Joining a martial arts school is one of the best ways to strengthen your body, increase your focus and discipline, and improve your overall attitude. It’s also a good way to a better life.
There are so many martial arts, however, that it might not be easy to choose the one that works for you. There’s kickboxing, karate, wrestling, judo, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu and others. Which one should you pick? These tips might help you make a decision.
Know Your Reason
Why are you interested in learning martial arts? Most people who take up martial arts do it because they want to lose weight, build their fitness and improve their confidence. Those are very good reasons, and sometimes they’re enough. But sometimes, people forget that this is not a hobby that will entertain them. This will demand much from you, both physically and mentally. So if there’s a deeper reason for learning martial arts that you can dig up, it’s advisable to hang on to it. You might need it for inspiration when you feel like packing it up and leaving the gym.
Know the Martial Arts
No two martial arts are exactly the same. There are techniques unique to each one. And there might also be techniques in some parts of the world that differ from what’s being practiced in other countries. Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular martial arts:
Ju Jitsu – This style of martial arts is all about using the opponent’s strength and force of attack against them. You won’t be using any weapons, but if you get really good, you can learn to stop an opponent twice your size and power.
Muay Thai – Practically every good and seasoned kickboxing school can be traced back to the practice of this martial art from Thailand. It’s called “The Art of Eight Limbs” because — though it’s more focused on kicking — it does also involve the use of your hands, elbows, shins and knees.
Tae Kwon Do – This discipline has more students around the world than any other martial art. It’s a Korean fighting technique that’s all about grace and power. It’s focused on offense and teaches you to kick and block, punch and strike with an open hand.
Karate – This Japanese martial art will teach you to strike with your kicks and punches, and to block. It’s great if you’re looking for an all-around workout, trying to gain agility, and looking to improve your coordination.
Kung Fu – The low-stance attack and powerful blocking form the basis of kung fu. It’s a legitimate Chinese martial art, perfected by Shaolin Temple monks who were thinking about staying healthy while also learning to defend themselves.
Tai Chi – This is the martial art for you if you want to learn how to slow your breathing, relax and gain balance. It features flowing, slow movements that help improve overall balance and stamina.
Judo – Though judo means “the gentle way” when translated from Japanese, it’s not exactly gentle. Kicks, punches, and the use of weapons are all tackled in judo, but its real center is focused on wrestling and throwing.
Choose a School
When you’re done choosing a martial art, it’s time to choose a school where you can learn it. The trick is to make it through at least one day of practicing the martial art before making a decision to stick around or leave. If you’re not sure yet, attend a few more sessions. After that, if you still want to continue, you can think about buying the right gear, which can also serve as your motivation to push through with it.