men in hand-to-hand combat.

The earlier pioneers of combat art were Vasili Oshchepkov and Viktor Spiridonov; however, the two developed different fighting techniques, which were later merged to give today’s Combat Sambo. The name Sambo was coined from the Russian word, “SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya,” which means self-defense without using weapons.

Sambo started spreading out of Russia in the 1960s when some practitioners started participating in the International Judo competition. Later in 1968, the Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) added Sambo as an international wrestling style.

Even after that, Combat Sambo wasn’t recognized by people until its practitioners started winning UFC fights as they’ve acquired a unique mixture of martial arts like Jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and Judo.

Apart from Combat Sambo, there are two other types of Sambo – the sport sambo, which is more like wrestling, and Judo. It includes grappling techniques that focus on pins and throws. There are fewer grips and leg locks restrictions, but chokes are prohibited.

The other is the Freestyle Sambo, developed in 2004 by the American Sambo Association. This type of Sambo has fewer restrictions than sport Sambo and was created to attract other MMA practitioners to take part in Sambo.

The martial art combines many modern MMA techniques and allows punches, soccer kicks, holds, chokes, groin strikes, and other brutal techniques.

18. Muay Thai

Muay Thai is mostly considered the art of 8 limbs because it implores the use of feet, knees, fists, and elbows. The history of the combat sport dates back to the 16th century when it was created as self-defense for the Thai indigenes who were attacked when traveling from Southeast China to present-day Thailand.

Muay Thai
Muay Thai

Due to this, the Thai people saw the need to develop a martial art that could be learned by everyone and used for defense against most attacks on the borders.

There are two Muay Thai techniques, the Mae Mai (major technique) and the luk Mai (minor technique). The traditional form of Thai boxing includes exchanging heavy blows between opponents; though the contemporary form of the sport has a lot of regulations, it still involves using the entire body to strike and pin opponents.

Thai boxing has many devastating attacks that can crush the human body in minutes. Many players experience sprains, strains, and tissue injuries during matches. It’s not abnormal to get bones broken during Thai boxing; many Muay Thai practitioners bloody urine for days after fights.

It’s difficult to have a Muay Thai match without one or both players experiencing injuries. There aren’t a lot of injury reports because fighters don’t notice the injuries at first or don’t want to request treatment.

There have been a lot of death cases that have been linked to Muay Thai in recent years.

More on Muay Thai:

17. Silat

Silat is dirty boxing that comprises many classes of indigenous martial arts of the Nusantara and other regions of Southeast Asia. This pain game is practiced in Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore, and other Asian countries.

There are a lot of Silat training schools (perguruan) that focus on different aspects of martial arts.

Silat isn’t your regular martial art – this is a vicious game where the face, elbow, groin, thighs, abdomen, and any body part can be attacked.

The literal meaning of Silat is ‘Skill for fighting,’ and many styles of the sport are found in different Asia regions.

There’s nothing like mind-building or self-perfection in Silat – the martial art shows how weak your enemy is by winning over them in any possible way. The art aims to cause pain by attacking an opponent, breaking them, and thumping them by hitting the throat, head, or torso.

There are a lot of Silat styles – the bersilat is very popular in Malaysia, while kuntao silat is practiced mostly in the Southern Philippines. Even the fighting techniques vary; there’s the madi silat which involves high throws, and the harimau silat, a form of low-ground fight.

The madi silat comprises a lot of inhuman throws, which involve taking control of an opponent’s head, jumping high them using your weight to tug him off his feet while hitting his spinal column hard. Lethal right? The Philippines is more deadly! It involves trapping an opponent’s hind limb with yours; then, while controlling their upper limb and head, they spin continuously. As the opponent’s body rotates, the leg is kept in one place, causing many injuries.

16. Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP)

The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program is a combat art developed in 2001 by the United States Marine Corps as a revolutionary step in the training of the marine military.

