Fighting fit: An easy guide to embracing combat sports in 2020

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.

Bruce Lee's "10,000 Kicks" Challenge – Complete 10,000 Kicks in 10 Days and Feed The Children

Bruce Lee's secret to self-mastery is hidden in the following quote, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." Discipline, dedication and perfect repetition over time are the keys to mastery. To get results like Bruce Lee we need to train like Bruce Lee.

Keep Reading Show less

If there's a martial artist in your life who's hard to shop for, look no further than this list of the best holiday gifts from the world's leading magazine of martial arts.

The holidays are right around the corner and there's no better time to shop for the ninjas in your family! Black Belt Magazine doesn't just provide the history and current events of the martial arts world, we can equip you with all the best products too. From beautiful belt displays, to stylish gloves, to collector's edition books, keep reading to check out this list of the top five gifts to kick under the tree this year.

Keep Reading Show less

Half human. Half vampire. Experience the sharper, darker, and slicker Blade now in 4K Ultra HD! Click to see more!

The martial arts action classic Blade is back in 4K Ultra HD, and it will make you feel like you are watching Wesley Snipes in person! The film is available for purchase TODAY (December 1st), but you have a chance to win the Digital Movie courtesy of Black Belt Magazine. All you have to do is share this article on your social media page and tag Black Belt Magazine and the appropriate page for Blade or Warner Bros.

On Facebook, tag @Black Belt Magazine and @BladeFilmsOfficial. On Instagram, tag @BlackBeltMag and @WarnerBrosEntertainment. On Twitter, tag @Black_Belt_Mag and @WBHomeENT for a chance to win! You must also include the hashtag #Blade4K to be eligible to win the FREE download.

Keep Reading Show less

A thoughtful question from Mitch Mitchell, an affiliate coach of American Frontier Rough and Tumble, prompted me to commit to paper some observations regarding two common tools/weapons of the frontier. First, the exchange that led to all this:

Question: "Am I on the right track or holding my danged knife wrong?"

My reply: "Bowie designs are manifold. My personal preference falls toward a flat-spine knife with a half-guard because a spine-side guard or broken spine jams up my thumb on a sincere stab in a saber grip. For me, anyway, a nice, straight, full-power stab with a hammer grip on the high line is impossible, and anyway it is a wrist killer."

Mitchell's question is a common one that can lead us one step closer to weapons wisdom. First, I will point out that discovering that certain tactics and grips are wrist killers is possible only when we invest time in hard training with hard targets. If we stick with mirror play, shadow play or tit-for-tat flow drills with a partner using mock weapons, we likely will never stumble on the realities that make certain tactics ill-advised. As they say, train real to find real.

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