Martial Arts as Fitness

I have gone over a lot of reasons for Martial Arts, but one I often overlook is the pure fitness aspect of it. Some people simply get into Martial Arts as a non-conventional way of getting into better shape. If fitness is your main reason for getting into Martial Arts, these are the styles that offer the most fitness benefit, although some of them are pretty difficult, but fitness should be a lifelong goal.

Capoeira is one such difficult Martial Art. This style comes from Brazil and is as much a form of dance as a style of fighting. We all know dancing can get you in shape, we also know gymnastics can get you in shape, this art combines the kicking and punching with the dancing and gymnastics. It was developed in Brazil mainly by Africans, at the beginning in the 16th century. It is known for quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for a wide variety of kicks, spins, and highly mobile techniques. There is a whole lifestyle associated including beliefs and (of course) music. Great for fitness but somewhat difficult to find a good Capoeira school. If you’re a beginner, this probably isn’t the Martial Art for you, just wanted to make sure it is an option because it offers a lot of fitness benefits.

Ever seen an obese MMA fighter? Well you probably have but chances are they used to be a lot more obese before they started training. I guess the easiest way to describe the fitness benefits of MMA would be to let you know that Boxing, Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, and Kickboxing on their own are great workouts on their own. Imagine an art that combines all of these things together, well that’s MMA. We all know by now what MMA is, and can easily imagine why it is listed as a great way to get your fitness on. Gyms that offer MMA are pretty easy to find nowadays so getting into this one will be a lot easier. The challenge with this one will be getting into a class that fits your current level of experience as well as your current fitness level. It may be best to try one of the single arts listed first.

Traditional Karate And Tae Kwon Do are great ways to get your foot in the door for Fitness through Martial Arts. These arts start you at a beginner level and throwing kicks, punches, and holding stance along with a pretty standard warm-up and stretching routine are great for someone who needs to ease back into the world of fitness. A great benefit to these are that there is a measured ranking system and you can usually fit the classes into your schedule. Another great benefit is that these arts are family friendly and everyone in your household can most likely get some good benefits from beginning the training. Finding a school to train you in Karate or Tae Kwon Do is usually as easy as visiting a local donut shop. There are tons of these around every city.

Tai Chi is probably the highest used Martial Art strictly for Fitness benefits. Its name literally means “Supreme Ultimate Boxing” and it is described as an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training as much as its health benefits. A lot of different training forms exist, both traditional and modern, which correspond to personal goals with differing emphasis. Some training forms are especially known for being practiced with relatively slow movements. There are local parks and schools that offer Tai Chi. If you go online, it is actually easier than you think to find a way to practice this popular art.

Getting into Martial Arts for fitness is a great idea and can be done in a variety of ways. What fits you best is something you’ll have to find out. Visiting a gym that offers multiple disciplines is probably the best plan. Most gyms let you try out classes for free, so I suggest either going and actually trying them or you can simply go and observe to see which one strikes your interest. However you make a go at it, remember that it is a great benefit.

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