Thinking of starting martial arts or are you considering taking your studies in a new direction? Martial arts can provide a great workout, help with mental discipline, and improve your health. The various types of martial arts are not the same. Find out which ones would work best for your fitness goals and your personality.

Aikido

This is the form of martial arts performed by Steven Seagal. It originated in Japan and focuses on redirecting attacks. Grabs, throws, and other techniques are used to nullify the attacker’s force and strikes. Aikido also used strikes, pins, and joint locks.

Karate

This martial art was originally from Okinawa, Japan. It is possibly best known for its usefulness in breaking wooden boards but that simplified view of Karate doesn’t capture its variety of techniques. In addition to punches, it focuses on kicks as well as strikes with knees and elbows.

Kendo

If you’ve enjoyed spending quality time playing video games with sword fighting, kendo could be right for you. Kendo originated in Japan and it primarily focuses on sword fighting. Channel your inner samurai! Practice in this sport can include protective armour and the use of wooden swords.

Kung Fu

Kung Fu is one of the best known martial arts. It originated in China and it emphasizes kicks and hand and arm strikes. There are many different schools of Kung Fu with a variety of forms. Many schools include teaching the use of traditional weapons. In addition to training with staffs, swords, or spears, some Kung Fu schools use a variety of other weapons, as well.

Qi Gong

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Also written qigong (pronounced “chee-gong”) is an ancient system that originated in China. It is used for both exercise, physical training, and healing. Qi Gong includes controlled breathing, mediation, and movement. The “Qi” in Qi Gong refers to each person’s vital energy (also called “chi”) whereas gong means “mastery”. This system is therefore focused on mastering your own energy and creating an energy balance.

There are a number of varieties of Qi Gong around the world. They range from forms focused primarily on meditation and breathing to ones that have a great emphasis on martial arts exercises.

Taekwondo

One of the most popular competitive martial arts, Taekwondo originated in Korea. It is known for kicks and punches. This includes spinning kicks and other impressive techniques you’ve undoubtable seen in the movies.

Tai Chi

If you have joint issues, Tai Chi might have been recommended to you as a great option. This martial art is often associated with older people due to its use of slow movements. You have probably seen images of seniors practicing Tai Chi in the park together, performing a serious of movements in unison. Don’t be fooled into thinking this martial art isn’t a good workout. The slow movements require muscle and breath control. The slower movements develop better balance and strength. There are also more rigorous forms of Tai Chi that include self-defence techniques.

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