It is VERY important that you make an informed decision about the style of martial art you wish to practise and the club you choose to practise at.
A. Choosing the style
- Check out our Styles section to gain a quick overview of the different martial arts styles, then have a look at our club directory to see what styles are available in your area).
- Assess your physical condition. Do you have any physical limitations that might affect your ability to practise a certain martial arts style (for example knee problems)?
- Determine whether the martial art is a “hard” or “soft” style. Offensive techniques, such as punching and kicking, indicate a hard style, which tends to be physically intense. Defensive techniques, such as blocking and redirecting, indicate a soft style, which can be less physically challenging and suited to older students and those with physical limitations.
- Identify techniques as either striking or grappling. Striking (i.e. Karate, Kungfu) is attacking with fists, feet, elbows and knees. Grappling (i.e. Judo, Ju-jutsu) uses joint locks and throws to control an attacker.
- Does the legacy of any of the arts appeal to you more than others? For example the high kicks in Tae Kwon Do began as a way for foot soldiers to attack mounted soldiers.
- A good idea is to watch the different styles that interest you before making a choice. Many clubs will have an observation area, so you can watch while a class is being taught. Just ask the instructor if it is OK for you to watch and if you have any questions ask the instructor.
- Do you want to be an Olympian? At present (2009) only Judo and Taekwon-Do are Olympic sports.
B. Choosing the club
This is an important step as it is likely you will train with your club for many years so make sure you have made the right decision.