I am just aware of the term martial arts and kung-fu perhaps from watching a lot of movies but I am unaware of how can I learn any of these in actuality. I want to learn some martial arts.

Well kung-fu looks really cool, but I don't know which form of martial arts is best to learn.

I am not a very strong guy but I have a thin body and I could make 6 km in about 30 minutes. I see a lot of posts and ads with some guy offering training for martial arts but most of his students are small kids, I don't wanna go and practice with kids.

Can I learn it at my home? How and what to start with?

  • 2
    Welcome to the site! Your question is a possible duplicates: What martial art should I start with? and How to select the right Aikido dojo. Is there anything in those answers that does not answer your question? If so, edit your question to reflect this. Commented May 20, 2013 at 8:39
  • thanks but do i really need a trainer, can't i do it own my own.I see small kids going to such trainers i dont wanna be with kids practicing martials arts
    – munish
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 8:58
  • 2
    Yes, you do need to go to a dojo/gym/ and learn from there. Otherwise, you will get injuries ranging from minor to server and debilitating and not learn anything of any use. Depending on your age, you will train as a junior or senior. This is important as junior classes should be designed so that they enhance and not imped your physical development. Do take care of your body, you only have one. Commented May 20, 2013 at 9:20
  • 1
    @munish - Hi, I think the first important question is: "What do I want to train MA for?". Fitness? Street Defense? Sport? Show off? Be honest with yourself (and with us) and we can perhaps guide you the best of our intentions. Depending on what you want, you don't necessarily need to go to the a MA club at first. There are lots of exercises you can safely practice by yourself.
    – Lex
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 10:50
  • I am doing regular exercise daily in the morning(6 km running + jumping + some streching and push ups). Reasons that i would give you why i would like to do this: 1)I belive martial arts gives more control over your body so i will have better mind body coordination with martial arts.It would give me flexibilty along with strength.I dont wanna go to gym and make really big arms and body looking like a heavy weight and being slow with lesser mind body coordination.---Well thats the reson i could give
    – munish
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 11:28

2 Answers 2


Based on your comments above, I would definitely recommend that you start seeking an instructor. If you were looking for pure self-defense, then you could start doing things on your own, like understanding the different types of attacks - a bar aggressor has a very different motive from that of a professional criminal, like a mugger or rapist, so their approaches will also be different - or meditating to bring yourself to a suitable psychological state before an aggressor. For this basic proper self-defense preparation you don't really need to start with an instructor, specially because it will be difficult for you to find a suitable MA club with this frame of mind. Rather, you would learn via reading, DVDs and then incorporating your training into that. Eventually, in this situation you would end up needing some help, but not to start with.

You never mentioned this sort of priority on your list, which is perfectly fine: we all have our own goals and priorities. Usually the answer would be the same: you can perfectly well train on your own in the beginning, until you are flexible and conditioned enough to join a gym or MA club. However you have already done some of your homework: your running, etc. It looks like it is a pretty good time for you to join a MA club.

I used to hear something in Aikido whose rough translation was something like that: 'you enter via the form; you leave from form'. I am sorry about the translation, but what this tries to say is that when you are a beginner you need to follow the form and approach of your Dojo. Then, when you have started mastering the style taught to you, you will start shaping your own style, so you are leaving the pre-existent form and start adapting your own. You essentially become your own master for that discipline; you will still need guidance on other disciplines, should you want to engage them.

The bottom line is this, you might not need a MA club, or a personal instructor right at the beginning of your path, or after a long time (perhaps a black belt and enven though you will still need someone more experience than you to occasionally point you in the right direction). You have passed the completely newbie stage as you have already started moving your bones. The next step is to find a style that is coherent to your vision and priorities and try to pursue it, one way or another (like posting this question on this forum for example).

  • @munish my pleasure; any time.
    – Lex
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 15:33

Fighting vs. Martial Arts

First off, let me approach this from a different direction; what we see in movies and on TV is dance. It's a choreographed series of movements to display an idea of fighting, not actual combative action.

The martial arts are codified systems to train a person to fight. In modern times, more spiritual and psychological meaning has been attached to them, but underneath, they are about learning to fight efficiently and have evolved (hopefully) with experience of those who took the art into the world and survived to say what worked.

At the base of the art is the ability to fight. You can learn this on your own (or rather, without an instructor), but you will be learning the meaning of the "school of hard knocks". Monkeys can kick and scratch and bite and strike. Padding up and beating the crap out of some friends can teach you to pack some power behind your strikes. But this is not a codified system of fighting, and while you may emulate the movements you think you understand, you will be wrong.

Learning Martial Arts

The beauty of martial arts is that someone long ago started the journey for you. Even Krav Maga's Imi Lichtenfeld took the fight from the slums of Hungary before it became what it is today. But if you were to do what he did, you would not be learning Krav Maga, but your own style of fighting.

Martial arts can only be adequately taught as effective styles by those who understand the styles. Understanding the styles means training in the style with someone who understood it before them. It's passed down from teacher to student, imparted with the fine tuning that has come from generations of teaching. Training at home will not give you this adjustment.

Beginner Instruction in Martial Arts

Most schools advertise with children, because this is their bread and butter. Kids see TV shows and "want to learn to do that". Parents want to make their children happy, so they enroll them in kids classes.

Most every instructor I know has loathed teaching kids classes. It's an hour of babysitting for parents who want to do something other than listen to their kids complain. However, it pays the bills.

During the evening, most of these schools offer adult classes. These are classes where the real art gets explored. There aren't any children, and in good schools it's a good chance for adults to get out some aggression in a healthy setting. Calling schools to find out about their adult programs will give you a better start.

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