Working out with a set routine and the same machines can get monotonous. If you’re wanting to spice up your workouts, or you’re just interested in martial arts, they are a great way to get in shape and to learn self-defense.

Here are a few things you should know before becoming a student of martial arts.

1. It’s Hard But Rewarding Work

When you start you will feel your body working in ways it hasn’t in the past. It is able to boost your strength, cardio, and dexterity and you’ll end up burning between 1100, and 1500 calories in an hour. Learning the new details and techniques will distract you from how hard you are actually pushing your body.

2. Martial Arts Is For Everyone

Despite what the movies like to make the general public think, there is a huge diversity among the students in terms of what they look like and why they are there. Self-defence, fitness, general wellbeing, meditation, are all reasons why people young and old, of all shapes and sizes, go.

3.TIP – Do Your Homework Before Going

Know what you are signing up for. There is a variety of schools of martial art. They include MMA, Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, etc. Because of this, it is important that you research where you are going and what type of martial art class they will be doing.” You also have the option of a membership fee, or a drop-in class rate if you just want to add it to your workout schedule. Even the aesthetic appeal of a gym can improve your experience, which is why it is important that you choose the right studio for you.

4. TIP – Gear Up Correctly

Just like in most other sports, you have a certain kit that you need to wear. The right equipment is important as it protects you and those around you. The amount of gear you need depends on the type of class that you are doing, which is why the previous tip is so important. Something you can be guaranteed is that you will need a mouthpiece and a groin protector, as these are both keys across any martial arts class. So key, in fact, that many studios sell them themselves.

Other class-specific equipment you could expect is boxing gloves for Muay Thai, shin pads, a gi for Jiu-Jitsu, etc. All of the equipment can get expensive, but you don’t have to get top-of-the-range equipment. Inexpensive equipment like, cheap gis, boxing gloves, etc are all acceptable, especially for someone who is just starting out. It’s definitely worth checking in with the studio before you go, to see what they require so that you don’t arrive with too much, or too little.

5. TIP – Go In With An Open Mind

In order to best experience a class, you need to go in with an open mind, leaving your preconceptions at the door. Martial arts isn’t just a bunch of rolling around and brawling with other sweaty people. It is important that you relax and enjoy the class, allowing yourself to learn what the instructor has to teach you.

6. Don’t Let The Bumps And Bruises Freak You Out

While a class is a safe environment as well as safe in general, accidents happen. Martial arts is a contact sport, so don’t be alarmed if you hit your elbows and scuff your knees from time to time. As you get better the bruises will get less.

7. It’s More Than Just a Workouts

If you are someone who has difficulty handling stress or struggles with controlled breathing during a workout, martial arts can actually help you. As it is a disciplined sport, it teaches you control of your, mind and body and helps you clear your consciousness. This is again why it is so important to go into these classes with an open mind. You should expect the unexpected.

8. TIP – Go for Every Lesson

If you are just wanting to go every now and then you aren’t going to see real results. Studying for anything takes time and practice. It can’t be done overnight. If you want to see results, you are going to have to take it seriously, and understand that it is more of a lifestyle than a hobby. Consistency is the key to your success and to good results. Going to a good quality school, but not being a quality student is counteractive.

Final thoughts

When you join a gym you can expect to become part of a community. The people around will help you and support you through all of the aforementioned expectations and tips.