Martial Arts Tips : How to Choose a Martial Art to Learn


Hi everybody. I’m John Graden from the Martial
Arts Teacher’s Association and JohnGraden.com. How do you choose a martial arts to learn?
How do you choose a martial art to learn? You know, that’s an interesting question,
because boy when you talk about martial arts you’ve got a wide expansive spectrum of various
arts, styles and approaches. Here’s a couple tips. If you’re looking for a martial art
for your child you want to make sure that you are clear on your goals. Why do you want
your child in martial arts? Do you want the child to become more disciplined, respectful,
learn self control? Of course we do. We want to make sure that’s part of it. So, you want
to match up with a school that makes sure that’s part of the tenants. That’s what they
teach. In other wards it’s not just a physical school where everybody’s just punching and
kicking and doing self defense. You want to make sure that there’s that element of mental
training where they’re talking about the importance of self discipline. They’re talking about
the importance of self control and respect. So, that’s one element. If you’re looking
for a school that is specific to self defense you want your child to stop being bullied.
You want to make sure they can take care of them self, which is really an important issue.
You want to go to a school that emphasizes real self defense. When I say real self defense;
we want to avoid in those scenarios a more traditional school where they’ll spend a lot
of times on very traditional old ancient martial art techniques. That is great training if
that’s what you are after, but if you’re trying to find something that is going to help a
child or yourself really defend yourself in a real live situation you want a school that
really teaches practical, modern self defense techniques. Typically more and more we’re
starting to see schools that are mixing various styles together into what is known today as
a mixed martial art. In time that will become the predominate system. So, if you’re looking
for self defense a mixed martial arts school is probably one of your best bets. If you’re
looking for mental control, self defense respect, self control then a traditional school might
help you as well. So, we want to make that the lineation. The key to choosing a martial
art for you to learn is to know first what you’re trying to accomplish. Go watch the
classes. Watch the beginners. Watch the advanced students. Make sure that you’re motivated
by this instructor, make sure that you like the instructor, make sure you enjoy their
teaching style, because, you want to set a goal for black belt. That is going to take
three to five years. So, make sure when you choose that school that instructor can inspire
you. Keep coming to class, maybe when you’re injured, sick or you’ve got schedule challenges
that are making it hard to get to class. You always want to overcome those challenges to
keep returning to class. So, the key, choose the right instructor and then you choose the
martial art. I’m John Graden. I hope that helps. Thank you.

40 thoughts on “Martial Arts Tips : How to Choose a Martial Art to Learn

  1. HEY!

    MMA are to learn how to become a fighter quickly! but traditional martial arts STILL work for today´s selfdefence, as long as the instructor knows the bunkai ( or applications of the moves) which go well beyond punching, blocking and kicking!. by the way the UNICEF recommended 3 sports for children´s starting physical development and they are: Swimming, gimnastics, and Judo.

  2. This is the only video that Graden has made in this series that really made me raise an eyebrow. Seems he's been seduced by trends and following crowds seeking the latest fashion by recommending "MMA' dojo's (while couching his recommendation in "it depends on your goals" terms). Traditional maritial arts-Karate, Kung Fu, Jiu Jitsu, Tae Kwon Do-have proven themselves highly effective for CENTURIES in REAL LIFE fighting situations, and have defeated all comers. Graden likes Johnny-Come-Lately's.

  3. Guys if u want a self defense system which is effective in real life situations take up krav maga, it is a real good and effective system. go check it on youtube. 😀

  4. @LiNaK37 – Muay Thai is a fabulous art. But other than inside sports arena cages; with smooth surfaces, time limits, rules (yes, it was never without some rules), and a guarantee that of only one opponent, BJJ is of limited use. And Gracie defeated a lot of journeymen in the first half of his career. He was really good, but with a final pro record of 13-4-4, he was no Rocky Marciano. BJJ is tailor made for UFC and Pride events. But damn near useless in a bar fight. Sorry.

  5. The best defense a child (And a lot of times adults) can learn is how to use their voice and tell people a loud clear "NO" and with strong body language. Also "stranger danger" classes for when they are with adults that they don't fell comfy around. Teach a child how to listen to their own body. Become aware of their surroundings. Not just kick and punch people because they can't understand the concept that they don't work on everyone. A good traditional school teaches those things.

  6. a lot of people that insult old martial arts, they often forget the fact that Brazilian jiu jitsu was based on judo

  7. can anyone help me in choosing a martial art im seeking for something where you can train maybe in nature environments,try seeking self peace, im young so i will be alot of time going to that class trying to give the best everyday i go any suggestions?

