How to Choose the Martial Art That is Best for You

By Joe Rivera, eHow Contributing Writer

Which Martial art is for u

Choose the Martial Art That is Best for You

The study of Martial Arts brings many positive rewards. Better mental focus, greater endurance, self-confidence, self-discipline, flexibility, core strength, understanding of self and others, increased muscular strength, coordination , and the ability to defend yourself against physical attack, are just a few.  There are styles of Martial Arts that are specifically for self-defense, sports competition, weapons, fitness and also more esoteric, meditative Arts.  With so many different types of Martial Arts out there, some of which are rooted in centuries of tradition and practice–which is the best one to study? Well, before signing up for classes at your local Dojo–here are some steps you can take to help determine what might be best for you.

Instructions

Things You’ll Need:

• Common sense

• Internet

• Patience

1. Step 1

Determine what your goals are for your study of Martial Arts. It could be for self-defense or fitness, or just to reduce stress. Whatever the reason, it is important to be clear.

2. Step 2

Check on the Internet the various styles of Martial Arts available and start compiling a list of the styles that really seem to fit with your goals. For example, if your goal is purely for self-defense in an urban setting, you may gravitate towards a style like Krav Maga or American Combat. Let’s say that you simply want to reduce stress–perhaps Tai Chi would be at the top of your list.

3. Step 3

Consider your body type and then compile a list of styles that are suited for your type. If you are tall and have long limbs you may be better at some of the long-range striking arts where you use punches and kicks like Karate and Tae Kwon Do. Average build might be best suited for mid-range Arts where short punches, kicks, elbow and knee strikes are utilized like Muay Thai or Wing Chung. If you are short and compact you may be great at some of the Arts that are close range which involve grabbing your opponent , grappling like in Jujitsu or throwing as in Judo or Aikido.

4. Step 4

Check to see which disciplines are on both lists. Those may very well be the ones best suited for you.

Tips & Warnings

• In the end it is up to you which Art you choose to be your core discipline.  Pick the one that you are excited about the most.

• Check out the book, “Zen in the Martial Arts” by Joe Hyams.

• Learning Martial Arts like learning any new skill requires dedication and patience to master. Be patient and do not expect to be great at it after only a few weeks or months. Enjoy the journey!