Deciding on Which Art to Learn?

Martial arts or fighting systems come in a variety of forms developed for centuries. People take them up for self-defense, physical fitness and self-discipline. You must have been impressed by videos or live demonstrations and you might be thinking you can do it too. No matter which form you take, here are some pointers to consider, especially when you are looking for an art to study:

Choose the one that fits you. As mentioned before, martial arts come in many forms and its suitability will depend on the learner – age, physique or build and your personality. For instance, tai chi is ideal for elderly people; Muay Thai are for those who are well-built and can be aggressive if necessary. Aikido is for those who want to avoid confrontation.

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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is thought to be for brawny people but not so. It is a matter of using the laws of Physics in your favor. C: Kathy Kenny Ngo

But just because you do not have certain qualities needed for a martial art, it does not mean it is not for you. If you still want to take up a certain martial art, you need to prepare yourself accordingly; that is to undergo whatever conditioning exercises is given. There are people over 50 years old who take up very physical disciplines such as Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It shows you need to have the drive and passion. It is in the mind.

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Wushu is a form of Chinese martial art. It can develop agility, grace and balance. C: Janice Hung

Take into account the reputation of the school or instructor. Enroll with reputable school and instructors. You can tell from the awards and other credentials displayed, a testament to the hard-earned reputation built. Yet, there are instructors who are discreet and rely on referrals and testimonials from current or past students in advertising themselves. It is up to you to see for yourself how credible they are.

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Aikido is a purely defensive martial art. It is suited for those who are not aggressive.

In relation to that, avail of free trial classes to see if the instructors live up to their expectations and to see if the art fits you. Of course, any martial arts training will require you to leave your comfort zone. It might hurt, but that is usually at the start since your body is not fully conditioned. If you are serious about taking up the art, you have to practice regularly and when you do, the pain you experienced at the beginning will no longer be there.

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Finally, ask yourself if you are doing it for the right reasons. Some instructors will “interview” you, asking what your reasons are for studying. If you cannot come up with a good reason, you might be turned away. Such instructors want to take in those who are not just passionate, but committed and disciplined. Some systems are very lethal and they admonish students not to use it to harm or bully other people. Such instructors do not care about making a profit, but they want to make sure the art is passed on to good hands.

What is the best martial art? That depends entirely upon you. No matter what art you take, you are the one who can make it effective for yourself. Some quit in the early stages because they lack the drive and discipline, plus they realized it is not easy as it looks in demonstrations. To be the best practitioner requires discipline. It is the ability to bear the rigorous training program and the determination to be better than you were before.

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