Martial Arts Training: More Than Just Self-Defense


According to the FBI, four women die everyday as a result of domestic violence and about 130,000 women report that they’ve been victims of rape or attempted rape annually. Because of statistics like this, many women enroll in self-defense classes to learn the skills they need to defend themselves.

The thing is, a short-term self-defense class may not address all of the areas you need to be able to fully defend yourself. While martial arts classes won’t specifically train you for combat and fighting, they will give you the ability to defend yourself if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to practice self-defense. The best part is that this self-defense isn’t always physical. What most people don’t know is that in a good martial arts class you’ll learn a variety of skills to help you gain the awareness, peace and physical conditioning you need to be a stronger person, in all aspects of your life.

Confidence. All the physical defense skills in the world won’t help if you don’t have the confidence needed to use them. That’s the beauty of martial arts training. In order to successfully train a martial art, you need to have your mind and body in tune with one another. This self-awareness gives you the confidence your need to control and defend yourself if needed. You’ll be able to handle everyday and extraordinary situations without losing your temper. You’ll be able to stand your ground. You’ll appear to be (and will be) more confident – and people who appear to be confident are less likely to be the victims of violence because they don’t look like “easy targets”.

Focus and Awareness. While training martial arts, you need to focus and concentrate on what you are doing so that you don’t injure yourself or those around you. This focus and concentration carries over into other aspects of your life as well. Soon, you’ll find yourself better able to concentrate on work, school and home. You’ll even find yourself being more aware of your surroundings which can help you avoid potentially harmful or violent situations.

Peace. Training martial arts will also give you an inner peace that can change your life. First of all, to effectively train martial arts, your workout will always be changing. You’ll never get bored with your workout because it will always be challenging to your abilities (both physical and mental). In addition to that, training martial arts is a great stress reducer. You probably already know that regular physical exercise can reduce physical stress, but what you don’t know is that martial arts go one step further to reduce emotional stress as well. Activities such as martial arts that require you concentrate on your movements and your core strength can give you full stress relief in one activity.

Strength and Conditioning. When you train martial arts, you use your entire body. You cannot use just one muscle set at a time. The exercises are always changing and evolving to give you the maximum out of each training session. Martial arts also increase your flexibility which is great because people who are flexible suffer fewer injuries, have better posture and are better able to relax their muscles.

What Truely Is A Martial Art?


A martial art is identified as any skill that is usefull within warfare. The definition of martial means “military.” So traditionally, a martial art is a military art. The first things that usually pop into your head when discussing modern fighting systems do you think leaping, kicking, punching, blocking, inverting elbows, twisting necks, throwing, and weapons combat. But also horsemanship, javelin throwing, archery, spear fighting, halberd fighting, wrestling, knife fighting, rifle, shotgun, and pistol shooting, demolitions, logistics, and battle strategy can all be classified within as the field of martial arts. Anything that a soldier might do in battle is a martial art.

By martial art usually it is meant aikido, arnis, boxing, capoeria, chow gar, choy la fut, hapkido, hsing’i, hun gar, jeet kune do, jow gar, judo, jujitsu, karate, kempo, kick boxing, krav maga, kung fu, pa kua, penjak silat, praying mantis, savate, shaolin, tae kwon do, tai chi, white crane, ving tsun, wu shu and more! As you can see the list is quite long and it is actually very promising how many combat arts systems there are and how many methods of self defense can be formulated.

The best style out there for you is the style that helps you achieve the product you have set for yourself, and that advances you to take your skills up a level. If that means full contact training, then you need styles that can give you that.

Often within a martial arts school it is taught that ‘this style is the best system and it was created to beat all the others’. Of course every martial artist would have the viewpoint their style is the best because that is the style they have chosen to do, but in reality what they are saying is ‘this is the best style for me as it suits myattitude and I like the teaching environment’.

There is a ongoing joke in the martial arts, that basically says when someone says theirs is the best style, what they really mean is “I study X”. Have an open mind and open eyes, and you will find the style or styles that best fit your needs.

The changing of the arts

During the period of this history and development of the martial arts and all the combat systems of man our training tools have been instrumental in evolving and perfecting these fighting systems.

All the martial arts have been altered due to the function that mechanical devices play whether it be weapons, dojo mats, breaking boards or even the uniforms we wear – all these paraphanialia indentify the martial arts into their systems and style.

The main players in shaping our new martial arts would surely be the non-contemporary wooden dummy, ving tsun rings, iron palm ointments and even the system of using forms and karta have developed the martial arts into their current form.

