I am a university student and just come back home for summer holidays. I want to take up some form of martial arts, mainly to have self defense and build confidence and strength, but I would also like to show off some moves.

I found this place and was thinking of taking Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and beginners kick-boxing. But when I go back to uni, they don't have these, and I would do Karate. Should I just go straight into karate, or is it worth having a few moves from something else?

  • 5
    Instructors and clubs are much more important than styles. As it stands, we know nothing of any of the schools you mention so any answer will be highly opinionated. In addition, there are dozens of styles and organisations of karate so training in one might or might not help training in another. Jun 27, 2016 at 14:13
  • 3
    "Show off some moves?" - do you plan on being a performing chimp? Spin kick for a doughnut?
    – JohnP
    Jun 27, 2016 at 21:30
  • Obligatory Boot to the head link regarding "show off some moves."
    – Cort Ammon
    Jul 7, 2016 at 2:02
  • Please refrain from "showing off moves" on family members, classmates, or teachers, as it could result in injury or death.
    – LemmyX
    Jan 18, 2020 at 1:06
  • OP here, I am not proud of this question
    – Iexist
    Feb 6, 2020 at 20:22

4 Answers 4


It could be worth it or you could be better served by just going to a gym and focusing on conditioning.

In terms of time used before the summer, you should consider what you can gain. It is unlikely that you will gain more then the bare basics of either kickboxing or BJJ (unless you mean to devote a large amount of time of each each day to the art). Beside those skills, you might except to gain some broader MA concepts and some understanding of what it means to be engaged in combat (depending on how much 'live' sparring the school does).

Will you gain anything that will directly transfer over into a Karate curriculum? Unlikely. BJJ is a grappling art, so little transfers over to the more strike focused karate curriculum. However, it is unlikely to leave you with any 'bad habits' in terms of karate. Kickboxing is a striking art, one whose philosophy of body mechanics seems to differ from Karate (from my experience). That means it might leave you with habits that you will need to unlearn while taking karate.

In the end, I think that what makes the most sense is considering the BJJ (knowing that it will not really have anything to do with the karate) or just hitting the gym.


So, firs things first...


No respectable organization will encourage you to "show off some moves". The only possible exceptions being a choreographed demonstration or during a competition--and both require being at a skill level where you know what you're doing and actually have something significant to offer.

Lessons Learned from MMA

By definition, it is widely known that BJJ and strike fighting are two very different things. It is also generally accepted that you need some familiarity with both to be "successful", at least in MMA. For further info on this, study Royce Gracie relevant to the early history of UFC/MMA.

In other words, it is useful to have at least two fighting styles with which you are comfortable. One strike fighting, and one grappling.

Examples of strike fighting: karate, taekwondo, muy thai, kickboxing, and various kung fu.

Examples of grappling: BJJ, judo, and various forms of traditional wrestling.


You can learn quite a bit for self defense in a few months... with directed training. That said, few classes/programs are aimed for that.

If you're primarily looking for self defense, you should see if either class will put you into working with a) weapons, b) multiple opponents, c) fighting from bad positions (attacked from behind, in a narrow space, etc.) within that short of a time frame. My guess is that neither will. (Mind you, this is what you should be aiming to learn and work with when you get back, as well).

If you're willing to put in extra work when you get back into maintaining and exploring with grappling, you can get some good things from jujitsu. If not, kickboxing is a striking art, so that will carry over more for your Karate training.


Depending on your purpose, a different martial art would be recommended.

You mentioned self defense and confidence. For that I would highly recommend Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Since the beginning you feel like you can take care of yourself and your beloved ones in case of an emergency.

But you said "show off some moves" and that's not something good to say to your instructor anywhere. All martial arts I know require self discipline, respect and humbleness. If you plan to learn something to get in trouble, you'll be kicked out of the gym.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.