Are you a beginner or maybe your interested in learning a martial art or fighting style quickly? If so this is a must read guide to help kickstart your journey into Martial Arts.
What martial art can you learn quickly and easily so you can hold your own in a fight? Well the reality is not quite so quick and easy, unfortunately learning a martial art takes time and dedication.
Not what you wanted to hear right?
Sadly, there is no speedy martial art that you can pick up in few weeks and master in a few months. Although some people will learn faster than others, to become a competent practitioner of any art you need to be prepared to dedicate a lot of time.
If your interested in the self defence potential of some of the most popular martial arts its worth checking out this article here which covers everything you need to know to keep you safe on the streets.
Knowing why you want to learn
Although you will find many practitioners keen to tell you what they train is the ultimate martial art and they could take on anyone with it, this is just not the case. A cursory glimpse over to the world of MMA shows how a range of different martial arts can be leveraged with devastating efficiency.
When your looking for the best martial art its important to consider what this martial art is the best for? Are you concerned about self-defence, looking for the best martial art to keep you in shape or just looking for a fighting system that’s fun to learn.
All martial arts will cater for at least some of these motivations. For example, in the fitness category there are many boxing and kickboxing clubs that offer boxercise inspired classes. Sessions are attended by those who actively participate in the martial art an those who just want to add variety to their exercise regime. Classes are a mix of punching and kicking techniques mixed with traditional martial arts fitness exercises like skipping.
The best fighting style
On the most basic level martial arts can essential be split into two distinctive categories striking and grappling. Striking martial arts are all about hitting with the fists and sometimes the shins, knees and elbows. Striking martial arts are most well represented by Karate, Muay Thai or Taekwondo. Grappling on the other hand is best represented by Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Wrestling (not the WWE type).
When picking a martial art, you need to consider which of these styles appeals to you the most. Do you want to spend the majority of your time learning how to kick and punch a pad or how to throw someone to the ground and choke or manipulate there joints.
A second distinction that can be made in martial arts is between the traditional or sports based martial arts such as those named above, and the self-defence orientated martial arts. The latter pride themselves on teaching practitioners how to deal with real world situations (think being robbed at knife point for example).
One of the leading examples of a popular martial art that falls into the second category is Krav Maga. Originally Krav Maga was a hand to hand combat system taught to the Israeli military, but in recent years it has been adapted for self-defence and has experienced a growth in popularity in recent years.
Traditional martial arts also incorporate elements that the self-defence driven martial arts do not. These elements include;
- Traditional training uniforms such as the Gi worn in Judo and BJJ.
- Crazy practices like kicking boards in half or punching though objects.
- The practice of forms which are movements that need to be learned and demonstrated.
Whilst many traditional martial arts can be adapted for self defence they are not solely driven by this motivation. Which brings us full circle to the question of why do you want to learn a martial art?
The quickest Martial Art to Learn
If speed of learning really is of the essence the fastest martial art to learn to a basic standard is probably western boxing. I’m by no means saying boxing is an easy martial art to learn as that simply is not the case.
The reason that boxing is arguably the quickest martial art to learn is the relative simplicity of it in comparison to other martial arts. Boxing will teach you to strike with only two points of contact, both your fists. This is significantly less than the 8 points of contact you would be taught in Muay Thai.
Any martial art that requires you to kick will require flexibility in the legs and most people are surprised by how inflexible they really are when they try say Taekwondo for the first time. Developing flexibility takes a long time for most people, unless your naturally gifted in this department, so this will slow progress in martial arts that involve kicking.
Footwork forms another important part of boxing along with head movement, but you would be required to learn these elements with every other striking martial art too. If fact in martial arts where kicking is permissible you would need to learn the positions that a kick can be effectively landed from as well as a punch. With boxing you can work on these elements away from the gym to help maximise the time you do have there working on your punching technique!
You can’t learn to boxing quickly but you can learn boxing quicker than most other striking martial arts.
What about grappling? Grappling is a little more complex as each martial art tends to develop a different part of your grappling game. So, for instance if you wanted to get good at submissions on the ground then No-Gi BJJ would probably be the martial art of your choosing. If you wanted to get good at taking someone to the ground, then Judo is one of the premier martial arts in this field.
As far as martial arts go grappling usually has a wider range of techniques at its disposal so training to a competent standard can take years. In BBJ for instance its not uncommon for people to spend between 3 and 5 years at white belt before they receive there first belt promotion.
Although Judo doesn’t have such extremes for belt progression it does have an extensive syllabus of techniques that need to be mastered from both an offensive and defensive position.
Best martial art for beginners
This must be one of the most interesting questions that gets raised when people are considering starting a martial art. There’s no starter martial art that beginners need to do before thinking about doing an advanced martial art.
Depending on the size of the classes and the school or academy they may already split students into beginners, intermediate and advanced but sometimes everyone is lumped in together. Both ways of learning have their benefits. Novice classes can be great to for learning the fundamentals of an art but they lack the guidance more advanced students can offer during training. Mixed skill classes can help new starters gain a wholistic view of a martial art from the outset rather than being limited to learning the fundamentals. The drawback with this style of learning is it can be overwhelming for beginners.
Ultimately if your interested in martial art then the best thing to do is go along and try it out. Everyone starts out as a beginner at some point and if your lucky you might get pooled in with other beginners to ease you through this process.
There is no martial arts scale which determines in order to train x you must first have experience of y. The only exception to this would be MMA where it can be beneficial to have studied another martial art as this can be leant on as a base for MMA. Generally speaking if you have experience in one martial art the knowledge will translate over into a similar art but if your starting with nothing then you have nothing to lose.
Can you learn martial arts at home?
This question is maybe understandable if you live way to far away from any training facility, but this seems unlikely for most. A quick search online and you can find a few sites offering to teach you martial arts in the comfort of your own home. But does this really work?
Its hard to see how you can learn martial arts at home unless you’ve at least got a training partner to work on the techniques with. Whilst you can do forms in the mirror or practice on grappling dummies, its hard too see how this could in anyway be a substitute for real training at a martial arts gym.
At home you wont get the variety of training partners (if any at all), you wont be getting live in the moment corrections from an instructor so your bound to pick up loads of bad habits and how would you even know if any of it works if you haven’t got a training partner to test the techniques with.
Can you learn martial arts at home, probably not!
There are however certain things that you can do outside of the gym to help you progress. One resource a lot of martial artist find useful are books. There are tons of booked associated with pretty much every martial art and reading can help provide a new perspective on the art you are learning. If you want to progress at home to supplement your training Amazon is a great place to pick up a resource or two.
If reading is not your thing you can find great instructional videos on Youtube, although these tend to be more single technique driven than most reading materials.
What is the best Martial Art
Well we might be a little biased here at Get into Grappling but we think that any grappling martial art is a great martial art. What’s so good about grappling is the depth of techniques each individual style brings along with the small improvements which over time add up to big improvements in your game.
In grappling you can spar at close to 100% frequently with much less risk than is associated with martial arts such as Boxing and Muay Thai. In striking martial arts lots of fighters face long term health concerns in later life associated with all the strikes to the head they take.