4 Ways to Teach Yourself Martial Arts

Table of contents:

4 Ways to Teach Yourself Martial Arts
4 Ways to Teach Yourself Martial Arts

Learning a martial art is good for the mind and body. Depending on where you live, it can be difficult to find a school or even more difficult to pay for tuition. Nothing can replace the experience gained from training with an instructor. However, there are some options available to the student at home.


Method 1 of 4: Choosing Your Style

Teach Yourself Martial Arts Step 1

Step 1. Think about why you want to learn a martial art

People start this training for many different reasons. Maybe you feel out of shape or you don't want to suffer anymore from the teasing of colleagues.

  • Martial arts are a good way to develop self-respect. When you start training, you will begin to understand yourself better, which can help you understand and respect others as well.
  • Martial arts will help you define and overcome weaknesses. While challenging, they empower.
Teach Yourself Martial Arts Step 2

Step 2. Research the different modalities

Before you start kicking trees and punching walls, read more about martial arts. Avoid just choosing something that is popular at the time. Find something that really piques your interest.

  • There are many different types of martial arts. There are hard styles, focused on strength, and soft styles, aimed at manipulating energy.
  • Another benefit of learning about the martial arts is that it broadens your knowledge of fighting styles. It is very helpful to understand the other modalities if you want to be a martial artist.
Teach Yourself Martial Arts Step 3

Step 3. Choose a style that suits you

Some martial arts are more focused on strength, and others on agility. Think about the qualities you have and what you want to exercise as a martial artist.

  • If you want to practice a more traditional martial art, try Kung Fu or Aikido. The traditional arts place a lot of emphasis on the philosophy behind the martial arts.
  • If you have long legs, you can consider Tae-Kwon-Do, more geared towards kicking. If you have a wider and stronger body, opt for Jiu-Jitsu, a famous contact modality.
  • There is no 'right' martial art to train. There is only the one that is best suited for you.
Teach Yourself Martial Arts Step 4

Step 4. Consider the time you can invest in training

Training martial arts is a true act of dedication, regardless of the desired style. Still, some of them require more time than others.

  • If you choose something like Capoeira, which mixes dancing and fighting, be prepared to spend a good deal of time learning complex moves.
  • Other arts, such as Boxing or Jeet Kune Do, are based on efficiency between movement and simplicity. Not to mention the vast abundance of resources for learning them.
Teach Yourself Martial Arts Step 5

Step 5. Find materials that will help you train

When determining what you will study, find resources and equipment to help you along the way. Buy some books or watch videos on the internet.

  • Invest in a heavy punching bag if you want to do most of the training yourself.
  • There are several schools that offer classes over the internet. While it's not the same as going there, you'll still be able to learn more than if you trained alone.

Method 2 of 4: Training the Body

Step 1. Start slowly

As a beginning martial artist, start with the basics. Don't go straight for the fancy kicks and stunts; start with the starting blocks of the desired style.

  • Pay attention to your feet during practice. After each strike or combination, you must maintain good posture.
  • Imagine your opponent is in front of you. Practice striking, but also keep your guard up and defend yourself.

Step 2. Practice

The only way to advance in martial arts is to practice. Although many people think of Kung Fu when talking about martial arts, the term "kung fu" has little to do with fighting. When translated, it means "work hard".

  • Have consistency in your practice. When hitting the punching bag, for example, concentrate on hitting the same spot each time. Don't throw punches haphazardly. Take it easy and take your time. The primary objective is precision and then strength.
  • Give your best. As you progress through training, do more practice. If you started off with 50 kicks, try giving 100, but don't overdo it. Be careful not to injure yourself during training. Know your limits and make an effort to overcome them.
  • It's even easier to develop negative habits when training alone. Always invest the time to get back to the starting position and examine your actions during training.
  • Learn new techniques. When you feel comfortable practicing the basic steps, move on to more complicated techniques. However, don't forget what you know. Build your martial knowledge by practicing everything throughout your training.
Teach Yourself Martial Arts Step 8

Step 3. Find a partner

It is difficult to develop the necessary skills of a martial artist if you can only train yourself. The best thing to do to get ahead is to find someone to train with you.

  • Your partner doesn't need to train the same style to be a suitable training companion.
  • Try asking friends interested in learning martial arts to train with you. It might be easier for them to learn together.
  • If you have friends who already practice a martial art, ask for tips and advice or ask if they are willing to train together someday.

Step 4. Practice shadow training

If you can't find a partner, practice shadow training, also known as "shadow boxing". For this practice, you should imagine an opponent in front of you while keeping moving all the time. You need to visualize both his movements and yours.

