How to Start Practicing Martial Arts? [Tips]
Everything You Need to Know Before Practicing Martial Arts
Since we are exposed to more and more information about the link between physical activity and mental and physical health, many of us are trying to include some form of exercise in our daily routines. In general, most people opt for jogging/running or going to the gym where they lift weights with or without the best powerlifting belt and run on a treadmill.
While these activities are undoubtedly healthy and beneficial in different aspects, many people lose motivation after a while because they are repetitive and, in a way, boring. If you find that it is getting harder and harder to make yourself engage in regular running or gym sessions over time, maybe it is time to try something else. Experts we consulted on this matter recommend martial arts training instead of standard exercises.
Martial arts are becoming increasingly popular in the United States and other parts of the world. The main reason for that is that because they come with a ton of benefits – for example, your strength and mobility increases tremendously. Besides physical, there are many psychological and spiritual benefits of learning martial arts.
Nonetheless, most adults will be quite confused when you propose them to try martial arts classes, thinking it is something you need to start when you are a child. Of course, this is a total misconception – there isn’t such a thing as the right martial arts learning age. Any time or age, you feel ready to try is the right time. However, there are other challenges you need to deal with.
First of all, there are different martial arts types, and you have to know precisely what you are looking for to choose the right one. We understand that you feel overwhelmed by all the questions that emerge when thinking about martial art disciplines. For this reason, we decided to come to your rescue with this text, which will hopefully provide you with all the answers you need before starting your martial arts journey.
Why Is Martial Arts a Good Choice for You?
When thinking about practicing some martial art disciplines, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is learning how to defend themselves if necessary. This is undoubtedly important now, maybe more than ever, as we are living times of great insecurity and instability. However, as important as they are, self-defense skills are far from being the only benefit of developing martial arts skills. We already mentioned that you are getting way stronger, but here are some other things martial art knowledge brings:
- Increased Confidence. Since you know that you are stronger physically, you will also be stronger and calmer mentally. You become sure of your capabilities and proud of them at the same time.
- Increased focus and awareness. When you are training, you continuously need to be aware of your actions around you. Over time, you get so used to it that you find yourself focused and aware all the time regardless of what you are doing.
- Reduced Stress. You have a lot of changes during the training to kick and punch a punching bag, which is a known stress relief method.
- Improved personality traits. When working in a dojo, you are not just learning the techniques but also respect, discipline, cooperation, and humility. You are working with others and learning from the instructor in a place where it is normal to help each other. You must be focused and open to receive criticism as it serves to help you improve.
What Do You Need to Know Before You Start
You Need to Do Some Research
As mentioned before, there are a lot of martial arts schools that offer different programs – Muay Thai, Kung Fu, Aikido, Capoeira, Krav Maga, and so on. Before enrolling in a class, the best thing you can do is to do some research and see what suits your particular needs most. Sometimes even the smallest details can play a critical role when you are deciding on the program you want to attend.
You Will Learn All the Time
The main aspect of martial art disciplines is a continual improvement! No matter how good you became at a certain technique, keep in mind that it can always be better. Also, your instructor will remind you of it, so it is important to always be focused and pay attention to what she or he is telling you. It is already said that you have to keep an open mind in martial arts school. This means that you have to keep on learning and practicing even if you come across a challenging technique. Always remember that repetition is the mother of all learning, and don’t give up. You will master it eventually.
You, Will, Burn a Lot of Calories
Regardless of whether you have been physically active or not before, the thing with martial art is that it makes your body do something that it never did before. And considering that it is a full-body workout, it means that you will do cardio and strength training at the same time. This means that you will work a lot during the training and burn a lot of calories – some estimates are that an average person burns around 1100 -1500 calories during one hour of martial arts class.
Get Prepared to Be Hurt
Instructors do everything in their power to make the classes as safe as possible. Nonetheless, accidents happen, and you need to be prepared for it. Of course, you are not going to classes to get beaten. But the point of martial arts is to teach you to avoid getting hurt in real life so, and you need to know that you will get a bump or bruise here and there during the training until you perfect it. As you are becoming better, you will experience fewer accidents.
Regular Attendance Is a Must
Don’t expect to become a martial art master if you are coming to training every second week. Be clear about your goals because training martial arts is not like playing street ball with your besties. It is a lifestyle rather than a hobby and thus requires a lot of hard work and dedication if you want to see the results.
Focus On Positive Things
We mentioned before that you have to have an open mind and the ability to receive criticism when you are entering a martial arts class. This is something that many of us find difficult. When we don’t do things as well as we would like or we don’t progress as quickly, we get discouraged. But instead of losing motivation, we need to focus on positive things. Nobody was born knowing everything, and things cant change after just a couple of training. If your goal is, for example, to participate in a martial arts tournament, don’t focus on that from the beginning of the training. Focus instead on little steps that lead you towards your goal – be proud of yourself when you master a challenging technique, etc.
Invest in Good Equipment
Besides adopting martial arts philosophy, you also need to think about suitable equipment for the specific type of class you chose. This is important because it protects both you and the others. For example, you have to have a mouthpiece and something that protects your groin for any type of class, and the other element of martial arts outfit varies depending on the type of class. For example, for Kung Fu, it is important that you have a proper suit and shoes, for Muay Thai boxing gloves, etc.
This is another thing that many of us see as a challenge. We are used to thinking too much about what we are doing before actually doing it. Also, when we run into an obstacle in training, we tend to think about it – why it was difficult, or wrong, are we at all capable of doing it, and so on. This makes us not just question ourselves but also often give up on the technique altogether. Rather than thinking about it for three hours, focus on practicing the technique as much as you can, keeping in mind that only practice makes it perfect.
We came to the end of our introduction to martial art disciplines! The arts are a fantastic way both for men and women to be in better overall shape and physically and mentally stronger. And as you can see, everyone can start a class and be successful in it – the only important thing is that you know what to expect and what is expected from you! Are you planning to start practicing a martial art? Or are you already attending a school?