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The 6 Highest Calorie Burning Martial Arts

For a very long time, martial arts were seen as a combat sport that would only help you with fighting, safety, and self-defense. Most people limit the scope of martial arts, so they don’t consider that it could help them stay fit. They think you can probably get injured when you practice martial arts. All these things are true, but limiting martial arts to just self-defense means you don’t want to know how this can make you fit and healthy. The basic idea is that, just like any other intense workout that allows you to move all your body muscles, good martial arts will help you burn a lot of calories.

Most people report that within just the first three months of starting martial arts training, they have seen drastic changes in their weight and body shape. Moreover, people who were out of shape or obese have reported that they came closer to their ideal BMI within just three months of martial arts training. 

This indicates that martial arts help in improving your health and getting rid of extra fat that otherwise may hinder the workout or make you look obese. 

The 6 Highest Calorie Burning Martial Arts
The 6 Highest Calorie Burning Martial Arts

Since there are so many different martial arts styles and each martial arts style has its own significance, You will see some martial arts styles focusing on upper-body strength, whereas most martial arts styles consist of full-body training. 

Depending on the involved muscles and focused body parts, these martial arts styles burn calories according to their intensity. 

With the help of this article, we will mainly look at some of the best martial arts styles that can help you burn calories and get into shape. 

We will especially analyze which martial arts styles will help you burn more calories and compare them to martial arts styles that will help you enjoy long-term fitness and health benefits.

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Boxing is a full-body workout because when you get in the ring, you have to balance your weight, move your feet all the time, and then punch hard with your fists. 

According to experts, just an hour of boxing can help you burn at least 800 calories if you follow an intense workout routine. 

However, if you keep shifting from low-intensity to high-intensity workouts, you will fall somewhere between 600 and 700 calories per hour.

Muay Thai

According to most experts, Muay Thai is a very intense workout, and you can burn a lot of calories; however, health experts say that it can help you burn somewhere between 500 and 600 calories. 

If you choose to push the limits of your body, you might even end up using more than 650 calories per hour as well. However, regardless, this calorie count depends on other factors as well.


Brazilian jiu-jitsu doesn’t just focus on the movement of your body but also on your gripping skills and the control of your hips. 

In short, since you are using the full potential of your body, you will be using somewhere between 1000 and 1015 calories per hour, depending on the intensity of the workout. Most of the time, a mild-intensity workout will help you burn 1000 calories per hour, but if you try to push limits, you might burn 100 calories more.

Check out bjj workout benefits


Wrestling will help you burn 430–575 calories per hour. This depends on the intensity of the workout and the warm-up session as well. 

Most people use an intense warm-up session, so this contributes to calorie burnout as well; however, experts explain that if you just rely on moderate-level wrestling, you will burn 430 calories.

Check out how do sumo wrestlers gain weight?


The highest calorie burnout rate can be achieved with MMA, as it stands at 1200 per hour. With the help of MMA, you can burn enough calories to bring you closer to your desired BMI within just a few weeks.


Karate is another very effective martial arts style that can help you burn 750–900 calories per hour. If you just rely on low-impact karate training, you will stay within the 600-calorie per-hour limit. 

However, with high intensity, you can burn 900 calories.


The calorie burn rate and the weight you lose over time are dependent on your weight before you start the workout and the time you spend during training. 

If you fall into the category of being obese, there is a high chance of you losing more weight as compared to someone who falls into the overweight or normal weight category. 

Another important thing to keep in mind is that most people consume somewhere between 2000 and 2500 calories per day, so if you burn just 1200 calories with an hour of workout, this will help you reduce a lot of weight.

Bottom Line

To sum it all up, it all comes down to the hours you spend on the workout and the way you practice it. 

Within just a few weeks, you will notice an exponential improvement in every martial art; however, as time passes, you will notice that although you are making progress, the speed has decreased. So far, experts believe that BJJ is the most intense martial art that will help you burn a lot of calories. 

Statistics reveal that if you choose BJJ, you will be burning up to 1000 calories; however, there are a few studies that reveal that if you practice intense boxing, you might even end up burning 800 calories per hour. So depending on the workout you choose, you can easily alter the calorie count.