Martial Arts of Beginners

Martial arts are a part of many cultures and traditions around the world, with different martial artists practicing their own style. After becoming interested in learning how to defend oneself, it is important to find out which styles would be suitable for beginners.

The “what martial art should i learn quiz” is a question-and-answer type of website that allows you to find the best martial arts for beginners. It also includes a list of the top 10 martial arts in order from least difficult to most difficult.

Vintage men doing practice of karate.

Note from the editor: This is a guest post by Charlie Kondek.

Whatever your level of physical fitness, if you’re thinking about taking up martial arts as your next endeavor, I’ve got some good news and some obstacles for you to consider. The good news is that martial arts are rather easy to learn. What are the difficulties? Martial arts are incredibly approachable. Finding the proper one for you might be difficult since there are so many to pick from and you don’t know what to expect if you’re inexperienced. I hope this post has given you some inspiration and guidance.


Let’s start with the most probable object you’ll come upon and get it out of the way. Whether you’re worried if you have the correct motivation for becoming engaged, don’t worry: you don’t. You might be quite precise in your motivation, such as “I’ve always wanted to learn to protect myself.” “I’ve always enjoyed kung fu movies,” for example, may seem ridiculous. It’s almost certainly a mix of these factors — just acknowledge it! The simple truth is that most martial arts are physical fitness regimens that come from warrior traditions of various cultural backgrounds, and the benefits of them include a sound mind and the development of your character as a person, in addition to the building of a sound body and a set of self-defense skills that you may, God willing, never use. Some martial arts express this, while others do not, yet they all possess these fundamental characteristics.

It’s also true that your motivation for continuing to practice martial arts may alter significantly from your first motivation. You may begin martial arts because you want to boost your self-esteem; you may continue because it has become a way of life for you.

By the way, if you believe you’re too old to begin a certain creative form, you’re probably wrong. Almost every art form is designed to enable individuals of any age or physical ability to participate. Don’t allow your age or a handicap stop you from doing something new.

The Spectral Range

Now is the time to start deciding which martial art you want to study. The majority of them exist on a scale. Those arts oriented on regulated exercises, whether solo or with a partner, are on one end of the spectrum. Consider a kung fu stylist who spends the majority of his training time mastering a sequence of choreographed techniques, or a couple of aikido practitioners who practice specific attack, takedown, and spectacular fall patterns.

Free play or competition is on the opposite end of the spectrum. The focus in these disciplines is on sparring and maybe competition. Consider judo fighters attempting to smash each other to the mat or kickboxers engaging in free fisticuffs (and footsticuffs).

Because this is a continuum, rather than an either/or situation, many martial arts will contain both attributes, and it will be up to you to find the proper balance. For instance, you could like a karate style that has both kata (forms) and kumite (fighting) (sparring).


“Hold on,” you may be begging the author at this point. I understand the first two sections, but what I’m truly curious about is how I’ll learn to kick ass. Isn’t it MMA? What about mixed martial arts (MMA)? “Where is the spectrum in that?” you may wonder.

I’ll get back to you on that. Yes, to put it simply. Mixed martial arts, sometimes known as “cage fighting,” may be the sport for you. Please bear with me.

Asia is a huge continent! But that isn’t the only one.

So we have kung fu from China, kendo and judo from Japan, Tae Kwon Do from Korea, and muay thai from Thailand. How do you choose which art form to study when there are so many to choose from throughout Asia? This is the difficult part, and the only way to overcome it is to devote some time to studying about each of these disciplines by reading, watching videos, asking questions, and attending courses. Thankfully, the internet is a fantastic resource. There are no quick cuts here, to be honest.

If it’s okay with you, I’d want to offer some advise. First and foremost, trust your instincts. Find a kung fu tutor if you’ve always wanted to learn kung fu. That taps a chord in your heart, and you should feed it Because martial arts is as much about your aspirations as it is about other factors. Second, a reminder that martial arts are found all around the globe, not only in Asia. Everyone has heard of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and capoeria, two combat forms that originated in Brazil. Consider the often-overlooked European and American martial arts, such as boxing and wrestling, French savate, Russian sambo, and others. Fencing and kendo should be on your short list if you like weaponry like swordplay. Modern fusions like MMA, shootfighting, close quarter military combatives, and Israel’s krav maga, of course, present even more options. There’s also been a rise of interest in western martial arts that have been historically examined. Maintain a flexible mindset.

The Legitimacy Problem

Whatever you choose, make sure you get a reputable teacher or coach. Each art you research will almost certainly have a governing organization or a set of teacher recommendations or certificates. Discover what they are and make the best decision possible. Contention, divisions within the art, and opposing viewpoints on what constitutes legitimacy within an art are all common occurrences. Gather as much information as possible and make an educated conclusion.

Have a backup plan.

One issue you may encounter early is one of location. Not all forms of art are accessible in every country. You could desire to learn Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but you’ll shortly discover that only judo is available in your region. Consider learning judo or wrestling until BJJ teaching becomes available, arrives in your region, or you move. Also, bring up the issue of legitimacy once again. Don’t enroll with an instructor just because he or she is the only one available. There are many quacks in the world. It’s preferable to avoid the quack and pursue another art than to learn with someone who isn’t prepared to teach. Anyone who is genuine in the martial arts will be honest about their qualifications or ancestry.


You may also get immersed in the art and discover through experience that it is not what you expected. Don’t be embarrassed to leave and try something new. So, despite peer pressure, don’t sign a one-year contract when you join up. Even though it’s more costly, paying month to month is frequently a better bargain than determining after a few weeks that it’s not the appropriate style/location for you and then having to pay every month for the rest of the year.

So, how about kicking someone’s ass?

Okay, I promised we’d get back to this. “Simply tell me what I need to do to kick this ass.” Is it necessary for me to relocate to China and study for 10 years? Do I have to work at a logging camp on weekends, pit fighting for beer money? “Please give me the answer.”

That’s an excellent subject for a future post or a discussion in the Art of Manliness Community. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. To be honest, I adore MMA and have even trained in that environment – never, mind you, going into “the cage.” MMA has efficiently shown that hand-to-hand fighting requires talents from two distinct groups: striking and grappling. Both categories of talents should be present in a full fighter. This might include pursuing many arts — the famous “one from column A, one from column B” scenario. You might also locate a solid MMA club that can teach you in both and encourage you to compete. Why not give it a go if this interests you? In its early days, MMA was a fantastic martial art and a fantastic contemporary combative sport.

On the other hand, as frequent readers of Art of Manliness can attest, there are likely legions of “ass kicking” guys out there for whom this topic is meaningless. Outside of the athletic field, violence is typically a bad thing to avoid unless it is absolutely required, such as when fighting evil or protecting someone. I’m sure there are police, soldiers, and athletes who are the height of badassery, but who don’t trust the world to give them a fair battle, who go into every interaction fearing an ambush, a stabbing, or a gunfight. On any given day, anybody may have their ass kicked. It isn’t as important to these folks as it is to survive.

Maybe that’s all you need to know, or maybe you need to find out for yourself by putting your anxiety and sweat into a gym someplace. In any case, I commend you and hope you consider pursuing a martial arts career.

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Charlie Kondek practices, instructs, and writes about kendo, and is a creator of and writer to the dad blog Every Other Thursday. He also blogs about the 1970s TV program “Kung Fu.”




The “easiest martial art to learn” is a fighting form that has gained popularity in recent years. The style focuses on striking and grappling with the use of weapons. This form of martial arts can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age or gender.

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