Self Defence and Martial arts are a noble family of combat sports that have deep and respectable origins from different countries around the world. If you are a complete novice in martial arts, or even if you have mastered one and are seeking to expand your knowledge, you have most likely come to the point where you are seeking a style that is right for you, your lifestyle, and your desired outcomes from learning a particular martial art.
One could argue that in recent times, as a whole, martial arts has grown from being an image of heroic pop-culture sporting to being a valid sport to practice for fitness and self defence; that anyone of any age and gender can incorporate into their routines. This such is true when you look at the range and diversity of martial arts schools found across the country, and in your Dubbo community.
But you are probably asking, ‘which martial art is right for me?’ One short definitive answer is that there is no single dominating art. Your choice comes down to your preferences of style, your ability, and your willingness to learn. In this article, we’re going to break down some pieces of useful information for some of the most well known martial arts that could be useful in your search:
Developed in Korea, Taekwondo has become one of the most popular martial arts in the world and became an official Olympic sport in 2000. Focusing on kicking, students learn complex spinning and jumping kicks as well as basic front and side kicks, and teachings emphasise that a strong, well-executed kick can prevent you from having to fight an opponent at a closer range.
Developed in Okinawa, Japan, Karate stresses striking techniques, such as punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands (karate chop). In comparison to Taekwondo, Karate tends to focus more on hand strikes, whereas Taekwondo emphasises kicking techniques.
Developed in Israel, Krav Maga involves wrestling, grappling and striking techniques, mostly known for its extremely efficient and brutal counter-attacks used to keep the practitioner safe and incapacitate the opponent. Generally, there are no rules in Krav Maga, no federation, and no official uniform. Although, some schools have formalised the art with progress recognized through rank badges, levels, and belts.
Developed in China, Kung Fu really is a collection of styles that have flourished over the centuries. Some of the most famous are Shaolin Kung Fu and Wing Chun (the latter made famous by Bruce Lee, who learned under the tutelage of Grandmaster Ip Man). The internal styles focus mainly on harnessing of chi, while external styles concentrate on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is full contact art that allows a variety of fighting styles to be used, even including non-martial arts techniques. Striking and grappling techniques, either standing or on the ground, are allowed. The early years of the sport saw a wide variety of traditional styles, but as the sport evolved many styles were shown to be ineffective. It is now common for fighters to train in multiple styles, creating a more balanced skill set.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Developed in Brazil, with roots in Japan (through the Jiu Jitsu element) Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an all around merciless self defence art. Students of BJJ Dubbo are taught an arsenal of aggressive and effective locks, leg locks and chokes. Two key elements of BJJ involve understanding the attacker’s centre of gravity and balance, and each defence becomes a counter attack.
At the end of the day, the number one way to determine if a martial art is right for you, is to go along to the next available class and become involved and immersed in it’s teachings. Soon enough, you will recognise just when you have found a compatible martial art for you.