The idea of exercise may be irksome to some people. You may know of some individuals who cringe at the mere thought of a workout.
Well, the thing is, we don’t blame them. Exercising can be an absolute drag.
That’s because you’re simply repeating motions that are merely simulations of a function and not a function itself.
This detachment and lack of immersion can become tedious for many people.
That is why training, or the learning of physical skill, whether it’s a sport or artistic discipline, is a great way to get your workouts in.
One of the most useful and enriching skills you can train for fitness is a martial art or combat sport.
Not only is a fight sport super functional, but it also adds value to your life beyond just the fitness aspect.
You’re obviously equipping yourself with a useful skill in the form of self-defense, but you’re also growing your mind and ability to think, reason, measure risk and be creative.
The beauty of martial arts and combat sports training is you don’t need to get in the ring and square off against another person.
You can totally go that route and spar or even compete at an amateur level, but the training effect of combat sports doesn’t require actual combat.
By simply learning and applying the forms and techniques through various training methodologies, you can get a good workout while learning a valuable skill.
Aside from the fitness benefits, we mentioned the benefit of learning how to defend yourself.
We don’t really live in a world where we constantly need to ward off attackers, but it does still happen depending on where you live and how you live for that matter.
This case is especially true for women, who are more vulnerable to physical attack.
Martial arts and combat training also help one develop sharp cognitive skills. Because of how fast one needs to react to threats and situations during a martial arts drill or sparring session, your mind develops new pathways that are aimed at thinking critically, rapid problem solving and risk analysis.
The exposure to tense situations also acts as a natural, long term confidence booster.
This is typically why many professional fighters have a calm demeanor outside of the pomp and fanfare of a big fight week.
This article will introduce you to some of the best martial arts and combat sports you can jump into for fun, fitness and a functional lifestyle.
The original combat sport, boxing has been around since the very beginning.
Until fairly recently, however, boxing training was the reserve of serious fighters.
But with the fitness revolution of the late 20th century, boxing quickly found itself gaining mainstream popularity as a form of cardio training.
Today, even franchise gyms with no affiliation to the world of combat sports offer boxing facilities and even boxing fitness classes.
These classes feature the forms and techniques of boxing in an aerobic or HIIT framework.
Capoeira is and afro-Portugues fight-dance. Yes, a strange way of putting it, but this style of martial art developed from a pure combat form into a creative form.
It is believed this was done by African slaves to disguise their martial arts training as a dance from their Portuguese captors.
Whatever the case, capo, as it is often abbreviated to, is a great training system for building strength, balance and an increased range of motion.
The constant rhythmic lateral switching motion you engage in during capo, known as the Jenga, also adds a decent cardio component to the mix.
At an advanced level, capoeira allows you to learn some intricate acrobatic techniques.
Just be careful with this, although it is performed and learned as a dance, the techniques were designed for combat. Used without care, capoeira is dangerous to those around its user.
Jiu-jitsu is an art of Japanese origin but popularised through its Brazilian form,
It is a system designed to disarm and disable a threat presented by an assailant by manipulation of their bodyweight and musculoskeletal system into positions of inescapable disadvantage.
It is a ground-based discipline and involves grappling, submissions and wrestling techniques.
The rapid transitions between explosive movement and isometric contraction make Jui-Jitsu unique in what it provides its practitioners.
This along with the constant shifting of position and plane of movement add a special degree of functional conditioning.
Known as the art of the 8 limbs, Muay Thai is often considered the most effective striking art.
That’s because unlike many striking forms that emphasize blows by the feet and fists, Muay Thai has a special preference for knees and elbows.
There hard joint protrusions are deadly weapons with the right sort of training.
From a fitness perspective, Muay Thai is a great strength and conditioning sport with many benefits towards balance and proprioception.
Fitness can be fun and fun can be fighting.
Combat sports arent just a head-smashing, bone-breaking affair. They have many important things you can learn about your body and your mind while also helping you build muscle and/or burn calories.
Remember to seek only the best qualified instructors. Martial arts and combat sports are delicate disciplines which require expert instruction in order to learn safely.