The Top 10 Most Lethal Forms of Martial Arts

Martial Arts came into mainstream consciousness when it was featured in various action-type television programs and films. Later on, it became the central story in most movies during the 1960's and 1970's. Nowadays, Hollywood Chinese actors Jackie Chan and Jet Li help promote martial arts through their movies.

While movies brought martial arts to the public, it has always been used in military trainings, self defense, health and fitness, mental, physical and spiritual development; and combat sport.

Martial Arts are dangerous especially when used in a real fight situation. In combat sport, a set of rules are followed to prevent individuals from serious injuries although there are instances in competitions when it happens especially in Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing or Jiu Jitsu.

Below is a list of popular martial arts forms that are considered lethal.

9 Wing Chun

Wing Chun is a type of Chinese martial art and self-defense that uses striking and grappling. Wing Chun’s characteristics are stance, balance, structure, relaxation, centerline, punches, uncommitted techniques, trapping skills and sensitivity; and close range. The proper Wing Chun stance resembles a bamboo. Balance is also involved because it helps the body to recover quickly from attacks. Structure, on the other hand, positions the individual properly to brace the opponent against the ground effectively. One of Wing Chun’s most popular practitioners was Chinese American actor and martial artist Bruce Lee. He developed an eclectic/hybrid system and philosophy based on Wing Chun called Jeet Kune Do.

9. Wrestling

Wrestling is one of the oldest forms of combat sport that involves various grappling techniques. Some of the grappling techniques involved are clinch fighting, joint lock, pins, throws and take-downs. Wrestling is also a part of literature such as Greek mythology, the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Mahabharata. The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles recognizes five different wrestling disciplines namely: Freestyle Wrestling, MMA, Grappling, Greco-Roman Wrestling and Beach Wrestling. Wrestling is also practiced in colleges and universities in the United States and collegiate wrestling competitions are held with the NCCA division as the most prestigious level in the competition held during March.

8 Taekwondo

Taekwondo is a form of martial arts combining self-defense techniques, combat, sport and exercise. It became officially part of the Olympic Games in 2000. Its two main branches are “traditional taekwondo” and “sport taekwondo”. Both branches were practiced in the 1950's and 1960's in South Korea. The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) are the two official organizations of the martial art. Both organizations have their own systems. WTF was established in 1973 and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee while ITF was founded in 1966. The most common part of the body that is prone to Taekwondo injuries are the legs. 


Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) uses striking and grappling techniques from various combat sports. Rules of the sport were regulated to make the martial arts safer for competition. The various martial art disciplines used in mixed martial arts are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, amateur wrestling, catch wrestling, judo, karate, kickboxing, muay thai and taekwondo. The largest mixed martial arts promotion company is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which was established in 1993.

6 Boxing


Boxing is a form of martial arts and combat sport that is officially recognized in the Olympics. Two persons battle by throwing punches at each other with the supervision of a referee. It is a contest of strength, endurance, reflexes, and speed. Boxing has been a part of the Olympic games since 688 BC. The World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA) and the World Boxing Organization (WBO) are the four official organizations for professional boxing bouts.

5 Kung Fu

Kung Fu is traditionally known as “Chinese martial arts” or “wushu” in Chinese Mandarin. Kung Fu consists of various fighting styles classified according to traits or geographical association. It was mainly used in ancient China for self-defense, hunting and military training. Chinese martial arts training has a wide component that includes forms, styles, basics, applications, weapons, philosophy, ethics and even medical practice. Learning about Chinese attitude and culture completes the training system.

4 Karate

Karate is a form of martial arts that was developed in Okinawa, Japan, which began as a common fighting system. Karate uses punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes. In addition, it uses open hand technique such as palm-heel strikes, spear-hands and knife-hands. A person who practices karate is called a karateka. From the 1960's to the 1970's, karate became popular worldwide when movies began to feature the martial art. The World Karate Federation is the largest and official organization for karate sport. Membership for the organization requires individuals who are members of one karate national organization or federation per country.

3 Krav Maga

Krav Maga is a tactical defense system that uses a combination of techniques from other martial art forms such as Wing Chun, Jiu Jitsu, boxing, and wrestling fused with realistic fight training. Krav Maga was developed in Israel by martial artist Imrich Lichtenfeld. Isael’s military, law and intelligence organizations Israeli Defense Forces, Mossad and Shin Bet use Krav Maga.

2 Muay Thai

Muay Thai came from the muay martial arts of Thailand. It is a combat sport that uses various clinching techniques and combat on foot known as “the art of eight weapons”. This form combines the use of fists, elbow, shins and feet. The World Muay Thai council is the organization that governs the martial art sport while the International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur governs the amateur league.

1 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a form of martial arts that uses grappling and ground fighting. It is also a combat sport and self defense system. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu originated from Kodokan Judo, which is another form of martial arts. Kodokan Judo was brought to Brazil in 1914 until the students who learned the martial art experimented on techniques and styles that eventually became Jiu Jitsu. The main difference of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to other forms of Jiu Jitsu style is its orientation with competition.

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