There is not one martial art that “beats all others”

Thinking that there is one system that will beat all other systems is wishful thinking. Think of it like rock, paper, scissors. Each martial art has advantages and disadvantages over others. How you train also makes a HUGE difference.

For example: Krav Maga works well against weapons. It isn’t so good on the ground. So a good BJJ practitioner who can take the fight to the ground has the advantage here. A BJJ practitioner who only ever trains from their knees might not work out as favorably because they can’t get to the ground anyway.

There is not one martial art that “beats all others”.

muay thai students doing thai pad drills
Muay Thai Kickboxing class doing thai pad drills.

A solid kickboxing/Muay Thai practitioner would mop the floor with a Krav or BJJ only practitioner if they spar regularly unless either of those two can get close and take the fight to the ground. A kickboxing or Muay Thai person who only does bag work or thai pad drills would get thrashed by a Krav Maga/BJJ practitioner that spars or does drills like we do regularly. The roles might be reversed as a Kickboxer or Muay Thai practitioner who doesn’t practice ground fighting.

woman defending against a knife attack
Vanguard Krav Maga instructors demonstrating a defense against a downward knife stab.

Krav Maga is a a jack of all trades type system. It’s never going to have the best striking or the best groundwork. It does have the best weapons defenses. Therefore, what I encourage you and everyone else to do is cross train. Sharpen your standup game with Muay Thai Kickboxing. (We have a world class striker in Jivoni Paul Jordan with us!) Take some BJJ-- there are a million places out there.

It's a matter of breadth versus depth. (Breadth of learning refers to the full span of knowledge of a subject. Depth of learning refers to the extent to which specific topics are focused upon, amplified and explored.) Krav Maga has a purpose that revolves around surviving and, because of that, it has to take a broad look at multiple scenarios.

I think the most dangerous people are the ones who have the knowledge of how things work and why they work, coupled with constant personal practical application of that knowledge to develop that hardwired muscle memory.

Cross training is really the key.

The striking training you get with with Muay Thai Kickboxing will automatically be deeper than Krav Maga because almost every single Muay Thai Kickboxing class will be focusing on striking.

Where Krav Maga excels is training you to problem solve and apply the most effective technique you can in the fastest amount of time you can, all for the purpose of removing yourself from the life threatening situation as fast as possible. The depth of your technique and your ability to modify and change your response as the threat becomes fluid and changes, will only get better as you cross train.

krav maga students practicing knife cavaliers
Vanguard Krav Maga students practicing cavaliers.

Never let anyone tell you their system is the best. And I want to repeat: How you train makes all the difference. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. Do you go into every class and give it your all, or do you half-heartedly push your way through it? Do you shy away from the hard stuff because it “might” hurt? Do you have the mental fortitude to stand back up after you get knocked down and keep going or do you quit?

This system or that system doesn’t mean anything unless you put in the work first and foremost.

Never let anyone tell you their system is the best. And I want to repeat: How you train makes all the difference.


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This article was inspired by Joe Rogan's Vlog/Podcast on Self Defense Martial Arts: ‘Learn To Beat Trained Killers Instead of Untrained Individuals’.  BJJ and Taekwondo Joe Rogan black belt believes those techniques don’t work on trained fighters but only on so called ‘untrained fighters’. He talks about in detail in this video where he is asked about Krav Maga and if it is more effective than Grappling arts for self defense… 

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