Martial Arts

Martial arts are a form of exercise which develop physical and mental control for the purpose of self-defence or combat.

We have teamed up with martial arts instructors offering classes to suit beginners, experts and any level in between.

Martial Arts...

…there are many forms of martial arts which teach the participant ways to defend themselves against an opponent or overcome a component using physical and technical skills

Types of Martial Arts Classes

The great thing about martial arts classes is the many forms they take. There’s sure to be one to suit everyone! Take a look at the types of classes you could be taking part in and see if any appeal to you!


Contact sport where participants attempt to score points by bringing an opponent to the floor using throws and take-downs. Alternatively an opponent can be pinned or forced into submission using sustained grappling holds.


Taekwondo is a combat sport with a focus on kicking. An emphasis is placed on speed, power and agility in order to perform impressive jumping and spinning kicks. There is therefore less consideration for balance than other martial arts due to the more upright positions adopted.


A contact sport where contact predominantly occurs through the use of striking actions such as punches and kicks.

There is a focus on correct stance and posture to provide the base for any action.


A discipline which aims to develop skills of self-defence by allowing you to use an aggressors strength and power against themselves whilst aiming to avoid harming them.


Capoeira blends combat with dance to create a sport with a focus on flair and acrobatic movements. Participants perform agile kicks and spins and usually try to avoid excessive contact where possible.


Hand-to-hand combat where two opponents attempt to punch each other while wearing padded gloves. Amateur boxing is judged by the number of clean shots landed on an opponent.


Striking motions will be performed quickly and forcefully, allowing you to develop powerful movements. This will be particularly noticeable in martial arts which involve jumping and spinning movements, such as taekwondo and capoeira.

Balance is a vital component of successful performance in any martial art. It provides the foundations for any movement and therefore with repeated practice, you will learn to adjust your body position to provide a strong base of support for an offensive or defensive move.

Striking movements, throws and pins will require the development of dynamic strength in order to perform these techniques with the power required to overcome an opponent. This strength will be developed through repetition of key skills.

You will learn to develop a respect for the particular style of martial arts and be required to be a keen learner of the teachings.

This respect will extend to opponents even when full contact is taking place. 

You will be required to move around the combat arena in order to avoid the advances of your opponent. This will develop your agility as you utilise speed and balance to perform rapid changes in direction, whilst maintaining the desired body position to provide defensive cover and a base for an attack.

You will learn methods for resisting and countering attacks from an aggressor, which can lead to increased feelings of security and confidence in your ability to protect yourself.


What You Should Know

Classes usually take place in groups and will be led by an instructor who is qualified and experienced within a specific martial art. The instructor will usually have a ‘dan’ rank which indicates their level of expertise.

Key skills will be demonstrated by the instructor and then usually performed in non-competitive situations, before potentially being performed with other participants. The instructor will always be on hand to provide advice and improve your technique.

Classes typically last for one hour.

Martial arts are suitable for anyone but are particularly enjoyable for those who enjoy exercising in more competitive environments. Once the skills have been developed, participants will be able to compete against others in competitions.

Learning ancient forms of competitive combat sport will not only improve your physical capabilities but it can also be really fun and interesting. These sports have a long history which you can learn about – allowing you to develop a better understanding of the art form.

Equipment will be required for most martial arts but many instructors will have equipment available for new participants to borrow when they first start taking part.

As you start to participate more regularly, you may require protective equipment such as headgear and specialised clothing such as a judogi or ‘gi’

Instructors often offer trial sessions for free so you can try out a session first. Prices will vary and are often done through a membership with a club which allows access to a certain number of sessions per week.

Martial Arts in Numbers

reduction in the risk of falls in those taking part in tai chi, as found in a review of 7 intervention studies
1 %

Sherrington CFairhall NWallbank G et al., 2019

greater balance score in middle-aged martial arts participants compared to their sedentary counterparts
1 %

P DourisA ChinanM Gomezet al., 2004 

lower heart rate for older adults (65+) who practice in martial arts, compared to sedentary individuals following a 3-minute step test
1 bpm

Y. Hong, J. X. Li, and P Robinson., 2003

increase in VO2 max (measure of cardio-respiratory fitness)scores for female participants in a 12-month tai chi intervention
1 %