It teaches them grappling, joint locks, combat techniques, kicks, and more. The United States Marine Corps cultivated 17 deadly fighting styles from lethal martial arts like Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Taekwondo to develop MCMAP.

This martial arts program is more than learning fighting techniques; it also helps train the marines ethically and morally. MCMAP is divided into five levels – the first is the tan belt level, in which a marine must undergo 27 and ½ hours of training to acquire it. The second one is the gray and involves 25 hours of training; at this stage, a marine is expected to know the basics of combat.

The third level is the green belt which also involves 25 hours of training and a recommendation from a senior. At this stage, a marine has known the intermediate found metals of the martial art and can train lower-level students.

Brown belt is the fourth level which involves 33 hours of training and a recommendation. Most marines get certified as instructors in this stage. The last stage is the black belt which is the highest degree and involves vigorous training of 40 hours. You can teach and award from tan to black belt at this stage.

There are a lot of lethality techniques in MCMAP, allowing the military to choose the appropriate form of combat in a fight.

15. Arnis

Arnis, also known as Eskrima or Kali, is the martial art of the Philippines. The three terms are used interchangeably for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines, which mostly involves hand combat and weapon techniques.

History shows that Eskrima art was practiced mostly by poor, illiterate Filipinos, so there aren’t any records of the sport. However, its origins can still be traced back to the native pintados fighting techniques that were used during the wars between the Filipino tribes.

Practitioners of Eskrima used both sticks and hands to win over their opponents. When learning this martial art, you’ll first learn and master weapons and sticks before being taught hand-to-hand combat.

Arnis covers all forms of combat, including kicking, elbowing, grappling, gripping, poking, e.t.c. Also, there’s versatility in the use of weapons; at short range, the bottom of the sword or stick is used; at middle range, the blade of a sword or mid of a stick is used, while at long range, the tip is used to attack an enemy.

Even kids aren’t left behind in this deadly combat. The Filipinos trained their children in Sinawali, a form of double stick Escrima that helps develop hand coordination and taught kids how to handle dangerous weapons and defend themselves.

There are two forms of modern eskrima, a brutal one that involves wearing a full body mask and a more violent one that involves lethally using metal sticks.

14. Lethwei

Lethwei, also known as Burmese martial art, is a brutal combat boxing done without hand gloves and is regarded as one of the deadliest sports on earth.

Burmese bare-knuckle boxing is also regarded as The art of 9 limbs because it involves the use of Two fists, Two feet, Two elbows, Two knees, and a head.

And has its history dating back to the early centuries in the Pyu Empire of Myanmar. Those days, the fighters wrapped their hands with hemp and continued fighting till one was knocked out or too injured to continue.

A beautiful thing about this dire combat is everyone participates, from commoners to royalties.

Those days, most of the sport’s rules were made to increase its brutality. For example, fighters must use their bare hands and feet during fights; if a fighter is to put gauze, it has to be in front of an official.

Also, the only way to win is by knocking out an opponent; even then, the opponent can request a two-minute recovery period and return to continue the match. Punches, elbows, headbutts, kicks, grappling, throws, and clinching can all be used to bring down an opponent.

One of the most dangerous moves of the sport is headbutts. There are three types of headbutts used by Lethwei athletes – the skin hkaung tike (flying headbutt), the choke hkaung tike (clinching headbutt), and the hkaung count tike (rushing headbutt). Lethwei fighters use as much force as possible to give a headbutt that will injure their enemy without harming them, but they aren’t always so lucky.

In 1950, the sport was modernized after Kyar Ba Nyein used its techniques in the Olympics and formalized its rules. Until today, Lethwei still maintains a lot of vicious movements despite being in line with other combat sports.

13. Kyokushin Karate

The first full contact bare fist karate has to make it to our list of the world’s most deadly martial arts. This lethal sport was created in the 1960s by a Japanese named Masutatsu Oyama. Kyokushin means ‘ultimate truth,’ and the sport is born from two forms of karates – the Shotokan and the Goju-Ryu.

