Martial Arts Training - Finding the Right Style For You By Mich Andrews

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Martial Arts Training - Finding the Right Style For You
By Mich Andrews

What kind of martial art training is right for you? There are styles of martial arts and hand to hand combat to suit everyone regardless of sex or age. When you begin your quest to find the art for you should do some preliminary research and compare the different styles and philosophies/aims behind each fighting technique.

What is your aim in starting a martial art?

  • Increased levels of fitness?
  • More confidence in yourself?
  • Better fighting techniques?
  • Self defense and protection skills?
  • Possible competitive aspects and opportunities?
Whatever system of combat you choose you will probably develop a better level of all round fitness and sense of confidence which will permeate into many areas of your life. These are great benefits to getting involved in this area of physical activity rather than other more traditional sports.Certain styles however will provide more cardio vascular benefit than others if you are looking for fitness. Thai boxing or Taekwondo for instance will quickly and powerfully change your physique if you commit to the training because of emphasis on movement, footwork, kicking and so on.

What about your body shape and personal preference?

Without doubt it is possible for anyone to learn any style. The human mind and body has amazing capabilities and you should never let societal rules tell you what you can and can't achieve. It's common sense however that depending on your own physique you may be more able to reach your fullest potential in one particular style rather than force yourself to learn something that isn't right for you.

Are you short and stout? If so Kick boxing may not be the style for you or what about Wing Chun? If you're tall and slim then perhaps Taekwondo is the one for you?

Do you like to train alone or with others?

Some styles provide an opportunity for lots of solo work and training drills. Of course you can always practice alone with any training but many styles, for example Ju-jitsu, Aikido, Judo, mean you just cannot progress properly without a partner to work against. Contrast this with Karate and Wing Chun where you can spend a lot of time rehearsing kata or working against a wooden dummy.

What do you want to get out of your martial arts training?

Are you looking for a short term experience you can use to gain a measure of skill, increased fitness or stamina or do you want more long term gains such as grades, belts and eventual mastery. Possibly you may even desire to go on to teach?

Once you've decided on a couple of possibilities then you should always go along to a class and watch a training session. Most teachers will welcome you into the gym or dojo if you are keen to find out more, simply observe the etiquette of the style and you'll be OK, (for instance, it's usually shoes off in the dojo). Whilst watching you can assess the atmosphere, levels of safety and whether people are actually enjoying themselves and the training. It shouldn't be a social club but there should be a good vibe and supportive attitudes.

Only you know yourself and what you might be capable of. Of course you may be limited by the availability of classes in your area in which case take the best option. In any case take time and decide for yourself which direction to take.

Visit Mich's martial arts related website for more great articles on hand to hand combat and self defense techniques.
Mich Andrews