Which Martial Art is Right For You

Martial arts are a great way to focus your mind and your body. They teach self-control, discipline, as well as the ability to defend oneself. There are a lot of different types of martial arts such as Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Krav Maga. If you’re looking to get into martial arts, use this as a quick guide to help you decide which one is right for you.

Kung Fu, also known as Wushu, is a Chinese martial arts. Training consists of four components: basics, forms, applications, and weapons. The basics build strong and flexible muscles, management of Qi or breath, and proper body mechanics. Kung fu teaches that weapons are to be considered as an extension of the body.

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art which combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise. Modern taekwondo has two main styles. One style is practiced by International Taekwon-Do adherents and the other style derives from Kukkiwon, the source of the sparring system sihap gyeorugi, which has been an Olympic event since 2000. In Korean, tae means “to strike or break with the foot”; kwon means “to strike or break with the fist”; and do means “way of life”. Thus, taekwondo may be loosely translated as “the way of the foot and the hand.”

Karate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa, Japan. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands, and palm-heel strikes. In some styles, grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints, and vital point strikes are also taught. A karate practitioner is called a karateka.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. Originally derived from Judo, BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using proper technique, leverage, and most notably, taking the fight to the ground, and then applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person.

Muay Thai, as the name suggests, is from Thailand and focuses on stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. Muay Thai is known as “the art of eight limbs” because it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, shins, and feet. Muay Thai became widespread internationally in the twentieth century, when practitioners defeated notable practitioners of other martial arts.

Krav Maga is a martial art and self-defense system developed for the military in Israel that consists of a wide combination of techniques sourced from boxing, savate, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Judo, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and grappling, along with realistic fight training. Krav Maga is known for its focus on real-world situations and counter-attacks, and has also been refined for civilian, police, and military applications.

All martial arts teach disciple and inner strength. Local clubs are very common and can be of great benefit to anyone.

Photo Credit: Ojie Paloma via photopin cc

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