Popular types of martial arts

 

 

Martial arts have become a very popular sport during the last couple of years, and I’ve noticed that in my gym, as well. There are many men and women who now like using a heavy bag at home. Despite the fact that, in the United States and Canada alike, boxing used to be one of the most appreciated combat sports several decades ago, these days, it’s less acclaimed. I don’t personally see why people are into jiu-jitsu, karate, and taekwondo, but I can only presume that there’s something more other than blowing off some steam.

I asked some of my friends and some of the people who regularly come to the gym to try and find out more about martial arts, in general, and the ones that they seem to prefer, more specifically.

It appears to me that Muay Thai is nowadays one of the most popular sports. Although it’s commonly confused with kickboxing and does have a set of similar rules, the fact of the matter is that in Muay Thai, you’re allowed to strike below the belt. Because body parts are used as weapons, you need some sort of protection if you’re interested in learning this martial art. From what I gathered by talking to my buddies, apparently the first thing you have to get for yourself is a pair of shin pads.

Everyone has heard about karate and that’s because this kind of martial art has a hierarchy system that enables practitioners to become more and more proficient. A karate practitioner’s expertise is determined by the color of his or her belt. One of the things that I personally like about karate is that it’s not focused on offense; instead, it revolves around the idea that everybody has to know the basics of self-defense.

Next, we have Kung Fu from China. This one has got to be one of the world-known martial arts out there, and the person who made it so popular was probably Bruce Lee. I had no idea that the sport originates from China, but I found out because I did a bit of research. Again, what I appreciate about Kung Fu, much like in the case of karate, is the fact that it focuses on morality and has a healthy philosophy about respect and patience.

Finally, a notable mention has to go to Krav Maga. Most of the people who have heard about Star Trek and Klingons are probably aware of Krav Maga as this technique is used by this humanoid species. It’s one of the most violent martial arts as it concentrates on disabling the enemy by hitting sensitive spots such as the eyes and the groin. Since I’m not a fan of violence that’s uncalled for, I consider this sport one of the most unpleasant ones to practice.

 

 

Punching bags that I use at my gym

Much like any gym owner that wants to make his name known and respected, I have filled it with the necessary equipment to ensure a full training routine. As anyone could guess, the Dojo accommodates quite a few punching bags, chosen for specific parts of the training and for fighters with different experience levels. Many people ask me why I felt the need to invest in low-level equipment if I already had heavy bags for higher levels, but I they don’t understand that there’s a certain amount of trust and self-belief an instructor must help build for his beginner students. Therefore, anybody can come and try his/her talents without being overwhelmed with how big and heavy everything is around them.

 

The first punching bag I got was a Century Wavemaster XXL, a free-standing bag, that reeks of sturdiness and force. The high stability is ensured by a low base that I filled with sand (others prefer water, but I don’t feel that confident about having any kind of slippery surface accident in my gym). What I like about this base is that it allows me to move it across the room and place it wherever I need it to be, without complicated uninstalling procedures. It’s covered in a good-quality vinyl that has resisted over the course of many power training sessions, and the filling is a high-density foam that absorbs energy just right. This combination, together with its 69-inches height make it very versatile, both regarding different styles of training, and the physical power of the trainees. However, at almost 250 pounds, I found it to be intimidating for the 9-year olds, so I had to vary the models a bit.

 

After the Century, I went for something lightweight, to make the children feel more comfortable. I asked around and did my research on dedicated websites and chose the Everlast MMA Polycanvas heavy bag, which weighs only 70 pounds, and is filled with a mixture of synthetic and natural fibers, making it very durable. While it is the cheapest punching bag I own, it was worth every penny and more. The kids are having lot of fun working on it, and even my older trainees are taking it up for workout from time to time.

 

Of course, in the end, I went on and got a mannequin that helps the students a lot with learning their basic fight anatomy, and works great for Brazilian Capoeira. I bought a Century BOB XL, and even though it cost me a little, I feel like it’s the best investment I have yet made. It’s in the form of a free standing bag, but, of course, it has the appearance of a person, more precisely, of the upper torso of a person. It is elastic enough to make the strike feel as if they were against a real person, but at the same time, the BOB is strong and enduring.

Finally, I also have a few speed punching bags hanging around, and a wall mounted pad system, but my main teaching instruments are the ones mentioned above, and they are a big part of my Dojo.

Why kids benefit from learning martial arts

I’ve been meaning to write this article for quite some time but because I couldn’t find several spare minutes, I kept postponing it. I’ve talked about being a martial arts instructor in the past, and so I’ll try to make this post as unbiased as possible. Most parents tend to look at martial arts like a dangerous activity to involve their children in, but this is anything but true, in most cases. I make a big deal out of talking with the parents before their kids start training, so I’m aware of the possible developmental issues that might be related to that particular child.

What I’m mostly trying to say is that you shouldn’t enroll your kid in a martial arts class just to make him or her deal with his or her anger issues. Everyone knows that growing up can be a real pain, and I shouldn’t be the one to tell you that because you’ve probably experienced some sort of bullying or other mishaps when you were in school. In short, that’s why I decided to write a bit about the many benefits of martial arts for kids.

