Since the dawn of time, individuals have asked “Which art is the best?” and naive instructors and even masters had fallen for it. Now, before you get angry at the statement I just made hear me out…
What is the best food? Who is the best artist to have ever painted? What’s the best sport or sports team?
Asking what is the best anything is subjective in nature…ask fifty people and you get fifty answers. Master and instructors have tried for centuries through challenge matches and contests to make the claim that their system is the best, but it is done out of ego. Yes the original iteration of the UFC was originally founded to answer that question, but even then, it is ego, it isn’t the best going against the best, it’s some fighter from an art going against another from another art.
This doesn’t even take into account the variables, such as a huge crowd screaming, unclear rules, a person who isn’t accustomed to fighting in a cage etcetera. To say one art is the best and to try to prove it…is pure unadulterated ego!
To claim to know everything there is to know about fighting and to put down other martial arts and artists is ego. Ego destroys the self and creates bad character, none of which are attributes of the martial arts….period.
The art that is the best, is the one that a student finds their honest self in and who helps them grow as a human beings. Every student will have a different experience in each system and have different expectations, so in essence, the best art is the one for them.
I myself have studied many systems, each one was a different experience for me. Some were easier, some much more difficult because my natural size is larger but all different. If I wanted to learn a martial art with a lot of beautiful kicking and flowery movements, Krav Maga or Jiu-Jitsu might not exactly be the best art and vice versa.
The best is a subjective term and is built around the perceptions, needs of the student, and how well the student adapts to the system itself.