#MySport: Martial Arts

Often deemed as brutal, martial arts are considered as dangerous sport by many, but martial arts can be so much more than that! In addition to the physical and mental development you are undergoing while practicing a martial art, I also want to introduce you to my personal approach to martial arts in this #MySport article.

My story

At an early age, I got introduced to martial arts because of my uncle, who taught traditional Jiu Jitsu back then. However, a few years later and two Jius Jitsu clubs later, my martial arts career ended for the time being.

After some lazy years I started running but I realized early on: I want more!
Looking back on the good time I’ve had in the Jiu Jitsu club, it was clear to me that I want to practice martial arts again, but I wanted to start with something new. A short research on the Internet and a tryout session later I found myself in a Hapkido club, a Korean martial art that combines numerous elements such as defense techniques, kicks, throws and punches.

Thinking back on this today I realize, that this was the beginning of my athletic ambitions. With poor mobility and little coordination skills I started my hapkido training which soon took up a large part of my life. In order to further improve myself, I also started weight training and integrated HIIT workouts into my weekly routine.
In 2013, I prevailed against my competitors at my first European Championships in Budapest and finished with 4 medals – the athletic achievement I am still most proud of today.

Even if I do not actively practice Hapkido today (after more than 6 years of training), this was the beginning of many sports and training approaches that still accompany me today.

After Hapkido, I practiced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for more thant 2 years, a primarily ground-based martial arts with a strong competitive focus. Something completely different than Hapkido, but as I like to go to my limits as an athlete and compete with others, this was an interesting change for me.

Currently, I do not practice martial arts, as I currently pursue other athletic goals. But sooner or later I will probably return to martial arts.

Why martial arts?

You might be wondering, why you should practice martial arts? From a purely sporting point of view, martial arts training provides you with a unique blend of strength and endurance training that trains your whole body. Many instructors work with bodyweight exercises and in combination with the intensive technique training and possibly sparring, you will certainly be challenged physically.

In addition, mental development plays an important role in many martial arts. Increased self-confidence and the ability to keep calm even in stressful situations are just some of the benefits you can potentially gain from martial arts training.

Furthermore, in many martial arts, great emphasis is placed on mobilizing and stretching, an important aspect for any athlete, but unfortunately very often neglected. This reduces the risk of injury, not just for martial arts training, but also in everyday life, so you can train for a long time without injury.

What martial art?

Are you interested in martial arts, but you are unsure which martial art is best for you? To get a feel for what to expect in which kind of martial art I suggest to inform yourself online first. My suggestion: Look at some Youtube videos on the individual martial art. I think that provides you with a better idea of what to expect than just reading what the martial art is about.

The most important point in my opinion, if you want to choose a martial art, is the following: The tryout session! Whether alone or with a friend (it’s often easier to go with a friend rather than alone), it is very important to get a feel for the club and its members.

Many clubs pursue different goals. From clubs that are highly competitive to very self-defense oriented clubs with no sparring on the training plan, there are a lot of possibilities. Depending on what is important to you, you should choose a club accordingly. It is also important that you feel comfortable there and get along with the other martial artists and your instructors.

Are you interested in martial Arts and want to know more about practicing a martial art? Let me know in the comments!
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