Alive and Kicking #25 – What’s the Best Martial Art

by on March 19, 2012

in Alive and Kicking


Alive and Kicking – Martial Arts Over 40


Monday 19 March 2012: Issue #25

Alive and Kicking is published once a week for opted-in subscribers only. If a friend has forwarded this to you, please opt-in at

Published by Brett Kraiger. Your comments are always welcome.


Hi there!

Welcome to this week’s Alive and Kicking, the newsletter for martial artists over 40.

Today’s newsletter is going to be quite a bit shorter than usual. I’ve had a very challenging day, and I’ve got a number of things I need to sort out before the end of the day. As well as being a little under the weather, it’s also been a day of technology annoyances!

My brand new smartphone and favorite toy has developed some very annoying habits, apparently due to a faulty usb port. It even turns itself on after you turn it off! At 3:21 in the morning!

Our home broadband usage had increased dramatically and hunting that problem down had proven elusive (we think it was a very large “stuck” email that’s been uploading continuously for a week!),

And one of my websites broke when I did a simple update, requiring a mad scramble to fix it.

None of that is of your concern! But those issues, and the blinding headache I am sporting, mean that today’s newsletter will be somewhat more succinct than usual. That might not be such a bad thing, as the emails have been getting a bit long!

Anyway… one topic for today, and that is … “Which martial art is best (for you)”.


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
by ironsidemma under CC BY
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu


Which martial artist is best?

This is a question that anybody who has been in martial arts has been asked many times. And it’s probably something that came to mind when you were seeking out a martial art to join.

Of course, there is no such thing as “The Best” martial art. Basically because the question is too vague. What is often meant by people asking this question is “Which martial art will win in a fight?”. And yet, there is no answer even to that question, because so much depends on the circumstances of the fight, and also the individuals involved.

For example, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has huge popularity right now. Largely because of the early successes of the Gracie brothers in the early days of the UFC. The UFC or mixed martial arts competitions are billed as the “ultimate” test of a martial artist, because they are “no holds barred”. (Technically they are not no-holds-barred of course, as they wear some protective wear and certain areas of the body are out of bounds)

The Gracies were (are) incredible atheletes, and yes their style did prove its worth within the rules of the UFC. But does that make them the best martial art? Does it mean that BJJ will always win in a fight?

Of course not.

But are we even talking about the right thing here? Is the “best” martial art the one that always wins a fight? Or the one that gets the most people off the couch and into the dojo? Or is the best martial art the one that builds the best people?

The sheer breadth of the martial arts means that this question of which is the “best” is impossible to find a Global answer to. There is no one answer.

So perhaps the question changes to… “Which is the best martial art FOR YOU”.

As an over-40 martial artist, this question probably takes on more significance that it would if you were a bit younger. You may have injuries that you need to be careful of. You are not as quick as you used to be, so safety in training is paramount. You need a proper warm-up and cool down, to help prevent injury. You need an instructor who is cogniscent of the difference between training teenagers and over-40s.

Forget about finding the “best martial art”. Find the best instructor.


Thank you for subscribing (and reading!). Back in a week. In the meantime you can leave your comments on Facebook, or comment directly on the website.

Feel free to email me if you have something to say, ask, request or offer! I’m especially keen on your stories for the Readers Stories section of the site. Don’t be shy!

All the best!


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Quote of the Day


An instructor once told me that when there’s resistance in your body, it’s only because of the resistance in your mind. It’s about getting inside the pose. Being the breath.
– Lisa Bonet

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