3 Best Martial Arts For a Street Fight | Explained

Believe it or not, not every martial arts is useful in a street fight. In this page we'll go over the best martial arts for street fights, and what makes them the best.

Table of Contents

  1. Muay Thai
  2. Wrestling
  3. Jiu Jitsu

1. Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a martial art where you will learn to strike with your hands, elbows, knees and feet.

muay thai knee

In a street fight, there are no rules, and by having multiple weapons (in terms of skill) at your disposal, you will generally have more success.

Most street fights are composed of individuals throwing haymaker punches, or trying to go for takedowns. It is rare that those engaging in a street fight even know how to strike, and thus don't understand how to defend strikes.

Muay Thai will train you in every aspect of a fight, including using all parts of your body efficiently, as well as teaching you to fight at different distances.

In a training session, students will learn distance management, and how to fight from long distance, medium range, and in the clinch.

There aren't many martial arts (besides mixed martial arts) that will expose you to this variety of situations and skills.

2. Wrestling

As we mentioned earlier, street fights either are filled with fighters throwing haymaker punches, or with them trying to take the fight to the ground.


Wrestling is one of the most used martial arts in MMA, so it only makes sense that it will have great success in a street fight as well.

Having experience knowing how to take your opponent to the ground, understanding body positions and leverage can make a tremendous difference in a street fight.

With all of this being said, since there are no rules in a street fight, it's important to know that there is no gentleman agreement of only one person will be involved in the fight.

There may be others that will attempt cheap shots at the very minimum.

3. Jiu Jitsu

Most street fights end up in the ground one way or another, and there isn't a better martial art for the ground than Jiu Jitsu.

jiu jitsu

Jiu Jitsu specializes in ground fighting, applying submissions, defending submission, understanding body positioning and leverage.

Regardless of your size, Jiu Jitsu can be very beneficial in helping you get out of dangerous situations in a street fight.

If we go back in history to the early days of the UFC, in their first few events, you'll realize it was essentially a street fight.

Fighters were able to wear what they wanted, use no gloves, and have almost no rules except no eye gouging or hitting below the belt.

In those times, Royce Gracie famously won the first 3 of 4 UFC events, despite being at a giant height & weight disadvantage. He would go on to submit fighters much bigger and stronger than him.

It's important to know that if there are several fighters versus one in a street fight, Jiu Jitsu isn't meant to fight multiple attackers at once.

In fact, you'll have a hard time finding any martial arts that are made for multiple attackers.

Your best option if you end up in a street fight is to de-escalate a situation and/or run away safely, especially versus multiple attackers. Martial arts are made to use in self-defense situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Martial Arts Useful in a Street Fight?

Absolutely, martial arts will provide you with the necessary skills that directly translate to a street fight, it will provide you with a sense of composure, and the fight IQ will help you make better decisions.