Mas Oyama created Kyokushin to bring a new bare-knuckle and full-body contact karate style that’s more deadly and effective than the other styles. This new system includes knee strikes, punches, body contact sparring, raw striking, and kicks.

The Oyama karate school was considered one of the hardest Karate schools in Japan then. The training methods are brutal and more dangerous than any other karate style. As a result, a lot of students injured themselves.

In 1964, Oyama founded the first organization of Kyokushin called “Kyokushin Kaikan,” From then, the sport expanded to other parts of the world.

While Kyokushin helps you learn all the practical skills you need to get out of trouble, sparring directly without safety gear can cause serious damage to athletes.

Also, the training is very intense, and if done consecutively for a long time, it can affect your cardiovascular health. As you get ready to join a Kyokushin school, gather a lot of courage as your endurance and strength will be put to the test

12. Wing Chun

Wing Chun is another deadly martial art that originates from Southern China. Its early history remains vague, but legends had it that it was created by Ng Mui, a Kung Fu master.

The dangerous sport started gaining popularity after Wing Chun master, Ip Man, started teaching the combat technique in some parts of China. Other figures that help make Wing Chun popular worldwide are Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.

Wing Chun consists of explosive and dangerous attacks that are used to shut down an opponent. The sport is designed to be carried out in a quick style and at close range. Also, striking sensitive areas and soft tissues are allowed.

The martial art was initially designed for self-defense, not a competition; it doesn’t have rules. Many practitioners target sensitive areas like the groin, head, and throat.

To show you how deadly Wing Chun can be, some high-level UFC fighters have called for it to be banned! This is because its techniques were designed to malevolently maim an opponent and not to score points. Kicks are mainly done with so much force that they can tear muscles and ligaments and give opponents a lifetime injury.

Some UFC fighters like Anderson Silva and Tony Ferguson use Wing Chun techniques during fights – all considered among the world’s top fighters. Should we owe this to the lethal Wing Chun techniques?

11. Bacom

Also known as Vacon, Bacom is a vicious martial art created in the 1980s by Roberto Puch Bezada, a former marine official. He created this martial art for the Peruvian military in self-defense and for attacking enemies.

Bacom has a lot of similarities with Krav Maga as both involve vicious techniques and the use of weapons. The martial art focused on several combat and fighting techniques, including joint lock, choke holds, kicks, striking sensitive areas, and other bone-crushing movements.

Though Bacom gives you the training you need to defend yourself, it consists of moves that are too lethal and can even kill the enemy.

With Bacom techniques, you’ll be able to injure your opponent in a short period using hard punches, ligament-crushing kicks, and weapons.

The martial art emphasizes power, and its techniques mainly aim to pull an opponent off balance. Another thing that made Bacom vicious is that fighters can hide sharp weapons and begin using them mid-fight.

Even among deadly martial arts, Bacom has a spice of more viciousness as all the combat styles involve attacking an opponent with so much force to inflict pain they can’t bear. In most cases, one of Bacom’s fighters lost their life or was left with a life deteriorating injury.

10. Kajukenbo

Kajukenbo is a brutal hybrid martial art developed in the 1940s in the Palama settlements in Hawaii. Kajukenbo is a combination of 4 martial arts names – KArate, JUdo JUtsu, Kenpo, and BOxing.

A group of 5 people from different martial arts backgrounds called themselves the Black Belt Society created this deadly sport, with each contributing the techniques of certain martial art. Peter Young Yil Choo contributed the Karate styles, Frank Ordonez contributed the Judo styles, Joe Holck was in charge of Jutsu techniques, Adriano Emperado was in charge of Kenpo techniques, and Clarence Chang contributed some Chinese boxing styles.

A combination of 5 lethal martial arts would give nothing other than one of the most brutal combat sports on earth.

