Choosing a Martial Arts School Going To Martial Arts Classes Supplementing Your Classes with Research Article Summary Questions & Answers Related Articles This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Together, they cited information from 10 references. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article meets our high standards.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has over 310,461 views and 80% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Learn more… If you want to learn martial arts, there’s nothing that can replace training under an experienced instructor. In order to start training, you’ll have to find a martial arts school in your area and sign up for your first class. From there, you’ll need to attend class regularly, stay humble, and listen to the instructor to improve. With enough dedication and hard work, you can learn to become proficient in martial arts. Method 1 Choosing a Martial Arts School 1 Determine which martial art interests you the most. Watch videos online of different martial artists to get an idea of which style you want to learn. If you are looking for practical self-defense tactics, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, or Krav Maga may be for you. If you want to learn a more traditional martial art that also puts an emphasis on discipline and tradition, Wing Chun Kung Fu, Taekwondo, and Karate are great martial arts to learn. Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Krav Maga put an emphasis on grappling, ground and pound, and submissions. Krav Maga also covers stand-up striking and weapon defense. Muay Thai is a stand-up discipline from Thailand that emphasizes punches, kicks, elbows, and knees. Wing Chun Kung Fu, Taekwondo, and Karate concentrate on stand-up striking, which includes punches and kicks. You can use all martial arts for self-defense, but Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, and Krav Maga use the most practical tactics and concentrate less on ceremony and “set-up” scenarios. 2 Search online for classes in your area. Look for martial arts classes in your area to see what’s available to you. Depending on where you live, there may be limited options for specific disciplines. Read online reviews of the different schools you find to help narrow down your decision. Some colleges and universities have martial arts classes that you can sign up for. See if your local community center offers classes. 3 Consider visiting the class. If you’re still unsure of whether you want to sign up, many schools allow prospective students to visit a class. You may also be able to get a free first lesson. Call the school or dojo that you are interested in and ask whether you can visit the class before signing up. You can ask by saying something like, “I’m new to martial arts and wanted to watch a class before signing up. Is that possible?” Method 2 Going To Martial Arts Classes 1 Call or register for classes with an instructor. Be honest when describing your skill level so that the instructor can place you in the proper class. Set up a date and time to come in for your first class. Mark the date down in your calendar so that you aren’t late for your first day. Ask the instructor what you should bring to your first class. This will typically include things like an athletic cup and mouthguard. Inquire what kind of clothes you should wear. 2 Stay humble during your first class. Don’t go into your first class with something to prove. You’ll likely embarrass yourself and potentially hurt someone. Remain humble and try to absorb all the information that the more experienced people are giving you. You probably won’t spar on your first day of class but if you do, make sure to match your training partner’s energy instead of trying to hurt them. 3 Stay dedicated and attend class consistently. Don’t expect to become a master instantly. Most martial arts take decades to master. If you want to become proficient at your martial art, you’ll need to attend as many classes as possible for as long as possible. Take note of different training days on the school’s calendar and clear your schedule so that you can attend. Sometimes the class schedule can be found posted in the school or on the school’s website. 4 Listen carefully to the instructor’s directions. The only way you’ll get better is by learning the techniques properly. Don’t be arrogant and always listen to the instructor’s directions carefully so that you can perform the techniques properly. You should also respect and listen to students that are a higher belt or that have more experience than you. Method 3 Supplementing Your Classes with Research 1 Stretch your muscles before performing moves at home. If you plan on researching and performing martial arts techniques at home, it’s important that you do some active stretching before you attempt the moves. Stretch your hamstrings, legs, arms, and hips before you try to do anything physical. If you don’t stretch, you could pull a muscle and injure yourself. If you learned how to stretch at your school, use the stretches that you learned in class. 2 Watch videos online to learn different techniques. Search on websites like Youtube for different videos in the discipline that you are learning or want to learn. You can use the videos to help you keep the best form when practicing at home, or to research different techniques. If you find a technique that you haven’t learned in class, demonstrate it for the instructor and ask them whether it’s effective. 3 Read martial arts books to gain more knowledge. Read popular martial arts books to give you more insight on how to strengthen your mental discipline. Books will also give more information on strategies and technique. Some books will have instructions for specific techniques while others will have more general strategies for the martial art that you’re learning. Some of the most popular martial arts books include The Tao of Jeet Kune Do, Championship Fighting: Explosive Punching and Aggressive Defense, and Bas Rutten’s Big Book of Combat. Community Q&A Add New Question Question Can people with short legs people learn martial arts? Yes. The size of your legs do not affect your learning or ability to do the martial arts. If you are concerned about your leg size, however, you can try a martial art that focuses more on arms and hands instead of kicking. Question Can thin men learn martial arts? Yes. Martial arts are for anyone, as long as you dedicate yourself and try your best; its all about coordinating your mind and body. If you do a martial art for long enough you will either build muscle or strength, depending on which martial art you do. Do some research to find out which is best for you. Question My village is far from a martial arts class. How can I learn martial arts if I can’t go to a class every day? Try learning from videos online. Attend class once a week, even once a month to have an instructor help you with your form. Question Can a child learn martial arts? Yes, they can. Karate in particular is a great way for kids to learn discipline and the basics of martial arts. Question Can fat people learn martial arts? Martial arts are for people of any size. Though it may be more difficult if you are overweight, devoted practice of martial arts should lead to weight loss. Some good places to start are with Jiu Jitsu or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Question How long does it take to learn self defense? Martial arts can take a long time to learn fully. For self defense, it shouldn’t take very long, as there are only a few basic moves to learn. To learn a couple of good techniques, it should take about a few weeks. Question Can I start learning martial arts in my 30s? Question How old do I have to be to learn martial arts? You can begin martial arts at any age, limited only by the policies of the dojo at which you wish to train. Question How can I know which martial arts is made for me? Try them all out until you find the right fit! Question What are some styles I can pick from? Boxing, savate, kickboxing, karate, kali, kung fu, wushu, silat, wrestling, judo, jiu-jitsu… the list goes on. Muay thai is a good one to start off with, as it teaches you the basics and is easy to pick up. Show more answers Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Article SummaryX To learn martial arts, sign up for a local class with a martial arts instructor. Come to class consistently and with a positive mindset, since martial arts are both physically and mentally demanding. Listen carefully to your instructor’s directions and train hard during each class. Mastering martial arts skills can take some time, so remember to be patient with yourself. For tips on developing your own style of fighting, read on! Did this summary help you? Article Info This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Together, they cited information from 10 references. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article meets our high standards. 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