Whether you're looking for a hobby or want to try a new fitness regimen, trying your hand at martial arts can be a great way to get involved and stay healthy. There are various forms of martial arts, so even if you're a total novice, you can participate in a class that's geared toward your interests. And because most forms of martial arts can benefit everyone from kids to seniors, you should see what taking classes can do for you.
Forms Of Martial Arts
There are seven main classes of martial arts you can participate in:
- T'ai Chi: T'ai Chi is a gentler form that originates from China. It involves balance, stretching, and moves that use your own body for resistance training.
- Kung Fu: Kung Fu is a fast-paced work out involving sharp kicks and punches that also hails from China.
- Aikido: Though Aikido is a Japanese-born class based in self-defense, it is non-competitive and slower paced than some other forms.
- Jujitsu: Jujitsu is similar to Aikido, but it involves competitive levels, partner work, and a faster pace. It also comes from Japan.
- Judo: Judo is more of a competition sport. It is Japanese, and requires you to work with throwing a partner with your own leverage and their body weight.
- Karate: Karate is similar to Kung Fu, only it is the Japanese equivalent that focuses on sharp, fast movements.
- Tae Kwon Do: A Korean art, Tae Kwon Do uses a combination of self-defense, breathing, meditation, and kicks and punches to vitalize your body.
Why You Should Participate
Any pure martial arts class—meaning one that's not watered-down with kickboxing—can teach a range of skill levels and make learning engaging and fun. Though not all martial arts classes may offer you everything you're looking for, you may be surprised by the physical and mental benefits you can get by participating in at least one form. Martial arts help to improve your circulation with both aerobic exercise and stretching, your respiration with breathing techniques, your overall confidence, and your mood with meditation and focus.
As a novice, you can go from knowing nothing to kicking serious butt, just as long as you choose a form that you're comfortable with and can find enthusiasm for. You can also choose to participate alone in martial arts classes for the chance to meet new people and learn new skills, or you can engage in classes that are either family-friendly or partner-oriented. For more information, contact a company like Aikido Northshore.