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Deadliest Martial Arts: 12 Most Dangerous Combat Styles


Last Updated on March 21, 2024

You may wonder as you practice your own martial art or are simply curious, what is the deadliest martial art of all?


Silat, Kung Fu, MCMAP, Sambo, Ninjutsu, Vale Tudo, Bacom, Eskrima, LINE, Rough and Tumble, Krav Maga, and Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) are among the deadliest martial arts in the world.

We will list the 12 deadliest martial arts in the world, from strongest to weakest.

Let’s get started.

Top 12 Deadliest Martial Arts In The World Ranked

1. Krav Maga

Krav Maga

The military and police widely use Israeli martial arts known as Krav Maga and other law-enforcement agencies to defend against unarmed and armed attacks. 

It earned its name from its inventor, Imrich Sde-Ora, and demonstrated superior performance in the field.

Eyal Yanilov has served as the founder's right-hand man for more than fifteen years and now heads the International Krav Maga Federation. 

Although the inventor of Krav Maga trained many people shortly after his 1940 exodus from Bratislava to what was then Palestine before the Nazis, Krav Maga has been in operation since the establishment of Israel in 1948.

We probably wouldn't have had one effective, efficient, and deadly martial art if he hadn't defected.

A realistic combat technique teaches how to fend against, stop and end any type of attack. 

Krav Maga teaches self-defense, fighting, and martial arts abilities, as well as the ability to protect others in a novel and simple method.

However, the fundamental tenet of training and coaching is a "he or I" conflict in circumstances where failure would be fatal.

The fact that the world's deadliest martial art is also its most potent and lethal variant surely shouldn't come as a surprise. 

Krav Maga is a non-sport kind of martial arts; hence it doesn't worry about the safety of its opponents or the regulations.

2. Line

Linear Infighting Neural Override Engagement

The US Marine Corps used the LINE close-quarters warfare system between 1989 and 1998. The US Army Special Forces employed the same method from 1998 to 2007. 

It was developed by former Marine Ron Donvito, a combat weaponry specialist.

The name's official meaning is Linear Infighting Neural Override Engagement, although this is a backronym created when the project was first conceived.

The system was created to operate under precise, demanding, combat-oriented conditions:

  • Techniques can be used effectively in low light or other settings with poor sight; none of them must be vision dominating (i.e., smoke or gas)
  • Tremendous physical and mental tiredness
  • The Marine or soldier may use it while wearing full battle gear
  • If the tactics are used correctly, the opponent may die
  • Gender neutrality; must apply to both genders

Since most close-range combat encounters were likely to occur at night or in poor visibility,  these parameters are seen as the most likely ones that a combat Marine or soldier would encounter. 

This lethal martial arts also applies while the Marine was worn out from his combat load and when facing asymmetrical odds, such as a numerically superior force.

As a result of these limitations, numerous showy techniques, unique kicks, or motions demanding incredible feats of strength or agility were ruled out of the LINE system. 

Techniques like the basic judo "hip throw," for example, were prohibited due to the danger of entanglement on the practitioner's war belt.

The skills in the system were intended to be quickly picked up on and kept via repetition. 

Since the system's primary users—military and special operations personnel—often have a lot going on in their schedules.

As a result, frequently struggle to maintain high levels of skill in the methods, the necessity, and expectations that the system is drilled, rehearsed, and continually revisited have drawn some criticism.

Being one of the deadliest martial arts in the world, it was created to kill your opponent immediately.

However, the US Army no longer uses it. Instead, they chose to utilize MCMAP since it was comparatively rigid, particularly for non-emergent scenarios like peacekeeping missions.

3. Ninjutsu


Ninjutsu is a Japanese martial art that teaches a range of skills. It is also referred to as Ninpo and Shinobijutsu.

This covers fighting with only one's hands, using a variety of weapons and hand tools, espionage, intelligence gathering, wilderness survival, hiding and crawling, camouflage, evading assailants, infiltration, and more.

When the first shogunate of the Minamoto clan came to power in the 13th century, the Ninjutsu most likely appeared initially.

There was significant interest in exotic Oriental abilities in the West, particularly in the United States, throughout the 1970s and 1980s. 

The ninja was introduced to us through questionable books, movies, and novels while remaining shrouded in secret and various myths.

