We’ve rounded up the best martial arts and women’s self-defence classes in Hong Kong, with everything from taekwondo to Systema, Wing Chun kung fu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo and more.
Martial arts and self-defence classes will teach you new skills, provide a full-body workout and give you the confidence and strength to protect yourself. While we love a good pilates or yoga session or something high-intensity like CrossFit or dance — it’s important to know how to defend yourself, a valuable skill (for all genders!) that is also a lot of fun to learn. Ahead we’ve rounded up a few styles of self-defence including and Systema and martial arts like judo, taekwondo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Wing Chun kung fu and more…
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Cheung Do Kwan — Taekwondo
Although taekwondo has earned a reputation for being a competitive sport, this martial art was originally developed for self-defence. Characterised by punching and kicking, it’s great for blocking and defending blows. One of the oldest Korean martial arts schools in Hong Kong, Cheung Do Kwan’s for-adults program will give you a detailed explanation of taekwondo skills and concepts while you get a cardiovascular and strength workout in!
Chris Collins Action Plus — Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Pekiti-Tirsia Kali, Wing Chun kung fu plus women’s self-defence
A former competitive boxer, Greco-Roman wrestler, bouncer, full contact fighter, and US Marine — Chris Collins truly specialises in Combat Arts, with a studio that offers programs that work with sticks, knives and hands. These include Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Wing Chu, and the rarely offered Pekiti-Tirsia, a Filipino martial arts style. You can also enquire about women’s self-defence classes.
Chris Collins Action Plus (Gym), 18/F, Connaught Harbourfront House, 35-36 Connaught Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Espada Studio — Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA and muay Thai plus women’s only courses
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a great form of self-defence as it focuses on grappling and ground fighting, both of which are real-life situations if you’re ever attacked. Espada Studio specialises in BJJ and MMA and even offers women-only courses.
GSF Academy — Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, muay Thai and self-defence
Standing for grappling, striking and fitness, GSF Academy is one of the largest Brazilian jiu-jitsu, self-defence and martial arts schools on the Island. Classes are taught by professional trainers with more than 10 years of coaching experience and include Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, muay Thai, self-defence and even yoga!
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Heng Yue Yen Long Kwon — Heng Yue Yen Long Kwon modern kung fu
A modern Chinese martial art based on traditional Chinese kung fu, Heng Yue Yen Long Kwon is a boxing-like art that pulls traditional kicking and punching techniques together with tai chi (Taiji) and self-defence. Based in Wan Chai and Causeway Bay, this academy will help you learn this form of kung fu in a pleasant environment, no matter what age you are.
Hong Kong Jiu-Jitsu — Brazilian jiu-jitsu, grappling and judo
An Official Academy of IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation), Hong Kong Jiu-Jitsu was opened by a Master Black Belt Champion and offers a variety of class schedules led by professionals — including Brazilian jiu-jitsu, grappling and judo.
Impakt Hong Kong — Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, Kyokushin Karate plus strength and conditioning training
Looking to really train those muscles and pick up some self-defence skills? Impakt Hong Kong promises to help you push to your limit, with martial arts like Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Kyokushin Karate along with boxing, kickboxing, muay Thai, general core strength and strength and conditioning training classes on offer. Expect a sweaty workout session!
IWKA Kung Fu Hong Kong — Wing Chun and Taiji kung fu
IWKA Kung Fu’s beginner courses for adults are a fun and effective way to learn Kung Fu for self-defence and as a martial art that emphasises self-control, discipline and health, specifically through Wing Chun and Taiji.
Kowloon Jiu Jitsu — Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA and judo
Kowloon Jiu Jitsu takes pride in providing a clean, safe environment for people of all ages and skill levels, with six stages for jiu-jitsu (beginner, fundamentals, all-level classes, No-Gi, competition and MMA). If your priority is self-defence, look to judo — a grappling martial art that focuses on lifting and throwing your opponent from a standing position. It involves no striking or kicking, just capitalising on your opponent’s movement to force them down onto their backs.
MGK Fight Club — Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA, muay Thai, Wing Chun kung fu private training, grappling and striking
Wing Chun is a Southern Chinese kung fu that focuses on self-defence (you may know it through Ip Man, a grandmaster who was also a teacher of Bruce Lee). To learn how to use it in real-life situations, Marc Guyon’s Wing Chun course borrows techniques from a few other martial arts to make for a practical, straightforward approach to self-defence. The martial arts club also offers Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA, muay Thai, grappling and striking classes.
Systema Hong Kong — Systema self-defence
Systema is a Russian martial art that’s a popular self-defence style, especially for women. At Systema Hong Kong, classes (starting at $300) work with your current level of fitness so you can save yourself with the capabilities you already have. The art emphasises natural movements, instincts and identifying your own physical strengths and weaknesses — so you can defend yourself in even the most unpredictable situation.
Systema Vasiliev Hong Kong — Systema
Antonio Arancio has been practising a variety of martial arts since he was 15! He runs this affordable Systema program with classes that take place once a week in Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon Park on Saturday, 3pm to 5pm) and Prince Edward. Beginners are welcome but it’s advised to do some research prior, to get the most out of a class. Prices start at $120 for a trial class and $500 for a one-month pass.
Yip Man Martial Art Association — Wing Chun kung fu
What better way to learn the historic art of Wing Chun than through the Yip Man Martial Art Association? First set up with grandmaster Yip Man (yes, that Ip Man!) and his associates in the 1970s, it’s a thriving, effective and affordable way to learn the self-defence martial art.
Yip Man Martial Art Association (Alpha House), Unit A, 5/F, Alpha House, 27 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Editor’s Note: “Martial Arts & Self-Defence & Classes For Women In Hong Kong” was originally published by Danielle Roberts and most recently updated by Team Sassy in December 2022. With thanks to Lydia Ching for her contribution.
Main image courtesy of RODNAE Productions via Pexels, image 1 courtesy of Cheung Do Kwan via Instagram, image 2 courtesy of Espada Studio via Facebook, image 3 courtesy of Heng Yue Yen Long Kwon via Facebook, image 4 courtesy of Impakt via Facebook, image 5 courtesy of Kowloon Jiu Jitsu via Facebook, image 6 courtesy of Yaroslav Shuraev via Pexels.