The Best Martial Arts For Women In 2024

Everyone in the world knows that martial arts can be a great way to stay fit and feel good about yourself. From Muay Thai to Judo, you can find different martial arts styles for women, and each one has its benefits.

Research has shown that the best martial arts for women can be an extremely effective way to promote self-esteem and discipline. It teaches you skills to protect yourself in dangerous situations and avoid them from occurring in the first place.

Best Martial Arts For Women

However, many girls feel intimidated by the thought of taking up martial arts because they’re afraid that they will be too weak for it. But this is not true. All styles of martial arts training are designed with both men and women in mind.

Now, suppose you’re a woman that isn’t comfortable enduring physical hardship or isn’t interested in letting her aggressive side go in healthy doses. In that case, you’re probably better off trying other forms of exercise, such as yoga or Pilates.

But if you do feel drawn to martial arts training, take a look at the following top eleven styles and see which one is the best fit for you.

11. Karate

Best Martial Arts For Women - Karate

Karate can help you become more disciplined, learn how to defend yourself from danger, and it’s also a great way to stay fit. Karate training is not as aggressive as some other martial arts like Muay Thai or MMA.

This Japanese martial art has been practiced for centuries because it’s so effective. Most people may assume that Karate is about violence and aggression. However, it’s not. Karate katas are performed in a way that is graceful and can be quite beautiful to watch.


  • This is a great martial art to help you become more disciplined.
  • With some adjustments is an excellent tool for self-defense, and you’ll be better prepared in case of an emergency.
  • It’s an excellent exercise for your body and mind.


  • It’s not the safest martial art for women to learn.
  • Karate may not be the most effective way of defending yourself against a large, robust man.
  • Some people say that it’s too difficult to learn. It takes time and dedication, which some people don’t have.

10. Krav Maga

Krav Maga For Women's Selfdefense

Krav Maga is an Israeli self-defense system that focuses on real-world situations and is popular among law enforcement and military professionals.

It’s an effective way to learn how to defend yourself against attacks in several violent scenarios. Krav Maga training is fast-paced, high-intensity.

It guides students through real-life situations and helps them figure out how they’d handle these situations if they were to happen in real life. Krav Maga teaches simple yet effective techniques that can be used in self-defense situations.

You’ll often find reputable Krav schools offering dedicated woman self-defense classes and seminars. In Krav Maga, you’ll improve skills like cardiovascular endurance, reflexes, conflict de-escalation, and awareness.


  • You can learn to defend yourself in various situations, and it’s highly effective.
  • It teaches you how to use your body as a weapon. This is very useful for women because they often find themselves physically disadvantaged in confrontations with men.
  • Krav Maga trains many skills simultaneously, making it an excellent exercise for both your body and mind.


  • It depends on you to practice diligently.
  • While Krav Maga may be effective against an attacker, it’s not always the best self-defense option against multiple attackers. But you will train defense against various opponents.
  • Too many different schools and courses available that it can be confusing to find a legit school.

don’t miss the Best martial art for female self-defense

9. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

BJJ tournament

BJJ also called “the soft art,” focuses on ground fighting and is becoming increasingly popular among women. It uses submissions and ground control to defeat an opponent.

If you aim to learn how to defend yourself against a bigger attacker using joint locks and strangles, BJJ is the martial art for you!

Jiu-Jitsu has been used several times successfully in the streets and in the Octagon to control and submit larger opponents.

BJJ will empower you by giving you all the tools needed to de-escalate violence before it happens. But most important, girls learn how to survive on the ground, which is where most sex offenders will try to take advantage of them.


  • This martial art teaches you how to get out from under the opponent’s control, which is an excellent thing if your attacker is larger.
  • It improves mental and physical toughness.
  • Training can be gentle under the proper guidance.


  • It requires a lot of time and practice.
  • It can be very intense and can damage your body if you’re not adequately trained.
  • You may need to get good at grappling to avoid being pinned down by someone larger than you.

8. Aikido

Aikido For Girls

Aikido is a Japanese martial art that focuses on defending yourself while at the same time avoiding harming your opponent.

It has become one of the most popular forms of martial arts for women because training is quite gentle with the body, and it also focuses on a more spiritual approach to martial arts and introspection.

Aikido training is a great way to deal with the issues you face in your daily life, which will make you more confident.

