Once you’ve decided that you want to start training a martial art, you’ll need to decide which one is best for you.
Of course, your choice might be dictated by the schools available in your area, but if you’re lucky, you’ll have the choice of at least a few different types.
There are many different types of martial arts and even in a city like Preston you will see multiple variations within the same types.
So it’s important to make sure that you research the techniques and features to find the best fit for your lifestyle and needs.
Right, let’s get down to business.
The first thing you need to appreciate about martial arts is that they are broadly split into 3 categories of systems.
I’ve listed these categories below to bring you up to speed.
These are aimed at fitness or to allow you to compete and win some money, nice shiny trophies or titles (yay!).
The most common traditional martial arts styles are often from Japan or China. These can include Karate, Kung Fu and Jiu Jitsu which are often for personal development or a type of combat designed to resolve specific problems that existed many years ago in these countries.
Reality Based Systems
These are very modern systems such as Krav Maga, with solutions to the types of problems seen in the modern world.
There are no traditional or sporting elements, they are practical, tactical and designed to increase your chances of successfully defending yourself or someone else in a multitude of environments.
Well done, your still reading so you’ll understand it’s not always straight forward when deciding to train in a martial art.
You need to identify a category and then filter down to the style and club that you like. To help with this filtering, I’ve produced a general explanation of some of the more popular styles in Lancashire which will help you to get started on the decision.
You need to find the best techniques and features that fit in with your needs and lifestyle. To help you I’ve pulled together a general explanation of some popular martial arts styles in Blackpool, Preston and Lancashire to help you get started on the decision.
It’s worth pointing out that there are as many interpretations of martial arts styles as there are instructors.
So if you like the style but the chemistry is not right with the instructor, don’t be hasty and bin the system.
Hold on to your course and try another instructor. Anyhow, here’s some pointers below, but when you’re trying to find the martial art that’s right for you, try a few classes to get a feel for the style, instructor and school.
Time to have a look at the features of the different martial arts styles. We’ll have a look at Karate, Judo, Taekwondo and Krav Maga. There are no apologies for styles missed off the list. It’s not personal, You’ll all get your turn at some point and feel free to send me details of your martial arts to add to this blog.
Sport Martial Arts, Traditional Martial Arts or Reality Based Martial Arts in Preston
JUDO IN PRESTON, LANCASHIRE AND BEYOND
History of Judo
Dr. Jigro Kano came up with the concept of Judo after he was enrolled at Tenjin Shinyo ryo School of Ju-Jitsu. He was a little frustrated with all of the student injuries and developed a gentler martial art that helps its participants work on perfecting themselves and become a better citizen. Judo, means “the gentle way”, improves your physical, emotional and it’s fantastic for stress busting which has a whole heap of health benefits.
Techniques of Judo
Judo uses mainly grappling style techniques such as throws, pins, holds, locks and choking. Don’t panic, the training focuses on safety, it’s always practiced on mats and develops your body to condition to the training. Judo players learn through a series grappling techniques and practise these skills under a fun restricted sparring which you may have seen on tv during the Olympics. There are absolutely, definitely no strikes in competitive Judo.
Features of Judo
Judo has a strict set of rules for safety.
Judo rules and training is fairly similar throughout the world.
Judo helps to develop the complete body control, balance and co-ordination skills.
Judo uses a lot of grappling, throws, grabbing and ground work. Because of this, it often reminds people of wrestling but there the suits that are worn in Judo add another dimension to the possibilities of how you can win a bout.
Finding a Judo Club in the Preston and beyond…
KARATE IN PRESTON, LANCASHIRE AND BEYOND…
History of Karate
Karate is commonly translated as “empty hand” which means that it traditionally performed without weapons. Karate has its ancient roots traced back to China in the 5th century B.C. What people commonly think of as Karate began in Okinawa, Japan during the late 1700s. During this period, there was a weapon ban in Okinawa. Being the inventive sort of people, they came up with an approach to self-defence that used empty hands (hence the name!). This combined aspects of Chinese martial arts with the “Te” of Okinawa. Okinawan Karate came to Japan in the early 1900s. There are many style of Karate today which will appeal to different personalities. My favourite style is $%&*&%$£$ J come on can’t you guess?
