Best Martial Arts For Short Guys (Explained)


What is the best martial art for short guys? It is a question that many people may not even know the answer to. The truth is, there are advantages and disadvantages to every martial art. Any martial art you choose must have a few important qualities to be the best for short guys. You want it to be versatile, easy to learn, and realistic. All of these are important factors that some martial arts may not have. You want your martial art to be able to provide you with the training that will prepare you for real-world situations.

The Three Ranges of Fighting

There are three ranges of fighting which have to be taken into account when choosing the best martial arts for short guys. To illustrate this, we will use the example of a fight between a 5 feet 8 inches tall guy and a 6 feet 2 inches tall guy.

1. Striking Range

It is the range where the two fighters can reach each other with their arms. The taller fighter has an advantage and can use reach to strike the shorter fighter. This is why the shorter guy needs to keep the fight at arm’s length.

2. Grappling Range

This fighting range where fighters are within striking distance but inside each others’ arms reach. Here, punches, kicks, and strikes don’t work because they can be easily blocked by ducking or deflecting them. Short fighters have an advantage because they have a shorter distance to cover when attacking their taller opponent. They can strike faster and harder than taller fighters, who might take longer to get in range.

3. Ground Fighting Range

Here, fighters are at close range to each other and can attack and defend on the ground. You might grab your opponent with a bear hug and wrestle him. It is the range where fighters are on the ground. Here, short fighters have a huge advantage because their smaller bodies can easily be overwhelmed by taller opponents who can’t use their arms to defend themselves.

What Are The Best Martial Arts For Short Guys?

Short fighters have more problems than average fighters at all ranges in a fight. It is because they are usually shorter and lighter than average fighters, so they have to be more versatile to survive in a fight. In combat sports competition, every advantage can distinguish between winning or losing. The best martial arts for short guys are Karate, Taekwondo, and MMA. Below, we will discuss these arts in further detail.

1. Karate

Karate was developed in Japan by small farmers and tradesmen who used it for self-defense. It relies on many hard strikes to the body using the legs and arms, especially elbows, knees, and open palms. In addition to these hard strikes, Karate also has a lot of takedowns and grappling techniques, which are very useful for short fighters who have trouble targeting the legs of taller opponents. A short guy with good striking abilities could use takedowns and grappling techniques to get the upper hand against his opponent and finish the fight with strikes.

2. Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do is quite similar to Karate, although it has more takedowns and grappling techniques than Karate. It is still a very hard striking style that you can use in-ground fighting range. It is also worth mentioning that short people developed this style, making short fighters more versatile on the ground than other martial arts. In addition, it emphasizes kicks for striking and takedowns for wrestling purposes.

3. Muay Thai

Muay Thai was developed by the Thais in Thailand, although it has its roots in Karate and jiu-jitsu. This style became popular in the West because it is very effective as a stand-up striking style, which you can use to compete in MMA competitions. In addition to knock-downs, this style also has many takedowns, which are useful when fighting shorter, guys. Also, note that this is a hard striking style with emphasis on clinch fighting techniques and elbows and knees for short ranges.

4. MMA

Mixed Martial Arts is a great martial art for short fighters because of its many techniques and strategies suited for short fighters. It is a very hard striking style with emphasis on arm and leg submissions, especially in the clinch. It’s very effective for shorter fighters because most attacks deal with short ranges. In addition to this, it has a lot of takedowns and ground fighting drills which are very useful for short fighters. Although MMA emphasizes striking, the ground fighting techniques make short fighters more versatile against taller opponents.


Although all the best martial arts for short guys have their advantages, I can’t say that one particular style is better than another. The answer to the question “which martial art is best for short guys” depends on your individual needs as a fighter. It would be best to find out which martial arts are right for you and what strategies work best in your fight style.

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