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MA learning curve

After Rugby season ends in a little over a month, besides lifting I was considering taking up a martial art for fun, improved agility, plain old interest, etc… My question is that as I only have a few months between seasons, what MA has the fastest learning curve. As in, what would actually be worth studying for that short of a time? If I enjoy it enough i will definitely come back to study more in the summer and other off seasons and occasionally during season. I know of a kempo club at school, Im sure there are other MAs, we also have a boxing club…

You gotta go MMA/sub. wrestling/BBJ/Boxing/muay thai or something similar (not in content but in approach). It definitely has the fastest learning curve and it is actually pretty effective.


I don’t know about Martial Arts per se, but if you have access to one of those combat classes, taught by the guys who instruct military special forces, those have a steep learning curve – and you learn some nasty, nasty sh*t.

Would boxing be more worthwhile than an MA? And also, doesnt all that MMA take even longer to learn…?

This is the Kempo club at my school

I am currently looking for other MA styles that are offerred near here. The instructors seem to incorporate other MA’s into their teaching style.

Boxing is a great sport to keep you in good shape and teach you to punch. Its effective fast. Downside is that its very limited in what you do. If your just looking for off season fun then this could well be for you.

Boxing, Muay Thai for stand-up fighting. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling (greco or freestyle) for ground fighting.

he didn’t ask for MMA, but rather just an MA to take for a few months. I would take kickboxing or muay thai. It will improve your speed and flexibility, as well as keep you in shape.

My recommendation was basically about taking something that focused heavily on sparring, because that’s what it takes to get good fast. If it’s just for a few months I would probably recommend boxing or possible muay thai. And BTW boxing IS a martial art.


Thanks JW, thats what I was looking for. I know if I want to be a great fighter bbj, muay thai, grappling, etc. would be required, but I don’t have time for that. There was already a huge thread about that anyhow. I want a beginning fun and effective MA that I can actually learn useful stuff in the first few months. Ill look into kickboxing, see whats around. Most people I know who do kickboxing first learned like karate first and then transitioned, is that not necessary JW?

Karate won’t help your kick boxing at all. There’s no reason to learn it wrong first.


I’d go with boxing over kickboxing. The major part of north american style kickboxing is still boxing. Also you can learn more in a condensed period of time.

No, karate doesn’t turn into kickboxing. There are a few guys that fight at the gym I train at that are strictly kickboxers, nothing else. I get to spar with them (be their punching bags) sometimes.

Mud Dog- while I agree that NA kickboxing is based on boxing, there are many differences, such as foot base, combos, balance, etc. In boxing, you should have a center of gravity almost right between your legs, whereas in kickboxing, your center of gravity shifts big time from foot to foot. Think about how devastating a combo like jab, cross, right roundhouse kick is. I’ve beeen hit by it before and it’s not fun.

Muay thai is even more fun, cuz you can use knees and elbows and kick at the legs.

Being that I do both boxing and muay thai I know what you’re talking about. What this guy wants is some off season fun that he will be able to very quickly learn apply and enjoy. Imho boxing is the better choice. Being that it is more specialized then the others there is more that can be learned and achieved quickly.
While I’m not arguing that over the long run a MA that involves using both punches and kicks(possibly elbows and knees) is going to be more effective, it also takes that much longer to learn and apply properly and competently.
Being that the origional question was which martial art has the fastest learning curve, not necessarily the most effective in a fight, I would say boxing.

I like boxing or Brazilian Jiujitsu.

I can tell you what not to take. First of all, I would take nothing that is not based in reality. Take no martial art that asks you to do “kata” and has you striking and kicking at the air hundreds of reps each day.

I used to be in a course like this, in fact for many years. I thought it was effective, then one day the instructor started sparring me and I was losing badly. I tried to call a time out, but he would not let up.

I then called out his name, in order to end the session. All he did was intensify his attack. I was getting pretty beat up as he was fast with his hands and feet. Faster than I anyway. I was getting mad and had had enough!

So, I resorted to my 6 year wrestling background. I shot a double leg takedown on him and started reining punches down until two of the other guys in the dojo pulled me off of him. At that point I knew that karate was not the be all and end all of fighting.

This was probably a good 10 years before Royce Gracie proved to the world that grappling was an effective way to defend yourself.

Beyond that I feel that any reality based martial art is good. that’s why I like boxing. You get hit, and hit your opponent on a regular basis. BJJ is similar in that you are going full bore on a daily basis.

Well, I agree Mud Dog. Boxing is also very tiring and great for shoulders and trap strength.

I don’t agree that BJJ is good choice. It takes about 3 years just to move up one belt, and that’s average. That’s ridiculous. Take boxing or kickboxing. Kickboxing works your abs HAAARD, as you have to crunch down to kick, but you can learn boxing quickly. Either one is a good choice.


Three words Jeet Kune Do, if you can find a good Jeet Kune Do school that would be my recomondation. Its the style of fighting that Bruce Lee invented and bacically incorperates what actually is effective in all the other major schools of fighting. Plus none of it is very difficult to learn. Lots of ground fighting, takedowns, boxing, mui thai, weapons, mass attack.

I would definitely NOT take jeet kune do unless you do a lot of research prior to joining a gym. Seriously. There are so many jkd instructors that are shitty and claim a lot of stuff, but they are bunk. Do your research if you want to join JKD. I would do boxing before jkd.

Who cares how long it takes to move up a belt? There are plenty of TKD schools around here that will happily sell me a black belt for a decent cheque and about 6 months of my time. . .

Now, I don’t disagree with you about the BJJ thing. It takes quite a bit of time before you become an effective grappler (I did/taught Judo so I’m fairly knowledgeable here) whereas boxing/kickboxing/Muay Thai will become effective much more quickly. Plus you’ll get a better workout than you will at most grappling clubs.

On the topic of Jeet Kune Do (JKD) I don’t think you’ll ever find a very good club. I’ve looked and I’ve never found a decent one.

Now I’m not knocking the CONCEPT of JKD but what Bruce taught/did and what is now taught as JKD share only a name.

Look at it this way, if you want to become the best at anything you should learn from the best right? If you want to become the best puncher possible learn from boxers no-one can out punch a boxer. If you want to become the best grappler possible learn from a Judoka/wrestler/BJJ club. If you want to be the best puncher/kicker learn from a kickboxer.

Makes sense right?

Then, once you’ve developed a good degree of proficiency in these things learning from the best you should go somewhere that can teach you to integrate them properly, that’s where a MMA club comes in. Rememeber, JKD/MMA are jacks of all trades, masters of none. . .

Anyway, back to the original question:

Definetly boxing. No question, it’ll get you the most benefit in the least time for all the reasons that Mud Dog has already mentioned.



While it does take a bit longer to get a belt in BJJ rest assured that a blue belt, which is the frist step, is the equivalent of a black belt in most of the “traditional” martial arts.

Also, regarding real fighting. It has been proven through actual police logs that most fights, over 90%, end up in a grappling situation. So, why not learn a grappling art?

This is not to say that boxing is ineffective. On the contrary, I think one should have a good stand up and ground game. But, where do you begin? If I were him and had it to do all over again, I would begin with grappling.