With 2017 drawing to a close, you might have started thinking about your resolutions for next year. Like many, it’s likely that getting in shape has been high on the list in the past. We all know that most people give up on their goals before seeing the desired results. As 2018 looms large on the horizon, perhaps it’s time to take a different approach? The gym can be monotonous. Swimming or jogging are lonely pursuits. Both these factors are killers when it comes to maintaining a fitness regime. To beat the boredom, few activities can stack up to martial arts. Along with crucial self-defence skills, most disciplines are a fabulous workout. However, with so many different forms, which is right for you? Let’s take a look:
Developed by the Israeli military, Krav Maga teaches students to protect themselves in real-world situations. Recent years have seen an explosion in the popularity of krav maga in Melbourne, London, New York, LA and pretty much everywhere else across the globe. Krav Maga blends numerous forms of martial arts and includes a great mix of twists, throws and strikes. This makes it great for both core and joint strength. In addition to a firm emphasis on strength training, a central element is fighting when tired. The exciting mix of intense, varied drills will test your endurance to the limits.
Whether your training in a ring or a boxercise class, boxing will not only build your strength but deliver a serious aerobic work-out. While not always be obvious when watching the pros on TV, boxing requires a physical intensity that will push your stamina to the maximum. As a defensive skill, it probably lacks much of the practical usefulness of others on this list. Also, with a heavy emphasis on upper-body strength, it’s not always the first choice of those looking for a more well-rounded regime.
Mixed Martial Arts
The UFC-fueled boom in MMA has seen gyms spring up everywhere. If you’re planning a career in the octagon, you might want to think again, as most classes bear little resemblance to the televised blood sport. However, you will get a superlative workout. Like Krav Maga, the mix of striking, grappling and throwing techniques will work every part of your body, and the intensity of the training will get your heart and lungs working overtime.
While the more gung-ho may scoff at including Tai Chi in a list of both martial arts and workouts, it has a genuine place on both. It might be a majorly slowed-down version; however, the movements are classical eastern fighting postures for both attack and defence. As a way for those of more advanced age, recovering from illness or injury or severely out of shape to improve their balance, flexibility and general fitness, it can be the perfect solution. You’re unlikely to drop too many pounds, but this low-impact art most certainly has its place.
I hesitated to include this one as it is far more a style of dance than a martial art. In fact, if you’re unfortunate enough to land yourself in physical danger, you will find Capoeira essentially useless. Having said that, if you’ve ever seen those ripped bodies with chiselled abs practising on the beach, you will have first-hand evidence of what this skill can do for your physique, flexibility, strength and aerobic condition.
Whatever your fitness goals, there are plenty of options out there, so try something a bit different and make those resolutions stick in 2018!