Are Martial Arts Good Exercise?
If you know anything about martial arts, you are probably aware that they often require intensive training to master, which can make them an excellent form of exercise. But you may also know that there are several different disciplines under the umbrella of martial arts and that they differ in both goals and practice.
Jiujitsu is a form of martial art that focuses on grappling, striking, throws, joint locks, and even some weapons mastery. As such, you might wonder if it can offer you the cardio benefits inherent in some other forms of martial arts.
While grappling and striking may certainly help you to gain strength and agility, the form might not necessarily give you the calorie-burning workout needed to reach your weight-loss goals. However, there’s more to this martial art than getting your opponent into a figure-four leg lock on the mat. And it can definitely play a role in your weight-loss regimen.
Jiujitsu as a Weight Loss Tool
In truth, Jiujitsu alone is probably not going to help you shed pounds quickly. But when used in combination with proper diet and other forms of exercise it can definitely help you to gain muscle (which burns more calories than body fat), condition and tone your body, and get in better shape.
In short, it can contribute to overall weight loss as part of a wide-ranging fitness routine and it actually can help you to shed unwanted pounds, although the rate of weight loss may be rather slow depending on the frequency, duration, and intensity of your practice.
Generally speaking, martial arts include some type of calisthenics. Strength and flexibility are important in all forms of martial arts, and as a result, many include warm ups and aerobic-type exercises as part of their curricula. Jiujitsu is no different.
In an average class you will likely spend at least a portion of your time engaging in body conditioning in addition to martial arts drills. Although some of the class will be taken up by learning the movements and techniques of the form, you will also engage in repetitive drills to commit the moves to muscle memory, as well as sparring to put your new-found skills to the test against real opponents.
Training for Competition
But if you really want to push yourself and up the weight-loss ante, you can train for Jiujitsu competitions.
Since you will likely be placed in a weight class, this could give you a specific weight goal to work towards, as well as the motivation to reach your goals. You will not only increase your practice sessions in preparation to compete, but you’ll also want to add cross-training in order to further condition your body and increase overall strength and fitness.
You may add both weight/resistance training and aerobics in order to reach these goals, or you might simply spend more time in training grounds Jiu-Jitsu & MMA with sparring partners. Attending a class once a week might not be enough to help you lose weight, but adding Jiujitsu to a fitness plan, complete with diet and cross-training, could certainly contribute to a trimmer, lighter body.
Also remember that more frequent practice and training could also get you to your weight-loss goals faster.