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Do you do Martial Arts?

I am a mom to two kids. And, I have a mom-body - soft and too flabby in some areas, but I'm mostly concerned about the tummy.

I'm interested in taking a martial art class to get in shape, but to also learn defense and to have a built-in motivator besides weight-loss (moving up in levels/belts).

So, do any of you do MA? Which ones? Can you recommend? What to look for in a MA center? Are there usually adult classes?

Re: Do you do Martial Arts?

  • I did Tae Kwon Do for many years, until I got my black belt and moved... I miss it like crazy!

    TKD and karate are great, but are more about self control rather than defense. You won't get a lot of self-defense training from either of those unless you take extra seminars (which are suuuper fun, but usually added money)

    DIfferent MA schools do different things. We had ages from 5 to 85 and they were pretty much mixed together...When it came time for sparring (fighting) and things they would separate between the age groups, though.

    When looking for an MA school that's right for you, some questions you will want to ask will be:

    - Do you separate classes into age groups (since this might be important to you)?

    - What is your mission? Do you teach a lot of self-defense?

    - How long does it take to level up between belts? (this usually varies. It takes longer the higher the belt you get, but kinda nice to know the layout of the instruction)

    -How much does it cost, and how often does a typical student attend (or expected to attend) classes? (many places take attendance VERY seriously. Most places require you to attend ____ classes before you can be tested for your next belt.) 

    -What days/times are your classes (you won't be motivated to go if they happen to fall at 530 and you get off work at 5.. then you will be running late all the time, miss classes, etc)? 

    - Do you offer extra seminars occasionally? What kinds? Do you ever have competitions within the school and with other schools?  (competitions are usually if not always optional, but can be EXTRA motivating. Plus, if a school competes with others it usually means they are good at encouraging and pushing their students to succeed and be very technical in their moves, which I think is important) 


    I'll add if I think of any more... HTH. 

  • I took Tae Kwon Do with my kids for a few years, until they moved on to other things. It was fun and a good workout, but sparring can be a bit painful. There was one guy who was very nice, but also really Really good and used to kick my ass routinely. It turns out that bruised ribs can hurt for quite some time.

    But I do kind of miss it. Sometimes.

  • No, afraid of getting kicked in the face.
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  • The most important determinant of the style of a dojo will be the instructor.  You cannot say that, for example, karate will be suitable and tae kwon do will not since the style will vary a lot from school to school.  Most schools will offer both adult and kids classes.

    Most schools will let you watch or participate in a class or two before making a commitment.  I would be wary of ones that charge more than a nominal fee to test for belts.  There are schools out there where you can basically buy your black belt which should be avoided.

    Look for an instructor whose teaching style you enjoy, that is a good mix for you of cardio/technique/strenth training, who emphasizes good form and posture, who emphasizes safety.  Different schools will focus more on hitting, kicking, throwing and falling, grappling and basic conditioning.  Not all schools will teach information that is relevant to self defense, some are more art and some are more practical.  Ones that are more sport based are less relevant to self defense than ones that are not, but the sport aspect is fun for many people and motivating for kids especially.

    I have been training in traditional jujitsu for about 7 years now. 

  • If your interested in more of a fitness aspect a lot of dojo's have cardio classes. 

    I was a fitness kickboxing instructor at a karate/TKD studio and my class ran the same time as the child classes. It was a way for the parents to get off the sidelines.

    If your kids are interested it could be an easy way to get everyone moving. I also did Muay Thai and it is super intense and a great work out. But self defense would be more along the lines of a jujitsu or JKD class, lots of great skills.

     And I agree with the PP most places will let you try a class before you buy. I suggest observing one then getting in the ring the next class so you know what to expect. Especially if your a shy individual.  

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