Martial arts training refers to any form of training that is based on movements historically developed in combat or self-defense. Below is a sampling of martial arts from around the world:
Kung Fu – Chinese – historically created by monks to defend themselves
Karate – Japanese or Okinawan – relies on empty hand kicking and punching
Judo – Japanese throwing art
Kickboxing – various countries – this art practices striking
Boxing – originally English – hands only sport derived from Kung Fu
Jeet Kune Do – developed by Bruce Lee to fit each individual differently
Wrestling – dating as early as pre-Roman times- a form of grappling for one person to submit
Tae Kwon Do – Korean – focuses on kicking with some punching
Kali – Filipino weaponry martial art created from combat
Tai Chi – an internal martial art that has been proven to be beneficial for seniors
Some people begin martial arts training for the physical workout, while others use it for the self discipline it provides. Others use it for self defense or combat skills. Not everyone who studies martial arts is a fighter or wants to fight. Some enjoy the camaraderie and group setting while learning about the sport and working out.
Martial arts training also provides a complete body workout. Flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, anaerobic strength and body weight strength training are areas of fitness that martial art training addresses. Aside from providing these fitness benefits, it also addresses balance, coordination and footwork, when applying techniques.
Martial arts training also helps self-confidence and self-esteem. Knowing how to protect yourself and feel confident in a difficult situation is a huge factor in having a positive life. The confidence one gains as well as the empowering feel it gives you is something no other activity offers.
It is my personal belief that martial arts training is something everyone should undertake at some point in their life. The mental and physical benefits surpass many other forms of activities. As a practitioner of several martial arts for over 20 years and as an expert in fitness, I truly believe the benefits of this type of training are unlimited.
Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club’s Combat Zone offers a wide variety of classes throughout the week.
Vic Spatola, Director of Personal Training