Aikido is not a top choice for women’s self-defense because the techniques are not practiced against resistant opponents. Several Aikido techniques have been proven to be almost impossible to land in a real-life scenario, even for a larger man.

Here’s a quick video of a big Aikido practitioner failing to land his techniques while facing an MMA practitioner.

If self-defense is one of the reasons you would like to participate in martial arts, read on.


  • It is an excellent way to be fit and healthy.
  • It’s a great way to relieve stress and build your inner strength.
  • You’ll gain flexibility, balance, and coordination with regular practice.


  • Is not great for self-defense.
  • Some movements are complicated to learn and require lots of practice.
  • It could be too spiritual for some people.

7. Judo

complete beginners judo guide

This martial art developed in Japan and is one of the most widely practiced forms of martial arts in the world. It uses throws to subdue your opponent and is a great way to learn how to defend yourself from larger-sized opponents.

It mainly uses hip throws and leg throws to get an opponent down (usually throwing your opponent over your hip or sweeping their legs out from under them).

Several women love Judo, but It might not be the best for everyone because Judo’s falls can be dangerous. So dangerous that if you rush into advanced techniques without the underlaying movements to safely land on the mat, it can lead to a concussion.

It can be one of the most pleasant and effective martial arts for a woman to learn if you are patient and progressively train the techniques.


  • Does not involve striking techniques, so it’s good for preventing injury.
  • Is widely available in many places in the world.
  • You’ll learn a great way to control your body and mind.


  • You could experience some pain during the throws.
  • You’ll need to know how to deal with the pain.
  • Falling techniques can be challenging to learn.

6. Taekwondo

Taekwondo For Women

Self-defense is one of the primary goals of all martial arts, and Taekwondo is not an exception. This martial art was developed in Korea and is very common among women in this country.

Taekwondo will teach you to keep your head clear in a stressful situation and thus defend yourself more confidently.

Taekwondo is an art of self-defense and a philosophy for life that will teach women how to be self-disciplined and respect themselves.

The term Taekwondo consists of three ancient Korean words that succinctly express the essence of this martial art:

  • Tae: This means foot or leg, which represents the kicking techniques.
  • Kwon: Means fist or hand, which we can understand as punching techniques.
  • Do: Comes the Chinese Tao and has, especially in Buddhism, the symbolic meaning of spiritual development or the path.

If you are interested in a sporty martial art for women, Taekwondo is a great choice. But if you’re looking for a self-defense martial art, Taekwondo might not be the best choice.


  • Its main objective is to use kicking techniques to subdue your opponent.
  • It’s a great way to improve your body and mind.
  • You can become fit by practicing regularly.


  • It’s not great for self-defense because of the barefoot stance required on the floor.
  • Low injury risk.
  • Only uses kicks and punches (no throws or locks) but does have a joint lock.

5. Capoeira

Capoeira For Females

African slaves developed this martial art in Brazil. It uses quick, unpredictable movements to get one’s opponent off balance and allow you to take advantage of a mistake.

The training is mainly aimed at training your strength, flexibility, and endurance. You need power for acrobatic elements such as headstands and handstands and to balance your body weight. Expect to feel some muscle soreness after the first few workouts!

This martial art can be perfect for women who struggle with tension. This is because the long, stretched movements train your flexibility, therefore helping you to release stiffness. The flowing, elegant movements are much more strenuous than they look.

Capoeira is ideal for women looking for an intensive workout and wants to train their bodies with gracious movement and rhythm.


  • Capoeira can be a great way to relieve tension and release stress.
  • Classes are enjoyable, sometimes it feels like a party.
  • Capoeira is a great way to increase your flexibility and technique.


  • If you have trouble starting the movements, it will take some time to become good at them.
  • This art is not very common, so there are not many schools or teachers.
  • It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so some people find it boring.

4. Muay Thai

What Gear Do You Need For Muay Thai

Muay Thai turn your limbs into weapons by using punches, kicks, elbow strikes, knee strikes, and clinch sweeps against your opponent. Thai Boxing has been around for more than a thousand years and is the most popular form of martial arts in Thailand.

Muay Thai can be fantastic for women because it is an excellent, well-rounded martial art for self-defense, and it is a great way to build confidence.

Many girls now choose Muay Thai as their martial art of choice because they want to learn how to defend themselves and stay healthy at the same time.