  8. @Kaibo101 bible basher explain how if I was to send a kick to your head. how is your voice gonna stop that? saying no? lol that will just make me even more determined to break your jaw. been doing muay thai for years chance are you would be out cold and your voice is gonna stop that? I think you play skyrim to much

  9. my taekwondo school teaches traditional taekwondo to younger students but in the adult class (im in the adult class but im 14 but im in because of my size 230 pounds and 6 feet tall) they teach traditional moves and are constantly updating the curriculum from traditional forms to just one form so we can focus on self deffence techniques to sparring then back to self deffence but always instilling the mental benifets.

  10. i wad being being bullied i took judo over the summer went back to school the kid pushed me in the hallway i threw him with o soto gAri and hurt him bad no one fucks with me now

  11. 'MMA' has been around forever, it's just now regaining in popularity. I like how 'traditional' martial artists get their panties in a twist over this 'newcomer' MMA. MMA is more like how warriors trained way back when then stuff like Mantis Kungfu, from everything I've seen.

  12. I wanna live in a place where there's actually a good martial arts trainer someday… Believe!!!!!!!!

  13. I took my first class around 1982. The arts are in my blood. Unfortunately the art you want to do may not be the art your "body" wants to do. Whats the first thing I notice when I walk into a school? How old are the guys in there. Is it a mix of teens thru 60's? Then I know  thats one green light right there. Are the classes small enough that if you dont show up for class, everyone knows?  Another green light. I like being needed to make the class complete and I like it when the art is so cool that it transcends age and everyone is working out on the same level.  What I dont like, is when I go to a school that is really good for street combat, a pure warrior art…and the oldest student is 25. So I take a class and after one class I want to throw up. That means the teacher did not see he was selling me…..on not coming back. It tells me he will not be making the class more compatible for older people, especially if you are 20 yrs older than your teacher. So sometimes you have to  understand the bitter truth…."Its a great school, just not for me."  I love Silat, and most arts that are very aggressive. But  whenever I 'force" myself to go to class,day after day, I know I let my ego pick the right school instead of my brain or intuition. I hope this post will help just one person to not push themselves to join a school they know is not for them. Challenging yourself is one thing…..but hey, theres a reason they dont take 50 yr old guys in the marines. If just wanting it bad enough as some instructors tell you….was enough, we'd all be top notch fighters. I have learned a very bitter lesson:better to go to a school thats good that you willl enjoy and go back every class. Then sign up for a school where the art or teacher is great, and in  a month you are so burned out you ask yourself…"Why did I do that to MYSELF? I dont want to get beat up to learn not to get beat up"

  14. Im 21 6'4 230lbs not that flexible but I really want to master an art and continue to learn. I just have no idea where to start.

  15. a good martial art to start is boxing very effective on the street ,start with boxing do it for 10 years and learn it well then move on to kick boxing practice this art for 5-6 years and then move onto  krav maga .Then you ll become  a guy that  will have some knowledge on self defence and at least will have some reflexes when the time comes to protect his self  or dont do anything and buy a taser.

  16. I think any kid needing respect should go to military school or take rotc or something. I don't know of a martial art that doesn't work in self defense situations if applied correctly. MMA is too competitive in my opinion. I think JKD or Krav Maga are both very good arts. Personally some of my favorites are JeetKuneDo, Taekwondo, Hapkido, Wing Chun, and of course more.

  17. I'm 22 so since I'm an adult can I join a school for discipline. I mean I wanna learn extremely powerful martial arts but I also wanna learn discipline do u have any suggestions for me ? thank u for ur time 🙂

  18. I'm in AKJ-American Kenpo. I teach semi private lessons, as to be 18 years of age, M 7 F
    in Puyallup, WA 98372

  19. Well i agree it does help to find the right instructor but you can't pick and choose where you go ether, you have to go to the nearest place there is. Id love to learn something where i don't have to do tones of fancy moves, flips and shit, my body isn't made for that… i don't think… not while i'm a blubber gut lol, but i'm slower and clumsy, i feel like even if i was skinny id break my neck with a more risky maerial arts, i just want something i can defend, kick, punch and subdue, i mean some fancy kicks and punches might be nice but no ultra flying kicks like taikondo lol, what sort of material arts should i go for?.

  20. Sad, honestly, that something like MMA is getting to be the dominant martial arts culture. From an outsider's perspective alone it's a hyper competitive bloodsport. And from my (admittedly short) personal experience, there were some people who could be real jerks for no good reason, including my teacher. That turned me right off.

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