Martial arts embrace various fighting styles without firearms.
If weapons are in use, they are sporting arms to minimize the risk of injury. Experts intensively discuss the difference between martial arts and combat sports. Combat sports primarily deal with rule-based sports competitions. It is about fighting and winning against your opponent. In contrast, martial arts focus on self-defense and your behavior in conflict situations. Each martial art has the goal to put the opponent out of action as fast as possible – also by using weapons. It covers other aspects as well, like increasing your flexibility, power, self-discipline, and dexterity.

Martial arts are frameworks to design your life and strive for excellence.
Hence, you have to define individual marital arts goals: Do you want to improve your mental and physical potential, wine competitions or increase your self-esteem? In addition, you will shape your motor skills. There are two types of competitions: Fights and form competition. Both contribute in their own ways to the above-mentioned advantages. Just one of many reasons to travel this country properly.

First the theory, then into the ring. In addition, some recommendations.
 
Choice: Which style do you want to learn? There are traditional and modern styles.
Traditional: This is primarily about marital arts. Some of them exist for centuries. Especially traditional Chinese styles, such as tai chi or the related kung-fu. In addition, there are many far eastern styles, like the Japanese karate. In Southeast Asia, traditional Thai-boxing became very popular. In Europe, Greek wrestling exists for a long time.
Modern: Especially after 1950, modern combat sports evolved with or without cultural backgrounds. They often represent mergers of old traditional martial arts. The goal has been to invent extraordinary effective styles. One example is Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
There are many styles. Hence, you need to gather sufficient information, create a shortlist, and go to trial practice.
 
Location: Where do you want to practice your style? Both questions can lead to different answers.
School: Whether dojo, association, club or gym: There are martial arts schools, in which skilled trainers teach you martial arts. As soon as you found a style and school you like, you are ready to join. It is essential to learn from a well-educated instructor. Depending on the style, your education can take some years up to a lifetime.
Home: Boxing with a punch bag, practicing wing chun with a wooden dummy or kickboxing sparring with a friend: Many styles can be trained at home or on the road after the basic education. Most important is that you have a strong will, the necessary equipment as well as disciplined sparring partners.
Preparation: What do you need to consider in terms of preparation?
Nutrition: Your diet is a key component for martial arts. Regardless of technique training, sparring, or competition: Please eat your last meal not later than one hour prior to the event. Ideally high-energy food.
Warm-up: Similar to almost all athletics sports, martial arts require an intense warm-up. Especially for your neck, arms, hip, and legs. Furthermore stretching is a core component of your warm-up program. This is especially important for kicking techniques. The sequence is always: Loose up, light running, warm light stress (like squats), and finally stretching.
Attitude: Your attitude plays a key role in martial arts. A devote mood can have a painful impact on your sparring and particularly fighting experience. Hence, listen to yourself upfront. Only practice martial arts if you have an upbeat and assertive mindset. Otherwise, change your attitude beforehand. How? Well, feel free to travel the country attitude first and afterwards self-esteem.
 
 
Application: How do you want to practice martial arts?
Techniques: Technique training is the foundation of every martial art. Whether punches, kicks, pulls, pushes, throws, grips, embraces, strangulation, or joint locks: Train these specific techniques frequently and many years. This ensures that your muscles save the motion sequences in their motor memories. Cultivate them. They need to become a part of you. Only then, you will be in a position to demonstrate them in any situation.
Sparring: Sparring represents partner-exercises to simulate fight situations. Did technique training equipped you with a collection of attack and defense combinations? Now you are ready to field test them with safeties and a partner. This is the moment where the magic of martial arts unfolds for many people. A flow of interaction. Action and reaction. Almost like a dance. Trust is essential. In order to build it up, I recommend you to agree the following with your partner upfront: You start in inflight with light alternate punches, which do not hurt. Once this works, you slowly apart into full distance.
Competition: You can start with form competitions as soon as your trainer wants you to. It is about cultivating the exact motion sequences. You cannot do this thoroughly enough. Fight preparation is just as intensive. Semi-, light- or full-contact: It is about your own health. I recommend you to train at least for one to two years prior to your first fight.
Frequency: If you start with combat sports, I recommend you to train at least two to three times per week. In case you plan to fight, you had better have three to five sessions. Each session should take 60-90 minutes.
 
 
I am sick of writing! Now it is your turn.
 
The current state represents the first step. Do you practice martial arts or combat sports? If yes, which one? How much time do you invest? How do you practice? Document everything. Feel free to use the Martial Arts Template. Example: I train kick- and thai boxing. I practice twice a week. Mondays sparring with a friend and Saturdays, I am hitting the bag etc.
 
In the second step, define your goals. Why do you want to start or continue with martial arts? What are your goals? You can improve your fitness, learn self-defense, fight competitively, overcome your fears, and find your balance in life, increase your ability to focus, get stronger physically, pump up your self-esteem, and learn to fight any much more! Example: My goals are reaction speed in interactions, sparring two times per week, high focus on leg stretching etc.
 
In the third step, commit to specific actions, which will lead to your goals. Whatever it is: Capture it with associated completion dates. This will ensure that you will execute these actions. Do it for all above-mentioned components. Example: I want to spar at least twice a week until end of this year. Hence, I need to find an additional weekday, partner, or gym. In addition, I want to stretch my legs in each training session.
 
Finally, complete all actions and… tada! Correct: Hang in there. Review and update your Martial Arts Template on an annual basis. Make martial arts an integral part of your life. It will pay off a thousand fold. I promise! You can combine this social sport nicely with running and strength training.

 

Stretching
Many people warm up at most. They often forget about stretching. It is as important as former. Without proper stretching, you will never max out your full potential in regards to technique and speed. Even worse: You take an unnecessary risk of injury. Hence, take time to stretch right after warming up. Especially for kick-intense martial arts.
 
Sparring Trap
Martial arts is useless without application. It should take place professionally. Sparring rounds are the silver bullet. They offer you the opportunity to try moves and combinations in a sandbox. In addition, you will dynamically learn the game of action and reaction. You are stressed. You are hit. You need to stay calm. These learning experiences do not come from technique training.
 
Street fights
“Martial arts without application are useless? Hence I want to apply my techniques on the street when I need to.” Assess conflict situations carefully. Demonstrate your skills only in absolute emergency cases.

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