Which Martial Art Should I Learn First?

Which Martial Art Should I Learn First?

Which Martial Art Should I Learn First? That’s the question. So, you want to start studying a martial art, but don’t know where to start. This might sound strange to some people; however, a true martial artist can understand the difficulty in choosing your first martial art.

What’s available where you live? – The good thing is that they’re all good, there’s no such thing as a bad martial art! But you still have to figure out which suits you best. First of all, see what’s available where you live, I mean, if you’re looking for a particular style and it’s not accessible to you, that’s not an option. So, narrow it down that way.

Picking the right martial art to study is crucial if you’re going to enjoy yourself and ultimately stick with it. Joining a martial art can be extremely rewarding for your fitness and overall well-being. You might like your first martial art so much that you start studying another one, and another.

There are countless stories of people who take their first kickboxing class and fall in love with it, and suddenly years later they are living in Thailand. Having been there 15 times I can truly understand why someone would do that as Thai boxing is readily available professionally and on an amateur level to attend at very little cost.

So many benefits – Whether you want to practice a martial art because your goal is to seriously be able to defend yourself, or learning just out of interest as a hobby, they will give you those things plus much, much more especially for kids, teaching them respect and discipline.

The knowledge and importance of self-defense in a child’s development cannot be overstated. Martial arts can empower children with this knowledge, and of course, the responsibility that comes with it.

Whatever form of self-defense you enroll your children in, martial arts will teach your children many intricate techniques and how to properly execute them.

Don’t think of it as fighting. Martial arts will teach children when and where to apply their knowledge and skills. Martial arts teach children that their own physicality isn’t a tool used to inflict harm on others, but rather, to merely defend themselves against any and all attacks.

This will be one of the best gifts you can ever give your children, confidence, discipline, respect and safety. Martial arts for kids are the way to go! Remember, Self-defense is both positive and beneficial, and Martial arts give you more than Self-defense! So, learn today.

By practicing martial arts, children will quickly understand the roles and responsibility that they as martial artists play in today’s society.

First Things First

There are many downsides to studying martial arts. First off, it’s usually going to cost you a lot of time and money. Depending on which classes you take, martial arts can start getting expensive with the various equipment required (gloves, shin guards, mouthpiece, etc). There are going to be times when you want to give up, or at minimum take a couple of days off.

Your body will be sore, and there will be times that you question “is this even worth all the trouble?” The answer will be different for everyone. Only a true martial artist keeps their mind strong through the best and worst of times. If your goal from learning martial arts is to win a street fight, you’re probably learning martial arts for the wrong reasons as that’s not what it’s about at all.

Types of Martial Arts

So, you’ve decided you want to learn a martial art, this is great news. There are so many different styles of martial arts that a person could learn, and they are available to learn at any age. Whether you’re 7 years old in a karate class, or 60 years old starting Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, there is no age limit on learning.

There are self-defense martial arts you can learn like Krav Maga, or more traditional arts like Tae Kwon Do. The martial arts world is yours to explore.

My first martial art experience

The reason I got into martial arts was simply because of the Bruce Lee movies what all kids were obsessed with, now back in England in the 70`s there were no Kung-Fu classes available so that wasn’t a good start for me. But, undeterred, I looked around, anything was better than nothing, right?

The only style available around me was Taekwondo, so that’s what I did and just simply couldn’t get into it at all, being a young 8-year-old impressionable kid, this wasn’t what I wanted as it wasn’t Bruce Lee! Of course it wasn’t and why would it be?

My first class I showed up wearing several Bruce Lee badges, the instructor wasn’t too impressed, and asked me nicely to remove them if I came back again. I thought he was being mean! Why wouldn’t anyone want to wear a Bruce Lee badge?

My head was full of the movies and thinking those crazy techniques were real, so walking up and down a room punching and kicking while screaming held no interest for me at all. My thinking was Bruce Lee didn’t do this in his movies, so neither will I! Laughable now to think how my mind set was as a young kid devoted to Bruce Lee.

To cut a long story short, I quickly became bored and quit. There’s nothing wrong with Taekwondo at all, it`s great, just not what I was expecting.

Twenty years later

I had just started a new job, and the guy who was training me had just passed his black belt in Japanese Ju-Jitsu, and naturally that’s all he talked about. All day, every day.

After a few months of brainwashing me, he eventually succeeded in talking me into tagging along for a lesson, which I reluctantly agreed to, but when I did, I was completely blown away with this style, totally action packed the whole lesson!

The rest is history as they say, 10 years later I had earned a 3rd degree black belt and never looked back. I had found my martial art.

So, basically what I’m saying is experiment, if you don’t like the first one you try, try a different one until you find your martial art. It’s out there waiting for you to discover it.


Learning a martial art is one of the greatest things you can do, at any age. Understanding the traditional values that martial arts hold is just as important as learning the technique.

It’s extraordinary to think about, somewhere across the other side of the world someone created an art-form that is studied by millions today. With the advancements in martial arts, we now have the capability to learn so many different styles and techniques that have been passed down for centuries.

No matter the martial art you choose on this list, give every day 100% of your heart and effort. Always respect your instructors who pass down their knowledge onto you. Respect your fellow students as well, who at the end of the day are trying their best to learn the martial arts. 

Respect and discipline are very important in all martial arts.

Author: Nigel Taylor

I`m Nigel Taylor – originally from England – owner of The Backyard Gym in Round Rock Texas. We specialize in personal training, kickboxing cardio and self-defense. With over 25 years experience as a personal trainer, I know what works! From weight loss to bulking up to toning up, I can help you get your desired look and achieve your fitness goals. I can also offer you the privacy of a 100% private personal training studio in which to enjoy and get the most out of your workouts.