Boxing and martial arts have experienced a shift in focus in more recent times. Rather than remaining athletic sports -exclusive only to strong, gifted professionals- they are now more mainstream. People everywhere, young and old, amateur and professional, turn to boxing and martial arts for self-defence as a form of exercise and a hobby.
Exercise and fitness once described a very rigid group of movements made to target one body part at a time. The norm dictated that one went to a gym, selected a piece or series of equipment, and used this exclusively for a set period before doing the same another day. This method is not incorrect and is still effective for those who adopt it. However, in a bid to counter the monotony, preferences have shifted to full-body exercises. They offer a complete workout where all parts of the body are targeted in one go. Now, people are looking beyond the gym for fitness. As a result, hiking, swimming, rock climbing, Zumba, surfing, martial arts, boxing and other activities have become widespread and commonplace.
Boxing’s origins go as far back as when Sumerians and their culture dominated the middle eastern regions. It was well developed in Ancient Greece, where its popularity saw it added to the Olympic Games. Not to be outdone, the Romans held boxing tournaments in amphitheatres for public enjoyment. The sport underwent some evolution over time. It was even outlawed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Boxing as we know it today has shaken off those illegal roots and become a premier sport. Clubs offering training with a focus on exercise are more prevalent and accessible to all who are interested. Boxing is very physically and mentally demanding. It works your muscles and strengthens your core, which tones your body and may even improve your posture.
Martial arts is a general descriptor for a variety of fighting disciplines. The disciplines are categorised by technical focus and application or intent. Today, martial arts are commonly associated with combat styles originating in the far east and popularised globally by the media. They have been well received and are now highly sought after fitness solutions.
Just like boxing, martial arts call for the use of most muscles and limbs to execute accurately. Both boxing and martial arts offer participants the opportunity to pit their skills against others through your club’s competitions. They do so through tournaments and competitions organised by respective clubs.
Competitive boxing is intrinsic to the sport. Regional and national boxing tournaments are regularly organised and held by clubs to provide a chance for fighters to showcase their prowess. Talk to your local club manager to get more information about your club’s competitions and how to enter.
On a more professional level, boxing is still an Olympic sport. Many clubs offer aspiring athletes spaces for practice as they prepare to qualify or participate in the games. Conversely, clubs help novices build their skill in the sport, sometimes to levels required of Olympic athletes. You may seek more information about training opportunities in your local club from their offices.
As mentioned above, this term refers to several disciplines of varying origins. The ones most commonly offered for training in local clubs include:
- Kendo- originally a sparring discipline practised by Japanese Samurais, it is now more a weapons training field. Bamboo sticks have been swapped for metal swords.
- Kung Fu- a method of fighting from China. Its appearance in Hollywood movies garnered worldwide interest.
- Capoeira- an elegant combination of dance and fighting. It originated in Brazil.
- Hapkido- initially from Korea, it is a defence focused discipline.
- Viet Quyen Dao- a multi-discipline style developed in Vietnam. It combines kickboxing, karate and judo. This sport is all about power and commanding both your attack and defence skills, using traditional and contemporary techniques. It is ideal for those who prefer to engage in a mix of specialities.
Inquire about available opportunities for participation in martial arts competitions. You can do so through or with your local club. Training and participating in competitions may help you manifest and improve your abilities, shore up your confidence and build up your fitness to get you in better shape.
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