Best Martial Art For Overweight People

There are many reasons why overweight people might struggle to lose weight, and if you are not overweight, you might struggle to understand this. What I can say is that the fitness community hardly ever judges people. In fact, they welcome people who are trying to change their lives. This is true with the martial arts community, but what martial arts help you lose weight?

The best martial arts for people who are trying to lose weight are Brazilian jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, and Kickboxing. Almost all martial arts communities are very non-judgemental. The martial arts itself also teaches you discipline, willpower, and self-control which in the long run, is the best way of losing weight.

In this article, we will start it off a little bit differently and talk about why overweight people should do martial arts. Once we get through that, we will then look at the four best martial arts for overweight people to do, especially if they are trying to lose weight. So, let’s jump into it.

Why Overweight People Should Do Martial Arts

Usually, with these types of posts, I just go straight ahead and start talking about the best martial arts for certain types of people to do. For this article, I will still do that, but we will start by discussing why overweight people should do martial arts.

Martial arts is a great way to shed weight fast. You do so while learning how to defend yourself. While that is all great, the biggest benefit of doing martial arts is learning discipline, and this discipline is not forced upon you. It comes naturally, and finally, martial arts is a lot of fun, so most people who start it stick with it.

In my career, I have met many people who are overweight and who are just starting, and I have also met a lot of people who were overweight before starting martial arts. So, it is safe to say that I have a better understanding of what it is like for somebody who has a little bit of extra weight to try to start exercising.

It’s not easy, and a lot of people don’t understand that. However, the people I have spoken to and trained have said that martial arts, because of how it trains you and because of the discipline it installs in you, has helped so many people achieve their goals.

All of the people that I have spoken to generally all had similar stories. They tried waking up early to go for a run, they tried the fad diets, and they tried going to the gym, where they felt really insecure about themselves. This will not happen to you at martial arts. If anything, the martial arts community is extremely welcoming and not very judgemental.

The Best Martial Art For Overweight people

In this section, we will talk about the 4 best martial arts for you to do to help you lose weight. So, you might be slightly surprised with our selections. We aren’t going to talk about sumo wrestling because we are writing this article with the assumption that you are in it to learn a martial art and lose weight.

  • Brazilian-Jiu-Jitsu
  • Muay Thai
  • Boxing
  • Kickboxing

BJJ For Overweight People

In my experience as a black belt, I saw the transformation that jiu-jitsu has made in the lives of many people, including mine.

The main transformation from training and practicing Jiu-Jitsu that I saw in others and experienced myself was the rapid change in physique. I saw thin people become strong, I saw obese people become thin, and other amazing physical transformations from practicing Jiu-Jitsu.

You also need to consider the discipline involved. This can be a real game-changer, and while learning BJJ, you will be having a lot of fun. The discipline will embed itself in your mind without you realizing it in most cases.

Muay Thai

As we have discussed, overweight people might find it harder to stick to routines because of reasons that others can’t understand. When you couple this with personal lives and work getting in the way, everything becomes more complicated. Don’t even get me started on the events of 2020.

If you are out of shape, Muay Thai is one of the best ways of getting back into shape or even getting into shape for the first time. It is important to note that almost any martial art you do is really great at getting people in shape. Not only will it increase your fitness, but it will also help you lose weight, gain a very little bit of muscle, and just overall, improve your health and wellbeing.

If you want to lose weight and get into good shape, Muay Thai can be one of the best activities for you to do. You get all the benefits of high-intensity cardio and get to work on your self-defense abilities. Think of it as knocking two birds with one stone.

If you are trying to lose weight, what do people always tell you? They say you should run, walk, lift weights, and so on. All of those are great; I do all of them. What if, instead of having only to do one of those every day, you mixed it up? So, instead of running 5 days a week, why not do Muay Thai twice a week and run 3 days a week.

That might sound like a heavy schedule, especially if you are starting out, but you can adapt it to suit your lifestyle.


Not many people know that boxing is a martial art, but it is, in fact, one of the oldest martial arts around, especially in the West. Before we even get into this section, I want you to understand that just because you do boxing doesn’t mean you have to fight, you can do it purely for the training, but will it help you lose weight?

Boxing is a high-intensity workout. In training, you will do everything from running, hitting the bag, hitting the speedball, and skipping rope. You will also learn core principles such as discipline, self-control, and willpower. These principles are the main reason I say boxing is one of the best ways to lose weight.

Remember, when doing any martial arts, you need to still have somewhat of a healthy diet. Boxers who may seem overweight spend six months of their lives eating whatever they want and only train lightly. When it comes time to box, they workout for a few months in heavy workout camps, but they continue to eat to maintain their weight for tactical reasons.

You don’t have to maintain your weight for tactical reasons, and therefore, you can use boxing for its cardio, muscle-building discipline, and other benefits that boxing will give you.


Kickboxing is another great martial art, and you can take all the principles that we mentioned in the boxing section and apply them to kickboxing. The difference is, kickboxing is a little bit more cardio-intensive, and it also teaches you a different style of fighting.

I guess if you have to choose between kickboxing and boxing, it completely depends on what style of fighting you prefer. One thing you will notice about kickboxers is that they are generally skinny. So, if your sole purpose is to lose weight, kickboxing might be the right option for you.


As I said, I had taken a little bit of a different approach to this article because I understand that somebody who has extra weight constantly gets told that they should do this and that, but at the end of the day, nothing is ever as simple as it seems on paper.

With its welcoming community, martial arts principles of discipline, willpower, and self-control make it the ultimate way for somebody to lose weight. I know that is a brave statement, but I am confident in saying it. Remember, stick to your diet and train hard.

Other articles in this series:

Best martial art for a small person.
Best martial art for tall people.
Best martial art for skinny people.
Best martial art for big guys.
Best martial art for bodyguards.
Best martial art for women to learn.
Best combination of martial arts for MMA.

More from author

Related posts

Latest posts

Advantages And Disadvantages Of 6 Pack Abs

Most people secretly wish they could have a set of six-pack abs. However, only 2% of the world's population can boast of having great...

Kettlebell Gloves Or Chalk?

Many opinions exist regarding exercise, including the tools needed to maximize a workout. One such debate revolves around the use of kettlebell gloves vs....

Can You Be Fit Without Abs?

When it comes to fitness, men often start and finish with the same picture of their eventual goal: glorious abs telling everyone they are...

Want to stay up to date with the latest news?

We would love to hear from you! Please fill in your details and we will stay in touch. It's that simple!