An estimated 5% of adults participated in martial arts in the past year. With all there is to choose from, there’s a need to know how to choose a martial art. Making the wrong choice can leave you disappointed and resentful towards the arts.
In doing your research, you’ll come across karate. It’s among the most popular form of martial arts. There’s also Jiu-Jitsu, and it’s only by understanding what each entails that you’ll make the best choice.
One thing to keep in mind is that there’s no one superior martial art to the other. They all have their share of strengths and weaknesses. Let’s look at the differences between Karate and Jiu-Jitsu.
Later, we can delve into how to choose a martial art from an informed perspective.
Karate is one of the Japanese martial arts that seek to develop defensive and counterattacking body movements. It revolves around the themes of fighting and self-defense. However, the main focus is on the mental and moral improvement of the individual.
The art requires persistent discipline and consistent training. While you practice, keep in mind that the maxim of the art is “you never attack first in karate. The word karate signifies that your primary weapon is your body.
Jiu-Jitsu, also known as jujutsu, is another among the many Japanese martial arts. It’s a method of defeating an armed opponent through close combat using a short weapon or none. The word can be translated to mean a soft, gentle, and flexible technique.
Jiu-Jitsu was developed to teach practitioners how to win by neutralizing an enemy’s attack. The art revolves around the principle of using the opponent’s energy against him. The art has plenty of things to know and it offers variations of techniques like trapping, throwing, joint locks, biting, striking, and kicking.
Each technique is associated with its pioneer. Many martial art schools today teach the art through the use of weapons.
With that introduction to some of the martial arts, the next step is to know how to choose a martial art. Making the decision and settling for one technique of defense can be challenging. Here are some of the things that can guide you in the process.
1. Your Physical Fitness
Practicing any of the martial arts is no easy feat. As you can tell from what karate and Jiu-Jitsu entail, you need to be highly flexible. Take into account your age and any physical concerns you might have.
Some techniques are intensely aerobic, requiring a lot of jumps, flips, and leaps that may not be suitable for you. Different martial arts focus on different parts of the body. For example, karate is good for strengthening the upper bod2. y, while Tae Kwon Do improves leg strength.
Arts like Judo and Wudang entail using the opponent’s size and weight to your advantage. They’re ideal for small-sized people.
2. Level of Self Defense Involved
While martial arts are for teaching elements of self-defense and fighting, some are more intense than others. For example, Wushu technique is more about choreographed routines and doesn’t necessarily focus on combat.
Other arts like Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu involve intense fighting, both for defense and offense.
As you consider whether a martial art teaches fighting for defense, think about the weapons involved. Are you courageous enough to train using weapons, or do you want to use your body only? Most Chinese martial arts entail the use of weapons, for example, Wudang that is famous for the use of the sword.
Indonesian silat is famous for stick fighting. Arts like karate and Judo don’t entail the use of weapons. If you’re unsure whether to train with arms or not, try Jiu Jitsu which offers flexibility.
4. Cultural Association
As you learn a martial art, you’ll also be learning about the culture of the country it originates. It’s highly likely that in the martial art class, you’ll learn about the culture and some language of the country.
As part of your training, you may also get a chance to travel to that country. Some martial arts from China include Wudang, Wushu, Shaolin, Tai Chi, Bagua, and Xing Yi. Those from Japan include karate, Judo, Aikido, and Kendo.
5. What Resources Do You Have?
Resources are the things associated with your martial arts training. For example, consider the styles available in your area. How are the teachers and what’s the quality of instruction?
The quality of training varies with the styles, and each method has good and bad teachers. This means that you shouldn’t just settle for what you come across. You’d rather drive an hour to a high-quality training session than walk 10 minutes to a crappy one.
Start by searching through the internet to compare different training sessions of the same style. These will give you an idea about what to expect in the actual class. Alternatively, try a class in different schools before making the final choice.
Self-training might be an option, but you might not reach the competence levels you would with a trainer.
Dispelling a Myth
Everyone believes that what they do is the best thing there is in the world. Every school you seek to enroll in will tell you that have the best-guarded system of self-defense. Much of it could be stuff intended for marketing.
This is where you need to activate your cognitive dissonance. It should help you tell the difference between genuine and highly commercialized training schools.
How to Choose a Martial Art – Final Thoughts
The question of how to choose a martial art arises in reference to the many techniques that exist. Most people train in martial arts because they want to learn some self-defense techniques. However, not all martial arts will be ideal for you.
Consider your physical fitness and health conditions. Most of the arts call for a lot of physical intensity. Check if the martial art you choose entails the use of weapons.
Don’t forget to check out the different styles and quality of training. Once you’re settled for a technique, learn all you can about it. You need to be sure you can defend yourself in case of an attack.
For more ways to stay active and fit, be sure to browse our fitness section.