What are opinions on the best martial arts to participate in?

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Martial Arts
Each art has its own specialty. Some feel that Karate is best for defense, Judo is best for wrestling, Tae Kwon Do is best for multiple opponents due to its use of kicks, etc. There is no art that can be considered the best all-round one. An old wise man once said, "The best thing to do is to not get in a fight."  Which Martial Art?
The one that you will study and train in. The number of arts that exist are so varied and different, that to claim one is better then the rest shows a lack of understanding of any of them. There is an art out there that is the best for you as an individual. Finding your art is part of the martial arts journey. Once you have studied for a long time, you will realize how similar they really are to each other, and understand the weaknesses and strengths of the art you chose.  What's the Best Defense?
I asked my Tai-Chi instructor that question over 20 years ago. What he told me still holds true today. He was a man who had over 80 years of martial arts training and had experienced literally hundreds of different styles of martial arts. His answer... "A good pair of Nike's." The best way to defend yourself is to not allow yourself to be in situations that would necessitate the use of force.

WikiAnswers contributors add their opinions:

  • If you want to go for a martial art that is practical for self- defense, effective, fast and simple to learn, has the least amount of movement, does not require brute strength, and based on principles and not techniques, the answer is wing chun.

  • I don't think boxing is the largest in the US. I can go to at least twenty martial art schools within 20 miles of my house, but only know one boxing school in the area. According to FICA, there are an estimated 2.5 million judo practitioners in the world. The American Taekwondo Association has 1500 schools world wide. Sorry, don't buy it.

  • There is really no good answer to that question. Martial arts are needed on basis of needs, specific things the person might want to learn or culture. Kung fu has been the most complete one in its original form back in the shaoling temple. I have seen catalogs of schools that teach this and the 72 main doctrines for shaolin monks in China. This of course could be mighty costly money speaking.

    people intrested in swordsmanship utilizing Japanese swords would be good to chooce iaido.

    The list goes on an on but here is the one I will recomend anyone looking for a good martial art. Aikido. you learn how to defend yourself using the energy force of your enemy when he enters your inner circle. The harder the attack the fastes he falls. Once you reach a level you are tought the sword. This is the one I highly recommend.
    As for the answer on the best defense as it is very true and I could have answered the same but the question did not ask what was the best defense but the best martial art. But that is indeed very true and I congratulate the person for bringuing it up.

i believe myself that wing chun is the bes martial art no other martial art can compare it aikido is very god as well but would have go with wing chun.

P.S this is someone else editing this.
I believe shotokan karate is also very good but martial arts have their own specialty.
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