Advice To New Martial Artists
What do we Mean by Martial Art?
There is a very (very) long debate that has been raging for years between many martial arts scholars concerning the definition of a true "Martial Art", compared to say a "Martial Sport", a "Fighting System" or some other form of self-defence. MartialArtsClubs.Com is committed to represent all styles and disciplines in the UK equitably and without bias. On this website when we use the term "Martial Art" we intend it to mean absolutely any form of self-defence system or fighting style. Old or New; East or West; Attacking or Defensive; Interactive or Solo; Striking or Grappling; ART or SPORT. Our objective is to put the would-be practitioner in touch with the clubs and instructors. We don't really think the terminology should get in the way at this stage.
The limited amount of research that has been carried out into the Martial Arts marketplace suggest that 18% of students who quit after beginning their training do so because they loose interest. A much larger 31% of quitters give up because of not enough time/other commitments, which one could argue is just a watered down version of I lost interest. After all, if we have limited time we tend to stop doing the things we enjoy least, or else we make the time to do them. So if we add those two figures together we see that of all martial artists who stop training nearly half have lost interest, or have lost enough interest to justify not going to training. Perhaps if they all (and I suspect most long term practitioners are also guilty of this) had spent just a few weeks researching more into what was on offer and asking themselves which art(s) could they honestly see as best satisfying their personal needs and fitting in with their physique, then the drop out rate would perhaps go down. Don't forget, that unlike the vast majority of other sports you really do keep on getting better with age. So if you make the right choice in the beginning you could just have made a life altering decision and be setting off along a wonderful road of self-discovery. Alternatively you might quit! We don't want the latter to happen so please take the next twenty minutes to make use of this website before spending the next twenty years thinking, "if only I'd joined the other club".
Which is the best Martial Art for me?
Please notice the two little words that are at the end of this question! There is a world of difference between the two questions "Which is the best Martial Art?" and "Which is the best Martial Art for me?" The answer to the first question is easy - There isn't one. The answer to the second question is a little harder to decide and is the underlying reason for creating this website. There will be "best martial art for me", but that will depend upon many influencing factors. Things to think about are:
1. Why am I attracted to the idea of learning a new "Martial Art" ?
· Curious to find out more about this type of activity
· Seems like an interesting Hobby
· I am very keen to Compete
· A social activity
· I want to build up my confidence
· I want to be able to defend myself
· I want to improve my fitness, strength and flexibility
· I wish to complement the Martial Art I already practice with another activity
· I want to push my body to it's physical limit
· I want to find a way to release stress
· I am interested in the culture and philosophy involved with some of the Martial Arts
· In my line of work I can find myself having to restrain others or deal effectively with violent individuals
· I am interested in weapons training
· I want a black-belt
2. What type of person am I?
· My build
· My flexibility
· My physical strength
· My coordination
· My sense of timing
· My gender (doesn't matter but could influence your choice)
· My age
· My Fitness
· My Health
· My Personality
3. Do I like the thought of the following activities?
· Punches and strikes
· Holds and locks
· Body Conditioning - Strength, Stamina, Stretching
· Sparring - Full Contact, Semi Contact, Light Contact, Non Contact
· Destruction (Breaking boards)
· Patterns - Sets of movements used for practice. Usually increasing in complexity as you progress.
· Weapons Training
Once you have given a bit of thought to what you are like, what interests you and why you want to train you should find it easier to decide which of your local clubs is going to offer you a Martial Art that is best suited to your personal needs. What other things do I need to know about a club? Some good questions to ask the instructor are -
· Cost of uniform
· Cost of equipment
· Cost of lessons
· Cost of membership
· Cost of gradings
· How long has the instructor been training?
· What type of insurance does the instructor have?
To find out more about some of the arts we have listed on our pages, visit our martial arts information pages.
We wish you many happy years of training !