Steps Questions & Answers Related Articles References wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 17 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Together, they cited 5 references. This article has also been viewed 159,479 times. Learn more… So you want to start training for self defense? Think of joining a dojo is any different from boot camp? After reading this article, you might think twice about everything you do, including martial arts. Steps 1 Choose. It all depends on what you want. Do you want to learn at a calm, slow pace until you get the moves right? Or do you want to advance fast, training as though you are in a combat situation and quickly learning how to correct mistakes. The choice depends on you, your age, your physical condition, etc. 2 Decide on the school. Which school? There are many factors that go into choosing a school to train in. Look at this article for more information. This is very important, as the style and master you decide on greatly affects how you learn. 3 Get into somewhat decent shape. You can also lose weight with martial arts. You don’t have to workout beforehand, since martial arts isn’t about strength. But endurance is key. You will learn to fight 1 on 1 or 10 on 1 eventually, so the faster you can move for a long period of time the better you will perform. 4 Understand the tradition. The original purpose of martial arts was so people could defend themselves against multiple attackers, even to the death. Much has changed, and there are many people today who misjudge the purpose of martial arts. The true purpose is to train to stay alive against many people who are trying to kill you. 5 Understand the role of your sensei. Your master is your friend, your motivation, and your worst enemy (if they are skilled in their profession). They should push you beyond your believed capabilities training you to never give up during a fight. Ask them for help, but try to figure things out for yourself first. Understand you’re not the only one there, others have come for the same reason so don’t keep the instructor to yourself. Don’t be a loner either, or you’ll never learn. Realize their job and yours before you join a school. 6 Respect your dojo. There are no games here. You don’t fool around, especially while your sensei is speaking. Respect your dojo as much as you respect your fellow students. Always show up early for lessons. 7 Understand the motivations of other students. Your purpose for being at a dojo might not be the same as some peoples’. If there are kids, they want to be power rangers or show off their moves to friends. If there are adults, the younger ones are arrogant and wild. The older adults are just there to learn. You will meet all types. If the sensei is a good one, he will quickly dismiss any student who is out of order and continue the lesson. Show no attention to anyone who acts for others and not himself. 8 Trust your yuki. Eventually, you will be assigned a yuki. While only for the one lesson, this person is your trusted partner. You must show each other great, mutual respect for them as you will be fighting them. This is the person you practice your moves on, or spar against, and they you. Depending on the style, learn what attacks to hold back power on so you don’t injure this person. When practicing techniques, do them slow until you gain the right control. Help your yuki learn as well as you do. On the other hand, have no sympathy for this person. When you spar, do it violently with control. Don’t go easy on them but don’t hit them hard. In a nutshell: attack fast and aggressively, but with controlled power. You are there to learn to defeat people like this, not to play around. 9 Develop the right mindset. You will do aerobics, you will sweat, you will be tired, and you will get hurt. But do not stop. If you practice right, you will hurt someone or get hurt yourself. Don’t take it personally. If you are sparring and get injured, take a few breaths and don’t resume with the fury you will have. You will feel like swinging wildly and acting aggressively to keep them at a distance, but do not do this. The concept behind martial arts is staying calm while staying alive. If you are not calm, your yuki will get mad or worse, your sensei will. If you injure your opponent, don’t apologize, just don’t do it again. Wait for them to signal ready and resume sparring. 10 Practice. Practice every technique you are shown until it becomes second nature, and then some. Think beyond what you are shown and question your sensei about it. Figure out what else could work for that situation. Strip down anything you don’t like. Unless you are having a test on the subject, it’s always best to keep the simple ideas rather than the 21-step takedown. 11 Think well inside and out. Think of your dojo as a holy place. Any outside aggression, anything that is on your mind, you must drop as soon as you enter your dojo. This includes any quarrels with a fellow student who may be in that lesson. Otherwise, how can you concentrate on what needs to be done? 12 Don’t show off. Don’t let it known that you are taking martial arts, or what belt color you have. Discrepancy works best for you in a real fight. Also, someone might pick a fight with you just because you are taking the art. Think of your new skills as something mediocre. You wouldn’t tell everyone what you drew the night before or the dreams you had, the Arts are no different. Community Q&A Add New Question Question How can I learn martial arts without a teacher? Teresa Bernstein Community Answer While you might be able to learn some basics (basic punches, kicks, blocks, etc.) from online tutorials, it is advised to have a teacher, especially if you’re a beginner, in order to avoid learning the techniques incorrectly or causing physical harm to yourself. Question Is it possible for me to learn Taekwondo if I am middle aged? Yes! It might take you more time, but it’s quite possible. Question Why should I learn martial arts? Will it help me be a better Christian? It will improve your health and discipline, and may help you make some new friends. It obviously has nothing to with religion. Question Can a middle aged woman train in martial arts? Ng Sock Kee Community Answer Yes as long as the woman is physically fit and healthy. She must also be determined to succeed. Question Can I learn martial arts at 29 years old? Yes. There is no minimum or maximum age for learning martial arts, if one is dedicated and willing to learn. Question Do I have to learn judo with a teacher? Judo involves throws, so you need a partner to learn to do it. it is impossible to learn judo with no partner. Question Do I have to be flexible for martial arts? It mostly depends on what martial art it is, but most likely, no. It’s more about durability, technique, strength, patience, and commitment. Question I want to join and learn martial arts, but how? Research places near you, then get in contact with the place. Maybe they have a website with a phone number on it. Question Can we learn basic martial arts in two months? You can learn about basic martial arts in two months. You can learn maybe a couple forms. But even the basics take years to get good at and a lifetime to master. Question Approximately how long would it take someone in their 20s to finish the training for martial arts? Depending on the dojo, I would say about 6-8 years to get your first degree black belt. Show more answers Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Tips Martial arts are not exclusively about self defense. For example, martial arts can cultivate the mind and body in a way that reaches out to many aspects of life like any good art should. If you do get hurt in a lesson, and you think you are badly hurt, have your sensei check it out or stop training. But if it’s something minor like getting kicked in the groin, having the wind knocked out, being hit in the face and your eyes water, or you banged shins, breathe, gather your mind, and continue. Imagine how a real fight would be, would you stop then? Hopefully not. Remember to meditate before practicing or doing a lesson to make sure you clear your mind and focus! Be sure to stretch before practicing, pulling a muscle isn’t fun. Warnings Always focus on control. Always wear appropriate gear for the situation at hand. Article Info wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 17 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Together, they cited 5 references. This article has also been viewed 159,479 times. Categories: Martial Arts In other languages: Español: prepararse para entrenar artes marciales, Русский: подготовиться к изучению боевых искусств Print Edit Send fan mail to authors Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 159,479 times. Did this article help you?