What's the Most Effective Martial Art?

The most effective martial art (for self-defense and life-preservation) is the one you've trained in your whole life. There's no one martial art that's really any better or more effective than another. Every art has its strengths; every art has its weaknesses, its limitations, and its gaps. Do you know the strengths and weaknesses of your art? If you don't, this knowledge deficiency could get you seriously hurt or even killed.

So your skilled in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) and think its the best. Well, you're probably right—at least for you and the situations you visualize (and train to face). But what happens when you're having to deal with more than one attacker (and don't know it)? Like the friend (you don't see) of the guy you just put to sleep? You know? The guy who comes up behind you and crashes a bottle over your head while you're still engaging his "friend?"

So you're skilled at TKD (Tae Kwon Do) and think its the best. Again, it probably is for you, because we all tend to gravitate toward that which meshes with who we are and what we're about. But what happens if you're attacked when it's snowing out? And there's ice on the sidewalk? Or when you're in a swimming pool, or in a tight space (like a concessions line at a Durham Bulls game)? Your tornado kick will be absolutely useless.

The most effective, most powerful martial art is the one you've trained in the most. I call it "the base art" of your fighting or martial arts repertoire. For me, it's Muay Thai.

But Muay Thai has severe limitations. That's why I've trained also in boxing, wrestling, Tae Kwon Do (Ji Do Kwan), Wing Chun, Systema, BJJ, mindfulness (yes, paying attention is a great defensive skill), and sprinting (yes, running away is a great defensive skill, too). It's why I train, too, in the use of (and defense against) projectile weapons (like pepper gel and firearms), edge weapons (like knives, scissors, and screw drivers), and blunt force weapons (like sticks, bats, and automobiles).

In whatever art you're engaged, train hard. Pay attention also to the gaps in that art and ESPECIALLY to the self-created gaps caused by your reticence to take advantage of everything your art offers. Most of us take advantage of only about 20 to 30 percent of what our arts offer us. Work to change that, and you'll become more effective.

Peace to you, friends...


My new book, Experiments in Prayer: Monastic Practice in Ordinary Life, is now available in paperback from Amazon.

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100% of all author royalties are, most gratefully, donated in equal parts to Christ the King Church and Zoweh Ministries.


A Note to All My Blog and Social Media Friends and Followers:

I've made it a point, over the last decade, to accept friend and follower requests from any who ask. I think I've "defriended" only three or four people in the last ten years and did so only because they posted inappropriate material to one of my walls or timelines. Thankfully, it's been several years since anyone committed such a breech of etiquette.

I write all this to indicate I have many "friends" and "followers," whom I do not know personally (yet!). Lately, I've been getting countless (sometimes more than 200 a day) messages from people I don't know. Please know this: I speak a brief word of blessing over each person who sends me a message, but I can respond directly to only a few each day. If I did not discipline my activities in this way, I could, conceivably, spend my entire day every day responding to such messages.

By disciplining myself to the above social media activity-limitation plan, I in no way want to belittle or disrespect anyone or hurt anyone's feelings. My hope and prayer is that, even if I don’t respond to your message directly, you will know I cherish you and pray you'll experience God's love and grace personally and deeply. Experiencing God is the highest Good anyone could ever experience. May each of you experience such Good through your pursuits of Divine Union with Jesus Christ, the Eternal Living God.

As always, may the Lord bless you and keep you…


IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):

Mondays: Meditative Prayer

Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline

Fridays: Martial Arts Practice



The Life You Were Born to Live