The Deadliest Martial Arts In The World: Updated List for 2023

It is no secret that martial arts is not just your regular sport. To be more specific, it is a combat sport which means that the only method to win it is to strike the opponent.

Although wounds, swollen faces, or even breaking a bone are utterly normal in the field of martial arts, the risk stays the same way.

Here, let me put an updated list of the deadliest martial arts (and perhaps the best, too) of all time.

Deadliest Martial Arts

Deadliest Martial Arts in 2023

Martial ArtOriginDescriptionDeadly Techniques
Krav MagaIsraelA self-defense system developed for the Israeli military, emphasizes practical techniques and real-world scenariosEye gouging, throat strikes, groin kicks, and aggressive counter-attacks
Brazilian Jiu-JitsuBrazilA grappling-based martial art focused on ground fighting and submissionsJoint locks, chokes, and compression attacks can cause serious injury or unconsciousness
Muay ThaiThailandA striking-based martial art that uses fists, elbows, knees, and shinsPowerful kicks, knee strikes to the head and body, and devastating elbow strikes
BoxingAncient GreeceA combat sport where fighters use their fists to punch opponentsPowerful punches to the head and body can cause a concussion or brain injury
JudoJapanA martial art based on throwing, pinning, and submission techniquesThrows and joint locks can cause serious injury or even death if executed improperly
Kung FuChinaA broad term for various Chinese martial arts, known for their diverse techniques and stylesPowerful strikes, throws, and joint locks
Krabi KrabongThailandAn ancient Thai martial art that combines weapons and hand-to-hand combatDeadly sword and staff techniques, as well as close-quarter strikes and grappling
TaekwondoKoreaA striking-based martial art that emphasizes kicks and punchesPowerful kicks to the head and body can cause serious injury or even death
KarateJapanA striking-based martial art that emphasizes hand and foot strikesPowerful punches, kicks, and elbow strikes, as well as joint locks and throws
MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)GlobalA combat sport that combines various martial arts styles, including striking, grappling, and submissionsDeadly techniques from multiple martial arts can be used, including punches, kicks, joint locks, chokes, and more

Krav Maga

Before anything else, Krav Maga is a non-sport type of Deadliest martial arts. Therefore, it can be really dangerous.

It is a sport that originated from Israel’s concept of martial arts. Technically, it was developed for the Israeli Defense Force to inflict intense pain on the opponent.

In fact, it was widely practiced in the military and police fields as a defense mechanism for armed attackers.

Moreover, it is composed of a variety of methods in combat settings such as avoiding, preventing, and resolving the enemies’ violent attacks. To add, it enhances one’s self-defense, as well as martial and combat skills.

What makes it dangerous is its limitless grounds. As mentioned before, Krav Maga is a non-sport form of martial arts, which means it doesn’t care for rules and opponents’ well-being.

If any, a defeat in this type of battle can be closer to death than you’d ever expect.

Krav Maga Deadliest Martial Arts


LINE is a combat sport with a close-quarter system. It is the acronym for Linear Infighting Neural Override Engagement.

The sport’s system in itself is a set of combat-oriented conditions. For instance, one’s approach to playing this one should not focus solely on ocular dominance. In fact, the techniques will turn out more efficiently in low-light conditions, or other impaired visibility conditions.

To add, the nature of this sport is to give you tremendous fatigue, be it in a mental or physical aspect.

This sport is designed for Marines or Soldiers in which they can execute while wearing full combat gear. As you might’ve guessed, it’s dangerous enough to only allow fully-equipped fighters into the battlefield.

Moreover, the purpose of each technique is to be properly executed so that the opponent’s death will be over as soon as the first strike. Scary, right?

On a lighter note, what I like most about this sport is its sense of gender neutrality. Basically, it means that it can be practiced by (or against) either gender.

What’s more, they have also removed some of the most frightening techniques they used to have before. Some of which are the exotic kicks, agility movements, or even the classic judo “hip throw.”

Although it is rarely used anymore by the US army, the fact that it was built to directly kill enemies is petrifying enough.

Still, it remains to be a dangerous sport because of its objective and methodologies. After all, it was made for military and special operations. So, it can’t be anything less than bedbug bites, right?


Ninjutsu, as evident in the name, is the Deadliest martial arts that originated in Japan. It is otherwise known as Ninpo and Shinobijutsu.

This sport is uniquely disguised for the skills it employs in every fighter. This may include espionage, getting information, survival instincts in natural habitat, hiding and sneaking, camouflaging, avoiding enemies, infiltration, and overcoming natural and artificial obstacles.

To add, it also focuses on fighting with bare hands, various weapons, and a variety of hand tools. It developed primarily from exotic Oriental skills in the West to which the ninja moves came to be.

Additionally, the system of this sport involves largely unconventional warfare and assassination. Doesn’t that sound dangerous enough for you?

Nowadays, this sport is continuously practiced by people of all ages although it is now controlled by Japan’s spiritual leaders. But then again, since it is regarded as an integral system of self-defense, it can’t be all rainbows and butterflies.

Ultimately, it is one of the deadliest martial arts in the world.

Vale Tudo

Vale Tudo, another deadliest martial arts in the world, is a full-contact combat sport that originated in Brazil during the 20th century. Essentially, it is an unarmed sport as well which means that no weapons or armor are used during the game.

Interestingly, it is the literal translation of “anything goes.” So to say, it is composed of a variety of shared rules and techniques from many martial arts.  

This type of sport is done brutally, with all its lethal strikes and deadly submissions, therefore it is one of the most considerably dangerous sports in the world.

In fact, it is held underground because of its dogmatic and bloodthirsty nature during every game.

It is often talked about on various social media platforms, but I guess the players and moderators couldn’t care less. It’s their game after all, right?

Rough and Tumble

This form of fighting gained an audience in the 18th century from the United States. Although it was first developed during the American Revolution in the century prior to its prominence.

As the name suggests, Rough and Tumble denote a battlefield where rules or organization are non-existent. In the literal sense, it is a free-for-all. And to be frank, that is what makes it dangerous.

Basically, it aims to gouge out the opponents alongside other barbaric and callous techniques. It may include biting, gripping, and masticating upon the opponent’s flesh. Yes, it is gross and dangerous.

This was never a formal sport, but every now and then, volunteer participants schedule their fights. At the end of each game, the fighters who’ve emerged triumphantly will be deemed community heroes.

In that sense, it was made to defend one’s honor which was most common among the marginalized.

Albeit its wholesome intention, this remains to be completely dangerous as it doesn’t withhold at all for the opponent’s sake.

If any, it directly disables or kills opponents as soon as the bell rings. Goosebumps. Isn’t it?

deadliest martial arts

Final Words

Martial Arts is undoubtedly a fast-rising industry in the realm of sports games. As we all know, it always aims to reveal one’s strength, ability, and technique on the battlefield.

However, it is also undeniable that there are other practices that are far-stretched from being a competition. Specifically, I am referring to those sports with deadly nature embedded in their system.

Conclusively, I think it’s safe to say that not all people are suited to these types of sports. 

What do you think? Let us know below