Only a few people in Japan were practicing ninjas at the time; outraged by the attention; they resisted attempts by journalists and intrepid travelers to contact them and learn their "secrets."

4. Vale Tudo

Vale Tudo

Vale Tudo, which translates to "Everything Goes," is a full-contact, unarmed fighting sport with few regulations. In Brazil, it gained popularity in the 20th century. 

It employs methods from a variety of martial systems.

Vale Tudo is a very deadly martial art that is so lethal that most of its battles occur in secret and frequently cause a stir in the media.

5. Rough And Tumble

Rough And Tumble

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Rough and Tumble combat, sometimes known as gouging, was typical in rural areas of the United States.

It was frequently defined by the aim of gouging out an opponent's eye but also included other disfiguring methods, such as biting, which usually occurred to resolve conflicts.

Although it was never a formal sport, players would occasionally plan their battles (much like a duel), and winners were revered by their communities.

Gouging, which mainly affected the poor and was particularly prevalent in southern states in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, was a form of duel to preserve one's honor.

It ranks so highly on our list of the deadliest martial arts in the world because it was incredibly harsh, with little regard for the opponent's safety, with the only goal being to disable or kill opponents.

6. Bacom


One of the deadliest martial arts is Bacom. Vacon is another name for Bacom. 

It is a deadly martial art from Peru. This martial art was created for the Peruvian military in the streets of Lima.

With this martial technique, it is possible to harm the opposition quickly. 

In addition, it makes use of severe blows and concealed weaponry. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and street combat tactics are combined in it.

Bacom demanded a focus on strength, with assaults intended to upset an opponent's equilibrium. 

Since combatants often employ covert, clandestine weaponry, there is also a component of surprise and deceit.

The brutality of the martial art sets Bacom apart from other combat techniques. 

The fighting style is designed to cause the opponent the most agony possible until the opponent cannot respond.

The use of Bacom in a fight frequently results in the death of one of the participants. Additionally, armlocks are used.

7. Eskrima


Arnis, Kali, Eskrima, or Escrima is the national martial art of the Philippines. The three are generally interchangeable umbrella terms for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines.

This emphasizes weapon-based combat using sticks, knives, bladed weapons, improvised weapons, and "open hand" methods without weapons.

Filipinos have been practicing rapid punches, snatching hands or feet, disarming, and murdering someone for hundreds of years. 

Eskrima adheres to the belief that simply because no weapons are available does not mean you cannot kill an opponent with only your hands.

Eskrima has two variations in modern times. One variant involves unlawful battles with metal poles and a little sponge, while the other, slightly more savage, involves full-body armor with masks.

8. Silat


The name "Silat" refers to a class of indigenous martial arts from Southeast Asia's Nusantara and neighboring geocultural regions. 

It is performed in the native countries of the Malayo-Sumbawan and Javanese-speaking peoples, including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Southern Thailand, Southern Philippines, and Southern Vietnam.

There are countless distinct schools (perguruan) and styles (aliran), most of which tend to emphasize strikes, joint manipulation, weapons, or a mix of these.

Silat differs from most other martial arts in that it focuses only on violence, making it one of the deadliest in the world. 

On the other hand, other martial arts may place more of an emphasis on spirituality or self-improvement.

Its combat strategy focuses on taking advantage of your opponent's weaknesses to swiftly incapacitate them.

Silat is only focused on inflicting pain. 

The attack is swift, and it's crucial to get near the opponent quickly so you can break him in 10 seconds before striking him hard in the face, throat, or kidney to render him unconscious. 

Only nasty blows and the exploitation of flaws, no renown or dignity. They even support crotch strikes.

To learn this technique, all trainees must experience what it feels like to have a row of bricks broken against their ribs or metal bars bent around their necks.

A dagger, commonly known as "Kris" or "Keris," is also used in Silat. A corrugated knife for swiftly piercing soft body portions of an adversary. 

They frequently equip a dagger with one of the world's most potent neurotoxins so that an opponent will be killed a matter of seconds after being wounded.

9. Muay Thai Or Thai Boxing

Muay Thai

Thai people frequently engaged in violence when they traveled from their ancestral homeland in southeast China to the region now Thailand, giving rise to the martial art known as Muay Thai or Thai boxing.

There was a need for a deadly martial arts technique that could be swiftly learned. 

It was also advantageous in nearly continual border wars due to Indochina's ongoing confrontations with other peoples.