Even today modern training tools are common and again the martial arts are evolving and growing with new training products such as the Wavemaster, the BOB training dummy, the Focus Master. All with a common idea, to create a well rounded combat system.

Ideally a martial arts solo training tool definately has to be workable for all and based on great background ideals and through constant drilling develop into sound physical application. The ideology and theory would have to take into account all the history of the combat technology of man and give this competition and street application.

What Are Hard Style and Soft Style Martial Arts?


Sometimes one would see references to ‘hard’ style and ‘soft’ style martial arts. To many non-martial artists, these terms may be puzzling. In North America, these terms are used to classify martial art styles into two main categories. Japanese/Okinawan karate and Korean tae kwon do are generally referred to as hard styles. Movements in both karate and tae kwon do are often linear with their forms (traditional sequence of set moves) performed with crisp movements. Chinese kung fu styles are usually referred to as soft styles. The circular motions of kung fu forms give them a more visually graceful or softer appearance especially when many of the movements flow from one to another. Even Korean kuk sool won which is sometimes referred to as ‘Korean kung fu’, is often classified as a soft style since its movements are also more flowing than the stop and go of tae kwon do or karate. This is not to say that hard styles such as karate or tae kwon do are more powerful martial arts than kung fu and other soft styles. The term ‘soft’ is a bit misleading because the power from circular kung fu moves are often hidden. Circular moves can generate just as much power as linear ones.

The terms hard style and soft style came as a result of the evolution of North American martial arts competitions, particularly in forms divisions. For many years, open karate tournaments which allowed all martial arts styles, had competitors from different martial arts backgrounds compete in the same forms divisions. All equivalent level competitors, whether they used a Japanese/Okinawan karate kata, a Korean tae kwon do pattern or a Chinese kung fu form, competed together in the same divisions. This provided a nice martial arts showcase for spectators especially at the bigger tournaments. However, some competitors and judges considered divisions with combined styles to be too complicated. For example, judges who were familiar with only Japanese or Korean styles had a difficult time scoring competitors performing Chinese kung fu forms. Sometimes competitors from different martial art styles felt that judges were being biased against them. Judging a hard style form against a soft style form was often like trying to compare apples to oranges.

To help resolve these issues, many of the larger martial arts tournaments expanded to have separate divisions for hard and soft styles. This was a way to equalize things and add some more fairness to all competitors. The largest tournaments went another step ahead and further separated Japanese karate stylists from Korean tae kwon do stylists by putting them into different divisions too. This still left many kempo stylists up in the air because their particular forms have both hard and soft style elements since their movements are both linear as well as circular. Some promoters of large tournaments decided to accommodate kempo stylists by adding in separate forms divisions just for their style too. Of course many smaller local tournaments have not been able to offer separate hard and soft style divisions for martial arts forms competitors mainly because of financial budget restrictions. The terms hard style and soft style are used only in North America and parts of Europe since these are the only regions of the world that have open martial arts competitions. Martial arts competitions in other parts of the world such as Asia are generally restricted to certain specific styles only.

Martial Art Belt Ranks – What Do They Mean?


There are many theories why present day martial art schools use belts and sashes as a ranking system and where the concept of using belts came from. We will discuss two philosophies, one that is widely accepted by many practitioners and another that can be considered as a legend, or story that was passed down by your grandfather. Please keep in mind that the belt ranking system has only been around about 120 years. Throughout this article, keep in mind that not all Martial Arts are the same, your school may have a completely different ranking system than discussed here.

One of the most common arguments comes from the founder of modern day Judo, Dr. Jigoro Kano. An educator and sports enthusiast, Dr. Kano used a black belt to represent his dan (highest-ranking) students in his school, the Kodokan. However, he later realized his kyu (lower ranking) students needed an outward tangible object to acknowledge their accomplishments and encourage their efforts. So he implemented the different colors to signify the progress that his kyu made over time.

Eventually, other Japanese martial art styles such as Karate, Aikido, Kendo, etc. incorporated the Judo belt ranking system when Gichin Funakoshi, an Okinawan karate master and considered as the “Father of Modern Karate” demonstrated his martial art style, Shotokan, at the Kodokan.

The other theory, known as “the belt getting dirty” can be considered as a martial arts folklore. When new students started their training they were given the rank of white belt, signifying a birth or beginning. Students were not allowed to wash their belts, therefore the belt would “get dirty” the more they practiced. In time the belt would become black, signifying the amount of time the student spent practicing and typically their level of skill.

