Glamorised by Hollywood films depicting fast moving, high energy, high kicking, supple martial artists, capable of performing incredible feats and fighting off a multitude of attackers with carefully choreographed moves, the interest in martial arts has grown rapidly over the years and now as a result, there are literally millions of loyal and dedicated martial artists at varying levels of progression, studying the wide selection of martial arts that are available across the globe.
There are many different martial arts styles like Aikido, Capoeira, Hapkido, Judo, Jujitsu, Karate, Shaolin Kung Fu,Taekwondo - all with different techniques, some use aggressive and defensive moves, others focus on a spiritual and softer syllabus and have a more harmonious way and others may be more competitive in nature and focus on footwork, high kicks or even the art of using weapons. So with all the variety of styles available, it is safe to assume that there would be a style of martial arts suitable for everyone.
There has always been a mixture of ages attending clubs and ages range from small children to senior citizens. The young can reap many benefits including learning a variety of new skills, it can help them to focus, increasing their level of concentration, it teaches them social skills, helps them to use their energy in a productive manner and also teaches them respect for themselves as well as for others at an early age.
Adults of all ages can increase their suppleness, their stamina, general fitness and their co-ordination as well as benefiting from the social interaction with other students.
Martial arts originate mainly from Japan, Korea and China and many of the styles incorporate aspects of other styles. Martial Arts does not advocate violence, rather, it advocates the teaching of self-defence, physical fitness, discipline and also teaches both mental and emotional lessons also.
Before enrolling in any martial arts class it is wise to observe the class and the style, talk to the instructor in depth and get a feel for the class. As there are many styles to choose from, your first observation may not show you the ultimate style for you.
Once attending a class, there is a continuous progression, learning punches, kicks, locks, throws and more, depending on the style, and although the progression may seem rapid as both fitness and knowledge increase hand in hand, martial arts is about staying power and progressing through all of the grades and this means years of commitment from the dedicated student.