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Choosing Your Martial Art

It’s been some years since Ang Lee’s floating mixed martial arts spectacle threw thousands of daggers our way while Chinese Kun Fu masters wielded their swords during supernatural mid-air spins. Watch any fight scene from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and you’ll be inspired to test your own flight-and-fight prowess.

As martial arts grow in popularity so do the number of schools around the world. People join martial art classes for self-improvement, think self-control and self-confidence. Martial arts can teach you to how to defend yourself and any of the art forms are great at working every muscle in the body, building strength and improving flexibility.

Whether you want your kids to learn karate or just want to feel safer on the streets, there are a lot of options. Here are three fighting styles that will kick you into a martial art action whether you want to be a confident warrior or a disciplined self-defender.

Karate

The Karate Kid movie introduced us to a bullied Daniel LaRusso before his lucky encounter with a handyman who happened to be a karate master named Mr. Miyagi, and who taught Daniel discipline and self-defence.While you might not find Mr Miyagi fixing the plumbing at your office, plenty of great karate teachers offer classes that will increase your self-defence potential. Karate is not only a great workout, but offers the disciplinary skills to keep you focused and driven at work.

Kung Fu

Kung Fu teaches you to use utilise the whole body as a fighting machine. With Kung Fu, powerhouse blocks and low stances make it difficult for another fighter to make their move. Choose Kung Fu for a well-rounded workout. With simple, disciplined moves, Kung Fu techniques can immobilise another fighter.

Taekwondo

Every movement in Taekwondo needs to be fluid and precise. Dedication and precision work are needed to elevate your skills in this martial arts style. While all the martial arts require physical stamina, Taekwondo has a lot of leg and footwork so expect a great lower-body workout.

There are hundreds of martial art styles and variations, and even more schools advertising the ¨best martial art for you¨. Watch videos online, talk to friends and get recommendations for great teachers. You can always sit in a couple of classes to get a feel for the types of moves you can expect to be mastering. Every martial art will get you fit and disciplined, so first spend some time thinking about what you hope to achieve.

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Jennifer R