Karate was the first martial art to appear in the United States — right after World War II, according to Wikipedia. Some practitioners were U.S. Servicemen, who wanted to bring their new-found skills to the United States and start dojos. But whether you’ve recently gotten interested in martial arts from a movie or one of your favorite television programs, there are a few things you should know before starting your first martial arts class.
It Takes a lot of Energy
You’ll be expending a lot of energy and sweating a lot when you attend martial arts classes. In fact, it’s not unusual to burn more than 1,000 calories per hour in a typical class, according to Philadelphia News. That’s because you’ll be stretching, punching, kicking and moving your body in many different ways. You’ll also get warm in the uniform because it covers most of your body.
It Benefits Everyone
Martial arts is a solo sport that benefits everyone. It doesn’t matter how big, small, or young you are, you can still excel at whichever martial art you take. Some people take martial arts to not only learn the self-defense moves but to lose weight and tone up. And if you play other sports, karate and other martial arts can help increase your agility and speed.
Expect Bumps and Bruises
Like other physical activities, you’ll have your share of bumps and bruises when you practice martial arts. When you’re sparring, for example, you may bump shins with your opponent or sustain a punch to the ribs.
It Takes Practice to Get Good
The people you see that are highly proficient at kicking and punching have spent many years perfecting their techniques. In fact, to develop speed in most martial arts, you must learn exactly when to tense and relax certain muscles while executing specific moves. This takes a lot of practice and repetition to get right.
Show Respect At All Times
No matter how good you get at martial arts, you must respect your instructor and your fellow students. If someone needs your help on a certain move, show them how to execute it properly. In most martial arts’ schools, you’ll be expected to bow to your instructors and opponents in mutual respect before commencing various exercises.