Martial arts in the UK have come a long way since Bruce Lee films brought them into the mainstream in the 1970s. There are now thousands of classes across the country. If you live in a decent-sized town or city, it’s likely you’ll have any number of different disciplines to choose from.
So how do you go about finding the right martial art for you?
An awful lot depends on what you hope to achieve. Is it to get fit or lose weight? Perhaps you want greater mental clarity or maybe you want to let off steam because of a stressful working life.
Best for working out your legs
Taekwondo combines high-level aerobic activity, flexibility, core training and lots of kicks. Spinning kicks, jumping kicks and high kicks will help you reach peak fitness in no time at all.
If you want to learn how to get back up when you’re down
You’ll spend a lot of time on your back learning Judo. It’s based around learning to throw and be thrown safely. It also teaches you a degree of mobility and resilience at the same time as helping you shape up.
To help you grow in confidence
All martial arts will improve your sense of pride and self-respect, but Mixed Martial Arts is arguably the best in equipping you with the skills you need to defend yourself. Hopefully, you’ll never have to but knowing how to handle situations calmly and with a degree of self-control can bolster your confidence.
If you want to dance
Capoeira has sometimes been described as a competitive acrobatic dance. Two competitors spar with one another without actually touching. It involves squatting movements, rotating kicks even cartwheels among a range of sequenced demanding moves. Usually accompanied by samba music, it’s a fun, all-body workout.
To calm the mind and help you breathe
Tai Chi is a system of predominantly solo work designed to develop physical and mental strength along with co-ordination. Through respiratory control, it helps you become more aware of your breathing, and in turn, develop a deeper experience of calm.