Can learning a Martial Art keep you fit?
Any Fitness instructor or “Guru” will tell you that in order to get fit and stay fit, you need to develop a routine. This routine should comprise of good practices which include exercise and diet watching. Normal and regular gym sessions coupled with a dedicated instructor can achieve this. But routine, overtime, becomes mundane and the participating party gets bored and looses focus. That is why most people cannot keep up the discipline and consistency that is needed to achieve optimum fitness. It requires sheer strength of will and absolute discipline. Both traits that are naturally cultured in all forms of martial arts.
We are going to take a quick look at why learning a martial art can keep you fit. As we have already mentioned, all forms of martial arts be it, Judo, Karate, Kick-Boxing, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Tae Kwon Do or the extremely diverse Ninjitsu among many more, demand the highest level of discipline. This goes a long way in making sure your consistency doesn’t suffer from lethargy or just plain laziness.
Martial arts exercises keep you flexible and boost your stamina. Every discipline in martial arts requires flexibility and very high stamina. The various movements and techniques taught are not conducive for the rigid nor the weak. To achieve the required level of flexibility and stamina, there are specific stretching techniques and strength training courses that every martial arts student must undertake. These are commonly incorporated within the training period. As you learn a new style or fighting/defense position, you will also learn a new training course to go with it. Kicking styles demand leg muscle flexibility and stamina, you will therefore concentrate on this part of your body to achieve optimum results.
In martial arts, your cardiovascular system is given a very high priority. In order to control the flight or fight mode that kicks in with the adrenaline rush, you need to learn proper breathing techniques which often (read always) require you to have a steady heart beat and powerful lungs. Practices such as ‘Kung Fu aerobics’, ‘cardio kickboxing’ and ‘boxercise’ are all techniques that martial arts students learn in their quest to master their chosen art. A steady and strong heart means coupled with the constant exertion means less cholesterol.
All form of martial art have high intensity sessions that require the utmost exertion by the student. These session go along way in boosting your strength and endurance levels over time. By undertaking a complete workout session, normally an hour long, regularly, student burn off lots of calories which would have otherwise accumulated and ultimately contribute to their lack of fitness. These exercises are meant to teach or perfect particular techniques but they do more than just hand you a skill, they keep your body fit and healthy.
Lastly, because every highly intense physical activity requires a proper healthy diet, martial arts helps the student stay healthy in this aspect as well. Junk food and any other harmful intakes will no longer be tolerated. This is not a decree but as a student you will intuitively pick up this healthy living habit. To achieve optimum efficiency, your body will need the necessary fuel.
With the discipline martial arts fosters, you will no longer have lame excuses as to why your cholesterol levels are too high or why you cannot fit through the door.
Wing Chun Halesowen’s Instructor, Sifu Alan has been involved in martial arts since 1992. Sifu Alan holds a Level 2 Coaches Certificate through the BCCMA, and has a passion and dedication for the passing on of the martial art of Wing Chun. Sifu Alan offers a unique approach to learning, utilising aspects of both physical and psychological aspects of training to help the student fully understand the reasons behind their training. Sifu Alan does not want the “copy as I do” approach, he wants his students to know, feel and understand what they can do within the Wing Chun System.
Sifu Alan is CRB checked and registered to work with children and young adults.
MIDLANDS WING CHUN KUEN – Director: Grandmaster Ip Chun, Chief Instructor: Si-Fu S. Rawcliffe All Midlands Wing Chun Kuen Instructors are Registered Members of: British Council for Chinese Martial Arts (BCCMA), Sports Coach UK ~ The National Coaching Foundation and Ving Tsun Athletic Association in Hong Kong.