Develop Self-Defence Skills

Contact Sports to Develop Self-Defence Skills

More and more people in the UK are concerned about the rise in violent crime over the past few years and there are certain sporting disciplines that can teach you essential self-defence skills. If you don’t feel comfortable when out and about, here are a few sports that can teach you the art of self-defence.


The Marquess of Queensberry’s rules are very clear and they determine what you can and cannot do in the ring. Boxing isn’t just about punching; it also involves protecting yourself and learning the art of not getting hit. You learn how to parry blows and most importantly, the footwork to put you in the right position for defensive moves. Not all boxers compete, many spar and train to attain a level of fitness and acquire essential self-defence skills.


Similar to boxing, except you are allowed to kick as well as punch. This sport has enjoyed a revival since MMA exploded onto the scene, as this is an important aspect of MMA. If you are looking to take up kickboxing in Reading, you are in luck, as there is a local gym with kickboxing classes from novice to professional level.

Brazilian Jui Jitsu

Known as BJJ, this sport teaches you the art of grappling and for many, BJJ is the best discipline to teach self-defence. Indeed, an experienced BJJ athlete can throw a person twice their size and render them helpless without causing injury. If, for example, you want to get into MMA, the first discipline to learn is BJJ, as this gives you essential ground game skills. Every MMA fighter needs a good ground game, without it, you have very little chance of success against a good grappler.


Judo is the art of using your opponent’s weight and momentum; a small person can effortlessly throw someone twice their size, using weight transfer and momentum. MMA involves judo and most fighters will train this discipline, enabling them to catch an opponent off balance and get them to the ground.

Mixed Martial Arts

You could become the next Conor McGregor if you are young enough and have what it takes to train mercilessly. MMA is known to be the most brutal of all contact sports, yet not everyone competes, the majority train MMA for self-defence skills and general fitness.

Muay Thai

This ancient Siam art uses the knees and elbows as defence tools and let’s not forget that your elbows and knees can also be used as formidable attack weapons. Thai boxing is another essential component of MMA, especially the head and body kicks, while it also develops clinch skills. There are 8 weapons in Muay Thai; the feet, the hands, the elbows and the knees and Muay Thai fighters execute devastating blows. This sport is not about size, Thais are tiny by comparison to Westerners, yet a 45kg Muay Thai pro can destroy a man of 100kg, which is astounding.

If you want to attain a high level of fitness and become proficient in self-defence, any of the above disciplines will be very useful.