Otherwise known as the “Art of Eight Limbs” for its heavy inclusion of elbow and knee strikes, it should come as no surprise that such a deadly form of self defense would emerge from a place like Thailand, a country well acquainted with violence and conquest.
Also known as just Lua, this unconventional Hawaiian martial art focuses on bone breaking, joint manipulation, and even open ocean warfare. The name itself actually means “two hits” and apart from having a long history on the battlefield, practitioners go to great lengths to turn the odds in their favor with some warriors even coating themselves in coconut oil so they couldn’t be grappled in battle.
Also known as Vacon, this Peruvian martial art was born on the streets of Lima. It blends numerous martial arts and is designed to quickly inflict maximum injury to an opponent. Due to the emphasis on hidden weapons and deception, it is not unusual for fights to end in death.
A name used to describe several improvisational fighting styles developed within the US penal system, some of the most common types include Brick City Rock, 52 Handblocks, and Stato. Not much is known about them, however, and for years even their existence has been disputed and shrouded in mystery.
Portuguese for “anything goes”, this is a full contact combat sport popular in Brazil. It has a very limited number of rules and takes techniques from numerous martial arts. The only problem is that it is so dangerous and bloody that it often creates quite a stir in the media. And for this reason most of the events are held underground.
Rough and Tumble
Often considered one of the few fighting styles native to the United States, this form of violent encounter was very popular around the time of the American Revolution. With emphasis on maximum disfigurement it often involved everything from men gauging out each other’s eyes to literally biting the tongues of their opponents. Very few of the other entries on this list even come close to attaining the level of violence in these colonial era blood bathes.
An acronym standing for Linear Infighting Neural Override Engagement, this combat technique was used by the United States Marine Corps for most of the 90s and is still employed by numerous special forces. It was succeeded by the MCMAP or Marine Corps Martial Arts Program in recent years, however, due to the fact that it was relatively inflexible. Because it almost always involved ending the life of your opponent the military couldn’t use it in non emergent situations such as peacekeeping operations.
Not surprisingly, the world’s most effective and dangerous martial art comes to us from one of the most conflicted regions of the world. Developed for use by the IDF or Israeli Defense Force, Krav Maga is a non sport martial art, meaning it doesn’t concern itself with the opponents wellbeing. In fact, it generally assumes no quarters, or the idea that your opponent intends to kill you. For this reason, the brutal techniques of Krav Maga have been developed with the sole intention of inflicting as much pain as quickly and efficiently as possible which very often includes deliberately ending the life of your adversary.