IT is highly effective

Muay Thai is highly effective at defending against attacks because it’s a powerful martial art that uses punches, kicks, and knees to subdue your attacker. It’s fun to learn and a little intense to practice, but you’ll get a great workout with it too!

Women are often afraid that strength training will make them masculine and bulky. But don’t worry, Thai Boxing will not turn you into a muscle machine. You can look forward to a defined, toned, and overall fit body!

Muay Thai is a challenging workout for the body and mind. Besides, it gives you more self-confidence and is perfect for letting off steam. Just try it out.


  • Muay Thai can be a great way to relieve stress.
  • It’s a great workout, and you can burn around 1,000 or 1,200 calories per session.
  • Muay Thai will teach you to stay calm in stressful situations.


  • This martial art is not very common in small cities or little towns.
  • Injury risk is high, especially during a competition where elbows are allowed (elbows are also allowed during training sessions but only at a low level).
  • There’s no ground grappling techniques.

3. Hapkido

Hapkido For Girls

This martial art is a Korean form of self-defense that uses kicks, striking, throwing, and joint locks to defeat an aggressor. It is a popular martial art for women because it is soft and gentle to train.

Training can be pretty acrobatic, and that might be a deal-breaker for some woman but is not the only way to train Hapkido. Overall it is a great way to learn some self-defense techniques, flexibility, and coordination.

Hapkido is not just for self-defense! You also can use it to learn the art of graceful movement, which you will need in daily life.


  • Hapkido teaches you how to maintain balance in different situations.
  • It’s a great way to relieve tension.
  • You can become more flexible by practicing regularly.


  • Hapkido is not very common in small cities or little towns.
  • Usually taught using Gi exclusively.
  • Focuses on sport application.

2. Boxing

Gear For Boxing Class For Girls

Many people see boxing only as a rough sport that involves hitting each other with your fist. Nevertheless, it’s an art of hand-to-hand combat where the objective is to hit and knock down your opponent while trying to avoid taking any damage.

It is an excellent option for girls because the techniques are easier to learn when compared to martial arts like BJJ. Because on a basic level, we all have a primary understanding of how punching works.

On the other hand, grappling-based martial arts often have a steep learning curve to get familiar with the basics.

You Won’t Get Super Muscular Just With Boxing

Also, it is an excellent way for a woman to tone their body without getting bulky, and you don’t need to get hit in the face sparring if you don’t want to.

You could only hit mittens and still enjoy the fitness benefits of boxing. However, if self-defense or combat skills are something you’re looking for, this training approach alone won’t take you far in attaining those goals.


  • It’s a perfect way to relieve stress and tone the body.
  • You can improve your coordination and cardio.
  • It’s widely available almost everywhere in the world.


  • It can lead to hand injury if you don’t learn the proper technique.
  • It focuses only on one aspect of combat, fist fighting.
  • If you’re not sparring, training can feel a bit monotonous after a while.

1. MMA

Best MMA Gyms In The World For Girls

MMA has been gaining popularity in the western world and is one of the fastest-growing sport.

Hardly any other sport is as demanding for body and mind as the combination of different standing and ground fighting styles. Whether you’re kicking, boxing, throwing, or going for locks and submissions on the ground—the body is forced to react from all positions.

Several women might think MMA is only a brutal sport that will result in injury. And that they would not be able to do it because they are not strong enough. But this is just wrong.

MMA Can Be Wonderful For You

MMA is one of the best martial arts for women to learn because it allows you to train in such a variety of combat techniques that you never get bored and always have something new to learn.

Today, more and more female MMA fighters compete in top-notch Mixed Martial Arts promotions like Bellator, Invicta Fighting Championships, and UFC.

You don’t need to be as dedicated as the female fighters you see on TV to get in shape. It’s more about the MMA conditioning workout —and that has it all.

Get In the best shape of your life fast

From pure strength exercises to technique training and the latest methods from functional training Mixed Martial Arts has it all. It’s not for nothing that numerous fitness workouts are primarily made up of MMA training methods. Girls who train MMA quickly get in shape and have a great alternative to overcrowded gyms.

MMA offers women the possibility to have martial skills that could be easily transferred to some self-defense scenarios, a complete full-body workout, and a lot of fun. It is made for strong and fit women who want to look lean and mean.


  • MMA will teach you about the physical and mental strength you need.
  • A high level of work ethic and discipline will stand you in good stead later in life.
  • The training is intense but also delightful with many “training partners.”


