Which Is Better?Beginners in the martial arts are always asking, questions like: "Can MMA beat aikido?" "Can judo beat capoiera?" I've practiced Kokikai Aikido for 22 years. Our founder, Shuji Maruyama Sensei, always tells us seek proof: Try things one way, then try them another, and find out for yourself which is better. Of course you can't try every martial art, and you certainly can't try them all for long enough to get really expert, not in this lifetime, anyway. So I thought I'd take a little survey...
But First: Are You Asking the Right Question?After we have some martial arts experience, most of us realize that asking, "Which is the most effective martial art?" is a little meaningless. All have strengths and weaknesses, depending on what you're trying to achieve, and also on your body type, personality, level of dedication, etc.
Think about why you want to practice a martial art in the first place. If your goal is to kill someone, a gun is very effective, and a four year old can use it with no training. Most of us train in a martial art for other reasons: maybe because of the way it affects our bodies - giving us the ability to do things we couldn't do before - and our minds - changing the way we react, especially to stressful situations. For example, if you want to be a trained killer without needing a weapons permit, keep in mind that you will have the mind of a trained killer, as well as the body. When you meet someone at a wedding reception, do you really want your first thought to be how easy it would be to knock them out, or break their knees?
It may be better to choose a style that's a good fit for you than to choose "the one that can beat everyone." Also, the quality of your teacher is at least as important as the style you choose.
Link to Survey Results