Martial Arts Basics
There are many great reasons to train in a martial art. The recent surge in popularity of mixed martial arts, or MMA, means that today there are more venues than ever before offering martial arts courses.
People choose to get involved in the martial arts for a variety of reasons. Training in the martial arts builds discipline, calms the mind, promotes confidence, and prepares you to face the challenges that you may encounter in life. So whether you’re looking into martial arts training for self-defense, discipline and spirituality, fitness, or any other reason, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with the basics and some popular styles.
The Basics of Martial Arts Training
Despite the differences in origin and style, most martial arts consist of similar techniques and skills that form a base for the art. Some general basic moves shared by most martial arts styles are kicking, striking with the open hand, leg sweeps, parries, elbow and knee strikes, punches, and various evasion tactics.
Most styles incorporate footwork, as well as stances that facilitate either defense, attacking, or both. Many styles also use grappling. Those arts typically also use throws, take downs, chokes and bars, submission holds and other mat work techniques.
All martial arts disciplines utilize a combination of meditation, study and repetition of moves and forms. Sparring or grappling are also practiced by students as they ascend through instruction on their way to mastery.
The Basic Style Types
1. Circular Styles
Some styles use circular techniques, focused on redirecting the energy of incoming attacks to the practitioner’s advantage. Through years of study, you can learn to handle an attacker using these styles.
Examples of circular styles include Aikido and Hapkido, Japanese and Korean arts, respectively, that share a similar origin. Aikido is the gentler of the two – the aim of an Aikido practitioner is to deflect incoming attacks and incapacitate the aggressor with pins, locks, or throws that do not cause serious harm. Hapkido is also primarily a defensive art, but it also incorporates kicking, punching, and other offensive tactics.
2. Linear Styles
Other styles rely on linear techniques. Linear attacks are more aggressive and usually rely on force to overpower opponents. Because of this, larger, stronger individuals will have an innate advantage in linear styles. With training, speed, and good technique smaller people may be able to compensate. All else being equal, though, the linear fighter of greater strength and size will win.
Examples of linear styles include Karate and Taekwondo.
3. Ground Styles
Other styles rely primarily on grappling, groundwork, and submission holds. These ground styles include Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the latter of which is by far the most common. Commonly called BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art used for sport and self-defense. It is more aggressive than circular styles, as practitioners actively seek ways to choke and submit opponents rather than redirecting attacks, but does not include striking or kicking.
Whichever martial arts tradition you choose, let Century Martial Arts be your resource for all your training equipment needs. Beginners and advanced students alike will find everything they need to start, continue, and perfect their martial arts skills.