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Martial arts can be seen as an elegant form of self-defence.
There are various types of martial arts classes and training opportunities. Most of them tackle both physical and mental endurance and they can take years to master.
Types of Martial Arts
Most types of martial arts require good physical balance, the capacity to move correctly, strength, endurance, and determination.
- Karate – perhaps the most popular type of martial arts, karate involves kicks and punches. It requires constant training and good body balance while making the most of your strength and the opponent’s weaknesses.
- Jujitsu – this form of martial arts is recognized as highly involving. It requires practitioners to sit close to their opponents. The proximity to the opponent is ideal for moves such as throws and ground-level fighting.
- Kung fu – kung fu is one of the most spectacular types of martial arts. It requires very good physical condition. For example, high kicks and jumps are some of the most demanding characteristic moves in kung fu.
- Judo – similar to jujitsu in proximity to the opponent, judo is another form of martial arts that is highly involving. Throwing and tackling your opponent at ground level is inspired by jujitsu.
- Tai chi – popular in Chinese parks, tai chi is a form of martial arts that requires a lesser physical condition while still being demanding on the body. It mostly involves performing various movements at a slower pace as if in slow motion. It can be the steppingstone towards karate.
Martial arts training classes typically run with a group. One-on-one martial arts classes are rare. Most practitioners are split by age or experience for an equalized form of training. Classes are scheduled weekly through the day, like other sports. Trainees preparing for martial arts competitions can benefit from different training classes and specific one-on-one training.
Martial arts studios
Martial arts studios run on a schedule. They are rarely open all day or they rarely run classes all day. Each martial arts studio has a given weekly schedule. Groups are either formed by age or by skill level. Martial arts is a sport highly dominated by clear skill levels.
Martial arts clothing
Martial arts clothing such as judo uniforms or kung fu uniforms is characterized by high durability and flexibility. Other types of clothes aren’t viable for these sports as they tear easily or because they don’t support unrestricted movement from different angles. You need these uniforms when joining a martial arts class.
Martial arts equipment
While not mandatory at first, martial arts equipment has a protective role on your body. You can wear different types of protective martial arts gear to stay safe during practice. Here are a few types of martial arts equipment to consider for training.
- Shin pads
- Knee pads
- Groin guard
6 Mistakes When Getting into Martial Arts
Martial arts is highly demanding both physically and mentally. There are many reasons why there are high dropout rates in martial arts. But as in any sport, it is rushing into things too fast that tends to come with all types of trouble. Here are 6 typical mistakes a newbie martial arts trainee makes.
- Rarely showing up to martial arts class
Martial arts is indeed an art form. Like any form of art, it can take years to master. Martial arts classes are typically held at least 3 times per week per experience level or by age groups. This is why trainees should make their way to class as many times as possible. Repeating and learning new moves is going to eventually pay off. Rarely showing to training classes is not likely to lead to mastery but dropouts instead.
- Skipping on the difficult moves
Many of those into martial arts only want to train the most spectacular moves seen in movies. But as a form of self-defence, martial arts need to teach all types of moves. This involves moves that require you to be closer to your opponent, many of which not being spectacular at all.
- Not paying attention to breathing
Breathing and controlled breathing are classes of their own in martial arts. You need to control how and when you breathe when defending and this is going to make a considerable difference in performance. All forms of martial arts require a deep understanding of breathing control, especially tai chi.
- Using too much force too soon
Force is an element of martial arts. However, brute force is nothing without the correct technique. Pushing the limits of force to all costs is not for martial arts. It’s as much about self-control as it is about applying just the right force in each move to master forms of martial arts.
- Overinvesting in martial arts equipment
There aren’t as many clothes and martial arts gear options to buy. However, some trainees feel compelled to rush and buy all of them together as soon as training starts. An affordable karate uniform is sufficient, to begin with. Trainees can often upgrade along the way when they already know what’s required from their martial arts gear for them.
- Skipping warmup
Warmup tends to be overlooked by beginners due to high enthusiasm. All trainees want to start with the martial arts drills as soon as possible. This is still limited now by warmup which ensures the basis of good technique. A proper warmup also keeps potential martial arts injuries away. Even without direct opponent contact, martial arts move can still lead to injuries. It’s best to abide by the advice of the leaders to properly execute each move with minimum injury risks.
You can join martial arts studios on a monthly or per-session membership plan. Some studios offer free first training sessions to see if the sport fits your preferences. Training sessions are held multiple times per week and trainees can join them according to age, height, weight, or skill level. Most forms of martial arts use a combination of mental and physical training techniques for self-control. The sport is also technical which means it requires constant focus.