Best Martial Arts For Fitness

This one is likely to kick off a Royal Rumble of debate – what is the best martial arts for fitness? Of course, each discipline enhances your fitness and contributes something in terms of cardio, strength, functionality, and mental fortitude.

The question of which is best is tough to answer. It depends on the involvement and dedication of the practitioner. In this blog, we’ll look more closely at a few martial arts, focusing on how they enhance the body and which muscles groups they target.

You will discover huge improvements to your fitness if you put consistent effort into any one of these arts. Classes often incorporate conditioning into each session. Drills will be thrown in with the learning of new skills and a warm down at the end.

There’s no escaping the fact you will break a sweat. You will naturally improve your base level of physical fitness as part of the process. All the martial arts we’ll mention are fast-paced and designed to help you cope under pressure.

Each one incorporates the entire body and establishes a rhythm of timing and execution, expanding your repertoire beyond kicks and punches. The activity will ramp up your metabolism as well.

We might not be able to ultimately crown any one martial art above the others – that’s a pretty subjective pursuit. However, we will explore and compare different forms of martial arts. This is our contribution to the long-held argument over which martial artist is master of all.

Martial arts high kick

Why It’s Time To Take Up A Martial Art

Adult martial arts classes can offer a wide array of new techniques. Learn to throw kicks, punches, even elbows, as you delve into the human mechanics behind these movements. You’ll have a blast meeting like-minded fighters and aspiring athletes.

Training is a great way to stay in shape and ultimately craft a lifestyle and discipline that could change your life. You don’t have to be fit at the outset – just willing to take on a new challenge, with an open mind. Everyone starts at step one and begins by boxing shadows.

The martial arts will challenge you in various ways. Your entire muscle and cardiovascular systems will be put to work. It is important that you commit to the process of earning incremental improvements over time. Be patient and don’t overburden yourself.

There are so many different forms of martial arts practised throughout the world. Some have been refined for thousands of years. Others are more modernised adaptations. It’s also true that these martial arts have changed many millions of lives since the earliest days of human history.

Is one truly the best? Let’s see what we can find out:

5. Taekwondo & Karate

Yes these are two different martial arts and we’re lumping them together. When it came down to it we were hard-pressed to omit either one from our list.

Firstly, the two disciplines of Taekwondo and Karate as similar in so far as they will take your fitness to another level. Taekwondo is perfect for competitive fighters, who want to practice against opposition.

Over time you will familiarise yourself with flinging elbows, knees, fists, and feet. Karate adopts more of a boot camp style of training. It was taught to Israeli soldiers, who are famous for their intense style of combat training, known as Krav Maga.

Karate is therefore practical when it comes to fighting in real-life – this is worth considering if self defence is a priority for you. Both disciplines offer intense training and a lifelong program of self-improvement.

You will get a great workout with each and ever class. If you compete with elbows and knees you’re going to be challenging yourself more rigorously. At the same time, you will uncover the focus on self defence which is inherent within the art.

4. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

When the UFC first started out, they pitched many different martial arts against each other. Sumo wrestlers, boxers, kickboxers, and brawlers all went head-to-head to figure out who was toughest.

The ‘gentle art’ of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (otherwise known as ‘BJJ’) won this contest with ease thanks to the legend Royce Gracie. What the world learned from this is that the smaller fighter can use an opponent’s weight and size against them.

In short, the big brawler doesn’t always win. Often, when they face a skilled jiu-jitsu practitioner, they end up being choked unconscious. This martial art is popular around the world for obvious reasons.

Through a masterful understanding of physics, motion, and technical groundwork, jiu-jitsu fighters can stay calm in the face of any attacker. Many women’s self-defence classes also incorporate the teaching of this martial art into their sessions.

By restricting oxygen to the brain, a master of jiu-jitsu is able to disarm and immobilise any behemoth. It goes without saying that anyone who attends multiple BJJ classes will quickly discover the health benefits of being chucked into an anaconda’s pen on a weekly basis.

Kickboxing fight

3. Boxing & Kickboxing

Next up, we have the physically demanding arts of boxing and kickboxing. Boxing is a combat sport that has been around since the original Olympics. The ancient Greeks honed their physiques with this art in much the same way as we still do today.

Both disciplines train people to perform at high levels and to establish confidence through the stand-up art of striking. The general physical conditioning that comes with these sports is not to be underestimated.

All kinds of people around the world box simply for fitness. Whether they’re exorcising demons, slamming knuckles into a heavy bag, or improving their coordination with a speed ball and skipping rope.

Be mindful that the physical contact of sparring without head gear can lead to concussions. So, if you just want to stay in shape, you can focus on movement and footwork drills. You can also get a considerable workout with focus mitts and a dedicated partner.

Many of the exercise programs associated with kickboxing and boxing involve intense conditioning, like jumping rope, calisthenics, and running.

Muay Thai fighters

2. Muay Thai

Similar to boxing, but with elbows, knees, and shins involved, Thai fighters have brought to the world this unique style of violence. Special techniques are used to establish defensive areas and to execute movements that are only possible after dedicated physical training.

You might not think it, but a great deal of mental clarity goes into protecting yourself at all times in a high pressure situation, like a fight. Muay Thai brings four pairs of limbs into the mix, so you have more to worry about than the average kickboxer, or boxer.

Close-range training and conditioning to wield knees and elbows requires a high level of fitness too. You’ll need the flexibility and strength to execute moves in a clinch. You will also have to establish a powerful physical foundation and acute mental focus to endure in this sport.

Hip mobility is crucial and so is flexibility when it comes to guarding yourself with your own elbows, knees, and shins. Anyone unfamiliar with the particular displeasure of knocking shin bones together is in for a treat.

1. Wrestling

Finally, we come to a martial art than can be traced back roughly 15,000 years to drawings scrawled on a cave in France. Primordial wrestlers were at it – no doubt putting their skills to use when they wrestled live prey into submission as well.

Suffice it to say this sport will be with us forever. It requires a level of endurance that is difficult to rival. These cardio kings often have an iron-clad core and impressive cardio health. In fact, wrestlers are among the fittest fighters in the world.

Not only does the sport require incredible focus, but your reactions need to be precise and your mind must stay sharp at all times. You’re always on high alert, backed by a resilience that can only be gained from gruelling sessions on sweat-soaked mats.

Wrestling match

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