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Health Building Blocks:

Thinking Of Starting A Martial Arts Class?

medicalOften people use the new year as the perfect time to try new things. If you are looking for something that will increase your health as well as offer some fun, consider joining a martial arts studio. Choose a style that most interests you and you will be happier and reach any of your other goals much quicker.

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Your never too old to start martial arts. I was pleasantly surprised when I joined my class last August. First of all, the studio name is Karate 4 Kids... I'm over 30 years young and while I'm a big kid, I'm still big and not a kid. Nevertheless, I really love the method of how my instructors teach the adult kids. It's informative, realistic and fun. Since each instructor is different from each other, they're personalities and teaching style offers each class a different feel. Each teacher takes the classes seriously but they don't take themselves too seriously. They definitely have fun when occasions permit them to.

My fellow students are a wide range of ages. The class attendees are anywhere from 15 to 65 years young and range from high school students to parents to the single gal (that would be me). I earned my first karate belt just prior to Christmas Vacation but am currently taking a break from class and I hate it. I hurt my back New Year's Eve weekend and am recovering from the injury. I hate missing class and I didn't realize how much I would miss it. My karate classes have been a great escape after work. In addition, if you read My Weight Loss Story you'll read how karate has helped me lose a lot of weight. So, I am patiently waiting for my back to heal and I can't wait to return to class.

Children can get wonderful benefits out of martial arts, but it's important to choose a school where your child will feel safe, click with the instructor and enjoy him or her self, so that they will learn the positive lessons. Below are some of the best reasons for your child followed by the best reasons that you and or your family to start martial arts. Remember, you are never too old to do anything or to start learning something new. The key is finding the matching instructor / studio for you and or your child.

Top 5 Reasons To Enroll Your Child In Martial Arts

Physical Fitness: Childhood obesity rates are climbing, and more and more children are spending a lot more time in front of the television, playing video games and using a computer.

Life Skills: These skills include discipline, self control, patience, courage and self confidence.

Behavior Issues: Many parents turn to the martial arts when their children are acting out in school and at home. This is tied in to the life skills reason. Martial arts can help improve attention span, respect, demeanor and self control.

Self Defense: The focus of a good children's martial arts class, while still teaching self defense movements will be based in conflict resolution, personal responsibility and confrontation avoidance.

Safe After School Activity: A good martial arts school can become a second home for many children. The relationships built between classmates and with an instructor can last a lifetime and have a huge positive impact on a child's life

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Top 3 Reasons Adults Should Take Martial Arts


Physical Fitness: It's one of the best ways to lose weight, get in shape and be healthier. Plus, just like kids, more of us are spending 30 + hours in front of a screen of some kind (TV and computers).

Life Skills: Self confidence, patience and discipline. Why discipline? If you commute or live in a major city like I do, where rudeness is part of life, than you can help yourself stay disciplined by not reacting to they're thoughtlessness.

Self Defense: You may never need to use what you learn, than again, you may need it just once in your life. It's better to know than not to know.

Types of Martial Arts

Stand-up Styles

Stand-up styles utilizes punching, kicking and blocking as the main focus of their art.

  • Karate
  • Kung Fu
  • Tae Kwon Do
  • Boxing/Kickboxing
  • Krav Maga

Ground Fighting or Grappling Styles

Ground fighting or grappling/locking styles do not limit their teaching to the ground. The term simply means that they have a large focus on the "wrestling" aspect of combat.

  • Brazilian Jujitsu
  • Shooto or shoot fighting
  • Sambo

Throwing Styles

Throwing styles are styles that primarily start from a standup position but utilize throws, trips, locks and other means to disrupt the balance of an opponent. Some of these styles are:

  • Judo
  • Aikido
  • Shuai Jiao (Chiao)
  • Hapkido

Weapons Based Styles

Weapons based styles are just that, styles that focus the majority of their practice on the use of one or more weapons. These tend to be more traditional or cultural arts, however some arts such as Kali still have a strong combat or self defense focus. A lot of dance troupes incorporate weapons based styles into dance collaboration, so while you may think this style ahs no purpose in today's world, it can be used not only in self defense but in some very beautiful dance performances.

  • Kali
  • Iado
  • Kendo

Low Impact or Meditative Styles

These styles, while originally formed for combat purposes, have evolved into what are today more focused on breathing, internal energy, stress relief and a low impact form of martial arts training and exercise.

  • Tai Chi
  • Ba Gua
  • Chi Gong based styles


you are never too old to do anything or to start learning something new. The key is finding the matching instructor / studio for you and or your child.

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