  • It might be too aggressive for some women.
  • There some risk of injury due to the high-intensity training.
  • You need professional coaching and lots of equipment.

Benefits Of Martial Arts For Women

Many of the benefits of martial arts include learning a valuable skill, getting in shape, improving your discipline, and getting a good workout!

However, one of the most valuable assets any woman can gain with martial arts is to defend herself and have a higher level of self-confidence.

As a woman, it is essential to know how to defend yourself from any possible attack if you do not want to become a victim.

Here are some of the benefits of martial arts:

Build up Your Self-Confidence

Learning how to defend yourself helps you build your self-confidence. You understand that you have the power to protect yourself and be more resourceful when someone is trying to hurt you. This can also help lower your stress level as well.

It is a Good Workout

Martial arts are an excellent exercise for anyone. They help you gain strength and muscle in areas of your body that need support. This is important for women because many of the feminine organs are weak and sometimes damaged by stress or other reasons. Martial arts can help balance these weak areas so that your muscles, bones, and organs are strong and healthy.

Develop The Discipline To Make Things Happen In Life

Discipline is one of the essential skills you will learn while training in martial arts. Martial arts will help you learn to focus and to be patient. You can use this discipline in your everyday life, whether at work or home because this discipline will spread to every area of your life.

Learn How To Defend Yourself

In this day and age, it is vital to be prepared. Knowing how to stay safe is a valuable skill that could save your life or the lives of those around you.

Martial arts were created to help people learn how to protect themselves without fighting dirty or getting hurt. It’s a way of fighting fair while still protecting yourself from any harm.

This is a must-have for any woman!

Relief Stress

Stress is a significant problem for many people. It can lead to illness and even death, so it is essential to learn how to relieve stress when it occurs. Martial arts can help you learn how to take your mind off the things bothering you and focus on something completely different.

This will help you become more focused in whatever area you are working on, whether schoolwork, work, or taking care of your home.

Best Martial Arts For Middle-Aged Women

It is a common opinion that martial arts are even more essential for women in their later years. Women over 40 can get a fantastic array of benefits of martial arts like a fresher look and increased energy level, improved health, and increased confidence.

The best martial art for a middle-aged woman is probably Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This type of martial arts will help you stay in shape and reduce the risk of common injuries in everyday life. In addition, It is common to find older practitioners at beginner BJJ classes, and the exercise can be pretty gentle on the joints.

Less Intense MArtial Arts For Middle-aged women

If BJJ still sounds too intense and aggressive, there are still plenty of other great options for middle-aged women. The idea is to find the one that is suitable for your personality and physical condition.

Martial arts like Aikido and Tai Chi can be also an excellent choice for a middle-aged woman. They are very relaxing and will help her preserve her mobility and flexibility for a long time.

Practicing martial arts can do wonders for your life. You will get more focus, discipline, confidence, and of course, a ton of fun.

Find out what is the best martial art for older adults

Best Martial Arts For Teenage Girls

For a teenage girl, it is natural to be interested in any kind of sport. Martial arts are an excellent sport, and they will help with education and self-defense.

There are many martial arts that a teenage girl can practice: they have different focuses according to age groups.

However, the best martial arts teenage girls are Kung Fu, Karate, Aikido, and Taekwondo.

Taekwondo is an excellent selection for teenage girls because it is a perfect way to relieve their stress and express their feelings. This is a beautiful sport for adolescent girls because it helps build confidence and discipline.

Karate is another excellent form of martial arts, as it teaches self-defense skills in addition to being a great workout. It’s great for building self-confidence and discipline too. Other martial arts like Muay Thai, wrestling, or MMA might be too intense for a teenage girl.

Final Thoughts On The Best Martial Arts For Women

Martial arts are becoming more and more popular among women. They are highly beneficial to a person’s health and well-being.

No matter which martial art you choose, your confidence and fitness level will thank you. However, which martial arts are the best for women will depend on their age, fitness level, personality, and goals.

A young, athletic, aggressive girl who loves intense training and would like to learn self-defense might enjoy BJJ or boxing a lot. For a more relaxed woman interested in fitness and who loves flexibility and calming exercises, the best martial arts are probably Tai Chi or Aikido.

Whatever you choose, keep in mind that it is essential to find a great instructor to learn for a long time.

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