In the 1940s, Kajukenbo was fast recognized in Hawaii as a method of self-defense against street criminals. Instead of carrying weapons, the indigenes acquainted themselves with Kajukenbo styles to defend themselves and leave their attacker brutally injured.

Kajukenbo was a mixture of almost all fighting techniques, from grappling and kicking to grabbing and punching. Self-defense movements and kicks were chosen from the five martial arts to give a practitioner the ability to effectively protect themselves in street fighting.

There are a lot of brutal approaches in Kajukenbo. With a lot of shadowless kicks, bone-crushing joint locks, and trapping, the martial art is not a sport for the Octagon or competition but rather a vicious street defense system.

9. Bojuka

Bojuka is not a popular but a malicious martial art. It was first developed as a self-defense technique involving jujutsu, boxing, and Karate to give fighters a chance to kick down their opponent in no time.

Unlike most martial arts discussed, Bojuka doesn’t have hunters of years history. Its origin dates back to the 1990s when Tom Schrenk developed a self-defense style encompassing traditional and modern fighting techniques to help you get your opponent down the most effective.

Though Schrenk focuses more on self-defense methods, that doesn’t stop Bojuka from becoming a ferocious art. You shouldn’t expect less as attackers don’t approach you with friendly movements. With bojuka techniques, you’ll not be vulnerable to violent attacks as you’re already equipped with easy ways to knock down your opponent in pain.

Despite being a deadly martial art, Bojuka provides its practitioners with tricks to stay alert and not to be caught surprised by attackers. Those in advanced levels are also trained to escape deadly weapons attacks.

With a motto that reads “Fast, Brutal, Effective,” we shouldn’t expect anything but violence in Bojuka.

8. Keysi Fighting Method

The Keysi fighting method (KFM) has its history dating back to 1980. It was developed by Spaniard Justo Dieguez and was widely used before it started declining.

Spaniard Justo Dieguez mainly created this art to protect himself from street criminals. There are no rules restricting terms from kicking or striking some areas. The. Keysi fighters can target sensitive areas like the torso, throat, or abdomen and give their enemy a hard kick that can send them rolling on the ground.

Often referred to as the Keysi Method, KFM combines several fighting techniques to develop a brutal fighting style. It mostly involves grappling and striking with more emphasis on striking and using the elbow.

One of the most dangerous movements in the Keysi fighting method is the Cover. It is a defensive movement that’s carried out offensively. Here, a fighter utilizes a double-arm stance by using the defensive arm to strike their opponent while still covering their face with it. Fighters can implore headbutts, blows, or elbow strikes while holding their arm in front of their face.

This martial art was said to be created to act and react while effectively defending yourself. It has been featured in many Hollywood movies, including Jack Reacher and Batman. Aren’t the fighting techniques used in those movies brutal? Indeed, they are!

If those aren’t vicious enough to show you how brutal the Keysi fighting method can be, watch Mission impossible part 3!

7. Kung Fu

We can’t mention deadly martial arts without including Kung Fu. The hand-to-hand fighting technique is mostly used to refer to a broad range of Chinese Martial arts.

Kung Fu comprises many fighting styles categorized according to their similarities or origin. The Chinese developed these martial arts more than 4000 years ago as a self-defense technique. The martial arts were also important in their rigorous army training as they considered hand-to-hand combat a very effective fighting skill.

Though there are almost 100 styles of Chinese Martial arts, all involve striking an opponent as hard as possible. With many Kung Fu styles available, it’s impossible to master them all. Rather, athletes choose the ones that suit their body best and train to become masters of them.

However, there are some important techniques you should know in Kung Fu. They’re – kicking, throwing, hitting, and grabbing. Some kung fu styles involve quick hand movements that can be used viciously against enemies. Some styles encompass the uses and strongest limbs to attack opponents.

Kung Fu became popular in the western world when Bruce Lee started showcasing malicious fighting techniques in his movies.