 

They can get active

Let’s face it. Child obesity is an unpleasant reality that we must face in the United States. Sometimes, no one is to blame, because parents are busy with their jobs, kids might have to stay with their grandparents or with a sitter, and at some point or the other, they may be exposed to unhealthy food. The fact is that most families live outside the main cities, and so they have to travel by car to get to work or to take their kids to school. Typically, any person should take around 10,000 steps every day, but that’s close to impossible in this day in age. Therefore, the first benefit offered by occasional martial arts sessions is exercise.

 

Learning stillness, patience, and focus, can be done with martial arts

This is a sport that requires a bit of patience, in that you need to be focused enough to predict the moves of your opponent and how he or she will hit you. Training sessions are organized according to a schedule, and so kids can work on their skills in a very practical way. Opponents have to be equal in terms of performance, to make sure that they’re able to take small steps toward perfecting their reflexes. Finally, in order to be a champ, any kid has to pay some attention to the instructor’s pieces of advice or indications.

They’ll learn to accept and take hits

Life’s anything but a piece of cake, and ups and downs are part of our reality. It’s difficult to explain to kids that they sometimes have to lose in order to win. On the one hand, martial arts can make them more ambitious as they can define the things that they will try to achieve later on, and a whole lot better. On the other hand, they’ll learn to accept defeat without feeling down. They’ll be able to think of any downfall as a small step toward their future victory.

 

The more they work on their performance, the higher the respect they’ll gain

Both their friends and themselves will have a higher opinion about them when they finally get that prize and hold it in their hands. Children tend to be too competitive, at times, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it can push them to do greater things.

About my blog

I’ve been a martial arts instructor for several years and am lucky enough to have my own Dojo. I decided to start this blog so I have a place to share some of the reasons why I am so passionate about martial arts, along with some of my favorite types. I also want people to understand that there are several benefits associated with martial arts, and hopefully encourage others to try a few classes. Who knows, maybe you will find that you are just as passionate about the sport as I am.

fi1

While I offer a variety of classes to my students, my favorite form of martial arts is the Brazilian Capoeira. If you’re not familiar with this style, don’t worry you’re not alone. It has only recently started to gain a following in the U.S. and Europe. The Capoeira was created by West Africans living in Brazil in the early 16th century. Set to music, often with drums prominently featured, it combines dance and aerobic moves that are designed to improve speed, strength and agility. Basically all of the aspects you typically need to succeed at most types of martial arts.

fi4

There are several benefits associated with Capoeira and other forms of martial arts. First of all you are getting exercise and this is always good for your overall fi5health. As you make your way through the various training exercises you are often getting a full body workout without even realizing it. Martial arts can also be a great form of cardio exercise and this can lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, along with significantly reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

fi3

Some of the other benefits I noticed throughout the years also include improvement in concentration and focus. Not only are these traits an advantage in training, they can also help you succeed in other areas of your life. Some top professionals credit their martial arts training as the reason they have risen so far in their fields. While I’m not saying that taking martial arts classes guarantees success, it definitely won’t hurt and in some competitive industries even the slightest edge can help you get ahead. The other main benefits I get from martial arts is better balance and stability in my movements.

fi2
I do want to point out that the benefits you get from martial arts training will depend on how much time and effort you are willing to put in. If you only train for a few hours a week, you probably won’t notice any significant changes. For those that find out that they love martial arts as much as I do, it won’t take long for them to notice improvements in all aspects of their lives.

 

 

Before embarking on my fitness club business, I made sure to interview a number of people to become part of my team. Since I had expected my team to be able to carry out the club’s daily fitness center operations, I required each of them to have degrees in Kinesiology, Exercise Science or any related field. I also specified that they be qualified group exercise instructors since I knew we would also be targeting groups of fitness enthusiasts who wanted a customized fitness plan for their unit, including seniors, kids, moms, business associates and the like.

In addition, I also wanted all my team members to be certified in CPR, First Aid, and AED. Most importantly, since every one of my staff would be interacting with customers on a one-on-one basis, I wanted them to possess strong interpersonal skills, exceptional communication skills and the ability to motivate and inspire clients towards their personal fitness objectives. In other words, I built a dynamic and proactive team that knew their huge responsibility to our customer base. I have been lucky thus far, because my operations manager/lead trainer, two personal trainers, two childcare staff and lone receptionist/clerk have shown a dedication and commitment to their jobs that has enabled my club to grow strongly based on personal endorsement by clients alone. We have even had to schedule Sundays as workdays, too, but since I love my staff, those are just under special request and premium rates as well. Yes, my fitness club has been lucky with my team and I intend to take care of my team members by making them as happy as possible working for me.

 

My club’s engaging programs and services

 

A successful fitness club, in my opinion, is more than just the facility itself. What you are really aiming for is offering a fascinating set of services that your team of fitness professionals can implement and inspire participation in. I have had to make sure my team develops and implements innovative fitness services and programs to engage our various clients. My fitness club offers individual fitness consultation and supervision while providing dynamic membership recruitment, enrolment and retention. Aside from group exercise programs, we have also made available motivational incentive programs and special events, as well as team-based activities. We regularly hold community outreach programs because corporate social responsibility is essential for our existence in the community.

 

My club’s facility operations
Running the daily operations with our own set of policies and procedures has become a serious pursuit for excellence. We maintain the club’s cleanliness and do preventative maintenance because we all want the club to exist many years down the road. I remind my team to be diligent with safety and risk management and to perform participant satisfaction analysis and reporting, which we discuss on a weekly basis. As the General Manager, I also make sure to introduce innovative technology platforms and perform market demand and interest surveys to see how we are doing with those platforms.