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Looking to Get Fit? Try Martial Arts

It seems like everyone is into health these days. People jog, get a gym membership, join Zumba classes and do a variety of other activities to get in good physical shape. If you want to try a different approach to physical fitness, try martial arts. Today, we’ll go over how several popular martial arts can get you into great shape.

Karate

Karate is the Japanese art of striking, which uses punches, kicks, elbow and knee strikes, and other open-handed techniques. In certain styles of karate, vital point strikes, grappling, locks and throws are utilised. Because of its numerous exercises for the muscles, bones and the heart, karate improves its practitioners’ cardiovascular health, muscle tone, mobility, flexibility and overall fitness. Karate is a great way to reduce stress as well.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, is much more than a martial art—it’s also a combat sport, a means for promoting physical fitness and a self-defence system that emphasises grappling and ground fighting. The martial art was based on judo during the early 20th century. The art’s ground-based combat develops its practitioners’ strength, endurance, speed and flexibility. As a mixed martial art, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also brings about aerobic and anaerobic cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength and endurance, and overall cardiovascular health.

Muay Thai

Similar to other Indochinese kickboxing sports, Muay Thai is a combat sport that uses eight points of contact, namely punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes. Practising Muay Thai improves your balance, flexibility, core strength and overall physical strength. You’ll also enjoy better cardiovascular health and improved circulation, which is said to help fight type 2 diabetes.

Judo

Judo is an Olympic sport, combat sport and martial art created in Japan in 1882. The objective of judo is to throw or take down one’s opponent to the ground, or subdue one’s opponent through grappling manoeuvres, choke holds and joint locks. The grappling-based Judo provides many health benefits, including weight loss, improved metabolic rates, muscle growth, and lower predisposition to heart disease and obesity.

Kickboxing

The term "kickboxing" refers to the more general group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports that are based on punching and kicking. Muay Thai, as mentioned earlier, is a type of kickboxing sport. Practitioners of kickboxing enjoy intense cardiovascular and aerobic workouts that improve circulation and overall health.

Wrestling

Real wrestling (not the "pro wrestling" variety), is a type of combat sport that focuses on grappling holds such as clinch fighting, joint locks, pins and throws to gain a superior position over one’s opponent. Despite the wide range of styles available, wrestling is known to provide health benefits such as faster caloric expenditure and an improved metabolism. All that grappling will burn your fat and give you lean muscles.

Taekwondo

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that mainly focuses on kicks, although there are some techniques that use punches (i.e. closed fist). Taekwondo improves one’s muscle tone, stamina, flexibility, agility reflexes and anaerobic strength. It’s also great for improving your concentration and discipline, and reducing stress.

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