Today, Kung Fu is included in most modern fighting styles as we have seen a lot of UFC fighters using Kung Fu techniques to win fights.

6. Karate

Training Karate
Training Karate

Karate, also known as Karate-Do, was developed in East Asia centuries ago before the Okinawa Indigenes adopted it as a form of self-defense in the 17th century. The popular martial art came to Japan in 1920, and it was widely accepted by many, and many karate schools were developed.

Karata is lethal because it involves a lot of punching, throws, kicking, and striking. It involves using the whole body to try and knock down an opponent.

There are many karate styles, each focusing on different training methods and fighting techniques. In modern Karate, there are generally four styles of Karate that are accepted and recognized by the World Karate Federation for international kata competitions they’re Shitō-ryū Karate, Gōjū-ryū karate, Wadō-ryū karate, and Shotokan Karate.

Martial art started becoming popular in the western world when some fiction writers described the art in their books during the 1950s. Also, in 1964 when Judo was recognized at the Tokyo Olympics, the western world became more interested in Karate. Also, martial art movies help propel Karate in the western and other parts of the world.

The Karate Kid, a movie showing how a young American was introduced to Karate, also helped popularize the world’s lethal yet beautiful martial art.

Another thing that made Karate one of the deadliest forms of martial arts is that the sport focuses both on the mind and body.

More about Karate:

Top 5 Most Deadly Martial Arts in the World

Our list is coming to an end! Let’s examine the world’s most violent, brutal, and lethal martial arts.

5. Vale Tudo

Vale Tudo means Everything is allowed. Even from the name, we don’t have to stress how vicious this martial art can be.

Also known as No hold barred, Vale Tudo became popular in Brazil Circuses during the 20th century. As the brutal fight became popular, many people started training for competitions with more than one Vale Tudo style. Rather, they used both striking and grappling styles to overcome their opponents.

Since Everything goes in Vale Tudo, fighters can use any fighting technique. When watching a Vale Tudo contest, no one knows the next step of the fighters as they’ve no restrictions or rules on how they can attack their opponents or defend themselves.

Vale Tudo doesn’t only lack rules; there is also no time limit – the fight continues until athletes sustain serious injuries and can’t continue to fight.

Though the coming of UFC has made Vale Tudo organizers develop some rules on fighters’ safety, many fighters and audiences still prefer the pure lawless form of the sport.

Today, Most Vale Tudo Fights are held underground as they’re mostly too sensitive for the media.

4. Wrestling

Wrestling is an old combat sport with a long history dating back to the olden centuries. There are different types of wrestling, but they all involve two competitors trying to make an opponent’s body touch the ground by forcing him to a prone position.


This deadly sport probably originated as hand-to-hand combat, where it was classified into different categories. Today, most UFC fighters use wrestling techniques as their main fighting strategy.

Despite being an effective and old sport, wrestling is inarguably one of the most lethal sports ever. It is one of the fighting techniques that the Gladiators used during the Roman fight, and we all know how violent it ended.

Wrestling is an incredibly demanding combat sport that requires a lot of speed and strength. It also exposes athletes to extreme fatigue and body pain.

It is common to see wrestlers sustaining dislocations, cauliflower ear, ligamentous knee injuries, and sprains around the elbow. Also, because the sport involves a lot of body contact, there is a high risk of contracting contagious skin problems.

To show you how deadly wrestling can be, some wrestlers have lost their lives in professional wrestling, one of which is Owen Hard, who kicked the bucket after falling into the WWE cage.

3. Gouging Fighting Style

The Gouging fighting style, also known as Rough and Tumble, is a fighting style that was very popular in the eighteenth century.

It was said to originate from North America, and the main aim of the fight is to scoop out your opponent’s eye and weaken them with all forms of brutal techniques. Rough and Tumble is America’s no hold underground sport with only one rule – either to knock out your opponent viciously or to instill too much pain that they’ll give up and shout enough. Fighters can maximize any fighting technique, from wrestling, grappling, kicking, hitting, or attacking sensitive areas like genitals and throat.

