Practicing a martial art is a great way to learn self-defense, getting fit, and making new friends from different backgrounds. There are a variety of schools of martial arts. From Aikido to Kung Fu, each has its own unique purpose and benefits to its practitioner.
In this article, I’ll be covering how you can get yourself involved in martial arts.
Identifying your objectives
You don’t have to be in the ring and getting knocked out to be involved in martial arts. Some people join a martial arts class just to get a good workout in.
Though all martial arts will make you fitter, I highly recommend strike-based martials, such as Boxing, Muay Thai and even MMA if your sole purpose is to lose weight. The endurance training and workouts required for these sports are brutal on your love handles.
Do you live in a shady neighborhood and want to protect yourself against any potential threats? A combination of different martial arts will equip you with the right skills. In fact, Krav Maga is known for neutralizing threats and is developed for the Israeli Defense Forces.
Is it your dream to represent your country in the Olympics? That is possible, but only some martial arts are in the Olympics. They are Boxing, Karate, Taekwondo, Judo, and Fencing.
Whatever your intention for learning a martial art is, let your trainer/coach/sensei know. He or she would be able to appropriately tailor your program according to your needs.
Try different gyms
Typically, martial arts gyms offer free sessions for first timers to give them a taste of what the art is about. No two martial arts are alike. If you’re into the striking arts, boxing and Muay Thai are great choices. There’s not a lot of grappling involved (especially in boxing), but you’ll learn how to hit hard and block opponents.
Of course, there are other more specialized, weapon-based martial arts such as Kendo and Iaido that utilize samurai swords such as ten ryu swords and ryumon swords. However, these gyms are harder to come by.
Grappling-based arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo work around wrestling and submission and are great options for those who are into groundwork and submission moves. In the middle of the spectrum there is mixed martial arts, which incorporates many of the world’s popular martial arts into a single thing of beauty itself.
Don’t feel bad about not returning to the same gym if you didn’t enjoy the experience. It’s completely normal, and you can continue to find your passion elsewhere.
Joining online forums
If you still have questions about getting involved in martial arts, there are plenty of online forums dedicated to martial arts. Some are specific to martial art, while others are more general. Here, you’ll find members sharing their experiences with the different styles, their techniques, and some might even recommend a good gym near you.
Online communities are great because you get to ask questions on a specific topic, and an expert or an experienced practitioner will be there to guide the way!