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What Combat Sport to Choose?

Im looking for a good martial art or combat sport that will help me transfer my lifting strength into real world fighting power for self defense,but idk which one to attentd. Im currently split between Judo and Boxing but if there are better more practical ones id do them.
P.s. i cant train muy thai or bjj cuz there are no clubs here.

Try a couple styles/places and pick one that you seem to enjoy, like the training environment and has a schedule/location which allows you to train regularly (i.e. x2/wk). Without knowing the instructor it’s difficult to say which is your best bet. You can have a poor teacher in a great style or an awesome/practical one in a “weak” style that may be more beneficial.



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With boxing, you hit someone with your fist. With judo, you hit someone with the earth.

That aside, take classes at both and see which one you like more. The best self defense is to avoid bad situations. This will most likely end up being a hobby for you, so do something you like.


Do you have any Krav Maga programs near you? They teach effective self defense moves… you know the stuff that’s considering cheating but you need to do in real life like eye gouges etc.

So like, to make sure I can apply an armbar in a fight, I’ll grapple with a sparring partner, we’ll go pretty intense at it, he’ll resist me, I’ll sink in the arm-bar and extend until he knows any more will break the arm and he’ll tap out.

And, if I wanna make sure I can hit someone with a jab or a hook, we’ll square off, he’ll defend himself, and I’ll try to land it while he’s resisting me.

How do you train yourself to be able to land an eye gouge in a fight without constantly maiming your sparring partners?


Judo and boxing are both solid sports that transfer over to real-world situations. Anything where you’re sparring hard against someone trying to stop you will put you ahead of most assholes who don’t give you a choice to fight.

That’s where I don’t buy into the “practicality” of things like Krav Maga. It’s the “too deadly to train” fallacy. In short, you really don’t know if you can make your stuff work if you’re not actually making it work against someone trying to stop you. I’m sure there’s some legit guys out there, but most of what I’ve heard about sound like Live Action Role Playing.

I don’t have any experience with boxing but we do a fair bit of judo in BJJ and the judo guys I’ve trained with can be a real handful. If you did both you’d be a real handful.

As far as “making your strength transfer”, don’t get too caught up in that. Strength matters, and can sometimes matter a lot, but timing, technique and time spent training with a purpose is much more important. You’re developing a skillset, so don’t be surprised if your big deadlift doesn’t put you ahead of any other new trainee.


I’ve tried boxing and BJJ. I didn’t at all like BJJ, but really liked (like) boxing. It’s a personal preference. For “real world” self defense, I think either will serve you just fine as it’s unlikely you’ll get into throw-downs unless you’re looking for one. That said, with boxing - assuming you work up to sparring - you do have to adjust to someone throwing punches at you, and you learning to stay calm and counter.


train with robots. duh.


This really encapsulates the right ideas about martial arts and I’d like to expand on this idea a bit more. I’ve got a rather enjoyable and fairly well-paying side job as a bouncer that I keep going back to, despite my advancing age and doubts about the risk/reward ratio. I’ve been involved in more “street fights” than most, and I’ve come to believe that there are really two types of violence.

The first is predatory violence. This is the real deal. This is when you don’t have a say in whether things get violent or not, and you’re dealing with a person who wants to seriously harm you or take something from you. I’ve had two encounters that fit this bill in my 38 years on this planet.

The first was being robbed at gunpoint. I didn’t do anything heroic, I just gave the guy my money and was fortunate enough to not get shot. The second encounter I got the worst ass-whooping I ever had by a guy who spent 9 years in prison. It was totally unprovoked and took me by complete surprise. I was not expecting a beat-down on a basketball court, but that’s the hand I was dealt that particular day. This works out to 2 days out of roughly 7,300 days during my adult life that I’ve had to deal with real danger from a person who wished me harm.

If you’re serious about self-protection in these situations, you need to carry the deadliest weapon you’re allowed to by law, train with it, know the law and understand how that puts an increased burden on you to conduct yourself well at all times. This mostly boils down to walking away from assholes and minding your own business. In legal terms, the courts will hold me to a higher standard of conduct if I’m carrying a deadly weapon, which I do most of the time I’m out-and-about. For a simple example, I can’t draw my firearm and stick it in a guy’s face if he insults me. I need to keep on walking and continue to mind my own business, never escalating violence in any way whatsoever. There’s a lot more to understand than that, but core idea is that serious violence is serious business and your decisions have tremendous gravity.

