If you’re looking to escape the typical gym routine – pounding the treadmill or lifting weights – dabbling in martial arts is just what the doctor ordered. These delicate arts provide you with a breath-taking workout and no-hold-barred moves to drop a would-be attacker.
Best of all, martial arts offer you a physical path to spiritual growth. Historically, martial arts were meant to train warriors and get them ready for battle, but that is no longer the case. Anyone at any age can take part and excel in these rigorous physical fitness regimes.
Figure out what you want
Since martial arts exist in a broad range spectrum, the key to having a great experience is picking the right one. On one end, you can have arts such as Kung Fu where practitioners spend most of their time practicing a series of choreographed movements solo or with a partner. In aikido, you’d pair up with a partner, working through set takedowns, attacks, and spectacular falls.
On the other end are the arts that emphasize sparring or competition. Picture a pair of kickboxers going at each other with kicks and blows or a duo of judokas trying to slam each other on the mat.
Most martial arts fall within the spectrum, and you need to pick one that augers well your risk tolerance. Spend some time learning about each of the arts through books, watching videos, or talking to instructors so you can make the best choice.