While some people are born with innate fighting abilities, most people have to learn martial arts from professional instructors.

However, finding a martial art that suits you might be challenging, given the wide variety of martial arts practiced today.

We will discuss two common fighting styles: Krav Maga and Aikido, to help you select a martial art that will work for your scenario. Keep reading.

Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art that emphasizes brutal combat maneuvers. It is less philosophical and stresses being able to defend oneself quickly and with ease.

It borrows from different martial arts including boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, and Aikido. It is a direct and violent approach that is not gentle against any aggression.

Krav maga encompasses seeing a threat before it ensues and neutralizing it before the attacker launches their tactics.

The word harmony does not exist in Krav maga. You have to use any means possible to subdue your opponent.

Whatever tactic works in your situation should completely destroy the assailant and show no mercy. As such, it is brutal for those who aren’t comfortable with violence.

Aikido is a Japanese martial art devised to help people refine themselves through a blend of rigorous physical and mental training.

The word “aikido” denotes “dynamic union” or “harmony.” The artist employs a more spiritual approach and encourages the practitioner to develop a calm, harmonious spirit while executing the techniques.

It is a peaceful art whose goal is to devote oneself to being in harmony with nature. As such, the movements in Aikido are elegant and graceful, deriving the energy from the mind, body, and spiritual union.

It is focused on attaining harmony with your opponent through peaceful means instead of using brutal force against them.

The practitioners use the attacker’s momentum and strength by redirecting it against the attacker.

The student has to showcase a higher degree of social intelligence and understand that brutal force could cause harm to their opponents and other things in the universe.

In short, Aikido cultivates an ideal society.


FeatureAikidoKrav Maga
OriginJapan, developed in the early 20th century by Morihei UeshibaIsrael, developed in the 1930s by Imi Lichtenfeld
PhilosophyNon-violent, emphasizes blending with and redirecting an attacker’s energyAggressive, practical self-defense with an emphasis on neutralizing threats quickly
TechniquesEmphasizes throws, joint locks, and using an attacker’s momentum against themEmphasizes strikes, kicks, and practical techniques for incapacitating an attacker
Weapons trainingEmphasizes the use of traditional Japanese weapons like the staff, sword, and knifeFocuses the use of everyday objects as improvised weapons
Training approachEmphasizes harmony and mutual respect between partners, with a focus on spiritual developmentFocuses realistic scenarios and high-pressure training to simulate real-life self-defense situations
Belt systemUses a colored belt system to denote rank and progression in skillUses a patch system to denote rank and progression in skill
Competitive aspectSome schools hold competitions, but it is not a primary focusGenerally non-competitive, with a focus on practical self-defense training
UniformTypically wears a white gi, or training uniformTypically wears regular workout clothes
PopularityPopular among martial arts enthusiasts and practitioners seeking a more meditative and spiritual practicePopular among military and law enforcement personnel, as well as those seeking practical self-defense skills


  • Krav Maga is a fast martial art that uses kicks and punches to attack an opponent while they are vulnerable. Aikido is similar in that whenever an opponent has their guard down, the attacker may land a blow on them and secure a hold to further immobilize them.
  • Both have a set Kata, or moves, employed during training.
  • Both can be used for self-defense.

What to choose?

Both Krav Maga and Aikido are effective martial arts with their own strengths and weaknesses. Krav Maga is the orthodox and original Israeli martial art.

It has its roots in street fighting, while Aikido emerged from a spiritual movement that taught people to show love and respect to others.

As a result, choosing a style that suits one’s needs is up to the individual. While some might opt for the hand-to-hand combat style of Krav Maga, others could prefer the meditative practices of Aikido.

However, it is impossible to rank one style superior over another as each has its purpose and will work great in its own way.


Krav Maga is a ruthless martial art that demands a lot from its practitioners. It is hard on the body, so it requires endurance to practice.

The moves are practical and can be used in a real-life combat situation. Aikido, on the other hand, is focused on self-defense but doesn’t allow versatility of techniques as Krav Maga does.

It focuses more on getting out of an attack than dealing with it in any way possible. Aikido is a gentle art that encourages unarmed self-defense.

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