Try Something New – Martial Arts

Try Something New – Martial Arts

Try Something New – Martial Arts

If you’re looking for a fun way to get fit, why not try martial arts? You’ll improve your coordination and flexibility, it’s a great way to meet people, and it can really boost your confidence. And you’re never too old to learn. Many clubs offer adult or mixed classes.


Which martial art to choose

There are several types of martial art to choose from. It’s worth finding out a bit more about all the different ones that are offered in your local area. Are you mainly looking for a way to keep fit or do you want to learn self-defence? Do you want to take part in competitions? Do you want to learn to fight with weapon such as swords or sticks, or would you rather focus on unarmed combat?

Clubs usually offer taster sessions for free or at a reduced rate, so you could try a few types to see which one most appeals.

How to learn

You’ll want to join a club that’s registered with a governing body, such as the Tae Kwon-Do Association of Great Britain or The British Karate Association. Make sure that the club is fully insured and check the senior instructor’s credentials. If you’re hoping to compete, you may want to choose a larger club that has been successful in tournaments. If you’re just looking for a fun activity, you might prefer a smaller club with a family atmosphere.

It’s worth asking for recommendations on social media and within your friendship group.

What you’ll need

For most martial arts, you’ll need to buy an outfit, such as a dobok (tae kwon-do) or gi (karate, judo, aikido, and jiujitsu). However, clubs will usually let you wear normal sports clothes for your first few sessions.

It’s a good idea to wait to buy the outfit until you’ve spoken to your instructor, as they may need you to wear a uniform that’s branded with the club logo or that’s been approved by their parent association. Branded outfits tend to cost around £30 to £40, but non-branded gis are often a lot cheaper. You can also pick up second-hand outfits on eBay and dedicated Facebook selling groups.

As you progress, you may need more equipment, such as a sparring kit. Again, these can often be picked up second-hand.

How much it costs

Costs vary depending on the type of martial art. You’ll likely need to pay an annual membership fee of £20 to £40, plus a monthly payment for classes. Some clubs do offer a ‘pay as you go’ membership, however. Gradings (where you move onto the next level or belt) cost extra, as do tournaments.

If you’re worried about the cost, the best thing to do is speak to the club’s senior instructor. They’ll be able to give you a good idea of how much you can expect to spend over the year.

Kevin Spowart
Author: Kevin Spowart

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