How to get started in the martial arts
Getting started is both the easiest, and the hardest thing for many to do. It’s easy because all you have to do is just decide to show up, and enroll in a class. That’s it. You’re started.
But it’s also the hardest because oftentimes beginners don’t have the faintest clue where to start, and it can be pretty intimidating. It’s intimidating because they don’t know much about the arts, they’re afraid of showing up and looking like a fool, and there’s so many different arts to choose from, who can know which one is the best choice?
So people frequently get caught in the paralyzation of indecision. That is, they don’t know which way to go so they just freeze and don’t make any decision at all. Eventually time passes and they go on to something else, and never get started with any of them, because it’s the easiest choice to make in the face of that indecision, and not having any real guidance or advice to help them make the decision.
They don’t even know what questions to ask, much less cobble together anything like an informed answer on what martial art is right for them.
That’s why we’ve decided to put forward a few of those questions and provide the answers for people who might be interested, but paralyzed with that indecision, or intimidated by all the whys and wherefores of the whole thing.
The first thing you want to ask is what is it you’re looking for in a martial art?
Why are you interested?
Are you mainly just interested in getting more fit, losing weight, and feeling more active?
Are you geared more toward a straightforward self defense kind of approach? You really want to sink your teeth into something that can realistically help you defend yourself against threats?
Are you already an active person, already have some knowledge of self defense and you’re interested in some form of competitive martial art?
Ask yourself that question first and foremost. What is it I really want out of the martial arts? And that will really help you out in a big way toward answering the question of which art is right for you. Any or all of the martial arts are well suited to self defense and so on, but some are more suited to particular answers than others, then too there’s the facts of your area and what’s available there, what’s feasible to get to several times a week and so on.
Start by looking at what’s really available in your area. A lot of times you’ll be surprised at what you can find. Then take some time to look up a little information on the given arts that seem to interest you most. For instance Karate features a balance between footwork, kicks, and punches, whereas arts like Judo give more focus to intensive throws, and so on. And things like Jiu Jitsu can be highly demanding on energy, full body contact and grappling. As we said you can certainly profit by learning in any of these arts, but some might be more suited to your needs than others. And it can only help you to make a more informed decision to take a little time to look these arts up, on the internet for instance and get a better look at them.
And some people may just fancy a particular or certain style more than others, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s all about finding what feels most comfortable to you. And there’s no reason at all you can’t switch to study other arts later on down the line once you’ve spent a little time gaining experience. A lot of martial artists do that, and diversify their studies, it’s very common. And there’s certainly nothing at all wrong with it if that’s what you ultimately decide to do.
Then it’s taking the big step and going into the school and talking with the instructor. They’re always glad to talk to prospective new students and answer any questions they have or address any concerns. After all, they’re in the business of creating new relationships and helping beginners become students, and students to become confident, well trained martial artists.
Oftentimes you can even be invited to sit in on a class and see what it’s all about, and get a first hand look, get a feel for how things work and what to expect. The instructors understand it can be intimidating for some people and they will do whatever they can to see to a person’s comfort with the class. You may even have the opportunity to meet a few of the students and make friends. And that makes the process even easier, and more enjoyable.
Because if you stick with it, join up, and attend classes you’re going to eventually make friends there anyway. And you’ll discover that you’ve become a part of a close community of students who help each other, guide each other, and encourage each other to overcome whatever challenges face them. Everyone is going to have challenges and obstacles to overcome, and everyone is going to need help at some point. And that’s really what martial arts is about.
It’s about empowering individuals and joining them together as a part of a community.
So think about what it is you really want out of the martial arts. Then take a little time to look at what there is to offer. See what seems like a good fit for you. Then drop in to the school and have a little talk with the instructor, and see what they recommend for you.
Then sign up, and attend your first class.
And you’ve done it. You’re on your way to a better life, You’re on your way to a life of opened doors and possibilities, new friends, and a great new community that can help you build a better you, with a great deal more enjoyment.