As a new student in a martial art, you will most likely be given a white belt at the beginning of your training and will progress through a color system on your way toward a black belt. However, contrary to popular belief, the black belt does not signify the end of your training, but rather the beginning. In most arts, once you earn your black belt you are no longer considered a kyu, you are now a dan.

Dan have their own ranking system known as degrees. You are a first degree black belt when you first attain it, over time you can test for your 2nd degree black belt (or 2nd dan) and so on. Most martial arts consider a 10th degree black belt to be the highest level of mastery.

As you train in a martial art, don’t get discouraged if you are stuck on a certain belt for a long period of time. It usually takes many years to progress through the belts and this is actually one of the lessons that participating in Martial Arts will teach you. Progressing through the belts requires a great deal of time, dedication, self-confidence, patience and self-discipline. The skills you learn in your martial arts training will apply to almost every aspect of your life and will help you succeed in areas where you never thought Martial Arts would help.

The Basics Of Tae Kwon Do


Tae Kwon Do is a modern martial art, well known all around the world for it’s lightning fast, often high, spectacular spin kicks. Tae Kwon Do has been around for many years, originally founded in Korea. It translates to “the are of punching and kicking”, or the “art of unarmed combat”.

The martial art Tae Kwon Do has four disciplines – patters, self defense, break test, and sparring. It isn’t just one of these disciplines that make up the art, but a combination of them. All 4 of them are important, especially for those looking to advance in belt ranking. To advance in a belt, there are certain tests that students need to pass.

One of the great things about Tae Kwon Do is the fact that there are no age limits, and it can easily be learned by young children. Children of all ages will quickly learn fast reactions playing games, learn respect, and they will also learn their abilities as well as their disabilities.

The competitions however, are a bit different for children than they are for the adults. Even though the participants will wear full body protection, children can only kick and punch to the body, as no shots to the head are allowed. The competitions in Tae Kwon Do is what makes the art so very dominating. A majority of students that practice this martial art do so because of the competitions.

The competitions can be very exciting to watch, as they can get very competitive. Contrary to what many may think, the competitions aren’t deadly, nor are they anywhere close to being as dangerous as Muay Thai fights. Competitors will wear full protection, including head gear. For adults, kicks to the head are allowed, although a majority of stylists can block them before they make impact.

In order to participate in the competitions, stylists will need to have a certain level of experience. It can take years to become good enough, especially for those who win. Competitions are a great way to learn, especially if there are participating fighters from other areas of the world. The skill of a stylist is a very important factor with the competitions and tournaments. If you have a black belt fighter going against a white belt – the results will normally be quite obvious.

All things aside, the art of Tae Kwon Do is a great martial art. Stylists can learn kicking, punching, blocking, and the spectacular movements the art is known for. Tae Kwon Do is practiced all around the world, meaning that there are just as many places to learn this art as there are Karate. For an art that won’t disappoint – Tae Kwon Do teaches self defense and a whole lot more.

Top Reasons To Try Martial Arts


Just about everyone knows about the popular martial arts, such as Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu and Tai Chi…some people have even thought about trying out a class. Bt have you ever actually done it? Do you need a reason?

Just about everyone has thought about taking up a martial art at some point in time. Maybe as another way to stay in shape. Possibly as a means to protect yourself from the school bully. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of reasons why people choose to take up an art, but I want to take a second to outline what I feel are the most important reasons to at least try a martial art. Maybe it’s for yourself, maybe it’s for your children…whatever the reason, all martial arts contain a unique wealth of knowledge and discipline that you simply can’t get anywhere else. My hope is that this article will inspire you to get out of your chair and into a school to see what martial arts is all about.

Self Confidence
As you train in martial arts, you will notice a lot if improvements, such as your physique, balance, awareness, flexibility, and many other physical and mental characteristics. Martial Arts will teach you how to combine these capabilities and use them to succeed in competitions, attaining higher belts, building friendships and protecting yourself if necessary. The more you can do, the more confident you will be.

Self Defense
One of the most common reasons to study martial arts is to learn how to defend one’s self. A number of schools may dedicate class time and/or offer a scheduled class that strictly goes over self defense tactics. Also, depending on the MA style or school, self defense can be a large part of the curriculum, which can be beneficial to those interested in “applicable arts” (arts you can use in everyday life) as opposed to “traditional arts”.

