Admitting that you’re out of shape is a big step for anyone. After all, you’re telling the world that you haven’t been taking the best care of yourself. But what’s important is that you’ve decided to make a change – you’ve made the decision to start training martial arts, and that’s no easy feat either.
Although it can be intimidating to think that people like ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee or multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao have been training ever since they were children, don’t worry about it. They’re professional martial artists – which means it’s their job to train and fight in the highest levels of competition. As a beginner, you don’t even need to think about that!
What you do need to think about is how you’re going to embark on your own martial arts journey. Luckily for you, Evolve Daily’s got the lowdown on how to get any beginner (regardless of his/her fitness level) started in martial arts. Read on below to find out 7 Tips For Out Of Shape People Who Want To Start Training Martial Arts:
1) Find the right place to train
This is the most important decision you’ll make. After signing up for a trial session, take the class and decide if that academy is a good fit for you. This decision is subjective because everyone has different needs, especially when it comes to a martial arts academy.
Some students want a great schedule so that they can squeeze in a class or two after work. Some students look for convenience; some look for quality of instruction, or even a nurturing environment. Think of the things that matter to you the most before making a decision. Remember, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the gym, so you’ll need the right gym to keep you motivated and stay on track.
2) Decide which martial art you want to train
Some gyms such as Evolve MMA offer a variety of martial arts to choose from. If you’re interested in the striking arts, you could consider boxing or Muay Thai. If you’ve always been curious about grappling, you could try Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. If you can’t make up your mind, you could try them all and see which one you prefer.
3) Set realistic goals
As a beginner, nobody expects you to become a World Champion in a week. Instead of setting high, unrealistic expectations for yourself, set realistic, achievable goals instead. Because you’ve just started training, aim to attend class at least 3 times a week. As you progress, you can start challenging yourself and set higher goals. The more you challenge yourself, the faster you’ll see the results you want.
4) Find a training buddy
If you’re the type of person who needs extra motivation to get moving, then getting a training buddy is just what you need. By having someone train with you, you’d be more likely to stick to your routine. You could also take turns motivating each other when the going gets rough – as these times are usually the most crucial. To find a training buddy, choose someone with similar fitness goals as you.
5) Don’t feel discouraged
In a world where everyone is driven by accomplishment and reward, starting from scratch could feel especially disconcerting. We’re so used to what’s familiar and comfortable and going out of our comfort zone isn’t exactly the easiest thing for anyone to do. But in martial arts, being a complete beginner is one of the best times to truly explore your capabilities as a martial artist. There’s no pressure on you to perform, which would give you the confidence you need to attend the next session and the next session after that.
6) Take a break when you need to
Just like we said above, being a newbie has its perks – one of it is being able to pause and take a break when you can’t take it anymore. Your instructor understands that you’re out of shape and have never tried martial arts before – to put pressure on you to do otherwise would only discourage you from training. And that’s definitely not what they want. Whenever you feel overwhelmed or feel like you need a break, take a minute or two to catch your breath. Don’t be too worried about what other people are thinking. Chances are, they probably wish they could take a break too.
7) Be patient
Remember, progress doesn’t happen overnight. As a beginner, it may be tempting to expect instant results, especially after having worked so hard. Although your body will change and adapt to your new, healthy lifestyle, it will take some time. But don’t worry, when it happens, you’ll just be surprised. In fact, we guarantee that you’ll be too focused on learning new techniques and making new friends that you probably wouldn’t even notice how much weight you’re losing. Don’t give up, be patient. And remember, the more effort you put in, the better your results would be.
We don’t doubt that starting martial arts will feel even more intimidating to someone who is out of shape. You may feel short of breath even just during the warm-ups. But it eventually gets easier – we promise! Hopefully, thanks to this article, you’ve learned a few tips and tricks to help you get through your new martial arts journey. Give it a go!