When your tall, lots of great things happen.
You instantly become more attractive to females, you’re able to help out the old lady grab items from the top shelve at a grocery store, and best of all, you can veer down and look at your opponent with an intimidating glare as you tower over them during a match up.
Now when it comes to martial arts training, being tall does have some perks as well.
Due to your longer limbs, you are able to take out your opponents well before they’ve even gotten a chance to get close to you.
But not all styles are cut from the same cloth.
And if you make the mistake of picking a style that is more suited towards someone smaller, it may be lights out for you before you’ve even landed that first shot at your opponent.
That’s why it’s important to choose the right martial art for your build and height.
Luckily for you, today I’ll be going over several martial arts styles that are most suitable for taller guys.
Here is a list of the best martial arts for tall guys:
- Muay Thai
Boxing is a western combat sport that focuses mainly on the use of one’s punches to fight and defend against an attacker.
Through learning proper technique, a boxer is able to generate tremendous power in their punches that can send their opponent flying to the ground.
But boxing isn’t just all about punching, there’s a lot of strength and conditioning that goes into the sport as well such as developing a strong core and lower body to be able to absorb punches while also generating power for attacking or defending oneself.
Boxing is especially suitable for a tall person due to the reach advantage they would have with a longer limb.
A perfect example of this is none other than one of the greatest boxers to ever grace the ring, Thomas Hearns who held the world championship belt in boxing in five different weight divisions. His tall slim frame with extra long arms gave him a tremendous reach advantage during boxing matches where he destroyed his opponents with devastating power.
If your tall and have long limbs, boxing would be a great martial art and combat sport for you to study.
Since boxing only focuses mainly on learning a few punches such as the jab, cross, hook, and uppercuts, it is relatively easy to pick up and progress unlike some of the other traditional martial arts that require years of training to become proficient at it.
The only downsize to boxing is that kicking isn’t taught and therefore boxers only rely on their hands for attacking. A tall person would not be able to take advantage of their long legs to gain a reach advantage.
But it is still a highly effective combat sport and martial art that could make the difference in a street fight.
Next up we got Taekwondo, a Korean martial art that is known for its beautiful and flashy kicks that wow audiences from all over the world.
If you’ve ever watched a martial arts movie on screen before, then you’ve no doubt seen some Taekwondo moves.
In Taekwondo, students learn a combination of punching and kicking techniques with a heavy focus on kicking, especially in the World Taekwondo style (name changed from World Taekwondo Federation) which is also an Olympic sport.
In class, you will learn a combination of different kicks such as a front kick, side kick, roundhouse, axe kick, and back kick. As you progress up the ranks, you will also learn more difficult kicks such as spinning back kicks and jumping kicks.
There’s also breaking that is taught in class to help you develop power and concentration.
Taekwondo is especially potent if you are tall and very flexible since it relies a lot on flexibility and being able to kick high.
Due to your height and reach advantage, you can easily take out an opponent well before they’ve even had a chance to get close to you.
The only main drawback to Taekwondo is that there is only a minimal amount of punching that is taught in the martial art.
However, if you keep a safe distance away from your opponent, you can easily use your reach advantage to have the upper hand in a match.
Karate is a Japanese martial art that shares a lot of similarities with its cousin Taekwondo, in fact often times you probably wouldn’t be able to tell them apart unless you notice the amount of kicking being performed in Taekwondo.
Karate is a traditional martial art that focuses on both punching and kicking, with a heavier focus on punching compared to Taekwondo.
In Karate, students are taught three main components:
- Kihon: Fundamentals such as striking with the fist or legs, blocks, and stances.
- Kata: a pattern or sequence of prearranged movements that allows students to perfect their techniques with a live opponent.
- Kumite: free sparring with a real opponent to help the student develop control, coordination, and self-confidence when applying their techniques in a controlled environment.
Since Karate shares a lot of similarities with the techniques in Taekwondo, especially with a lot of the kicks being utilized, a tall person would be able to take advantage of this using their long limbs.
Furthermore, unlike Taekwondo, karate has a greater emphasis on punching which makes it a more complete martial arts system.
In kickboxing, you will see a mesh of both boxing and traditional martial arts techniques being used such as Karata that are all fused together to create kickboxing.
In some schools, you may even learn some muay Thai moves that have been incorporated into the curriculum as well such as low leg kicks.
Kickboxing like the aforementioned martial arts is mainly a striking martial art that relies heavily on the use of punches and kicks to defeat one’s opponent.
Various boxing punches, along with various kicks derived from other martial arts are taught in a kickboxing class.
Furthermore, a lot of strength and conditioning work is emphasized in class that helps prepare students for fights inside of a ring if they so choose to compete.
Kickboxing would be great martial art for a tall person as it allows them to take advantage of their strengths in both punching and kicking.
Their kicks can be used to strike at their opponents and to keep them at bay, while the punches can help them defend themselves in case an opponent comes into close range to attack them.
However, the martial art tends to shun away from some of the more deadly moves in combat sport such as the use of elbows and knees or leg kicks that are extremely powerful for striking away at an opponent.
Still, it is a very effective martial art that can be used by someone tall to great effect.
And last but not least, we have Muay Thai, also known as Thai boxing.
Muay Thai is a Thai combat sport and martial art that originated from Thailand but has garnered a huge fanbase all around the world ever since due to its practicality and lethalness in combat.
A course syllabus for Muay Thai would typically include the following things:
- Lots of body conditioning drills such as push-ups, ab work, squats, burpees
- Lots of cardio such as jogging, using a skipping rope
- Learning how to throw a variety of different punches such as jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts
- Learning how to throw different leg kicks such as roundhouse, push kicks, front kicks, and lower leg kicks
- Using your knees and elbows to attack
- How to block and defend against attacks
- How to clinch
As students progress in the curriculum, they are also are given the opportunity to step into the ring and spar. This provides them with real-life experience sparring in a controlled setting and helps them build confidence in applying their skills.
Due to the amount of striking that is involved in Muay Thai especially with the use of all limbs, a tall person would greatly benefit learning this martial art as they would be able to not only take advantage of their long limbs when kicking someone but also to punch, knee, or elbow them in case their opponent tries to close in on them.
It is a very practical combat system that is feared all around the world, and in fact, most people are more often than not reluctant to fight with someone after learning that they have studied Muay Thai before.
Martial arts come in all shapes and sizes.
Some of them are more suited for tall people while others for shorter people.
If you’re looking at picking out a highly suitable martial art to take advantage of your height, then I would recommend the following martial arts styles:
- Muay Thai
Each one of these martial arts takes advantage of your long limbs to strike at an opponent while keeping you at a safe distance.
A shorter, smaller person would have a much more difficult time closing in on you during a fight if you are able to capitalize on your strengths using a series of strikes that are used in each and every one of these styles.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you now have a better sense of which martial arts styles you should be learning.