Since the period when Bruce Lee movies dominated the screens, and Jackie Chan was heavily idolised, the idea of martial arts training has captured the imagination of many. Thus, with Hollywood as the introductory party and extensive global interest as the driver, martial arts training has gained a significant following over the years.
While martial arts is a collective term, it is still only a descriptor for numerous styles and disciplines. Its use primarily demonstrates the underlying fact that all martial arts, despite their different applications and energies, have the same benefits and values.
Therefore, with the understanding that the term Martial Arts is an umbrella, there comes the point where you have to make more decisions. This caveat culminates at the instance where the first question you must as yourself is ‘which martial art style should I learn?’
Making The Decision
To embark on your martial arts training journey, the first step requires you to treat the above question as a decision tree anchor point. From there, you may use the series of questions below to help you decipher the discipline that suits you best.
The questions include:
- Why do you want to get started?
- What sport did you favour as a teenager?
- Do you have friends who train?
- What do you want your training outcomes to be?
- Do you have any previous injuries?
Answering these questions will help you arrive at a definitive answer. However, it is also beneficial to remember that residual indecisiveness is not bad. Not everyone has a firm grasp of what exactly they want before getting started, so this guide may help you find a stepping stone, if not a concrete standpoint.
Additionally, the discipline you opt to explore may change with time. So, don’t fret about being ‘locked in’ to one particular style and finding later that your tastes have changed. Furthermore, you can also take this leeway as an opportunity for discovery.
Although selecting a particular discipline does not mean that you become beholden to it, it is still wise to allow some time for acclimatisation. Therefore, experts recommend that it is important to settle into a 6-month trial period no matter your style choice. This allowance gives you time to grow into what you are trying. Then, once the appropriate time elapses, you can decide whether you feel it was a good choice or not.
Traits and Personality Types
Beyond interest and curiosity, some mixed martial arts instructors also feel that personality plays a role in the martial art style you choose. Consequently, it is crucial to take note of the following:
- Children and adults with high energy levels but lower attention spans are better suited to Boxing or Muay Thai styles.
- If you are the introverted, analytical type and prefer learning intricate techniques, you may find that others with the same personality prefer training in Jiu-Jitsu.
- For a style that helps you learn and develop discipline, Karate is the best option.
- Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is ideal if you have a mix of the first and second personality traits. It is also suitable for beginners.
- Finally, if you are more willing to work hard and prefer quick solutions and rapid progress, consider taking up Krav Maga.
What Is Your Primary Focus?
There are numerous reasons for taking up training in martial arts. The most common being better fitness and self-defence skills. So, if your primary focus is the former, then Boxing and Muay Thai may be the best option. Conversely, Jiu-Jitsu suits those whose main goal is learning self-defence, competing or strength-building.
At the end of the day, you must realise that training in martial arts offers lifelong advantages. So, to start reaping these benefits, you have to take the first step towards establishing your new lifestyle.
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