Let’s look at some great fighting sports you can train to keep yourself fighting fit and be able to defend yourself. Not all martial arts are sport some are actually made for war or for self-defence only, those are dangerous as a sport due to some techniques. Fighting sports are things like boxing, tae kwon do, kick boxing etc with many being part of the Olympics, Let’s look at some of my personal favorites, hopefully this will inspire you to take one of those up 🙂
Boxing is a great self defense and one of the best fighting sports, amateur boxing is part of the Olympics and commonwealth games. There are also professional boxers both men and women. Probably the most popular combat sport in the world and more popular in the western world, Boxers fight and different weights and equal skill levels, making their bouts more competitive.
To become a good boxer you will need to be dedicated and consistent it requires a high level of physical fitness, having plenty of repetitive training like bag work (punching heavy bag, speed ball), running, sparring, exercises etc
Being able take punches is essential, In the body and face, protective equipment is used. Boxing gloves, gum shields, head guard if required and groin protection.
There is a lot of different styles in boxing and you will find your preferred style once you start, those styles are:
Boxer: Fighting at distance using the jab and skill, must have good reflexes and speed. Wearing the opponent down mostly winning on points.
Puncher: Good all round boxer fighting at close range using technique and power, great movers eventually knocking the opponent out on most occasions
Counter-Puncher: Slippery and defensive fighters using the opponents mistakes to deliver punches with pin point accuracy and speed. Great footwork and awareness with fast reflexes they avoid and block oncoming attacks.
Brawler: Lack finesse and footwork and ignore boxing combinations using punch power to overpower the opponent with continuous attacks beating down the opponent. They are also able to take lots of punishment.
Swarmer: Also known as pressure fighters staying closing using combinations of hooks and upper cuts, suited to shorter boxers as they need to stay close. Eventually wearing the opponent down,
Boxing has amazing benefits: self-confidence, stress reduction, fat burning, muscle toning, improved core, Strong bones and joints, increased cardiovascular system. Increase strength and power and improves co-ordination.
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Judo a great self defense is also part of the Olympic games and is a great fighting sport, origins from jujitsu. Techniques involve throws, take downs, pins, joint locks, chokes. Only in pre arranged forms or kata`s strikes or thrusts with hands or feet and weapon defense can be used. The focus of judo is wrestling and grappling, One of the fighting sports which involves a great self defense system and is a physically demanding martial art. I have previously written a full detailed post on judo please visit my post on the link below.
One of the great fighting sports Karate has a long history and mainly uses punches, kicks, knees, elbows, open palm, knife hand, striking vital points and some modern karate styles also use locks and some grappling techniques. A highly physical fighting sport using mainly hands and feet. Karate is also part of the Olympic games and. Originates from Okinawa.
Karate is practiced all over the world and is very popular you will be able to find a club in most cities without looking too hard. Can be practiced for only self defense or as a sport, who knows if you are young enough you could end up representing your country in the Olympics.
Some styles have weapon training but the focus is on kata`s, sparring, combination techniques and pre – arranged drills. With practicing of various punches, kicks, chops, stances etc
Also the fitness element which could include many exercises for physical fitness like running, push-ups, squats, sit ups etc. benefits include aerobic, anaerobic, power, flexibility, agility, stamina, strength, speed and stress reduction.
A competitive sport with plenty of sparring (light or semi) and competitions to keep your reflexes sharp and keep you in sharp.
Some styles of Karate do have some conditioning training where specialist equipment is used to develop striking and gripping
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Taekwondo is a Korean martial art, this fighting sport can be trained as a self defense and sport. Mainly using high kicks to the head, jumping spinning kicks, fast kicking techniques all above the waist height only. This martial art was developed in the 1940`s
This martial art is part of the Olympics focusing on kicking above the waist, you will need great LEG FLEXIBILITY. Also, has blocks and punches in the main curriculum.
Due to the high kicks and acrobatic moves physical fitness is a must and doing this art will get you in great shape with the additional exercises and sparring. The use of protective padding while training,.sparring and competition to protect you from injury.
Basic Curriculum of Taekwondo
Forms: containing various techniques, defense and attack etc
Sparring: great for practicing your techniques and keeping your reflexes sharp
Breaking: This is demonstrates the power of the martial art and various techniques, focusing on speed. Must only be attempted once you have reach the level required. Items such as wood, tile, bricks etc
Self defense: these are special techniques for self defense, including kicks, punches, lock, throws and strikes. Tending to avoid grappling.
Anaerobic and aerobic workouts, stretching increasing flexibility, relaxation techniques, MEDITATION, breathing control, discipline, self-confidence and etiquette.
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All the above fighting sports are part of the Olympic Games they are also known as sports as well as self defense martial arts. If you start training young enough and reach the required level you may be able to fight for your country in the Olympic Games. I have provided a basic overview of the fighting arts above to give you an idea of those amazing martial art systems.
Those fighting sports are all great for cardiovascular fitness, helping you maintain a good weight by training them as a sport.
If you prefer high intensity training any one of the above martial arts would be great for you start.
Choosing one of the above martial arts you will need to decide what style suits you best.
Boxing: fighting with your fists
Judo: mainly Throwing and locks and chokes
Karate: Kicks, punches, kata`s
Taekwondo: mainly high kicks (good flexibility needed)
Let me know your thoughts on fighting sports it would be great to hear from you.
Train hard, focus and practice,