Martial arts is an umbrella term used for systems of training for combat. Boxing, karate, tai chi, tae kwon do, krav maga, kung fu, kickboxing, wrestling, and jiu jitsu all fall into the martial arts category, because they all have the same underlying principle — protection from physical threat. Martial arts can be broken into five categories including: grappling styles, stand-up or striking styles, low-impact styles, weapons-based styles, and MMA (a hybrid sports style).
Now that the weather is finally workout-friendly, you've gotten back into your Spring training groove. To keep your momentum from losing any speed, be sure to mix up your workout routine with interesting new classes. Here are three types of martial arts sports that are guaranteed to mix up your regular workout routine!
- Krav Maga: Krav Maga, which means "constant combat" in Hebrew, is taught to special forces in Israel and law enforcement agencies in the US as a method of self-defense. Since krav maga is a fighting technique that isn't regulated, whatever incapacitates the opponent is fair game. Its main principles include counterattacking as soon as possible; to harm the most vulnerable areas of the body, including the eyes, throat, groin, and knee; respond to your attacker with a stream of counterattacks as soon as they attack you; maintain awareness of your surroundings to protect yourself from any further attackers. Krav maga will provide you with a serious workout — just think of it as self defense 101!
- Tai Chi: Originating in China, tai chi combines mental concentration with slow, controlled movements to focus the mind and help the body improve its "qi" — energy that is said to help maintain good health and quiet the mind. Because of its effortless yet effective nature, tai chi is great for older people who want to improve their strength and flexibility, experience stress relief, or decrease their blood pressure.
- Tae Kwon Do: Tae kwon do is an ancient sport of Korean origin, a discipline that demonstrates ways to enhance the spirit and life through training the body and the mind. An official game in the Summer Olympics, Tae kwon do utilizes your fists and your feet as a way to control fights. Interestingly enough, "Tae" means foot or leg; "Kwon" means fist or fight; and "Do" means the way or discipline.