10 Best Martial Arts For Fitness

martial arts for fitness

Martial arts can be both fun and challenging if you want to improve your fitness. Not only do martial arts provide a great workout for the body, but they also offer valuable self-defense skills and can boost confidence levels.

With so many martial arts styles out there, choosing which one to try can be tough. To help you start your fitness journey, here are the top ten martial arts for fitness that you may want to try out.

1. Taekwondo

Taekwondo is a great martial art for improving fitness and overall health. The high kicks and fast footwork involved in Taekwondo provide an excellent cardiovascular workout, while the constant movement of punches, blocks, and kicks helps to tone muscles throughout the body.

In addition to its physical benefits, practicing Taekwondo can boost confidence levels and improve coordination and balance. There is no wonder that Korean martial arts are so popular worldwide!

2. Judo

Judo is a fantastic martial art for improving fitness and well-being. While it may not include strikes like Taekwondo, Judo focuses on using techniques of movement and balance to throw opponents off guard and execute holds and pins to win matches.

This makes it a great workout for developing flexibility, strength, coordination, and mental toughness. Judo emphasizes technique over brute force and is a martial art that individuals of all ages and fitness levels can practice.

3. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu focuses on grappling technique and leverage instead of brute strength and brute force. It’s become increasingly popular in recent years due to its practical applications for self-defense and its ability to develop mental discipline and well-being.

Training can be intense and cardiovascular, but the numerous benefits include muscle toning, weight loss, and improved flexibility. The techniques used in Phoenix Brazilian Jiu Jitsu include joint locks, chokeholds, and holds that can subdue an opponent with minimal risk of injury.

4. Boxing

Boxing is a fantastic martial art that benefits physical fitness and overall health. It’s a great way to improve footwork, self-defense skills, coordination, and power control.

In addition to these benefits, a boxing workout can also significantly increase cardiovascular fitness levels, help burn fat and build upper body strength. Training often involves vigorous drilling exercises such as shadowboxing, heavy bag training, and interval sprints.

5. Muay Thai

There are many physical and mental benefits to Muay Thai as it is an extremely effective martial art. It’s derived from muay boran and incorporates both punches and kicks, making it a well-rounded combat sport.

Through hard training exercises like jump rope drills, shadowboxing, running, and stretching, practitioners of Muay Thai can develop strength, focus, and perseverance.

In addition to the physical benefits of improved lung capacity and weight loss due to the intense cardiovascular nature of training, Muay Thai can also have positive psychological effects by providing a sense of self-confidence and discipline. Overall, Muay Thai is an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their fitness levels while learning valuable self-defense skills.

6. Karate

The practice of Karate can benefit overall fitness in several ways. As a striking art, it primarily focuses on punching, kicking, and other hand-to-hand combat techniques to defend oneself from an attack.

Through training in karate, practitioners can improve their balance, flexibility, strength, and speed. Additionally, everyone of any age can enjoy karate.

7. Capoeira

There are many aspects of capoeira that combine dance, acrobatics, and martial arts. It’s an incredibly dynamic practice that can improve strength, balance, and coordination.

During a typical session, practitioners will move around the floor in patterns that involve kicks, flips, and other acrobatic movements. As capoeira gains popularity around the world, more and more people are discovering its potential for fitness gains.

8. Kung Fu

Kung Fu is a fascinating martial art that originated in China and consists of various Chinese martial arts. It uses strikes, kicks, throws, and sweeps to ward off an opponent, and blocks to parry and disarm, allowing you to use your attacker’s strength and momentum against them.

In addition to teaching physical combat techniques, Kung Fu promotes spiritual and mental development. Combining fitness, coordination, balance, and core stability into one workout is considered one of the best all-around martial arts for fitness.

9. Krav Maga

Israeli Defense Forces developed Krav Maga as a form of self-defense and fitness. This combat system draws on boxing, Muay Thai, wrestling, and other martial arts techniques to teach students how to defend themselves against punches, kicks, grabs, and more.

A great workout can also be obtained from Krav Maga, which can help you keep fit. The focus is primarily on developing reflexes and instincts so that you can quickly respond to different situations. If you’re looking for a practical self-defense system that can also help you get in shape, Krav Maga is definitely worth considering!

10. Aikido

Aikido is a fascinating Japanese martial art that focuses on throws, joint locks, pins, and strikes. It’s considered one of the best martial arts for both physical and mental conditioning because it requires you to stay focused and concentrated even when sparring with an opponent.

Unlike some other martial arts, Aikido doesn’t teach you how to attack your opponent instead you learn how to use their energy against them. The combination of fitness improvement, fun, and self-defense skills makes this the ideal choice for anyone who wants to improve their fitness and have fun at the same time.


Martial arts can be an excellent way to improve your fitness levels while also learning valuable self-defense skills. By training regularly in one of these ten best martial arts for fitness, you can improve your strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, coordination, and overall health.

So why not give it a try? With the guidance of experienced instructors and the support of a welcoming community of fellow practitioners, you might just discover a new passion that will get you in shape.

Gretchen Walker
Gretchen is a homemaker by day and writer by night. She takes a keen interest in life as it unfolds around her and spends her free time observing people go about their everyday affairs.