Many people will argue right now that MMA is the best martial art for self-defense.  I will agree IN PART that a good MMA school will teach you techniques that can be very effective on the street.  But…

What really matters  most is how confident you are in what you have been taught, not the style. Understand that there are very few styles, MMA or traditional, who’s only focus is self defense. Many of the traditional styles also work on building you as a complete person, not just a fighter. They tend to take longer to become effective in, but that is because they are designed that way.

If you want pure self defense, Krav Maga is a good option, however many of the places that train it in the states teach a very watered down version. Be careful.

The main problem with most MMA schools that teach the UFC style of fighting is that they train under a certian ruleset, and most never address thinsg such as weapons and multiple attackers. They never take into account that your opponent in self defense is not going to be wearing trunks and gloves. they will be wearing jeans, shoes, coats, etc. Sadly many traditional schools never consider this either. Why train for self defense on a padded level surface in clothing you would normally not wear?

Some schools even have training days where they wear regular street clothes, go outside and train on uneven terrain, practice fighting around obsticles, on stairs, gravel, etc. Not many schools I know of train this way though. I mention this because Krav Maga and some of the reality based fighting systems do train this way almost exclusivly, so for what you are looking for, one of them is probably your best bet. To figure out what is good or bad do a search on finding a good school using the find your school tool or find the best martial art style tool.

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