  • Start at a quarter of the speed you would normally fight. If you want to start at full speed, you have to start slowly first. The goal in shadow training is precision, not speed.
  • In shadow training, be aware of the timing, or rhythm, of the movements, as all elements of the fight are based on timing. If you're quickening the pace, relax and try to slow down your movements.

Method 3 of 4: Keeping Fit

Step 1. Do exercises that work with your style

Every martial art uses different muscles. Some of them emphasize the use of the legs, while others work the arms more. While it's important to keep your whole body strong, it's worth finding exercises that keep your training up to date.

  • If you practice a contact martial art, do exercises that strengthen your body core and your back.
  • If the martial art is more offensive with the arms, do exercises that increase the strength of the upper limbs.

Step 2. Add cardiovascular training to training

Don't just focus on building strength. If you want to be a competent martial artist, you also need to acquire good stamina. Go for a jog or ride an exercise bike. Do whatever it takes to raise your heart rate.

  • Another good way to get your heart rate up is to do a lot of calisthenics without pausing. They are ones that do not require the use of weights. Do crunches, sit-ups or jumping jacks to start.
  • Look for more exercises that can be incorporated into your routine to combat boredom, and try a variety of exercises that work different muscles.

Step 3. Stretch yourself

Flexibility is important in almost all martial arts. In learning, you will work on muscles that may be neglected. Stretching is the only way to stop your stiffness.

  • Stretch during your workouts, but also before and after.
  • Leg lifts are a good way to improve flexibility in your lower limbs. Raise one leg in front of you, maintaining control throughout the climb. Instead of kicking it, lift it up slowly. Practice lifting your legs to the side and back to cover as much range of motion as possible.
  • Don't worry if you can't stretch to the limit. Some days you will be more flexible than others. Always stretch trying to reach as much as possible that day. Progress takes time.
Teach Yourself Martial Arts Step 13

Step 4. Allow yourself a chance to recover

To learn a martial art, you must also be hit, fall and injure yourself. Therefore, it is important to treat your body well to continue the practice.

  • Weekly massages are excellent for muscle recovery, especially for older athletes.
  • Keep in mind that learning a martial art is a lifelong pursuit. If you need to skip a day, don't worry. It is better to train responsibly than not to train.

Step 5. Train effectively

You don't need to spend the whole day at the gym to be a good martial artist. Considering that you need to set aside time for workouts and everyday life outside the gym, you should be as efficient as possible in your workouts.

Try to keep workouts from 40 minutes to an hour. If they're bigger than that, you're possibly wasting valuable time

Method 4 of 4: Changing the Diet

Teach Yourself Martial Arts Step 15

Step 1. Choose a diet that suits you

Martial arts require a lot of activity. If you want to continue training, you must supply your body properly. Find foods that are good and tasty and make them part of your diet.

  • The most important part of choosing a diet is making sure it is well balanced. You need a good mix of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables.
  • In addition to the basics, there are many vitamins and minerals necessary for the body to function properly. Most of them come from a well-balanced diet, but you may need to take some supplements.
Teach Yourself Martial Arts Step 16

Step 2. Include a variety of foods

Just as it's important to find tasty and healthy foods, you shouldn't limit yourself to just eating those choices. Try different alternatives and prepare them in other ways.

Eating a wide variety of foods still gives you a wide variety of nutrients. The more you vary your diet, the healthier you will become

Teach Yourself Martial Arts Step 17

Step 3. Eat several meals a day

Try eating four to five small meals a day, with a few healthy snacks in between, rather than eating three large meals. Adjust your nutritional habits to suit your training, but above all, don't overdo the food.

  • Try to space meals out to have approximately four to four and a half hours between meals. Drink water between meals and, if you need a snack, eat a mixture of fresh fruit and nuts.
  • If possible, avoid eating at least three hours before going to bed.
Teach Yourself Martial Arts Step 18

Step 4. Avoid eating processed foods

When training as a martial artist, it is important to eat for your health. Try not to eat fast food or soda. Your goal is to make a diet based on real foods.

  • Refined sugars and flours are heavily processed. Instead of eating cookies and snacks, prefer a piece of fruit.
  • Instead of soda, try drinking fruit or vegetable juice. Drink green tea instead of coffee. If you have a juicer, you can make several healthy drinks by mixing fruits and vegetables.


  • Avoid overdoing it on the first day of your apprenticeship.
  • Have weekly goals. Each week, increase the items present in each workout.
  • The best way to learn a martial art is to go to a school and train with a professional. While it's possible to learn basic moves on your own, it's necessary to find a specialized gym if you want to become a true martial artist.


Popular by topic