How To Select The Right Martial Art Style For You
How To Select The Right Martial Art Style For You
In the last thirty years, martial arts have gone from being regarded as something of fiction, fantasy, and Bruce Lee movies, to a genuinely rewarding fitness activity and physical discipline for millions of people across the globe. Nowadays, there are as many forms of martial arts out there as there are reasons for wanting to start practising, each being more enticing than the next. Before starting out on your journey of enlightenment and exercise, it is important to take some time to figure out what style is best for your individual needs.
One great thing about almost all styles of martial arts is that there is very little barrier to entry. All you really need to do is grab equipment like kick pads or boxing gloves so that you can jump right into practising your roundhouse kicks. Martial arts are also often quite affordable to practise. You can typically enjoy a few martial arts classes a week for about the same amount as a gym membership. The accessibility of this particular sport makes it even more popular amongst people of all ages.
In fact, the most tricky part of getting started as a martial artist is just choosing which fighting style you’d like to master. It’s common to feel totally spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting which martial art you’d like to practise or which combination of martial arts you want to try. However, with a little research and by asking the right questions, you can ensure you choose the perfect martial art for you.
Let’s take a look at some things you should consider to help you choose the right martial art to dive into.
What Are Your Intentions?
There are a myriad of reasons for someone to become interested in one form of martial arts or another, and as long as that intention is pure and honourable, there should be plenty of options. Having a goal in mind when starting this journey will ultimately have the biggest influence on the style that you choose.
Those who are primarily focused on learning self-defence, for example, may benefit from different styles compared to those looking for more mental health benefits. Every style of martial arts offers a different experience for the pupil, and they can vary significantly from one form to the next.
Does Your Cultural Background Play A Role?
While this area may not be applicable to everyone, there are a large number of cultures around the country and the world that practise some form of martial arts. Some of these cultures may only practise for ritualistic or ceremonial purposes, while others take on a full training regime.
If you have any interesting or unique ancestry, you might have a natural desire to take a deeper look into a particular martial art that originated from your own cultural background. Getting involved in martial arts on its own is an incredible experience for many people, so pairing it with your own heritage and culture can often be even more immersive and transformative.
For people who are purely looking to learn self-defence to be able to protect themselves, a style such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will be right up your alley. While certainly not the only style focused on self-defence, this martial art is extremely popular just about everywhere you go in the world.
Wing-Chun is another popular defensive style that many people recognise thanks to the blockbuster Ip Man movies. You will have a harder time finding somewhere to learn, but it was created specifically for anyone to learn, regardless of ability, and is also an excellent option for self-defence.
Building Mental Strength
Mastering any martial art requires more than just physical exertion. The main goal of most martial arts is not simply to teach people how to fight, but how to make intelligent, rational decisions in their movements. Virtually all martial art disciplines also maintain an ethos that physical force should only be used when absolutely necessary.
A number of martial art styles will help you improve your mental strength, teaching you valuable things like timing, how to read your opponents, and how to maintain poise and fluidity across even the most powerful movements and positions. Boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and taekwondo are great for working out your brain as well as your body. Self-confidence is another major bonus that comes from practising martial arts, which, alone, is a huge benefit that many people experience from enrolling in a class. There’s something truly self-affirming about mastering a stance and a movement after hours upon hours of training.
Pick A Path
Once you have whittled down the list of potential martial arts styles that appeal to you, it comes down to finding the right one for you. Try looking for a martial art style that helps you build the physique you’re after, or perhaps even the fight skills you’d ideally like to hone. A little bit of online research should be all you need to do here.
If you’re still a little on the fence, however, why not try doing an intro trial at martial arts studios or training gyms in your locality? Visit some schools, see if you like the vibes, speak to the teachers and explain what it is that you are looking for. They will quickly be able to point you in the right direction to help you choose the right martial art style for you.
Choose A Martial Art That You Will Stick With
Deciding on a martial art can be difficult but once you find the right style, you will quickly want to learn as much as you can. Studying and practising martial arts can be a lifelong journey so it’s important that you choose the right style for you. Following the tips outlined above, you will have every chance of finding the perfect martial art for you and, over time, you will be able to fine-tune and perfect your skills, building self-confidence along the way.