How do you keep fit as well as learn self-defense at the same time? By taking martial arts classes. Martial art is not only a sporting activity but it also equips one with skills to fend off attackers, this is undeniably the ultimate effect for many of them. Whether for sporting purpose or just self-defense, good research needs to done before joining a martial arts class. Martial art is an involving discipline requiring good mental acuteness and physical traits. This article gives a clear guide on some of the best martial arts that are right for you depending on your age and gender.
What is the best martial art to learn and why
Kickboxing/ Muay Thai
Some will think this is just about punching and kicking but contrary to the popular belief, kickboxing has great distinct features in addition to these. There is use of the knee and elbow besides the kicking and punching. In addition, there is the stand-up tackling known as clinch. Muay Thai is a Thai word meaning art of the eight limbs. One begins by learning to throw strikes and then move to sparring.
As a long time tradition, kickboxing has been used widely in both sporting and self-defense activities.
Why learn kick boxing?
• Kick-boxing is fast-paced and in terms of defense, one uses the hands, feet, knees, elbow and head to attack.
• It is very practical; it just involves throwing strikes and punches with great flexibility
• Good for both men and women
Karate focuses on deflecting an attack. One is taught to always step aside thereby creating a lateral line toward the attacker which allows one to strike the attacker’s weapons with ease. Karate relies on strikes, kicks and thrusts. Different colored belts are worn to distinguish peoples’ skills level
Why study karate?
• It is a competitive sport
• Effective defense technique for both kids and adults
• Karate training keeps one fit and improves their health
Jiu-jitsu as a form of close combat involves manipulating the force of the attacker to work against him. One does not need to confront this force from the attacker but instead use it. Being aware of one’s center of mass as well as the attacker’s , one can engage the opponent and jerk them around or over by jiu-jitsu involves some grappling, locking, hard striking, throws and even joint locks.
Why learn jiu-jitsu?
• It can be used as a sporting activity, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu as well as other forms is an Olympic sport
• Improves one’s body flexibility as well as helping to shed off some pounds
• Increased body strength and awareness. The body learns to function as a unit
• Improved mental ability
Wing Chun Kung Fu
This Chinese martial art emphasizes genuine self-defense technique. One’s reflexes are trained to strategically take on any opponent regardless of their size. The techniques involved are of attacking and defending so as to vanquish the enemy faster. The trick is to use your attacker’s force against them.
Why study Kung Fu
• Great self-defense techniques, attacking is done faster, while protecting one’s weak points e.g. the groin
• Training is accompanied by mind-calming meditation and relaxation
• Practical. It is a close-range combat and one can defend himself even when in confined places
This involves use of brutal and effective procedures to neutralize threats. There is no time consuming solo drills like in other forms. It is widely used by Israeli forces as it focuses on muscle memory training one to be quick and work instantly. (I have a friend who works at a drug rehab facility who says that this is the technique he uses to protect himself from patients on the rare occasion that it becomes necessary.) It involves defense and counter attacks, focusing on the enemy’s weak spots.
• It is quick. One can take down armed opponents faster
• It is brutal and effective. It teaches one to be more proactive and less reactive
The bottom line, there are a lot of martial arts styles and techniques one can train in depending on the intended purpose, age and gender. The key is finding the right choice and a proficient instructor to guide one through the training
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