Top 5 Martial Arts Best for Losing Weight

From most animals with an intellectual capacity, playful fighting, as well as actual combat, are embedded in their primal nature. Like any other form of exercise, these activities are useful in their evolutionary process. For an individual to fully understand how vulnerable they are in an actual confrontation or attack, you would have to take part in a martial art of some sort. Apart from saving our life, participating in martial arts is an excellent means to keep fit as well as lose weight.

Before I started The Rebooted Body and became a health coach for both men and women, I was an instructor of martial arts for more than 15 years, and I also owned a training school for five years. Having started my interest in martial arts as a child, I have come to see it as an interesting way to improve your health as well as body fitness, with excellent self-defense skills as a bonus.

There are some martial arts that are well designed for fat loss due to their blending of strength training and functional movements, agility, gross motor control, cardiovascular conditioning, spatial awareness, as well as flexibility and mobility. Below are the top five martial arts best suited for fitness and fat loss arranged in reverse order. Please note that the safety ratings and self-defense ratings are not considered in the placement of the styles.


Muay Thai

The art is characterized by the use of elbows, knees, and brutal kicks. It is a very basic martial art for it doesn’t include lots of sophisticated or flashy techniques, joint locks or throws, however; sweeps tend to be a conventional method.

The training is heavily centered on developing a broad range of skills which revolve around, movement skills, kicking with the feet and knees as well as punching with the fists and elbows. In addition to that, body conditioning and fighting strategies are part of the training. The workouts are usually intensive, but the sparring exercises are considered to be even tougher.


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)

BJJ is characterized by devastating blows, choke holds, sweeps and takedowns, limb manipulations and joint locks as well as controlling positions.

In addition to judo and wrestling, BJJ provides practitioners with the advantage of handling attackers in grounded positions where only ground martial arts can get applied as opposed to taking on an opponent in a standing position. It is for this reason that the martial art is among the best self-defense systems for handling an attack from a single opponent.

BJJ often involves placing opponents in submission position via joint manipulations and as a result, injuries are a common occurrence. However, it is effective in single attacker situations especially for women because once a practitioner can ground the opponent; the need for striking gets mitigated.

Due to its beautiful blending of aerobic and anaerobic skills, BJJ is a very physically demanding martial art for it conditions practitioners in a unique manner. Most of the demand arises from sparring which is affixed to almost every aspect of practicing BJJ.


Despite starting in a standing position, wrestling is a martial art where most of the action takes place on the ground. It is mainly characterized by opponent controls while in a top position as well as devastating takedowns. Much Like BJJ, wrestling doesn’t include striking but dwells mostly on controlling your opponent.

Wrestling ranked higher in fat loss and fitness over BJJ because there is little to no stalling and a major emphasis on endurance and strength in professional wrestling matches as opposed to the focus of flow and grace involved in BJJ.

While wrestling is ideal for single attacker scenarios, there is no striking involved in it, however; once a wrestler takes down his or her opponent, there is no need for such.

*The dangerous body manipulations and takedowns utilized in wrestling are known to have practitioners prone to injuries.



Taekwondo is the only other martial art besides Judo to get recognized as an Olympic sport. You should note, however, that there are different styles of Taekwondo and the Olympic version is fundamentally distinct from the traditional Taekwondo forms. The martial art is centered in developing overwhelming kicks techniques while at the same time utilizing a wide arsenal of striking weapons. Olympic Taekwondo doesn’t involve throws, board breaking or kata.

In addition to developing skills in dynamic kicking, the sport also centers its training on power, speed, flexibility and spatial awareness. This enables the practitioners to deliver a variety of techniques to the body and the head in quick succession.

Due to its emphasis on explosive agility and speed, it tends to be very physically demanding for its practitioners than most martial arts because its sole focus is in developing the legs which constitute the largest muscle group in the human body.

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)

MMA is a combination of different martial arts styles fused into one cohesive self-defense style. In most cases, the best MMA athletes tend to exceptional in BJJ, Muay Thai, and Wrestling, however, there have been a few title holders who have been well versed in Taekwondo.

Despite most MMA gyms allowing a practitioner to train without ever having to take part in an MMA fight, light sparring always gets incorporated in training. Due to the need to learn very many skills and positions with a lot of emphasis on agility, speed, stamina and power, the training is deemed to be very demanding. It is for this reason that MMA athletes are considered among the fittest in the world.