MA for Physical Fitness Only

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Jan 8, 2006
Reaction score
North American Tectonic Plate
Go to just about any taijiquan class and you will see mostly people there for health. Nothing wrong with that but they have taken a rather effective MA and neutered it over the years to the point that the majority of people on the planet have no idea it was ever a Martial Art and in some cases get offended should you refer to it as a martial art.


Senior Master
May 16, 2006
Reaction score
St. Louis
I had been in and around Martial Arts for a long time: Judo, Hapkido, wrestling....that sort of thing. I took time off and began back with Tae Kwon Do. I used it primarily for physical therapy. However, being a Judo instructor and focusing heavily on finishing my dan ranking in hapkido is on the for front now.


MT Senior Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Apr 19, 2007
Reaction score
Lives in Texas
At our school, there are a few people who have joined primarily for physical fitness. Our school is a dedicated martial arts school. It is required for us to compete at least once a year and more so at red belt. As you all know, the challenge in martial arts isn't only physical. There is a great deal of mental challenge, too.

Do you think those who join a school only for the physical benefits stay with the art? If so, is it because they have a shift in attitude? Why would anyone endure the mental challenge if they only want to become physically fit? In fact, there are "easier" ways to become physically fit.

What has been your experience with classmates/students?

Very good question. I think there are some MA schools, that try to focus intentionally on the physical fitness aspects, with MA techniques, used in an aerobic way. For what ever reason, they do fill a need for people that would like to experience MA but still get some of the gym benefits. I have found that some of these same people become dissatisfied with the down time of learning moves and kata. There are many benefits to both gym and dojo, as long as you have not signed a long contract. This would keep you somewhere, that you may find out, you do not want to be at.