10 Easiest Martial Arts to Learn

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Are you looking to learn a martial art but are worried that you won’t have the skills to master something complicated? If so, I’m here to help. I wanted to look at the most approachable martial arts that have the easiest learning curve.

While that’s the idea, it’s important to note that mastery of any martial art takes many years. However, all ten that we’ve looked at here allow you to have a decent level of proficiency in a short amount of time. Let’s get started!

10 Easiest Martial Arts to Learn

What is the easiest fighting style to learn? It’s a common question and one that I’m going to answer here. Along with looking at the easiest self defense to learn, I’ll also take a look at the fastest martial arts to learn and what are the best martial arts to learn at home. Without further delay, let’s check out this list of martial arts ranked from hardest to easiest.

10. Judo

I wouldn’t say that judo is easy to learn, but it’s easier than many other grappling martial arts. While many of the techniques are quite simple, they can take a while to perfect. Judo is a popular martial art for many reasons, but one of them is that anyone can do it. Its emphasis on leverage and technique instead of brute strength makes it highly effective against a larger opponent.

Developed from traditional Japanese martial arts, judo’s focus on throws and groundwork simplifies its learning curve. It allows beginners to quickly grasp the fundamentals and apply them in real-life situations.

Judo is structured to facilitate progressive learning, and its clear belt system allows you to track your progress easily. It also has controlled sparring (called randori) that allows you to practice techniques at full intensity but in a safe environment. That means you can commit fully to the martial art and rapidly improve your skills.

9. Wrestling

As with judo, wrestling isn’t an easy martial art but is a little less complicated than the likes of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Wrestling has fairly straightforward techniques and places a large emphasis on its fundamental principles. With dedicated learning, you can quickly improve.

The primary objective of wrestling is to control and pin your opponent. This emphasis helps to make it more accessible for beginners, as you don’t need to worry about strikes such as punches and kicks.

Wrestling has a fairly easy learning curve, as you mostly need to focus on basic positions, escapes, and takedowns. The lack of intricate techniques, combined with a strong emphasis on physical conditioning and mental toughness allows you to quickly build a foundational skill set.

8. Krav Maga

Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art that is designed to be a deadly self-defense system. Due to this, it’s a practical and efficient fighting system that aims to be as easy as possible to learn. There are no forms or katas to learn here, just essential self-defense skills.

One of the key features of Krav Maga is that it prioritizes instinctive movements and makes use of the body’s natural reflexes. This minimizes the need for you to remember complex techniques, allowing you to quickly acquire skills that can be used in real-world situations.

It will take you a while to become great at Krav Maga, but most of its curriculum is simple and adaptable. The emphasis on rapid and direct responses to threats makes Krav Maga accessible for individuals with limited martial arts experience.

7. Aikido

Aikido is a great martial art for those who won’t want to rely on their physical strength and instead prefer to focus on body mechanics and timing. The reason is due to aikido’s emphasis on harmonizing with an opponent’s energy and utilizing their force against them.

Aikido techniques focus on redirecting and neutralizing attacks. This makes it easier for those who may struggle with more physical martial arts. Added to this, its foundational movements are relatively simple to learn, making it highly accessible for beginners.

There are other reasons you may find aikido easy too. Techniques usually involve circular and flowing motions, usually with no sparring. With a strong emphasis on its ethical and spiritual aspects, you can learn at your own pace without fear of getting hurt.

6. Wing Chun

Wing Chun is similar to aikido in the sense that there is very little sparring, and it can easily be done by those who may not be physically strong. Not only that, but its techniques concentrate on simplicity and directness instead of flashy movement.

Wing Chun prioritizes economy of motion and being able to hit your opponent in the most efficient manner. This is linked to its centerline theory, which gives you the shortest possible route to striking your opponent and allows you to attack and defend simultaneously.

While Wing Chun basics are quite easy to learn, it does take a long time to master as it relies a lot on touch and reflexes, which will improve over time. However, with its well-structured curriculum, you have a well-defined path to improvement and will be motivated to keep improving.

5. Karate

It’s important to note that we are looking at the easiest here, and not easy. For example, while karate is easier than many other martial arts, it still requires immense practice and dedication to get to a high level. A part of the reason for karate being on this list is due to how accessible, structured, and efficient it is.

The techniques you’ll learn in karate are not only effective but also clear, allowing you to learn them with confidence. The systematic approach to striking and blocking allows a complete novice to pick up fundamental skills early in their karate journey.

As with many martial arts in this list, you can get good at karate relatively quickly, but it can then take a long time to become great. In the meantime, you’ll have karate’s renowned belt system as a visible marker of progress that will keep you motivated.

One of the wonderful aspects of karate is that it’s not a pretentious martial art. By that, I mean it doesn’t have complicated movements that have little practicality. Instead, you’ll learn straightforward stances and movements that make sense and will make you feel great once they’ve been learned.

A final important point for it being easy is the immense popularity of karate. The reason that links in with it being easy is that it’s easier to find qualified instructors, there is likely to be a dojo close to you, and there is a wealth of learning resources. If you have got stuck or start to struggle, help is never too far away.

