Martial arts have always had an air of mystery, and this explains why there are so many myths and misunderstandings surrounding the subject. Many people instantly think of Bruce Lee when they consider taking up some form of self defense, and the conspiracy theories around his death add to the sense of secrecy. In reality, people of all ages and from all walks of life enjoy martial arts training, and classes are open to all.
If you’re thinking of learning a martial art, the following myths will help to understand what’s really involved.
Having A Black Belt Makes You A Deadly Fighter
Gaining a black belt in any martial art is a great achievement, but it doesn’t mean you are a lethal weapon. Black belts in many arts will openly admit that their skills are of little value in a street fight. Earning the right to wear a black belt is evidence of strength of character, self discipline, dedication and respect. It doesn’t make you invincible.
You Need Physical Strength To Train In Fighting Arts
Martial arts like Aikido use an attackers force and weight against them, so little strength is required. Many striking arts work on the basis of speed rather than force. Images of expert fighters with a six-pack and rippling muscles come from the movies, and they aren’t typical of the people you’ll meet in most dojos and training centers in the real world.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Is The Only Effective Martial Art
It’s true that experts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu have dominated competitions in recent years, but it’s not the only effective fighting system. For example, some styles of Karate can be traced back hundreds of years, and have been used on the battlefield. Grappling and ground-fighting isn’t for everyone, and there are many effective martial arts to choose between.
Consider what your goals are before you decide on a martial art. For example, do you want to win medals in competitions or learn how to protect yourself on the street.
Martial Arts Training Is A Waste Of Time Unless It Involves Full Contact Sparring
Learning to manage confrontations, block an attack and deal with an adrenalin rush when threatened are just as important as being able to punch and block. An experienced martial art instructor will teach you a range of life skills for dealing with and managing conflict. Resorting to violence when threatened can escalate the situation to the point where a fight is inevitable. Using your fists should always be a last resort.
Earning A Black Belt Is A Way Of Life
You’ll need commitment and dedication to earn a black belt, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up other things in life. Family and work commitments needn’t suffer. Training two or three times a week for three to five years is enough to earn a black belt in most martial arts. You’ll notice other areas of your life improve as you take the journey, and this will help you to keep going.
You Have To Break Boards And Bricks To Earn A Black Belt
Board breaking was popular in the 1970’s, but it’s rarely used as a form of training now. It’s used in some children’s classes as it can help to build confidence, but most martial arts use more practical ways to develop strength and focus.
Martial Artists Have To Enter Competitions If They Want To Progress
Competitions can be a great way to test your skills, but very few clubs will force you to take part in them. Martial arts competitions are an opportunity to meet people from other clubs, but the pressure of competing isn’t for everyone.
Don’t be put off by the myths surrounding martial arts if you’re interested in signing up for classes. Most clubs are keen to attract new students, and good instructors will make you welcome and teach you their skills in a structured way.