Martial arts encompasses over 180 different styles and techniques of combat used for self-defense, military, fitness, competition or one’s own development.

With so many types to discover, it can seem daunting to know which one is right for you. To help narrow down the options, we’ve matched up the different styles of martial arts with common personality types so you can find the one that suits you.


Some styles include:
• Boxing
• Kickboxing
• Karate
• Kung Fu
• Muay Thai

Those who are prone to flinching may want to skip this category. Striking or stand-up martial arts styles use punches, kicks, knees, elbows and blocking techniques when fighting an opponent. The styles are very physically demanding and even beginner classes are fantastic workouts.

Those who are known for thinking on their feet will excel in any of these styles. When competing, you only have a split second to think about your next move while avoiding the swift movements of your opponent. In addition to quick reflexes, flexibility is also key to take home the victory.


The Improviser easily goes with the flow of things and doesn’t bat an eye when something unexpected happens. They are always the first to make a witty comeback and aren’t afraid to make a joke about themselves. Improvisers are also fiercely loyal and don’t hesitate to stand up for their friends and family.


Some styles include:
• Sambo
• Luta Livre
• Jujitsu

Unlike in throwing or take-down styles, the fight doesn’t stop when the opponent hits the floor. Those brave enough to partake in this style have an all-or-nothing attitude and don’t let anything get in their way. Many of the disciplines that fall under this category are the most dangerous forms of martial arts. While beginner classes may ease new students in, it’s important to know just what you’re signing up for.


When times get tough, the Perseverer keeps on going. They make sure that every job and task that comes their way gets finished to perfection, even if that means they have to put in overtime. They hold a strong focus on their goals and will do whatever it takes to achieve them. They are strongly admired for their tenacity and determination in all aspects of their life.


Some styles include:
• Judo
• Shuai Jiao

While these styles start on the feet, the end goal is to throw your opponent to the ground. The disciplines found under this style require strength, speed and some pain tolerance. Each discipline has its own set of strict rules that athletes must adhere to while trying to take down their opponent. A simple touch of the mat by a hand could cost you the win.


The Leader knows how to stay calm under pressure while still getting the job done. They are confident in their skill set and strive to do their best every day. The Leader doesn’t waste time before getting down to business and can swiftly take command of any situation. As soon as one success comes their way, they are already planning how to achieve the next one.


Some styles include:
• Gatka
• Kendo
• Jukendo
• Kyudo

Martial arts have a long history of training with weapons. While some styles use them only in training, other styles have been created with a complete focus on the use of traditional weapons. Adding a weapon like a bo staff, sword or bokken into one’s training creates another layer of needed concentration, focus and discipline.


The Thinker loves to plan things down to the very last detail, leaving no room for error or surprise. They are incredible organizers and can always be counted on for planning the best trips. They are extremely dependable and are somehow always prepared no matter what situation they may find themselves in.


Some styles include:
• Tai Chi
• Chi Gong
• Baguazhang

While many forms of martial arts have meditative qualities, there are some that put a heavier emphasis on achieving a sound body, mind and soul. These low-impact styles teach breathing exercises, help improve balance and coordination and include techniques that can be used for self- defense.


The Peacemaker tries to avoid conflict at all costs, but if issues arise between others, you can count on them to be the calming voice to settle the situation. They are content by themselves, especially if it means being away from chaos. While they may come across as quiet and reserved, they have no problem stepping up to help solve a problem.

If none of these styles pique your interest, there are a hundred more (and then some) to explore! Practicing martial arts can be highly rewarding for your overall well-being, and while you hopefully never have to put them to the test, the techniques are highly valuable when it comes to self-defense. Even if you never become a black belt or enter the ring for a competition, the skills and lessons learned are ones you’ll remember for life.

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