People take up Martial Arts classes for a number of reasons but these tend to stem from three main areas.
The first is for fitness and weight loss, all that kicking, punching and wrestling is sure to get you fit, right? And while you're doing that the Bonus is that you're also learning skills that could one day save your life if you end up in trouble. Self-defence is a major reason for people starting up classes. And finally, people see these classes as a bit of fun and an excellent way to relieve stress.
One or more of these three reasons can account for why most people take up Martial Arts Training.
The question is do Martial Arts classes deliver on the promise, do they provide what people want? This article will examine each reason and try to provide an answer.
All Martial Arts classes should have a strong fitness element; punching and kicking are very strenuous activities and will burn calories, while grappling skills are tough too. Therefore, Martial Arts training should provide you with a good workout, however, some classes are less strenuous than others.
For example, a Muay Thai boxing class will place a lot of emphasis on getting in shape, simply in order to last the distance in the ring. Regardless of whether you want to compete or not you will get fit, no question about it.
A traditional Karate class which emphasises forms, or Kata in Japanese, over sparring or competition may place less emphasis on fitness than a Muay Thai class. Not all Karate styles are the same and nowadays some Karate schools are sending students into MMA and Kickboxing competition so it is not clear cut. As a general rule, however, combat sports are place more emphasis on fitness than traditional non-sport Martial Arts.
As far as self-defence goes ALL Martial Arts will help to prepare you for a nasty encounter and some training is certainly better than no training!
However, traditional Martial Arts place greater emphasis on training in a manner which is historically correct. As such some of the training methods are somewhat dated.
Combat sports prepare you specifically for the ring/cage where there are rules to protect fighters from the more deadly attacks. Self-defence and self-protection styles purport to train these deadlier techniques and so better prepare you for the reality of an attack. This is a moot point and there is considerable debate on the internet concerning the best option for self-defence. It is safe to say that while all styles will better prepare you compared to nothing there are pro's and cons for each. Traditional styles contain some deadly techniques; combat sports actually get you to fight, albeit in the ring while self-defence systems train specifically for defence.
One thing is for sure, any form of Martial Arts training will blow away the stress from the day. The act of throwing punches and kicking pads or throwing a training partner is a fantastic stress buster. I truly believe that every home should have a heavy bag to blast away at. Families would get on better as a result.
While there is some difference in emphasis across styles, taking up a Martial Arts class will deliver to some degree on the three main reasons people take them up. You will get fit, you will learn to protect yourself and you will beat stress, so what are you waiting for?
Inspired to take up Martial Arts Classes? There's a great club in Fort Worth, Texas called Travis Lutter Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which WILL deliver on all three of the main reasons people start out training – fitness, self-defence and fun.