“A minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (MPA) per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity (VPA) per week or an equivalent combination of the two.“
In 2012, 33% of men and 45% of women aged 16 and over did not meet those recommendations. 26% of women and 19% of men were classed as inactive.
Why Martial Arts?
With those figures in mind, there are many benefits to practicing Martial Arts, ranging from the health benefits right through to real life application.
The health benefits are clear. Martial Arts is physically demanding regardless of style, meaning it is great for fitness. They will all develop physical strength, as well as flexibilty and cardiovascular endurance. With such close focus on studying your opponent, they also improve your co-ordination and concentration. Despite these being combative exercises, they also teach self control. They tend to focus on self-defence as opposed to being the aggressor in a confrontational situation.
The real life application is also a huge benefit to knowing self-defence. Government statistics show that from June 2014 to March 2015 there were over 10,000 robberies recorded in the UK. Even more shocking is that the police recorded 29,265 cases of rape. This was a 37% increase on the previous year and the highest since the records began in 2002/03.
Many people think “that will never happen to me, I live in a safe neighbourhood." Fact is, it can happen anywhere, and knowing self-defence can go a long way to the prevention of these horrible attacks. Self-defence will help people be more perceptually aware of there surroundings, which can help identify any threats around them. It will then teach how to deal with attackers, from basic techniques like shouting, right through to attacking vulnerable areas.
Which Martial Arts style is best for you?
Aikido is a Japanese Martial Art which is used as a form of self-defence. It is a physical style which requires quite a vigorous training regime. The overall aim is to teach the student to deal with conflicts quickly, without inflicting injury upon the aggressor. It requires a lot of control.
Taekwondo is a disciplined Martial Art that originated from Korea. It is recognised as one of the oldest Martial Arts in existence, and this is why it is one of the most mainstream across the globe. Taekwondo requires a more dynamic technique than some other styles and is considered to be quite scientific in its approach.
Karate, alike Taekwondo, is popular on a global scale. It is a highly effective form of self-defence and specifically focuses on unarmed combat. It teaches the student how to utilise the power of the body to both deliver and block attacks. It is easy to learn and the techniques involved are fairly simple to pick up.
Judo also focuses on unarmed combat, however it teaches a less combative style and pays closer attention to grappling and submission. It trains you with a more tactical approach which shows you how to use your opponents strength against them. The overall aim is to ground your opponent and immobilise them. Judo is extremely popular, especially since its introduction to the Olympic games in Tokyo in 1964.
Jiu Jitsu has a rich heritage which originated in the 17th century. It was developed as a battlefield martial art by the Samurai as a method of combating armed opponents whilst unarmed. It uses a combination of styles with a mixture of strikes and grappling moves. Jiu Jitsu teaches how to evade attacks and directly focuses upon your opponents weak spots, such as pressure points in the body and how to attack nerves.
Krav Maga is the most modern of the Martial Arts in this list. It was created in the 1940's by the Israeli Army and draws upon techniques from Aikido, Judo, Wrestling and Boxing. It teaches students how to neutralise threats in aggressive situations as quickly as possible. It is widely used by the military and police force.
Kickboxing has been developed more as a sport than any of the others mentioned in this article. It is a Mixed Martial Art which teaches techniques now heavily featured in UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). It is taught as a combat sport and focuses on strength and aggression more so than traditional Asian Martial Arts. It is very fast and physically demanding, which helps improve strength, cardiovascular endurance and co-ordination.
How to get into a Martial Arts Class
Taking up a Martial Arts class can have a huge positive influence on your life and it's becoming increasingly easy to make it part of your weekly routine. On Martial Arts Near You, there are hundreds of instructors and clubs listing their Martial Arts classes and they're always looking for new students.
There are many different styles and regardless of whether you are a beginner or an experienced martial artist, then there is something for you. To find a class, simply visit the MANY homepage and use our class locater tool. Enter your postcode and you'll find classes in your neighbourhood. Get in touch with the instructors and get more information about what the class involves and whether it would be suitable for you.