Whether you’re an absolute newbie, have a previous martial arts background or did some training as a kid and now looking to get back into it. Here are 3 things you need to know when you’re looking to start a new martial art.
1 Get Started
“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”
The key to starting any new activity, especially beginner martial arts classes, is ‘Action’. Without taking action, you will forever be asking yourself ‘what if?’ Trying to figure out what martial arts is best for you will involve a little trial and error.
Finding the best fit for you will involve trying out several different beginner martial arts classes. You’ll no doubt weigh up the pros and cons of each style. Don’t worry though, ‘gym shopping’ is fairly common nowadays. People will generally research different gyms before committing to join.
Before you start visiting different gyms, it’s always a good idea to figure out what your goals are. Do you want to learn self defense skills? Are you looking to start a new sport? Do you want to improve your fitness? Is community important to you when joining a gym? These are just some of the questions that you should ask yourself before venturing off and checking out the various types of martial arts classes in your area.
2 What to bring
What do beginner martial arts classes involve and what do you need to bring? Different styles of martial arts will require different uniforms for training. You won’t have to worry about this too much though. Most gyms will welcome you through their doors provided you are wearing clean active wear.
Loose clothing can be a bit of a problem so wear something that won’t cause any hazards. A water bottle and a clean towel is also a good idea for your first visit. If you’re really working hard, we recommend bringing a change of clothes for after class. Here at TFC, we don’t allow shoes on the mats. This is pretty universal as far as gym etiquette goes for Muay Thai and BJJ (and other martial arts). There is only one exception to this rule, which is our boxing sessions where you are allowed to wear clean boxing shoes on the mats. If you want to read more about the do’s and don’ts for martial arts gyms click here.
If you’re searching for martial art classes Logan or the surrounding areas, you’re more than welcome to drop in for a free trial. We offer classes in Muay Thai, Boxing or BJJ here at TFC. We’re big believers in helping people figure out what martial arts is best for them and take pride in providing a professional and clean training environment for you to discover the different styles. After you’ve booked yourself in online, just check in at the front desk and you’re ready to go!
3 What to expect
So you’ve walked into a facility like ours that offer different styles of martial arts in the one location. You’ve probably notice the slightly different vibe for each class. The etiquette around greeting, warming up and drilling can differ from style to style. Don’t stress, the instructors will generally walk you through some of the finer details. Just for a bit of a head start though, here are a few pointers before taking beginner martial arts classes.
Boxing is an effective martial art that specialises in throwing punches to the head and body. As a result, it has become one of the most recognizable professional combat sports in the world. The beauty of boxing lies in its simplicity. It’s for this reason that makes it perfect for beginners who don’t have a lot of experience in martial arts. Beginning boxing doesn’t require much gear. Essentially, all you’ll need are clean, comfortable clothes such as a shirt and shorts or leggings. For your first class, most gyms will loan you gloves. If you already have a pair however, bring them with you. As mentioned above, at TFC you wont need your shoes on the mats unless they’re boxing boots.
You will also only need a mouthguard and head gear if you’re sparring. Seeing as it’s you first night, you’ll only need those when you’re at an advanced level or preparing for competition. We also offer Advanced and ‘Fighters’ classes separately from general boxing classes. For now however, clean clothes, a towel, and a good attitude are enough to get you started. And lastly, don’t forget your water bottle!
Beginners Muay Thai
Muay Thai is still deeply rooted in the culture of Thailand. It is also fondly referred to as ‘The Art of 8 Limbs’ by its practitioners. The rituals and ceremonies ingrained in Muay Thai also make it an engaging cultural display. Beginning Muay Thai can understandably be a bit intimidating. On first look, there seem to be many weapons at your disposal. Fists, feet, knees, elbows, clinching and sweeps, it can be a long journey before you master all of these tools.
In the beginning, you only need to learn the basics. The jab, cross and round kicks will for the base of your fundamentals. You can begin with these as you gradually build up your conditioning and coordination.
Much like boxing, Muay Thai training requires clean, well fitted clothes that are comfortable to train in. Muay Thai does not require shoes since kicking is an important part of the training. Make sure your shorts don’t restrict any movement while kicking either. Similar to boxing, most Muay Thai gyms will lend you gloves for your first session. This will allow you to join the class straight away. Hand wraps and shin guards can come later once you’ve committed to the class. You’ll also need mouth guards for sparring later when you’ve joined the advanced or fighters classes. For your very first day however, just a water bottle, some clean clothes, a towel and possibly some clothes to change into after class will do.
Beginners BJJ Gi and No Gi
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu became a dominant force in the martial arts world in the 90’s. It helped spearhead the UFC’s popularity and showcased a new style of combat. With the emphasis on ground fighting, modern BJJ now embodies two forms, ‘Gi’ and ‘No-gi’. The original practitioners developed BJJ a ‘Gi’. It’s not too different from a Karate uniform. The main difference being a BJJ Gi is much thicker to accommodate the gripping. In ‘No-gi’, practitioners train in tight fitted tops known as rashguards. The grappling shorts they wear look a lot like board shorts. There are no strikes in BJJ. The emphasis is on grappling, so gloves are not necessary.
If you’re trying out a BJJ Gi class for the first time, you likely won’t have to wear a Gi. It’s for this reason that clean, comfortable clothes is enough for your first class. Don’t wear anything with zips, buttons etc. as you’ll be up close and personal with your training partners. Be aware though that some BJJ gyms will require a Gi even for your first session.
For your first ‘No-gi’ class, you’ll just need some well fitted, clean clothes to train in. The same rules apply when it comes to zips and buttons etc.
BJJ involves a lot of contact with the mat and other people. You should bring a clean change of clothes. You should also bring a water bottle and a towel because you’ll likely be exchanging lots of sweat!
Tip: You’ll find that most of your training partners remembered what it was like on their first day. Because of this they’re probably more than happy to help you through yours. Make sure you thank them at the end!
Starting at any new gym can be a bit daunting. That’s why training with people who are around your level is important to keep things interesting. Martial arts gyms will generally offer intermediate classes and competition classes. These ‘Fighters’ classes (that’s how TFC refers to our competition classes) are separate from beginner martial arts classes. This way you are always training with people with similar abilities. Here’s an example of how a gym might schedule their classes to cater to the various levels.
If you’re new to martial arts and interested in exploring different styles we could be more excited for you! Boxing, Muay Thai or BJJ are all great places to start your journey Regardless of what style you choose, learning a new martial art is a great way to learn some self-defense skills, keep fit, activate the brain and most importantly, have some fun! You’ll be joining a community of like minded people and make friendships that will last a lifetime. You don’t have to be training to be a world champion to achieve your goals. You just need to be open to new experiences, have a can-do attitude and a willingness to take action!