From martial arts movies to fitness classes, martial arts continues to be a growing industry in our society. However, many people don’t know that there are different forms of martial arts. Each form can benefit you physically and mentally and can be practiced safely.
Continue reading to learn about the benefits of martial arts and the five most common questions on how to practice martial arts safely.
1. What Are the Forms of Martial Arts?
Martial arts are a form of combat and self-defense fighting that is enriched with tradition and culture. There are many forms of martial arts, but what’s a good safe martial art? Each form comes with its own unique safety measures, history, focus, and style.
- Aikido: This type of martial art involves restraints and throws, rather than kicks and punches.
- Judo: Judo involves submission holds and takedowns.
- Jujitsu: Jujitsu incorporates elements of Aikido and Judo and focuses on grappling.
- Karate: Karate involves more kicks and punches and is mainly performed standing up.
- Kung-fu: Kung-fu is known for powerful blocking and stand-up positions.
- Mixed Martial Arts: Mixed martial arts involve a mixture of other forms. There may be grappling, kicks, or punches.
- Muay Thai Kickboxing: Kickboxing elements come into Muay Thai and can involve sparring and punching.
- Taekwondo: Taekwondo training involves blocks, punches, and open-hand strikes.
With any of these types of martial arts, your instructor will go through the proper safety features and a safety martial arts gear checklist to ensure no one is badly injured. It’s important to understand each type of martial arts so you can decide which form you’d like to practice.
2. What Safety Equipment Do I Need?
One important part of practicing martial arts safely is knowing what type of equipment you need. Each form of martial arts has different requirements; however, you need to wear the right uniform and gear to stay safe.
Taekwondo, Judo, Jujitsu, and Karate all have traditional uniforms called Doboks and Gi’s. These uniforms can be lightweight for breathability and ease of movement. You can also choose heavier cotton to get an authentic snapping sound as you execute fast maneuvers.
There is also a variety of safety sparring equipment you’ll need to have to ensure you keep yourself protected. Shin Guards, for example, can help protect from kicks. Body armor can help protect you from punches. Be sure to also look into mouth guards to protect your teeth, cups and supporters, and ear guards. Headgear is also important, especially in mixed martial arts. Does boxing headgear prevent concussions? Yes! Wearing the appropriate headgear will help you avoid concussions and head trauma.
You also need to understand what type of gloves or hand protectors you’ll need. How does protective gear effect sparing? First off, you need to know that there are different fighting gloves and wraps for sparring, boxing, and training depending on which type of martial arts forms you are practicing. You need to choose the correct gloves and wraps for the form you are learning to decrease your risk of injury.
Belts are also important when it comes to practicing martial arts. Not only do belts act as an incentive for students to advance to the next level of training, but it also helps categorize fights. Instructors will set up fights according to training level to ensure the student’s safety and to keep it fair.
Using the correct safety equipment is of the utmost importance when practicing any kind of martial arts form.
3. Do You Need Martial Arts Experience?
Another common safety question is for beginners just starting out in their martial arts practice. Like many hobbies, starting out can be intimidating and overwhelming for people, especially when it comes to self-defense and combat training.
Trained instructors will take note of beginners and train them accordingly to keep them safe and to teach them basic skills. Many teenagers and adults practice martial arts, but kids as young as three can also start.
Martial arts not only helps teach self-defense skills, but it will also help improve balance, flexibility, strength, and fitness levels. Besides your physical improvements, you’ll also notice improvements to your mental health. After you start, you’ll feel an increase in your self-esteem, motivation, awareness, and patience. You can also build a community of like-minded people who are there to support you in your training. Students are also able to practice according to their own pace and skills. Because of this, students feel more secure and safe to advance without any additional pressure.
4. What Are Common Injuries?
Like any physical sport, there is always a risk of injury. It’s important, however, to learn how to prevent injuries in martial arts. Some of the most common injuries are fractures, contusions, sprains, strains, and nosebleeds. In order to prevent a high risk of injury, it’s important to first speak with your doctor to find out if training is right for you.
If the possibility of injury is a big concern, you may want to look into karate classes as it is noncombative and focuses more on individual moves and progress. Be sure to warm up before each class and stretch after each class to decrease your chance of any injuries.
While some forms of martial arts do include combat which increases your risk of injury, trained instructors make it a point to prepare their students. Preparation, the right safety sparring gear, and the correct form will help decrease the chances of getting hurt.
5. What Should I Look For in an Instructor?
When signing up for a martial arts class, in any form, you want to be sure your teacher has the proper certifications to teach the class. It’s important that your teacher is trained in martial arts and has received the appropriate accolades to teach. This could include a bachelor’s degree, fitness trainer certification, and more.
Do your research to make sure you’re getting the right instructor for you. Ask friends or do a quick search to get a good recommendation for a martial arts school or class. You’ll also want your teacher to be trained in various safety measures. For example, ask the school if any of their instructors are CPR certified.
How to Practice Martial Arts Safely
No matter which martial arts class you decide to practice, you’ll start to notice the benefits right away. Martial arts can help you improve both mentally and physically and will help teach important life skills and lessons. Be sure to get the correct equipment and ask the right questions before enrolling so you’ll know how to practice martial arts safely. Visit our blog for more information on the benefits of martial arts.