We all know that going to the gym is great for your body, but some find it tedious after a while. For those who need a little more stimulation when working out, there are ways to accomplish this. Training with a tool that you must learn to manipulate can add another level to your workout and flex your muscles as well as your mind. These types of classes may not be available in all towns, but most moderately sized cities should have at least one of these options. Here are some unique ways to get in shape and learn a bit of martial arts while you’re at it.
This sport may seem outdated but fencing it is actually an Olympic sport and has been since the inaugural games in the late 1800s. Traditional fencing is a martial art that focuses on attack and defence with a blade. This type of workout is usually done in a class following the instructor either face to face or in a mirror. Once the lesson portion of the class is over, students usually pair off into partners to practice their new skills. Nowadays rookie students use a blade with a false edge or a blunted tip, so don’t worry, it’s not too dangerous and it will keep your mind and body sharp.
Archery is a classic sport of old that isn’t really a martial art but does teach you hand and eye coordination as well as core body strengthening. Archery is a competitive sport which involves mental focus and clarity to direct the arrow to the desired destination. Archery can be practiced indoors or outdoors and is a great way to calm the mind and build inner strength. Since the Hunger Games books and the Disney Pixar movie Brave, many young girls have taken an interest in the ancient sport of archery. Canada even has a Federation of Canadian Archers organization so it may be old but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun.
Karate or Hapkido
Karate or hapkido is a more traditional form of martial arts that uses the entire body for attack and defense but also the mind for sparring. Especially in hapkido where much of the focus is on using the force of your opponent against themselves, you need to be mentally centered to react to your opponent’s move. If you are in a foreign country while studying martial arts, you may encounter a language barrier that will also help to strengthen your mind. Without even realizing it you will be more in tune with your instructor as you will be studying their body language more than their words. That being said, you will also be exposing yourself to a new language and over time will learn the key words as you go along. All these things combined will keep you sharp in body and mind.
Once you move along in your studies you’ll start using nun-chucks and other weapons in both karate and hapkido. Archery will supply you with a real bow and arrows and fencing will give you a real blade as well (although dulled). Once you’ve got these tools on hand, consider a safe place to store them with weaponsafesale.com. Depending on where you live, you may be able to take the archery or fencing classes outside during part of the year. See where your local martial arts centers are in town and try to get involved. It will pass time much faster than an hour on the treadmill, I promise.