One of the earliest sources referencing Thai boxing is a tale from 1548. 

Originally, Thai boxing was taught as part of so-called "Warrior skills" that included fencing, spear handling, archery, and horseback riding during the boxing match between the Burmese King and Thai King Naresuan.

Thus, Muay Thai, also known as the Art of the Eight Limbs, was created. 

Knees and elbows are utilized in Muay Thai fighting to attack the opponent as hard and rapidly as possible. These weapons are counted under the limbs.

10. Marine Corps Martial Arts Program

Marine Corps Martial Arts Program

The US Marine Corps developed a fighting style known as the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). 

This combines teamwork, morale, and training in the Warrior Ethos with classic and contemporary hand-to-hand and close-quarters combat techniques.

The program started in 2001 and taught unarmed fighting, edged weapons, weapons of opportunity, and rifle and bayonet tactics to Marines and U.S. Navy troops assigned to Marine forces.

Additionally, it emphasizes the growth of the mind and character, collaboration, leadership, and the proportionate use of force.

Combining the most remarkable elements of several martial arts from the nations where the Marines engaged in battle, that talent has evolved. 

To cause agony, the most recent workouts incorporate the use of bayonets, homemade weapons, and even weapon pieces.

11. Sambo


The martial art of sambo, or unarmed self-defense, originated in the USSR, where elite forces used it. 

Sambo, a blend of judo, kickboxing, Thai boxing, and boxing, rose to fame in the 1990s.

Red Army troops and government agents initially taught sambo. 

However, when crime increased, security guards and private bodyguards took over, adding new techniques and equipment, including knives and batons.

Multiple disciplines make up sambo. Since competitors in sports sambo do not throw fists at one another, it is similar to judo.

Sambo for self-defense may be performed alongside sports sambo and is based on jiu-jitsu and aikido.

Combat sambo is a more challenging discipline mainly designed for the military and police, where practically everything is permitted, including punches to the head, elbow, and knees.

The skills of special sambo, a unique variation of martial sambo, are only known to members of special units.

Freestyle sambo has also evolved in America as a civilian variation that is not taught in traditional sports groups.

12. Kung Fu

Kung Fu

Wushu and Quanfa are Chinese martial arts known as Kung Fu. 

Any study, learning, or practice that requires persistence, effort and time to complete is referred to by this phrase. 

Kung Fu, originally translated as "hard work and practice," can refer to any skill or discipline developed by effort and practice, not simply martial arts.

It is one of the earliest hand-to-hand fighting styles and has been practiced for ages. Chinese warriors employed it for both self-defense and offensive purposes.

Kung Fu comes in various forms, but all of them share the same objective: to hit your opponent with incredible speed and dexterity. 

This makes Kung Fu one of the deadliest martial arts in the world.

Knock-Out Point: Learn about the other deadly martial arts forms with weapons. Proceed to our post and find out what they are -- Martial Arts That Use Weapons.

Watch This!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadliest form of martial art?

All of the martial arts mentioned are among the deadliest martial arts in the world. They are incredibly effective for self-defense and include elements that make them lethal. 

However, many claim it is Kung Fu, one of the Chinese martial arts. The Chinese people and its warriors in China view the grand dame of hand-to-hand combat as a lethal weapon.

What is the easiest martial art to learn?

It is possible to learn Karate from one of three perspectives: as a martial art, as a method of self-defense, or as a form of expression.

What is the cheapest martial art to learn?

Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and MMA can occasionally be more expensive to learn than Boxing, which can be relatively inexpensive. The least costly martial arts do not require much gear or apparel to participate.

What martial arts Are most ideal?

Boxing and Muay Thai are the ideal martial arts for street combat because they emphasize remaining on your feet while striking your opponent hard and effectively to knock them out so you can flee.

You must practice martial art like Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu where sparring is the main component of training if you want to be a proficient and lethal martial artist. 

You will learn how to handle bouts' unpredictable nature and deliver under pressure via sparring.


In conclusion, Krav Maga is the deadliest martial art. It is made to be employed in military engagements to eliminate armed assailants. Head kicks, chokes, joint locks, and nasty fighting tactics like eye gouging and crotch punches are among the most deadly martial art methods.

You may start with Taekwondo, a Korean martial art, Karate, or BJJ if you’re a beginner.

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