What Style Martial Arts Should I Learn?

What Style Martial Arts Should I Learn?

What Style Martial Arts Should I Learn?

The short answer - it depends! There’s so many factors when it comes to deciding which martial arts style you would like to enroll yourself or your child in. 

Determine What Style Of Martial Arts You’d Like To Do 

At Garden State Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, we clearly specialize in just that - Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu! We offer classes for both kids and adults of all skill levels, as well as classes in the Gi and classes that are done without the Gi (No-Gi). There are a lot of great martial arts schools in Central Jersey that focus on other styles of martial arts (as well as other great Jiu-Jitsu schools).  

Karate/Tae Kwon Do

These martial arts are traditional striking arts that focus on punches and kicks, and sometimes include offense and defense with weapons such as swords, staffs, and knives. These martial arts focus on developing speed, technique, and precision while also building confidence and physical fitness. Two great academies for traditional martial arts are Satori Academy and Elite Martial Arts. 


Kickboxing is similar to traditional martial arts in that it’s a striking art, but kickboxing (muay thai, dutch style, fitness) is going to be more about conditioning and sport, then traditional martial arts which often include more drilling (forms) and self defense. Kickboxing is great for learning how to fight from the feet but does not include any techniques to take people down, prevent getting taken down, or what to do if you and your opponent end up on the ground. That being said, it is an excellent martial arts style that has many opportunities for practitioners to test their skills in competition/sparring as well as learn valuable techniques that can help them in a self defence situation.


Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that focuses on using technique and leverage to allow a smaller person to defeat a bigger and stronger opponent. Jiu-Jitsu teaches how to quickly get the fight to the ground to avoid dangerous striking exchanges and furthermore, how to use control positions and submission techniques to control the fight on the ground. Jiu-Jitsu is also a fun, fast paced sport where practitioners are able to get an awesome workout while sparring in a safe way that avoids many injuries since there’s no kicking, punching,or striking. Due to the fact that Jiu-Jitsu does not include strikes, those wanting to learn martial arts for self defense should make sure their BJJ school teaches takedowns and strike defenses in their classes, or supplement with kickboxing classes to learn basic strikes and defense.  

What is your goal and what do you like? 

Whether it’s self defense, physical fitness, building confidence, or just learning a new hobby - the good news is that any martial art will help you achieve these goals. Some styles are better for some things then others. If your goal would be to really learn a lot of self defense and gun/knife disarming - Krav Maga would be a better choice then Kickboxing. 

If you are someone that would not be comfortable with a wrestling type martial art - a cardio kickboxing class where you just work with a bag would likely be a better choice then Jiu-Jitsu or wrestling. 

Stylistically if you prefer a more sport/MMA environment, you may want to go with a school that does a lot of No-Gi or Kickboxing rather than a traditional martial art like Tae Kwon Do or Karate. 

Final Thoughts

As 2nd Degree Jiu-Jitsu black belt, my experience with the martial arts has been very very Jiu-Jitsu based, and I’m very happy that I made the choice to go with Jiu-Jitsu when I first started training in the martial arts. That being said, Jiu-Jitsu is not the right style for everyone who is interested in learning martial arts! It’s important to decide what you are interested in and what you would like to learn. Even though I have dedicated my life to training and teaching Jiu-Jitsu, I know a lot about various styles and can recommend people for many different types of training. Drop me line at (908) 433-3025 or gardenstatebjj@gmail.com if you have questions about Jiu-Jitsu or any other type of martial art!

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