3 Best Martial Arts For Short Guys

Being short can actually have advantages in martial arts. In this page, we'll go over the best martial arts for short guys, why they're the best martial arts, and how a short height can be an advantage.

best martial arts for short guys

Table of Contents

  1. Wrestling
  2. Boxing
  3. Judo

1. Wrestling

Short guys need to use their speed to close the distance, and use their short stature in order to be the lower man. None of this is more beneficial than in wrestling.

wrestling short guys

If you take one look at the successful wrestlers, you'll notice their body frame is filled out, on the stockier side, and they are also on the shorter side.

From the Olympic Gold medalist and former UFC champion (of two weight classes) Henry Cejudo standing at 5 ft 4 inches, to the Olympian and former UFC champion (of two weight classes as well), Daniel Cormier standing at 5 foot 11 inches.

Cejudo was able to accomplish this despite always being at a height disadvantage by using his superior wrestling to overwhelm his opponents.

Cormier was able to do a similar strategy, despite being the shorter man in every one of his fights at heavyweight.

Wrestling has been proven time and time again throughout history to favor shorter guys, as it uses their body stature and frame to their advantage, in order to make taking down their opponents easier.

2. Boxing

Boxing is a martial art where two fighters are attempting to knock out the other, strictly using their hands.

boxing short guys

For shorter fighters, in order to have success, they have two options: Enter the range, land a shot, and use their speed to back out without being hit. Or close the distance and fight from the clinch.

Both options can be effective, but for the first option, you'll have to ensure that your cardio holds up for the duration of the fight.

This means that you will have to be 'fresher' than your opponent in order to maintain the speed advantage.

The second option is one that is more commonly used, and the reason for that is that it's easier to do for the entire fight.

Additionally, when you close the distance in boxing, vs a taller opponent, they will naturally have a harder time hitting you in the clinch.

Their long arms will take longer to land in shorter distances, and they will not be able to land as hard of shots, as they would in longer-spaced distances.

This is actually the exact strategy that Daniel Cormier employed throughout his entire career, in addition to his wrestling.

3. Judo

Much of what you do in Judo requires being lower than your opponent, and for shorter fighters this is exactly what you want to hear.

judo short guys

Judo is based around using grips, balance, power and movement in order to take an opponent to the ground.

Similarly to wrestling, being short in this martial art is a massive advantage.

Being 6 ft 4 inches, and trying to get low will be a lot tougher than being 5 ft 4 inches, and being low.

Unlike boxing, where you will have to close the distance quickly, in Judo you will already be within striking range of your opponent.

This is essentially the frosting on the cake, as you can focus on using the proper techniques and leverage in order to take down your opponent.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Martial Art is Good For a Short Person?

In short, Wrestling, Boxing and Judo are perfect martial arts for a shorter person. It allows you to use your shorter stature in order to close the distance, be the lower fighter, and use leverage, positioning and grip in order to have success.

Does Height Matter in Martial Arts?

Height will always matter in martial arts, however skill will matter much more. Understanding how to use your height, whether short or tall, to your advantage is the first step. The second step is learning the martial arts that will provide you with the skills to properly use your height as an advantage.