4. Muay Thai

If you’ve got a lot of courage and don’t mind getting hurt, Muay Thai is one of the easier martial arts to learn. The simplicity of Muay Thai comes from its core set of effective techniques that allow you to utilize punches, kicks, elbows, and knee strikes.

As you may have worked out by now, I see striking martial arts as a little easier to learn than grappling martial arts. As with Muay Thai, they often have a more streamlined approach that allows beginners to quickly grasp the essential moves.

Muay Thai is both a sport and a practical martial art for self-defense. Due to this, there are no elaborate movements, and instead, it has a focus on power and efficiency. With pad work and partner drills, you’ll soon learn an impressive variety of strikes.

Muay Thai’s popularity seems to be ever-increasing, so you usually have easy access to qualified instructors. If you want to learn a martial art that has real-world effectiveness in a short amount of time, Muay Thai is a great option.

3. Kickboxing

Kickboxing is similar to Muay Thai, but you have even fewer strikes to learn. It’s the simplicity of these striking techniques that allows newcomers to grasp the fundamentals quickly. Without that complexity, you can quickly have fun while learning kickboxing.

All of the martial arts I’ve kicked for the top of this list share the same qualities of being practical and effective. That helps you to quickly understand what you’re being taught before putting it into action. You’ll then gradually improve as your muscle memory and reaction times get better.

Training is varied, and you’ll enjoy a mixture of pad work, bag drills, and sparring. Also, kickboxing classes are known for catering to individuals with varying fitness levels, so anyone can get involved. Both a popular fitness activity and sport, you’ll find a wealth of learning resources to help you on your journey.

2. Taekwondo

As long as you have a decent level of flexibility, taekwondo is quite an easy martial art to learn. Not only that, but it’s the safest contact sport. Despite the dynamic kicks, practitioners wear a lot of protection, and there are plenty of rules to protect combatants in its sporting version.

If you want the thrill of a combat sport but without as much danger, taekwondo is for you. While that’s true, the skills you will learn with this incredible martial art can become practical skills should you ever find yourself in real danger.

What’s particularly helpful for beginners is that taekwondo has a structured curriculum and clear progression through the belt ranks. While the high and fast kicks can seem daunting to learn at the start, you’ll soon find yourself with a dynamic skill set.

Due to the protective equipment, those learning taekwondo will spend plenty of time sparring. This allows for rapid development and a more enjoyable learning experience. Taekwondo is highly recommended for anyone looking to learn a martial art.

1. Boxing

The ultimate king of easy martial arts is boxing. It’s the most accessible simple martial art in the world, and on the surface, it is incredibly easy to learn. After a very short time, you’ll learn effective techniques that can be applied to real-world situations.

Of course, it’s almost impossible to get to an elite level otherwise it would be an easy route to becoming a multi-millionaire. However, with it only having the one striking motion of punching, you can rapidly develop some fundamental skills.

When it comes to punching techniques, there isn’t too much variation as you’ll be focusing on jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts. You won’t get frustrated by trying to learn complex forms, and you’ll soon notice your progress.

As with karate, the global popularity of boxing adds to its ease of learning. Every town or city is likely to have several boxing gyms. Also, while sparring is essential for improvement, you can learn a lot at home through shadowboxing and heavy bag work.

It’s for all these reasons that I listed boxing as the best martial art for self-defense. An added benefit of boxing is that it requires immense cardiovascular fitness, and you’re likely to become fitter than you ever have been.

Easiest Martial Arts to Learn – FAQs

What is the easiest martial art to learn at home?

I’d probably say boxing. You can vastly improve your punching technique at home, get fit, and study boxing tutorials. However, as with any martial art, learning at home can only get you to a certain level before you need expert tutoring. You can’t become an expert at any martial art if you only ever train at home.

What is the easiest black belt to get?

If I was to choose one, it would be taekwondo. But earning any black belt requires time, dedication, and effort. And if you don’t have a natural talent for taekwondo, it may be very difficult for you to get a black belt, and you may be more suited to grappling martial arts such as judo.

It would be unwise to take up a martial art just to get a black belt. Instead, focus on finding a martial art you love and one that matches your natural talent.

How do you decide which martial art to learn?

You need to consider your goals, interests, and preferred training style. Your choice also may be limited to what schools are local to you. Boxing and karate are two martial arts that are usually highly accessible, but do your research, take trial classes, and see which martial art most resonates with you.

Can you learn martial arts at home by yourself?

You can usually learn the basics of most martial arts at home. While that’s true, most martial arts typically require hands-on instruction from qualified instructors. If you wanted to learn a martial art at home, you’d need to choose one that has minimal or no sparring, such as aikido or Wing Chun. Even then, you’d struggle to get to a high level without in-person classes.

Can I still learn martial arts at 30?

Absolutely! Many people start their martial arts journey later in life. There is no reason you can’t still get a black belt after 30. For martial arts without a black belt, you’ll be able to have a lot of fun and learn some vital skills. 

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Span Chen
Span Chen
I have been practicing karate for more than 6 years, and now at the sixth level (green belt) of the Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karatedo Kugekai. Though I haven’t earned my Black Belt yet, I am deeply passionate about my training.