Even though there are many great benefits to training in martial arts, a lot of people still have reservations about entering a gym or a dojo for their first training session.
There are plenty misconceptions about the culture. For instance, some people incorrectly think that they are too old or not fit enough to participate in the classes. Others falsely believe they have to compete, while a few individuals have social anxiety.
All of these do not hold any merit. Rather, they are just fears and excuses that are preventing you from unlocking their inner greatness. We help to set your mind at ease by debunking them.
You Do Not Have To Lose Weight To Start Your Martial Arts Journey
Some people believe that they cannot start martial arts because they weigh a little too much or carry too much fat around their waistline. In reality, that belief could not be any further from the truth.
As a matter of fact, most people who train in martial arts are using the experience to lose some extra weight or to get into better shape. For instance, when a 16-year-old Agilan Thani stepped into Monarchy MMA, he was 133kg. Within two months, he lost 6kg, and today, the 22-year-old is a top welterweight in ONE Championship having lost a whopping 60kg.
The gym welcomes people of all shapes and sizes. Do not let a couple of kilograms prevent you from getting started on your martial arts and fitness journeys. Instead, let it be the stepping stone.
You Are Never Too Old To Start Training
Children and young adults may be the typical clientele that train, but the martial arts are, and have always been, meant to be practiced by people of all ages. After all, everyone can benefit from becoming fitter and learning to defend themselves.
Both philosophically and in practice, martial arts is not just geared towards adolescents and 20-something-year-olds, but also people in their 30s all the way up to senior citizens.
Everyone is at a different skill level and has different goals, so do not be dismayed if someone younger than you has more expertise. Allow others to help cultivate your talent, and go at your own pace.
The People Hitting The Heavy Bag And Pads Are Not Scary
Some newcomers have the tendency to become nervous when they see more experienced classmates kicking the heavy bag and pads with such force and power.
At first glance, it could be slightly intimidating. But upon taking a second look, it is just a bunch of martial artists who are mastering their technique.
Do not mistake these athletes as monsters or scary individuals. They are just normal folks who are trying to sharpen their martial arts skills and unlock their inner greatness, just like you.
Nobody Will Hurt You
People tend to get frightened about training in a gym full of competitive martial artists and getting hurt.
Rest assured, there is no reason to be scared by that. Most of any gym’s beginner classes tend to be comprised of other newcomers who are trying to learn, and humble veterans who have lots of wisdom and a soft touch.
These veterans also keep a careful eye on all of the activity that is taking place in the dojo, and will not let anyone get injured.
You Do Not Have To Compete
Just because you are training in martial arts does not mean you have to compete. Though competition is encouraged in order to test your skill and understanding, it is not compulsory.
Truth be told, the vast majority of practitioners do not compete, and simply train to achieve their own personal goals — be it for self-defense, exercise or other.
Although there may come a time when your coach inquires about your interest to compete because your craft has grown dramatically, you will never be pressured or required to sign up for tournaments.
A Word Of Advice
Research is always helpful, especially when trying something new for the first time like martial arts.
Fortunately, most gyms and dojos offer free trials, so visit a few places in your local area. Sit in on a couple of sessions to get a proper understanding of the gym culture and vibe, and if you feel up to it, participate in a class.
Also, it would be helpful to speak with the coach and a few of the students to see if their attitudes mesh well with yours.
If you want some extra comfort, read some online reviews and look for a class schedule. There may be multiple beginners classes in many different disciplines being offered, and there could even be “ladies’ only” classes for the women who feel more comfortable learning strictly with other females.