Self Discipline
Webster defines self-discipline as the “correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement”. Whether it be trying to make a high school team or meeting company deadlines, once you learn the focus necessary to succeed in Martial Arts you can apply it to the rest of your life. Success is mental, and Martial Arts will teach you the self discipline necessary to succeed at anything you put your mind to.

Coordination
Martial arts does require a lot of hand, foot, eye, and mental coordination, but all of this is developed over time. If you consider yourself as an uncoordinated person, training in the martial arts will help you grow those skills. You’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing! Even if you are a natural athlete, standing on one foot, while kicking with the other, and blocking with your hands is quite difficult and involves coordination.

Fitness
Martial Arts does not have to focus only on fighting or self defense as some styles are based more on fitness. Tae Bo and Tai Chi are two examples of this. However, those with an interest in the fighting & self-defense aspects of Martial arts will find their fitness levels quicly increasing as training not only develops various muscle groups, but flexibility and balance as well. One’s level of fitness can be just as important in winning a match as one’s skills and abilities.

Family Enjoyment
Most people don’t know that this is an excellent way to spend time together with your family! Some martial art schools allow families to train together and others separate classes by age groups. Regardless of how classes are segregated, families find themselves enjoying the time spent together. It is not unheard of having a family all test together for various ranks and black belts.

Meet New People – Martial Arts is for everyone…
Many martial art schools structure their classes into three age groups: Kids – usually ranging from about 5 to 11 years old, Teens – 12 to about 16 or 17, and Adults – usually starts at 18, but some schools make exceptions when necessary. Some schools also offer a “Little Dragons” program geared towards the 4 – 6 year old crowd. Age groups are then broken down into belt ranks allowing you to train with people that are relatively of equal skills and age. Often times people who begin martial arts together will develop a bonding friendship and even obtainin their black belts at the same time because they pushed one another during their tuff times.

Strengthen your mind and body by practicing a martial art


Martial arts are basically a set of physical and mental skills that are gradually taught, developed and polished by a trainer usually called “sensei” for Japanese arts and “sifu” in Cantonese.

Martial arts translate as “the arts of war”, and they consist of a multitude of weaponless combat techniques, focused primarily on self defense.

Based on ancient wisdom and philosophy, martial arts not only strengthen the body of the adept, but they also fortify his mind and his spirit. In Eastern culture, self control, discipline, patience, awareness, are considered to be the traits of a true warrior, and martial arts mainly focus on developing these skills to practicing students.

In ancient times, martial arts were kept secret and practiced in silence; being an apprentice in these skills was a great privilege. However, today there are various schools that perpetuate the traditional teachings of the great ancient masters.

Martial arts are divided into many different styles, linked together by the omnipresent oriental mentality. If you wish to begin practicing a martial art, you should choose a style that best satisfies your needs and potential. Some martial arts focus more on physical strength, while others focus on technique and reflex. The best thing to do before choosing the appropriate style is assisting to a few training classes and asking the trainer whether you fit in or not.

Another important aspect you should consider is that martial arts require a lot of ambition, dedication, perseverance and practice. You should keep in mind that the skills are learned gradually, and it takes time to achieve higher ranks.

When you have discovered the style that fits you best, make sure that your trainer is qualified and that he teaches in an approachable manner. Regardless of experience or rank, not all martial arts masters have the ability to teach! You should look for an instructor that stands as a true “raw model”, a person whose teachings match his ideals and beliefs.

Having found the right instructor and training gym, all you need is equipment. Martial arts equipment is sometimes optional and it mainly consists of a uniform or sparring and protective equipment such as boxing gloves, head gear and chest protection. You can either buy these traditional uniforms, or make them yourself. Consult your instructor and find out his requirements regarding the appropriate training outfit.

The martial art equipment also includes a belt. It is made of a certain textile material and its purpose is to distinguish the ranks of the students. The black belt marks the highest level of experience and it can be obtained through years of learning and practice.

Whether you choose to practice martial arts as a sport or for self defense, its benefits are substantial. Martial arts improve your physical condition, as well as your concentration, attention and ambition. They strengthen the mind and body altogether and help you achieve self-respect, confidence and balance.

Mixed Martial Arts-Learn The Terms


With the rules and sanctioning of certain mma events there has been an explosion of new followers of mma (mixed martial arts) The purpose of this article is to help familiarize the new fans of this sport with some of the terms that are used. If you have a basic understanding with some of the terminology you will find viewing the sport more enjoyable. Keep in mind that this description is not inclusive of every aspect, but more of a guide for the beginner.

