A Beginners Guide to Martial Arts: Choosing The Right Martial Art For You
Whether you are looking to raise your fitness levels or only reaching to find an activity that can cater for your exercising needs, martial arts offers up a vast amount of choice and styles.
For intermediate gym enthusiasts, walking through the door can be the most formidable task. But most martial arts have a deep-rooted history with respect and family for their moral compass. Whichever martial art best suits you, let us guide you through some of the famous martial arts of today.
What Are Martial Arts?
Stemming back to as early as the 1550s, the term ‘martial arts’ is the word used to define a collection of traditional combat techniques. The name itself derives from the Latin language, translating to “the art of mars” or the Roman God of War. Pretty cool huh?
Glorious ancient terms aside, the combat systems that make up the world of martial arts were brought together to create a unification of all styles and cultures, known as ‘mixed martial arts’ or MMA. Now companies such as ‘The Ultimate Fighting Champions’ or UFC have become the fastest-growing mainstream combat sport. We always wanted to see our favourite boxer compete in a fight versus Bruce Lee, right? Well, that fantasy became a reality.
The President of the company Dana White has promoted MMA for twenty-five years and counting, through his team’s hard work and dedication, mixed martial arts is now broadcasted on the world’s largest sporting platform ESPN. Combat sports legends such as Muhammed Ali, Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson and Joe Louis are now mentioned alongside some of MMA’s most impressive athlete’s like Conor McGregor, George Saint Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The Right Martial Art For You
Deciding on the right Mixed martial arts could seem daunting, with over one-hundred seventy art forms around the world. Whether you’re looking for self-defence, physical training or a spiritual journey – let us review the top three most popular combat sports that could suit your needs.
The most popular martial art on the planet is Karate, with much thanks to the legend himself Bruce Lee. Widely known for its spiritual guidance, the physical practise of Karate comes second. The purpose of modern Karate is to perfect the self, one told by the father of modern Karate, Gichin Funakoshi.
1970’s and 1980’s Hollywood played its part in the growth of Karate worldwide. Personalities such as Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris and huge blockbusters like The Karate Kid forged a path for Karate to become a global practice for children and adults, respectively.
Karate offers up a wide range of forms, non-physical and physical variations give a choice to anyone looking to train. A mixture of punches, kicks and grappling techniques make Karate an excellent martial art for self-defence while balance, respect and self-control cater for a spiritual awakening.
#2 Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
As mentioned previously, MMA is a combination of all martial arts blended into one hybrid art form. The founder of mixed martial arts is up for debate, but we cannot deny that the UFC and President Dana White have catapulted the sport into the spotlight.
The perfect example of a mixed martial artist would be Deiveson Figueiredo who has a title defense soon against Perez, and the current UFC flyweight champion has a diverse style of fighting. Through twenty professional fights, he’s won nineteen of those with nine knockouts and seven submissions. This information highlights that this style of fighter can end the fight with a submission, Jiu-jitsu style utilizing the strength of his opponent through submissive body lock positions or chokes and with a knockout, using his hands and feet to deliver a mixture of the fight-ending strikes.
For anyone looking to have fun inside the gym, a mixture of all the martial arts could benefit you. Offensive and striking defensive disciplines range from boxing, kickboxing, muay thai and Karate. Offensive and defensive grappling disciplines can consist of wrestling, Jiu-jitsu and judo. And this is just a small briefing, your approach and style to the fight game is entirely your choice with a limited number of rules regarding the offences that can be utilized.
#3 Judo or Jiu-Jitsu
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If striking is not for you, the grappling techniques from Judo or Jiu-Jitsu could favour your requirements.
Judo is known to use maximum use of efficient energy, known as ‘The Mantra’ while Jiu-Jitsu encourages its students to use their enemies strength against them. You are using flexibility to overpower the stiffness in your opponent and avoiding offence which ultimately leaves the attacker off-balance. Judo is Japanese and does stem from Jiu-Jitsu roots but in modern-day practises, each art form is entirely different.
Judo focuses on trips and elevated throwing attacks, joint-lock manoeuvres, and a limited amount of striking. Jiu-Jitsu has become more popular since the Brazilian style of locking submission holds on a grounded opponent. In-fact, Jiu-Jitsu is the backbone of many martial arts including Judo, Sambo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
If you are looking to focus on your health, martial arts will welcome you into a family environment. Whichever gym or martial art you decide to pursue, be confident in knowing that progression will be made, and respect can be earnt. Perhaps the right martial art is not listed above, do your research, or just head-on into your local gym and explore the vast world of martial arts.