By: Peter Jobes

Welcome to the calm after the storm. The festive period is over and life is beginning to return to normal. However, there's the distracting issue of the New Year's Resolutions that we're encouraged to keep throughout the year that needs to be addressed.


Typically New Year's Resolutions are followed for a significantly shorter time than the year itself. With many people resolving to stay fit or get back into shape in the new year, it's perhaps unsurprising that 12% of gym memberships begin in January. What's also unsurprising is that according to the Fitness Industry Association, over half of this number quit within 24 weeks of signing up.

Resolutions tend to have a recurring theme of healthiness and fitness. While some choose to welcome the new year by resolving to join a club to socialize. With this in mind, it's worth taking a look at embracing martial arts.

The art of a healthy lifestyle
The notion of joining a martial arts class may seem like something of a big step. Contact sports are surrounded by connotations of testosterone-filled environments and painful exercise. But the truth is that you don't have to look very far to find a club or class that suits what you're looking for.

There are dozens of widely applied approaches to both martial arts and contact sports that are designed to suit the level of application that you're looking for.

Unlike gyms, many classes have a clear and quantifiable recognition system in the form of belts, and there are plenty of opportunities to meet likeminded individuals with similar aims for their workouts.

From the world-famous disciplines of karate to kung fu, from jiu-jitsu to judo, all the way through to the more spiritual approaches of tai chi - you're bound to find something to suit your needs.

Finding the environment that's right for you

The commonplace belt-based progression system of many martial arts encourages students to continue their training when casual gym-goers would feel obliged to drop out, and the chance to learn invaluable forms of self-defence can be considered a great bonus those enrolling in a class.

As someone who will see martial arts as a new challenge, it will certainly be important to find a class that suits you before we get started in exploring how to go ahead in embracing the combat sports.

It's important to fit your classes into your work and life schedules in a way that won't encroach on your other commitment, otherwise, this could encourage early dropouts and a loss of progress. With many class-goers looking to join in either before or after work, location and transport will be imperative too.

Embracing contact sports

Your comfort is the key to longevity in your chosen class, and luckily websites like FindMartialArtsNearYou in the US and Get Into Martial Arts in the UK can help you to find a free martial arts taster lesson as a means of discovering if a course is right for you. Here, you can locate a range of classes near your home or workplace that run at times which suit your lifestyle.

If you're unsure of the type of classes that you'll be best suited to, you have plenty of options. Doing some level of research on the different approaches to martial arts would undoubtedly be useful, but there's really no rules on how many classes you can attend. Feel free to book a different class each week and see which ones bring you the most enjoyment.

Opting to join a martial arts class could well be the decision that gives you the edge over those who attempt to attend the gym. Training in combat sports may seem daunting at first but martial arts features a rich plethora of approaches that can suit your needs and goals.

The social aspect of classes can help new residents in towns socialize, fitness intensive classes like taekwondo could seriously aid your plans to lose weight in the new year, while the self-defence infused practice of jiu-jitsu would make for an excellent platform for feeling safer on the streets.

Whatever resolutions you've decided on for 2020, it could be worth checking out how martial arts can help keep you away from falling into the trap of a short-lived gym membership.

SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

Talks About Being a Smaller Fighter in a Combat Sport Ruled by Giants

At first glance, most people — most martial artists, even — will zero in on the smaller person in any fight and deem him or her to be at a distinct disadvantage. It's a natural tendency to draw this conclusion based on obvious attributes such as height, weight and reach. However, that tendency does not always lead to accurate conclusions.

Keep Reading Show less
Dana Abbott LIVE Seminar

Black Belt presents this LIVE training seminar with Shihan Dana Abbot 7th degree black belt in Kenjutsu training in Japanese Swordsmanship.

The Chinese Wushu Association, the primary governing body for Chinese-style martial arts in that nation, has released a statement declaring martial arts practitioners should refrain from calling themselves "masters" or the head of a style. The organization also seemed to indicate that practitioners should not participate in staged public fights.

The decrees apparently come in response to a series of public humiliations alleged traditional Chinese martial arts masters have suffered in challenge matches against mixed martial artist Xu Xiaodong and other modern trained combat sports fighters. Xu ignited a firestorm of controversy when video of his 2017 demolition of "thunder style" tai chi exponent Wei Lei in an MMA fight went viral on Youtube.

If you're a Bruce Lee fan and or want to learn about his philosophy and liniage, these 3 books are a must have!

Out of many of Bruce Lee's amazing published books that are out there, we have chosen to narrow it down to these 3.

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do Expanded Edition

Compiled from Bruce Lee's notes and essays and originally published in 1975, this iconic volume is one of the seminal martial arts guides of its time. The science and philosophy behind the fighting system Lee pioneered himself—jeet kune do—is explained in detail, depicted through hundreds of Lee's own illustrations. With the collaboration of Lee's daughter, Shannon, and Bruce Lee Enterprises, this new edition is expanded, updated, and remastered, covering topics such as Zen and enlightenment, kicking, striking, grappling, and footwork. Featuring an introduction by Linda Lee, this is essential reading for any practitioner, offering a brief glimpse into the mind of one of the world's greatest martial artists.

Keep Reading Show less
Free Bruce Lee Guide
Have you ever wondered how Bruce Lee’s boxing influenced his jeet kune do techniques? Read all about it in this free guide.
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter