Mandatory disclaimer: I know, and respect, that martial arts are not about just stepping into a fight and that there's a lot more to it. On the other hand, I know pretty much nothing about the topic, so asking here seems to be the less worse solution.

I'd like to do some "fighting", because I'd like to move a little more, because I'd like to discharge some anger and frustration, and because I need to let it go a bit.

So, avoiding picking up a fight on the streets, is there any form of martial arts where beginners can just step on a ring and go for it?

  • I think that depends on the gym more than the art. Safer gyms would deter novices from going for broke until they learn some control. It doesn't take a lot of effort (or even any intent for that matter) to seriously mess someone up.
    – admcfajn
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 17:28
  • @admcfajn It would also be pretty easy for an experienced fighter to control someone without hurting them. When these guys come into my gym I just take them down and put them in various humiliating grappling positions.
    – coinbird
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 16:57
  • @coinbird absolutely & thanks, I hadn't considered that in my response. I was more concerned about 2 novices going at it.
    – admcfajn
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 17:04

4 Answers 4



Go to your local MMA gym's sparring sessions. We have beginners come in all the time that just want to fight and not learn technique. They get absolutely destroyed and never come back, but whatever, if that's what they want. Remember to tap early, even to strikes. You're going to get hurt.

Answering your question aside, you should instead sign up for that MMA gym. It's much more fun to beat people up when you know what you're doing.


Whilst there might be some art out there that is a "walk in and fight" scenario

It is a sure fire way to get badly hurt or killed!

An actual martial art will get you moving and improve your fitness, but more importantly will teach you to release your anger and frustration in a controlled and civilised way.

In my own classes I let angry/frustrated students smack the bags (or heavy kick shields if bags not available). They quickly tire themselves out hitting as hard as they like and get back to a state where they can deal with the cause of the these emotions. No student takes out their frustration on another person, they would be removed from my class for even trying.

frustration and anger lead to rash actions - ANY experienced martial artist will read these easily - in my younger and less experienced days I'd lose my cool on the mats occasionally - and be annihilated on the score cards for it

Find a real martial art - you not only learn to fight - but learn that for most of life you don't have to (what good could possibly come of it anyway?).

  • 1
    And purchasing your own heavy bag, particularly if you can get one cheap secondhand, is a good investment if you have the space. Cheaper than medical treatment for punching the wall, or for injuries from getting into a fight, and the reduction in stress is good for your health. Just get light gloves (even thin cloth ones) or you'll get questions about the scrapes on your knuckles after particularly stressful days. Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 13:57
  • 1
    @SeanDuggan I had a heavy bag as a teenager - homemade canvas thing - it got me through break ups, arguments with my parents and brother, and countless other times when I felt angry for no real reason - at the cost of occasional bloodied knuckles when I was particularly mad at it... better than any therapist or drug prescription for dealing with those years. Fantastic suggestion
    – Collett89
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 15:09

If you want to take out anger and frustration, do it to a bag. Your training partners deserve better than that. It has no place in martial arts.

However, if you can convert that energy in to a drive to excel, perfect your technique, etc., that can be very good for training.

In terms of what to train that you might enjoy if that's how you're feeling: If you want something high impact that will make you move, tire you out, and let you "let go", and also teach you that going for broke against someone who knows what they're doing is completely useless, I recommend Judo and/or BJJ, in a gym that does allow beginners to spar (my BJJ place made me wait a few months before I could roll).

Judo focuses on throws and some grappling, BJJ focuses on grappling with some throws. They evolved from each other and they both put emphasis on live sparring. Those are real, intense fights, not a scripted exchange of strikes. You're throwing and being thrown, choking and being choked, as if you and the other person are really trying to kill each other - but you should both be in control of yourselves and trying to do it in the best way possible.

Good luck! You'll learn a ton and have fun and hey maybe you won't be so angry and frustrated. I know having that training in my life made me a happier person.


With striking

As Collett89 has pointed out, jumping into a ring and wailing on each other is a guaranteed way to get hurt. Most martial arts don't do this precisely because of the injury problems.

Russian hooliganism seems to fit your criteria, though it's legality is questionable and fights often take place in the woods to avoid authorities. I hesitate to call it a martial art or discipline, but they apparently now have organized training sessions in gyms and rudimentary rules (no weapons, stop at referee instruction according to NYTimes). I have no first-hand experience.

Without striking

Grappling groundwork in judo or BJJ is relatively safe and has a low barrier to entry. You can play live with a minimal amount of instruction, but you can't pummel the other person.

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