Image by: Superchilum
By Ken Lucas
What better way to burn calories than to learn a new fighting skill while doing so? Many people invest their exercise activities into repetitive routines that come as no challenge whatsoever. Not saying things like the treadmill, elliptical, and stair climber is ineffective, but they can be extremely redundant compared to some other less utilized techniques that may be more difficult to learn.
I’m fully aware that not everybody can afford to take fighting lessons or has the time to attend regular classes and need to rely on machines to see results. But to those of you who are actively seeking different, exciting and more beneficial ways to exercise, then combining working out with learning a new defense just might be the ideal hobby for you. If this sounds like it’s up your alley, take a look at these three different forms of martial arts you can trade off for your time on the treadmill.
#1) Brazilian Capoeira
Brazilian Capoeira is an extreme form of acrobatics that essentially allows you articulate virtually every muscle and joint in the body. Through movements that are dictated by music and kicking motions, you can control whether or not you activate slow twitch muscle fibers for control and stability or fast twitch ones for fast and more explosive movements. The specific moves that are involved are typically quick and complex, using the elements of power, speed and leverage for execution of a wide variety of spins, kicks, and other mobile techniques. Often used as a form of exercise, this particular style is also goof for honing your defensive skills.
Due to the quick and complex movement required, mastery over Brazilian capeoira will essentially equate to mastery in the field of movement, as these acrobatics develop mobility, strength, power, speed, endurance, coordination and balance. Yea, sounds pretty interesting doesn’t it? Well, I’d love to go more in detail about this type of training, but trying to describe the sensation of creating the inertia to soar through the air while mastering gravitational control might prove to be impossible.
But one thing I can mention is the fact that execution of this movement offers the same feeling of elation you might receive in sports like basketball, football and soccer. And if you’re wondering how this type of training will help you in a fight, then how about you try fighting somebody who has mastered the art of movement. I can imagine hitting them would come to be quite a difficult task. And once you’re tired out, you can expect to have to deal with a few powerhouse kicks that may cause you to re-question your opinion about the art of dance.
Jiu-jitsu–a grappling, ground fighting art that requires the effort of every muscle in the body, while in turn improving flexibility and conditioning. This art is especially usefully if you just happen to be a smaller, weaker person (no offense). It will give you the skills necessary to defend against a bigger, stronger foe by using leverage to bring the fight to the ground to apply joint-locks and choke-holds to defeat the opponent. Mastering this exercise will not only increase your cardiac capabilities due to the nature of the movements, but will also build a strong core and general increase of strength and stabilizing muscles throughout the entire body.
The only drawback to this type of training is if you want to receive the full benefits of these movements, you’re going to need to be accompanied by a consenting partner. So if you’re wife, best friend or little brother is willing to endure a variety of choke-holds, here are a few moves you can try out. Just be sure not to accidentally kill them.
-Scissor Sweep: Start in a closed guard position (legs wrapped around the opponent’s hips). Break the guard and scoot your hips to the write dropping your left leg on the ground and bringing your right shin across your opponents belly. Scissor kick your legs and extend your hips and back to flip your opponent over before following through with a mount.
-Armbar: Begin with an open guard, or the opponents hips between your legs while your feet still remain on the floor, and trap your opponents left arm with both hands against your hips. Swing your left leg over your opponents head and in front of their chest. Proceed to extend your hips and both legs as you pull the arm against your hips to hyperextend their elbow until they tap out.
-Triangle Choke: While in a closed guard position, shove your opponents left arm between your legs and outside your guard. Swing your right leg up over the nape of his neck. While keeping firm control of his right arm, raise your left leg and hook the back of your left knee over your right ankle. Pull your opponents head down and squeeze your legs until their palm tries desperately for the attention of their carpet.
Looking to burn calories fast while brushing up on your defensive techniques? Cardio kickboxing would be ideal to aid you in that goal, as it is estimated that cardio kickboxing burns between 10-15 calories per minute. While also useful as a means for defense should any assailant try to bring harm upon you, movements like jabs, hooks, crosses and straights are a great aerobic workout that can help you simultaneously burn fat while honing your fighting techniques.
Boxing and Kick-boxing are similar in this fashion, but the only difference is the addition of kicking motions to kick-boxing–hence the kick word being at the front. Movements like high kicks, front kicks and high and low knees provide similar benefits as the aforementioned punching motions. Boxing is useful yes, but if you want to improve the overall shape and limberness of your entire body, I would suggest you opt for Kick-boxing if possible. If not then plain old boxing will do the trick nicely as well.
Are you an expert of any other martial are that has done well to aid you in your weight loss goals? How about sharing the wealth with some advice down below in the comments section.