Martial Arts

It seems like martial arts has been a popular form of fitness ever since the Karate Kid all those years ago. I know dozens of people who are black belts in Karate (including a 13-year-old cousin!) and even I've taken a kickboxing class or two. So I decided to figure out: What's the hype all about? Is it merely a really good workout, or is it, like yoga, more of a mind thing, a way of life?I realize that beyond my limited kickboxing experience, as well as watching the Kill Bill movies, I really don't know much about Martial Arts. It turns out there are several types, including practices that appeal to people looking for a fun, challenging workout, practices that are specifically for self-defense, practices that are for combat, and practices that have a specific cultural or traditional appeal for people looking for a unique experience. There's even a genre of martial arts that emphasizes dance. About.com has a list of Martial Arts styles that you should consider based on your fitness needs and desires.

Martial Arts

Martial Arts are typically thought to have originated in the Orient, but they're spread so far around the world, it's difficult to tell which are traditional practices and which have been modified, westernized, to suit North American fitness goals. Variations of Martial Arts can be found almost everywhere, as this list on Wikipedia shows.

In a traditional Asian fashion, most martial art styles emphasize mind-body awareness and encourage students to be in touch with their inner self before using their outer self in practice. That doesn't mean you won't get a good workout though -- practicing martial arts is one of the best ways out there to get fit, though that's not always the goal in traditional practices. I'd love to be able to tell you the best kind of martial arts for you, but the truth is, they're so diverse. Check out this article for help getting started.

If your a beginner in the fitness world, there's sure to be a class out there for you. If your fairly fit, there's a class for you too. If you're in great shape...you guessed it, there's a class that will suit you as well. My point? Everyone can find some form of martial arts to suit them, whether you want to kick butt or merely find an activity that is fun and burns calories too. I can tell you from my Kickboxing experiences that Martial Arts are a great way to keep fit and have a good time while you're at it.

You might know more about Martial arts than I do, though. What do you think? What suggestions do you have.

Mohammed khalf
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writer and blogger, founder of Go motivations .

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