I am 24 years old guy with very little background of boxing (I bought heavy punching bag and watched tutorials on youtube and practiced at my own).

I want to learn a martial art to a better level (not at my own this time). My expectation from the martial art:

  • Keep my body in shape
  • Self defense
  • Quick to learn*

* 3rd point is not to offend anyone. I know every art needs time. But I am a software developer by profession so can not spend much time (like 3-4 hours a day) on this.

After some research, I found Boxing, Kick Boxing, Muay Thai and MMA as options. What should be the best option as per my background and expectations?

It would be better if can use my punching bag for the recommended martial art.

  • 1
    Regarding "quick to learn", are you planning on training for some months (how many?), then stopping? Or are you planning on training over a long time period, but with not many hours?
    – mattm
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 16:13
  • @mattm I want to learn it for around 1 year and then practice at my own. I can spend 4-5 hours on weekend and 1-2 hours on weekdays (not necessarily everday).
    – Dev
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 16:18
  • 1

5 Answers 5


I imagine you're looking for the right teacher and motivation, and not so much the right martial art.

I suggest going to a few local various MA gyms and checking out the physical intensity of their workout, and choosing the one with most sweat and partner-work involved. This will match with the boxing ethic and any martial art, which requires intensive physical activity is being done right so you know you're onto a good thing there.

After seeing about 5 gyms, choose one. Checking out other MA schools is always a great experience anyway.

  • your suggestion is great Polonski. But if would be great if you suggest these 5 options...:D
    – Dev
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 5:29
  • I'd go with 1. Judo 2. Wing Chun 3. Krav Maga 4. MMA 5. Bujinkan.
    – polonski
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 6:45
  • Boxing is good for body shape, easy/quick to learn, and it is ok for self defense. You can practice your by yourself easily.
  • Kick Boxing and/or Muay Thai are good for shape too, a little bit harder (slower) than boxing but they are easy/quick yet, better than boxing for self defense. You can still use your punching bag to practice.
  • Other Martial arts are more complex, the more complex the art is, harder/slower is to learn, harder is to practice by yourself. For exemple, MMA uses to practice Jiu Jitsu that does not use a punching bag and require a partner to practice and will take more time to learn. In the other hand is better for self defense.

My personal opinion is for Krav Maga (that I practice). It is kind of easy to learn, you can use your punching bag for some practice (because it envolves muay thai moves too). You can go to a higher level as you wish. It has military-like exercises (good for shape). It is very good for self defense.

Other options I recommend are Wing Chung, Jeet Kune Do, Goshin Jitsu.


The best art is the one you do not quit soon. This means, go and look at all the usual arts (probably filtered down to those you can actually train close to you, it's no use if you find a fancy art that is taught 100s of km away).

If none of the martial art schools close to you trigger your interest, then I don't see an answer. And you can only decide that yourself.

Keep my body in shape

Well, if you are moving while doing/training the art, then check.

Self defense

Even just keeping your body in shape will help with that. On the other hand, I would trust no art with my life unless I've practiced it many years and become a real master, except the art of running and hiding.

Quick to learn

That depends 100% on the teacher. A great teacher can introduce you to the basics in a few days worth of training; a bad teacher won't do that after years.

As a concrete suggestion, again, look for whatever your city offers. You'll likely find Jiujitsu, Judo, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, maybe Aikido, and they will all be fine (not everyone of them uses your punching bag though ;) ) with different degrees of defense effectiveness (i.e., Boxing may be of limited use to you. The rules in real-world scenarios are different, and even if you win you might go to jail because you wasted your opponent...).


Just start with boxing and go from there. If you an agile guy and/or just want to use your legs, try kickboxing as well. Muay-Thai involves a few more techniques + elbows; the rest just being kickboxing basically.

(in my opinio) Don't go with any traditional martial arts because it will involve form and specific things/exercises that will sometimes take more time to learn (plus the belt system which in some cases limit what you are allowed to do in the gym)



Yes, hello my friend the art of boxing martial arts good self to you that I still suspect that boxing is the best I advise you to this article that will help you find the best of the art of self-defense read works for you and will give you some examples

Do not hesitate in reading it

  • It's not clear what your answer is and the link you supplied doesn't work (for me, at least).
    – Mike P
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 16:26
  • 1
    You just said it is the best. There is no best martial art for every one or every situations.
    – Shura16
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 20:53

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