Submissions: submissions are techniques that cause the receiver to give up due to pain being applied to a joint or strangulation from a choke. Here are some of the basics.

Kimura: A shoulder lock that applies pressure to the shoulder joint.

Rear Naked Choke: A choke that apples strangulation to both sides of the neck (both arteries) it also impedes breathing.

Guillotine Choke: This is where the defender reaches underneath the attacer’s neck and applies upward pressure, with the attackers head under the defender’s armpit. It is usually applied when an attacker attempts a takedown and the defender is able to capture the neck.

Triangle Choke: The attacker is between the defender’s legs on the ground. The defender gets an attackers arm between his own neck and the defender’s leg. The defender then places his ankle behind his knee of his other leg and secures the choke.

Arm Triangle: Similar to the Triangle Choke except arms are used instead of legs. Usually executed from a top or back position.

Arm Bar: When an opponent is able to secure an arm and straighten it out with pressure underneath the elbow.

Knee Bar: Same as an arm bar but causes pain to the joint of the knee.

Ankle Lock: A submission that causes pain to the joint of the ankle or Achilles tendon.

There are way too many techniques to list in this article but these are a lot of the main ones you will hear mentioned. There are also several “control” positions. Here are a few;

Full Mount: This is when an attacker is on top of his opponent with both of his legs on either side of the defender. A bad spot to be in because the attacker can rise up and deliver strikes.

Half Mount: The attacker has only one leg on the outside and the defender is holding the attacker’s other leg between his legs to stop the attacker from achieving a full mount.

Side Mount: The attacker is perpendicular to the defender across the defender’s chest. A transfer to full mount or submission can be accomplished.

North/South: An opponent is on top of the other facing opposite directions.

The sport of mma is an elite sport with various strategies and techniques. Here are a few more terms you might hear.

Ground And Pound: A fighter takes down an opponent, mounts him, and delivers strikes until knock out, referee stoppage, or the defending fighter gives up (taps)

Take Down: A fighter attempts to bring his opponent down to the mat for a submission or to deliver strikes from the mount.

Tap Out: When a fighter taps on the other fighter or the mat to concede the fight. Mostly done when a submission is applied. (kind of like saying uncle.)

This article is not a “catch all” for every term you might here during an mma fight. It will give you a better understanding of the sport and make it a lot more fun to watch.

How To Choose A Martial Arts School


To reap the best benefits from martial arts, they should be taken as long term activities rather than short term. Given this suggestion, one should not just simply walk into the closest martial arts studio and sign up right away without doing some research. Not all martial arts are alike and not all schools or studios are alike either. Therefore, it is important to really think about what your own needs are with respect to martial arts training.

The discussion of which martial art style to take is too extensive for this article. So what I will say here is that there are differences in the various styles of martial arts which may result in some being more suitable for certain individuals compared to others. Do some research on the different styles and do visit the classes of different studios that teach different martial arts if possible. But more important is each individual school’s approach to teaching their martial arts. Many martial arts schools teach only techniques and forms (set routines) that are specific to a traditional style. These schools follow the ways that the original founders of each martial art style developed and they have continued with minimal variance over the years. Other studios like to borrow techniques from a variety of martial art disciplines and integrate a mix into their programs. Some schools are non-traditional and adopt a more open free style system which incorporates traditional martial art techniques with gymnastics and open choreography of forms. There are many clubs that do both traditional and open styles. Each school will claim that their martial art style and method of teaching is superior to others. Prospective students must not take these claims too seriously and choose an approach that would be best suited for them on an individual basis.

Many advertisements for martial arts schools push the backgrounds of their higher ranking instructors as a way to attract students. It is important to realize that the more degrees (or dans) a particular black belt has don’t always mean that the individual is a better instructor. This is the same with instructors who have very successful competition records. There is no correlation to the number of world championship titles won with how good an instructor is. The term ’master’ should also be taken with caution. A master doesn’t always make an excellent instructor. The teaching style of different instructors can vary. Some use the old Asian masters’ approach where discipline is strictly enforced much like in the military. While general discipline is actually a good attribute to learn from martial arts training, some of the old ways of teaching, particularly reprimanding students vocally or physically for incorrect techniques may be considered a bit harsh for today’s society. This is why it is important to watch classes of prospective martial arts schools you are interested in. You want to see the teaching style of an instructor to determine if it’s a style that would be compatible with you or not. Ask questions after instructors have finished teaching. If you have the gut feeling that certain instructors will not be right for you, move on to find another club. Most legitimate schools will allow prospective students to witness or even try out a class for free before joining.