History had it that Rough and Tumble was introduced to North America from England, where the sport was referred to as bragging and fighting. The combat sport is so brutal that most players end up blinded or forever maimed after the fight.

In the late 1700s, attempts were made to soften the brutal fighting techniques of rough and tumble in Virginia. Legislations were made to prohibit attacking eyes, biting, battering, and clutching of genitals. Despite these laws, the Southern highlands continue to practice this deadly combat sport.

Though the North American rough and tumble still exists, South Africa has developed an independent fighting style. Rough and Tumble in South Africa started in the 1980s when officials needed to train their soldiers in unarmed yet violent combat.

Martial techniques influenced the South African Rough and Tumble. However, it is completely unrelated to the olden days gouging fighting style.

2. Ninjutsu

Ninjutsu, also called Ninjitsu, is a combat sport involving vicious warfare and self-defense tactics. Its practitioners are referred to as Ninjas.


The martial art is considered one of the most deadly on earth due to the rigorous training that comprises a lot apart from physical self-defense. Because of its violent nature, Ninjutsu isn’t popular like other martial arts, and few schools teach the deadly art.

Ninjutsu has an old history dating back to the early centuries when Prince Shotoku ruled Japan. The martial art was first used during the Genpei War. After the war, Ninjutsu was further developed and refined by different groups of Samurai.

While many believe that Ninjutsu prepares you to defend yourself against armed and unarmed attackers, the martial art is much more than that. It is considered the second most deadly art in the world after Krav maga.

Ninjutsu encompasses more than 18 fighting techniques; unlike other martial arts, there aren’t different styles in Ninjutsu. All Ninjas are expected to learn all the fighting techniques to become real Ninjutsu masters.

The techniques include Hojojutsu, Kusarigamajutsu, Kenjutsu, Intonjutsu, Tenmon, Sui-ren, Hensōjutsu, Seishin Teki kyōyō, and Sōjutsu. Combining these techniques gives birth to one of the most effective yet deadly self-defense martial arts.

Today, thousands of Ninjas are practicing this martial art worldwide, though most practices are kept away from the public.

1. Krav Maga

Krav Maga is the deadliest martial art in the world. The military self-defense art was developed for the Israeli Defence Force and Israeli Security forces. The lethal martial art includes Judo, KarateKarate, wrestling, boxing, and other brutal fighting techniques.

Most of Krav Maga’s fighting techniques are a result of the Hungarian-Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld’s martial art street fighting skills.

Many don’t consider Krav maga a martial art because it lacks harmony and spiritual enhancement. It is all about how to quickly defend yourself and knock down your opponent. There are no rules so that fighters can target any area.

In Krav Maga, a fighter is expected to use whatever will work to maim and incapacitate their assailant. There’s no mercy or compassion towards attackers.

We shouldn’t be surprised to see how deadly Krav maga is since Imi Lichtenfeld developed the martial art for the Jews to protect themselves against attackers. As such, the sport is all about combat.

As we know, the Israelis are always mired in wars and conflict; therefore, they’ve to devise an effective and deadly form of martial art to defend their army.

It’s very common to see Judo, boxing, Karate, and wrestling competition, but not Krav maga contests as they’re too lethal for public view!

Krav Maga isn’t a sport martial art; it’s all about combat and exposing your opponent’s weakness.

[Read also: The 7 Best Martial Arts For Self-Defense]

Wrapping Up

Thousands of martial arts are practiced in different regions of the world. While some of these martial arts are for self-defense while inflicting little or no harm to opponents, some are so lethal that they aim at maiming or even killing an opponent.

The above 25 martial arts are the most lethal; though there are other deadly martial arts, these 25 are your one-stop if you want to overcome your attackers even before they attack you.

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