I love the martial arts and believe they all have many positive attributes which can enrich your life so get reading and takes your pick.
Techniques of Karate
Karate uses a wide variety of movements, it’s got the whole package including kicks, punches, blocks, strikes, evasions and throws. Training focuses on having a strong striking ability and puts equal focus on the three areas of the art: basics, sparring and Kata’s.
Features of Karate
People who practice Karate use their hips in a clever way to generate power. There is a belt system so it’s great for setting goals. If you visit a Karate club, some traditional schools might seem very harsh but this is part of the tradition.
They are often lovely people, just in the zone when the class is in progress and great fun outside of training as well.
Finding a Karate Club in the UK
TAEKWONDO IN PRESTON
History of Taekwondo
The origins of Taekwondo can be tracked way back to 30 B.C., modern Taekwondo started after Korea was liberated in 1945.
The Koreans wanted to remove the Japanese influence on martial arts, so they began connecting the Korean martial arts schools and styles to create a national sport. The name Taekwondo “the way of the hand and foot” was confirmed in 1965. Taekwondo became a part of the Olympics in 2000 and it’s another sport you may have seen on TV.
Techniques of Taekwondo
Taekwondo has four main disciplines including forms, sparring, self-defence and a break test. Taekwondo is very much oriented around kicking art and there is a large emphasis on sport. There are many clubs which still train striking with the hands, so this can vary greatly from club to club. People who train in Taekwondo combine philosophy, physical discipline and the values often seen in traditional martial arts.
Features of Taekwondo
Taekwondo is recognizable by its high and often gravity defying kicks.
Taekwondo exams may require a board breaking test, (boards of the world watch out!).
Taekwondo schools are often very family friendly and sport oriented.
Taekwondo students have the opportunity to compete in a lot of tournaments if they want to become competitive.
Finding Taekwondo Clubs in Preston – Search Here
KRAV MAGA IN PRESTON, LANCASTER, LANCASHIRE…
History of Krav Maga
Krav Maga is a Hebrew term that’s used to describe a particular form of hand to hand combat. The origins of Krav Maga are in Eastern Europe, modern day Czechoslovakia. The concepts were developed by the founder (Imi Lichtenfeldt – Sder Or) and quickly evolved during Imi’s time as the head of the Israeli Defense Forces physical training. In the mid 1930’s, conditions were quickly becoming hostile across Europe with fascist and ant-semitic groups terrorising people who did not fit into their ideals.
Imi became the leader of a group of young jews, many with a background in boxing, wrestling and weight lifting who attempted to block the anti-semitic bands from entering and wreaking havoc in the Jewish quarters.
Ultimately, Imi had to flee his home and travelled to Palestine. Imi continued to develop Krav Maga into the system that is more commonly seen today.
Krav Maga in Preston, Lancaster, Lancashire and Beyond
Techniques of Krav Maga
Self Defence Techniques are practised, these include blocks, movements and how to get yourself out of certain holds and grabs as fast as possible.
The techniques are practised standing, sitting and on the ground, to cover scenarios where you may slip or you have been pushed.
The techniques also involve how to protect yourself in a situation where a blunt or edged weapon may be used against you.
You’ll learn these techniques in every situation and practice for what might occur so your not fazed by the unfamiliar!
Features of Krav Maga
There are no long, complicated movements in Krav Maga and you cannot compete in Krav Maga as there is no sporting element. The reasons being, students of Krav Maga train without rules or boundaries.
This does not mean that the techniques are used to hurt each other in class.
Your focus is on opening the mind to act however may be necessary to protect yourself or a loved one.
I hope you find this information useful. I wish that I could cover all of the styles that I left out, but it would take an entire book to do that.
If you have any questions about which style would be best for you, you can contact me (Lee Douglas) Contact and I’ll do my best to help you.
There is also more information about Kids’ Martial Arts Classes in Preston: A Parent’s Guide and Krav Maga Classes in Preston