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Martial Arts For Fitness Cardio and Flexibility Are a Byproduct of Training

Martial arts are one form of training that has multiple benefits. One rather obvious benefit is that you learn fighting and defense techniques that may serve you well at some point in your life.

While we may not seek out physical confrontations, on rare occasions they are unavoidable.

Another benefit of training in the martial arts is the self discipline that you learn in an effort to perfect the art.

This aspect crosses over into our daily lives and benefits our school study habits, focus and discipline at work and our relationships with other people.

An accomplished martial artist also exudes confidence that is read by those with whom we have contact.

As a fitness exercise, any martial art - judo, karate, taekwondo, kung-fu, savatte, kempo, aikaido, jujitsu or others - provide a venue for improving our flexibility and cardiovascular health, also some strength-resistance benefits are derived. This will help prevent athletic injuries for your workouts.

Flexibility is critical to being a martial artist. A significant amount of training time is spent in a specific type of stretching that is designed to increase our joint flexing and muscle and ligament plasticity.

Leg and torso flexibility is paramount in most of the martial arts since kicking techniques are a large part of the forms used.

Women tend to be more flexible in their lower bodies and perform well in systems that emphasize kicking like the Korean styles taekwondo and tang soo do. (Think Chuck Norris)

fat burning furnace

Every aspect of martial arts training involves cardio fitness.

* The stretching and warm ups are aerobic and are at least the equivalent of fifteen or twenty minutes of stair-stepping or riding a moderate speed treadmill on a steep incline.

* The practicing of throws, grappling, punching, kicking and blocking techniques also involves low impact, high repetition moves for a significant period.

* High impact punches, kicks and blocks on a heavy bag will work up a sweat, but are also providing some resistance training for the muscles.

* Kumite, free-style sparring, pumps up your metabolism, floods your system with adrenaline and expends a lot of energy. It is very aerobic.

* Kata, a choreographed series of karate moves that involve punches, kicks and blocks while moving in a predetermined pattern on the floor. Performing kata is like running wind-sprints and is aerobic.

* Push-ups, sit-ups, leg raises, torso bending and twisting are part of martial arts conditioning. These provide some resistance training, but are also quite aerobic.

Whatever the system or style, martial arts training incorporated into your fitness schedule can be of great benefit to you.

For many practitioners, the martial arts become a way of life as well as an important fitness regimen. An added benefit is the confidence of being prepared for nearly any situation.

The added flexibility and conditioning will be of assistance in other aspects of your fitness program. Your children may be interested in training, too, so this can be a family activity.

Some health and fitness clubs also offer martial arts classes for their members. Otherwise you may seek out martial arts centers in your local community through the various directories available to you.

Many local colleges and university have martial arts clubs for students, faculty members and other interested persons.

Regardless of you reasons for doing so, the inclusion of martial arts in you health and fitness plan is a good idea.

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