If you’re thinking about taking up martial arts, it’s a decision that could change your life. Martial arts is one of the greatest fitness and lifestyle programs available and will not only get you in the best shape possible but also empower you with the knowledge of self-defense.
The benefits of martial arts training are boundless. From rapid and dramatic weight loss, to increases in focus and sharpness, to acquiring leadership skills and developing social interaction, martial arts is a holistic approach to health and fitness — one that will impact your existence far beyond the reaches of the gym.
To truly unlock its power, however, you must first make the decision to step onto the mats and discover your true capabilities as a human being. But sometimes, it can be daunting to begin a new fitness program.
With so much ground to cover in martial arts, people often find it difficult to identify a starting point. Where do we begin? Of course, not all martial arts are created equal. Each discipline has its own unique characteristics and philosophies, and different methodologies of hand-to-hand combat.
By introducing you to each martial art, the decision should become easier for you to make. Today, Evolve Daily shares five martial arts disciplines that could be the best fit for you.
Also known as ‘The Sweet Science’, boxing is one of the oldest and most efficient combat sports in existence. Tracing its origins from as early as 1600 B.C., boxing utilizes punches, footwork, and head movement, encompassing the basic principles of self-defense.
The name of the game in boxing is to hit without getting hit (as a beginner you will train the basic fundamentals first before later advancing to live sparring). This means that practitioners are taught to deliver their strongest punches with the intent of incapacitating opponents through knockouts. Through proper body mechanics, boxing is an efficient way to work the upper body and the legs.
Although most of the movements involve the arms, the shoulders, and the upper torso, a lot of focus is placed on good footwork as well, allowing boxers to move fluidly across an enclosed space. Furthermore, boxing is both an aerobic and an anaerobic exercise, training your cardiovascular strength while increasing your lung capacity.
Those who are looking at really rapid weight-loss can begin training in boxing because the sheer amount and intensity of training is guaranteed to burn copious amounts of calories. In a safe, controlled environment, you can study the art of pugilism with a focus on technique and proper movement.
2) Muay Thai
Also known as Thai boxing, Muay Thai was developed over thousands of years and was well-incorporated in Thailand’s military forces as a means to provide the army with invaluable hand-to-hand and close quarters combat skills.
It is one of the most powerful and effective martial arts in the world. Muay Thai is known for its tremendous power, maximum efficiency, and raw simplicity. Muay Thai utilizes a beautiful symphony of kicks, punches, knees, and elbows with fluidity and grace. It is often referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” because it uses nearly the entire body as weapons, all eight limbs.
Furthermore, Muay Thai is an incredibly popular sport and has been for years. A great emphasis is placed on proper kicking technique, utilizing the full weight of the body to generate power from the base of the legs and delivered with swiftness and accuracy. It is also immensely popular as a fitness program because it makes use of virtually every muscle group, maximizing the efficiency of energy expenditure.
If you’re looking to lose a significant amount of weight and gain lean muscle, then Muay Thai could be for you. A single one-hour Muay Thai session can burn up to a whopping 1,000 calories, making it one of the fastest and safest ways to get in shape.
3) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
If striking isn’t your cup of tea, why not explore the art of grappling?
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that focuses primarily on grappling and ground fighting. It is one of the most effective self-defense disciplines to be used in one-on-one combat. Born from Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was developed by founders Carlos and Helio Gracie of the world-renowned Gracie fighting family.
The discipline uses leverage and body weight to gain advantageous positions while “rolling” on the mat. Through careful execution of techniques, the arms and legs are used to source submission maneuvers with the goal of forcing opponents into disadvantaged positions where they are rendered defenseless and incapacitated.
A variety of different styles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu exist, but in its purest form consists of various chokehold and joint lock submissions, as well as positional techniques and ground control. The objective of training is to obtain mastery of ground control and submissions.
If you desire to learn a scientific and highly-technical form of martial arts, give Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a try. Those who love to study and learn new things could get hooked on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Even more, it is a great workout that also helps strengthen the muscles and develop the core.
Wrestling is one of the oldest martial arts that has existed since the time of ancient France, first making an appearance in cave drawings some 15,000 years ago. Babylonian and Egyptian artifacts have shown ancient wrestlers performing techniques that modern-day practitioners use in the present-day sport.
Wrestling involves various types of grappling techniques, clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, and pins. It is the art of gaining superior position on an opponent and rendering them incapacitated by using one’s own body weight as leverage. Wrestling is so effective, that it is one of the most widely-practiced martial arts today, with different martial arts also incorporating many of its methodologies.
Similar to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, those who are looking to focus more on the technical aspect of ground fighting should give wrestling a try. Learn how to use and position your body to gain a tactical advantage over any opponent with superior positioning. Understand how to close the distance on a rangy opponent, bring them down to the ground, and utilize your techniques to claim victory.
Wrestling requires incredible full-body strength and will develop all the major muscle groups while melting away lots of fat to give you a lean, chiseled physique.
5) Mixed Martial Arts
If you’re not sure which martial art to take up, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) gives you a taste of every single one of them. From striking to grappling, MMA trains all methodologies of combat disciplines, bringing together Muay Thai, boxing, Brazilian-Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, and many others into a fluid and seamless fighting style that merges the best of all worlds.
Learning the fundamentals of various martial arts disciplines through the practice of MMA is challenging yet exhilarating. MMA first came to mainstream prominence nearly two decades ago, and today has become the fastest growing sport in the world.
Many people choose to practice MMA because it is believed to be the purest form of unarmed combat known to man. It will provide you with the best techniques in self-defense, equipping you with the ability to protect yourself in both stand-up and ground skirmishes.
Because it also encompasses the strength and conditioning of various disciplines, combining the fast-paced striking techniques of boxing and Muay Thai with the art of grappling in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling, MMA training will get you in shape quickly and efficiently. Those looking for the ultimate full-body workout experience need to look no further.
So, no matter what type of workout you’re looking for or what type of self-defense system interests you, there’s a martial art for you. Give martial arts a go and begin your journey by booking a complimentary trial class today!
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