It’s no mystery that some combat systems are more effective than others. Just watch the UFC and you’ll learn that. But what are the most brutal martial arts of them all? Are they unarmed systems or just weapons based training? From the tree kicking art of Mauy Thai, to the intense knife fighting of Escrima. This is a list of the 5 most brutal martial arts in the world.

5) Mauy Thai:

Mauy thai

Mauy Thai is well known to be one of the most brutal, and effective martial arts in the world. Mauy Thai translates to the art of eight limbs because it uses fists, elbows, knees, and shins. Practitioners train their shin bones to become as hard as possible by hitting them against hard objects, such as trees. This causes micro-fractures in the bones, once micro-fracture heal, they come back bigger and stronger. Fighters who have been training a long time can even kick down banana trees with their bare legs. The art gained worldwide recognition in the twentieth century after proving itself against other martial arts in tournaments. It is now one of the most common martial arts seen in any mixed martial arts tournament, such as the UFC or Pride. In Thailand, where the sport originated, it is common for people to start training martial arts under the age of 10, if you wanted to join after the age of 10 you would be considered too old to train.

4) Krav Maga:


Krav Maga is famously used by the Israeli army. Since Israel is currently at war with Palestine, it’s army is seeing constant combat, and Krav Maga has proved to be a versatile, practical martial art. Krav Maga was invented by the head of a vigilante group, who fought to protect his neighbourhood against national socialist parties and anti-Semitic thugs. He was a champion wrestler, and boxer but soon found these styles weren’t enough to survive in a street fight, and started to develop new techniques. After overstaying his welcome in his home Lichtenfeld fled the country as a refugee in 1940. He escaped to the middle east and joined an Israeli paramilitary group. Still developing his new techniques, he went on to train elite troops in fighting and physical fitness. The Martial art he developed is now known as Krav Maga.

3)  LINE:

LINE is a martial that the US Marines used to use but was succeeded by MCMAP because it was considered too lethal for the army. The martial was developed to be usable in five different scenarios: all techniques must not be vision dominant; Techniques may be executed effectively in low-light conditions, or other impaired visibility conditions , Extreme mental and physical fatigue, Usable by the Marine / soldier while wearing full combat gear, Proper execution of the techniques must cause death to the opponent, Gender neutrality; must be usable by- and against- either gender. The martial art was designed to kill your enemy as quickly as possible, but is now considered inhumane as there was no way of using it to take a hostage alive

2) Vale Tudo:

Vale Tudo is a bare knuckle, full contact cage fighting sport, with almost no rules. It originated in Brazil, although it is illegal in most countries because of it’s brutality. It was invented by the Gracie family around 1922. The Gracies opened their first gym at this time and put challenges in the local newspaper. Saying things like “If you’d like to have your face smashed, your ass kicked and your arms broken, get in touch with Carlos at the Gracie Academy.” This challenge was accepted by many practitioners of different styles, and after the Gracie’s won so many of the challenges, they became famous where they lived, and the Gracie name carried a lot of weight. Vale Tudo is also said to be the father of modern day MMA.

1) Escrima:


Escrima, also known as Kali or Arnis, is known as the ultimate stick and knife fighting style. To start your training as a true Kali warrior in the Philippines you have to go through a brutal initiation where you are beaten to prove you can take a hit, and they then cut a chicken and pour it’s blood all over you, as an offering to the spirits. Filipino soldiers have used the art in many wars, including world war two. The training is extremely difficult and said to be more intense than military training. It was highly popular among commoners to train Escrima, and they often carried weapons, this made it especially hard to attack as the Spaniards found out in 1521. They couldn’t take over until they brought in more fire power to defeat the citizens. They tried to ban the art of Escrima, but found out they failed because later generations still use the art effectively to revolt against them.

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