Martial Arts

What is Martial Arts

Martial arts is the systematic practise of combat. It is practised for number of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as overall self development.

The Benefits of Martial Arts

Martial arts is more than a sport. It’s a lifestyle that provides endless benefits and can help adults and children in the following ways:

Muay Thai Fighter Meditating

  • Relieve Stress
  • Increase Fitness
  • Strength
  • Stamina
  • Flexibility
  • Lose Weight
  • Improve Health
  • Self-defense
  • Compete
  • Spiritual Development
  • Learn about other Cultures
  • Gain Confidence
  • Self Esteem
  • Develope Character
  • Improve Motor Skills
  • Learn Respect

Martial Arts Styles and Disciplines

There are many martial arts styles and disciplines. The most popular ones can be divided into striking and grappling although some techniques within these disciplines may overlap.

Striking

Boxing, Karate, Kung Fu, Kickboxing, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Krav Maga, Wing Chun, Sanshou, Vale Tudo, Wushu, Capoeira, Tang Soo Do, Savate

Grappling

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Jujutsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Wrestling, Submission Wrestling, Aikido, Glima, Hapkido, Sambo.

The History of Martial Arts

Since the late 19th century martial arts has developed from traditional fighting systems to a modern sport. The practises of Asian Martial arts have been in use for more than 400 years and are still very popular activities today. Since the introduction of Mixed Martial Arts or MMA into the United States in the early 1990′s the sport has gained popularity at a extremely fast pace and has been considered the fastest growing sport since then.

Martial Arts Training and Schools

There are countless martial arts training facilities and instructors throughout South Africa. Finding a good, legit training class that suits you can however be difficult.

Find a school near you

Following these 5 steps will ensure you find the right school for your specific needs:

1. Research

For what purpose would you like to start a martial art? Is it for fitness, health, self-defense or the art? There are many martial arts disciplines out there that focus on different aspects. Knowing which aspects you’re interested in will help in finding the best style and class for you.

2. Which training facilities are near where you live or work?

Finding a place near you will help motivate you especially if the class is in the evenings after work. Join a martial arts forum and ask around to see if people can recommend a good school nearby.

3. Visit a few classes

Once you’ve narrowed down a few classes go and visit them and watch a class if possible. This will help determine the next few steps. Take advantage of the fact that many schools allow a free training session to see if you enjoy the class.

4. How big are the classes?

If the class is to big you may not get the individual attention you need and if it is too small it is possible the instructor may not have a good reputation.

5. Observe the Instructor / Student interaction

Good communication between the instructor and student is vital. Do the students respect the instructor and do they follow his instructions well? Is he leading the class or are they doing their own thing? Is he teaching and trying to improve their skills or is it a boot camp?

Once you have followed the above steps you will be able to make an informed decision about which martial arts class is best for you.