That brings us to the other, much more common type of violence, what I call social violence. This includes bar fights, shit-talking, people acting like jerks, people challenging your manhood, that sort of stuff. This is all easily avoidable, but I totally understand the importance of standing up for yourself and the people under the mantle of your protection in situations like this. Bars and parties can be a lot of fun, and a byproduct of being in any setting where drugs or alcohol are being consumed is running into assholes with a penchant for social violence.

These situations will usually involve unskilled, aggressive people who don’t know anything about fighting. They usually end very quickly, but not always. We’ve only had one trained fighter start problems in the bars I’ve bounced at, and he was a super-featherweight (roughly 140 pounds) MMA competitor with some anger management issues and a bad case of tiny man syndrome. Sadly, it was not on my shift. The completely untrained hoss of a bouncer whose never lifted a weight in his life or been to a single martial arts class was able to control this guy and see him outside without getting hurt.

Of course, you’re a @skinnydeadliftgod , not a 6’3 380 pound hoss with a decade of bouncing experience like my partner is.

This is why I believe in the importance of hard sparring against resisting opponents no matter what martial art you choose. This is also why I believe that choosing something you enjoy will ultimately prepare you better over the long term. It takes a lot of practice to be good, and you’ll spend a lot of time getting lit up before you get there. You have to enjoy the process, including getting lit up, if you’re ever going to develop a robust skillset for dealing with violent people using your bare hands.

But once you’ve put your time in, whether it’s boxing, wrestling, BJJ, Judo, or Muay Thai, you will be orders of magnitude more prepared than the drunk asshole who wants to be aggressive with you. My money is on the guy with 6 months of real training. Start accumulating years, and violent grown men can sometimes be handled as easily as a child. You will have sparred with people who are better trained than virtually anyone who wants to peacock with social violence, and you’ll have a skillset that you can fall back on if you have no other choice with predatory violence.

Most of the benefits of martial arts have very little to do with violence, but you’ll need to sign up for something and walk the path to really understand what that’s all about. Boxing and Judo are both fine options, so I second @T3hPwnisher 's suggestion to try both and go with whatever you enjoy most. You need to accumulate that training time if you’re serious about becoming skilled with your bare hands, so it may as well be something you enjoy.


I was getting my ass handed to me at fist-a-cuffs so I did one of the few judo moves I knew at the time. I threw him on the ground and held them there until he gave up. Then he went around telling people I was a black belt in judo because he couldn’t wrap his head around the idea that only a few weeks of judo training was enough to take him down.


As someone who has a black belt in Shotokan Karate, and as someone who has 11 years of martial arts training under their belt, I would recommend getting as strong and fast as humanly possible and combining this with whatever form of martial arts you deem preferable. I mean…who’s gonna beat Thor in a fight? As a black belt who is the size of and is stronger than most fully grown men, I can positively say he would undoubtedly win any physical encounter we were to have. I can also positively say that my 74 year old Sensei, who has a replacement knee and hip, would kill me the second I stepped onto the mat with him. He is unassuming in physical size, but he is a dangerous man. Combine the best of both qualities, and nobody will mess with you because you’ll LOOK dangerous.

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For pure self-defense, both boxing and judo are great. I like boxing for its defensive aspects (i.e., learning how to avoid getting punched in the face), and judo for its offensive aspects (i.e., being able to physically manipulate someone potentially larger and stronger without harming them).

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Thanks,that was helpful.

Yeah totally agree. That was quite informative thanks.

Yup thats what i wanna do.

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Other than the great advice already given about trying different things, I’d say a lot of it comes down to convenience of location and schedule, group dynamics and quality of instruction.

I find most folks are either naturally grapplers or strikers. Some are pretty balanced, but most have a preference. Can’t say what yours is. If someone came at you, would you be more inclined to punch them or grab onto them? That’s the simple litmus test I use.

Boxing, wrestling, judo and bjj are all good. It’s down to availability and preference.

I have a close friend that’s been in it for years and swears by it. I’ve only trained in BJJ myself but I was shown some of their techniques and was impressed from a self defense aspect. I can’t honestly answer your question as I’ve not trained in the art. There are no schools near me but I would give it a shot based on what my friend has shown me.

Has he defended himself with it before?