At the time of writing this article, there are 7.7 billion people alive today. In the United Kingdom there are 67.2 million people, 367,000 of those people aged 16 and above all train in Martial Arts & Boxing. With the fitness craze that started almost 10 years ago nearly every single person now has sports activity in their schedule, a gym membership, a healthy eating plan, a calorie counting scale and all the good stuff. What many may not seem to realise is the amount of trial and error when it comes to finding a fitness routine that above all things, suits you as an individual.
I am about to tell you why you should start martial arts and why it is ok if it is not for you.
Martial Arts is a whole different workout on its own, using nearly every muscle in the body while keeping your brain switched on and alert. The term Martial Art means the Warrior Art or Art of War. This must be kept in mind when performing techniques as without the Warrior mindset, the workout becomes aerobics and as Dai Master Rafael Nieto has said on many occasions “We don’t teach aerobics here”. However, as with all things, there lies a delicate balance in the Martial Arts, being the over aggressive Warrior or the graceful Artist on their own will create many roadblocks throughout your training. A good Martial Artist knows when to implement both.
Now, I could sit here all day and wax lyrical about the history of Martial Arts and tracing back your style from generation to generation through hundreds of years. But most everyday people are not remotely interested in all that. They just want to look cool while working out. Which, and I stress this, is not a bad thing. In my opinion, people hit the gym to look good and become physically stronger which increases self-confidence. The same happens when training Martial Arts but going back to what I mentioned earlier about the mindset. That is the difference between training in a dojo or the gym, it is how you perceive your training.
The best advice I could give to anyone looking to get into the fitness world is…..brace yourselves… do both. Go to the gym, become physically stronger, learn about your body’s different muscle groups, gain that self-confidence and then go to the dojo where all of the above exists in the same workout while teaching you life lessons along the way. Never be afraid to take a leap of faith, walk into any situation with an open mind and look awesome while you are doing it!