Related to teaching styles, some instructors emphasize safety more than others. The use of protective equipment and certain rules while sparring are factors. In addition to asking instructors, also ask other students about injury rates and their general feedback about the classes (ideally when they are outside of their schools). Another point on the students is that some schools attract a certain type of student profile. Observe the other students and decide whether these are people you would like to train with.

Some schools are very much into competition with active encouragement of students to participate in tournaments. In fact, some schools even make this a requirement in order to advance through the different levels. Other schools have been known to restrict competition only within a particular circuit. For example, many tae know do clubs only participate in tournaments that are strictly Olympic style tae kwon do and never go to events that are open to all martial arts styles. There are schools in the complete opposite end where they do not believe in competition at all and pretty well keep to themselves without any interaction with other martial arts clubs. Many Chinese kung fu clubs do not compete and some styles of martial arts such as aikido do not offer any competitive outlet. Many martial arts schools choose to have a relaxed position towards competition where they leave it up to individual students to choose whether they want to participate in tournaments or not. Some schools have special competition teams where additional training is available for those students who wish to compete. So as a prospective student, you should consider what involvement you would like in competition if any. If you know that you never want to compete, you should not get locked into a school that requires tournament competition. If you have a desire for competition, don’t join a studio that shuns competition.

Some martial arts schools teach in community centers, school gyms and even church basements. Some have bare bones studios with outdated equipment. Some schools have the latest martial arts and fitness equipment with sparkling clean change rooms and facilities. All of these will factor into the membership fee of each school. You have to determine what you are willing to pay for and what type of environment you will feel comfortable training in.

Choosing The Best Martial Arts Style


For anyone who wants to learn a martial art, there is a lot to know in regards to the many different styles. Of course there is the question of finding the best martial art, which is a question a lot of people ask With so many martial arts styles to choose from, it can be very complicated to pick one to learn.

No matter you may hear or what others have to say, it is quite impossible to name one style of martial arts as the ultimate best. Actually, there are several factors that come into play, which makes a statement about a style being the best impossible. Even though one style may beat another in a competition or a fight, doesn’t always mean that the winning style is the best.

Before deciding to rush out there and learn a martial art, there are several things that you should decide first. Martial arts are great to learn, no matter which style you decide on. A martial art can teach you self discipline, self defense, and several other traits that will help you no matter where you decide to go in life.

Self defense
All over the world, there are several martial arts schools and dojo’s that emphasize self defense a lot more than others. Schools that focus on kata, forms, or light sparring are less than likely to teach you what you need to protect yourself on the street. If you are looking for street self defense, then you’ll want a style that trains hard and doesn’t let up.

Fitness
Even though martial arts can improve your fitness level, it isn’t the goal behind a lot of the martial arts styles. Several styles, such as Tae Bo, are based purely on martial arts and doesn’t include a lot of physical fitness training. If you are looking for fitness as your main goal, then you should be looking into something other than martial arts.

Fighting ability
This will vary among the many different martial arts styles. Self defense schools will most often take advantage of fighting skills, teaching you everything you need to survive. Most martial arts styles are slow in theory, teaching you kata, movements, and forms. Self defense schools on the other hand, teach you how to inflict the most amounts of damage in the least amount of time.

Competition
Competition based martial arts are all about winning trophies and showing the world your style of martial arts. The competition that you have chosen, will greatly impact your style of martial arts. You’ll need to decide if you will be fighting or showcasing display kata, light or heavy contact, or focusing on grappling or striking.

Before you decide on a martial arts style, you should always research the schools and dojo’s in your area and see what all they offer you. The best schools will allow you to participate in a few free classes, or offer you discounts on your first few months. They will answer any questions that you have, and work with you to help you learn as much as you can.

Martial arts can be a very fun and exciting learning experience. There are hundreds of different martial arts styles out there, although you may be limited in choice, depending on what all is offered in your area. Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing, and Jiu-Jitsu and some of the most common types of martial arts, and normally offered just about everywhere. The more distinct styles, such as Kung Fu, Shootfighting, Kenpo, and Shaolin styles are a bit hard to harder to find.

If you do your homework on some of the styles that are offered in your area, you’ll find one that best fits your reasons to study. Martial arts can change your outlook on life – all you have to do it devote yourself to learning all you can about the philosophy of your martial art.

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