In previous articles I already recommended, that any (short) guy should practice a martial art, it doesn´t matter as much which one as long you have fun and learn how to defend yourself at least just a bit.
So you want to know which martial arts for short guys is the best to practice if you get into a fight or are you just interested in practicing martial arts for sports sake itself? First, let me tell you that, the best thing is to avoid a fight at all cost.
And here is how you avoid a fight, being bullied or mugged in 99% of the time:
You might already guessed it, but I am going to tell you anyway. You have to look and behave “alpha”. Yes you read it correctly, you have to look, walk and talk confidently. Most people will not f%xk with you, if you look like someone who is able to defend himself. You have to give off the vibe of an “alpha male” and I promise you people will respect you more, you will not be mugged or bullied. However if you look and behave like a victim, you´ll eventually become one.
Look at James Bond in Casino Royal. As long he gets not threatend physically he stays calm and doesnt see it as thread. And he never shows fear regardless the situation. This is super important, as soon someone sense your fear they will take advantage of it.
A good martial arts trainer will not only train you the techniques of the martial itself, but he will also teach you the psychology, methodology and how to avoid a fight.
Ok, cool but what if you cannot avoid a fight and get in to one. What would be the best martial art to know for a smaller guy?
Most would probably say: BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu)
And yes BJJ is a very good martial art. However it has its flaws as well and in my opinion you should learn how to punch and how to do grabbling.
“Yo, but I can throw punches, no problem at all!”
Trust me, you have to learn how to punch properly. Many guys think they have a hard and proper punch. They don´t. Especially if you are on the smaller scale. Your punches will be naturally weaker and that is why you have to learn how to punch properly. You want to break the other guy, not your hand.
Look, first you have to understand that, every fight starts standing but almost all fights end up on the ground or in a kind of clinch. What does that mean?
You have to practice both, stand up and ground/grabbling!
With that said here are my top 3 martial arts for Short Guys for self-defence in a street fight, club, bar or whatever, when you practice these martial arts you will be set for any occasion (unless your opponent has a gun/knife and 3 friends)
These are also perfectly suitable for smaller/shorter guys, fights in a bar or club, as well as for self defense
Top 3 Martial Arts For Short Guys
You probably guessed it, but yes I consider MMA is one of the best martial arts for short guys or street fighting, because as above you learn to punch, kick and what to do when on the ground.
Usually you learn Techniques of BJJ and Sambo for the ground and Thai Boxing for stand up but there are plenty of variations and it depends on the gym and your teacher.
MMA studios/gyms are available worldwide as this sport becomes more and more popular
The main negative when you start MMA , you might never become perfect in one martial art. But since you want to learn it to become more confident and learn how to protect yourself it is a great skill to learn.
Why is it a good martial art for a short guy? You can check some MMA fights of one of my favourite fighters Urijah Faber or John Lineker, both of them are on the shorter side and have fought bigger guys.
Combat Sambo is similar to MMA and teaches you grappling and Striking. However, it is specifically for street fights or self defense. It is translated to (САМозащита Без Оружия) which means “self defense without weapons”. Actually it was designed for the Russian military force to prepare them to be effective for any kind situation. For this reason it makes it a really great martial art for self defense. But make sure you train “Combat Sambo” or “Self Defense Sambo” and not “Sports Sambo”
Combat Sambo> Most aggressive type of fighting with using striking grappling throwing even strikes to the groin etc.
Self Defense Sambo> Is designed more for self defense, less aggressive than combat sambo.
Sports Sambo> similiar to Judo and is for competitions
With that said, make sure they teach you combat sambo and not sports sambo, because sport sambo is only for competitions and will not bring you far in a street fight, it is still good, but a kind of Judo, no punching involved. Combat Sambo on the other hand is designed for real life and competitions!
The only negative thing though, Not many Gyms teach Combat Sambo and so it is not easily available world wide. Choose MMA then. But Combat Sambo is pretty good for shorter guys or for street fights and self defense.
The most prominent Sambo practicionars are Fedor Emilanenko and Vladimir Putin.
Fedor during his prime time was not only called by his nickname “The Last Emporer” but also the “Baddest Man On The Planet”.
Here is why:
You see how many of his opponents where bigger than him? But he won anyway.
I would even put Combat Sambo 1st, but since it is not widely available it is my number 2 choice.
Muay Thai Boxing
If you are not much into grabbling and that stuff, go for Muay Thai, at least they teach you a bit of throwing when you get in to a clinch. They will teach you the “Muay Thai Clinch” which is very useful when you get in trouble, because remember, most fights in bars or clubs end in a kind of clinch. For this reason I think it is a very good martial art for self defense. It is a perfect art for striking and kicks.
Here the Muay Thai Clinch:
No matter which martial art you chose, make sure you like it and attend. You don´t have to chose the 3 best martial arts for smaller guys I mentioned above, they are my choice. If you like to do grabbling only, then go ahead and do BJJ, if you like only punching, go ahead and do boxing.
Bear in mind that any martial art is better than no martial art, so no matter which one you chose, you will be a better skilled person after practicing any kind of martial arts.
Don´t forget if you get only verbally threatend, avoid a fight. However if someone physically threatens you, punch first!!!