6 Martial Arts to Try out in Philadelphia


Posted By: Pamela Toy

Martial Arts are a great way to stay in shape and learn a valuable skillset in the process. Unlike traditional workout routines, you get to form a bond with your training partners and instructors. It can be a really great outlet for people working a 9-5 job.

As a Pilates instructor in Philadelphia, I encourage my clients to cross-train in other sports to develop coordination and improve their cardio.

However, there are many different Martial Arts out there and it’s important to distinguish which ones are valuable from a practical point of view.

I decided to list out the martial arts that I believe are valuable, fun, and practical at the same time. These are all martial arts that are all taught by quality instructors in Philadelphia.

Let’s go ahead and jump in.

1. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Philadelphia
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a fantastic workout. It is one of the core martial arts that you see in MMA (Used when the fight hits the ground). It focuses on the skill of taking someone to the ground and putting them in a submission hold (choke or joint lock). (1)

For anyone looking to learn self-defense and get a great workout, I recommend trying out a class or two. Keep in mind that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a close contact grappling martial art, so if you feel uncomfortable being in close physical contact with another human being, it may not be for you.

2. Boxing


Boxing in Philadelphia
Boxing is another martial art I recommend checking out for anyone looking for self-defense training. Boxing is great for improving your hand-eye coordination and cardio as well. If you are looking to box just for fun without the sparring/self-defense aspect, there are a lot of cardio boxing classes you can check out.

3. Kickboxing


Kickboxing in Philadelphia
Similar to boxing, kickboxing is another striking martial art. It is a combat sport based on punching and kicking originally developed from boxing and karate. (2)

I think learning how to throw kicks can help with your coordination as well. Again, if you are just interested in the cardio/workout portion, you can still learn the correct form without having to spar.

4. Muay Thai


Muay Thai in Philadelphia
Muay Thai is a martial art that also allows kicks and punches. It is a martial art and combat sport that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. (3)

What differentiates Muay Thai from Kickboxing is that you can throw knees, elbows and clinch your opponent.

5. Judo


Judo in Philadelphia
Judo is very similar to Jiu-Jitsu, but there is less emphasis on the ground. There is much emphasis on taking the opponent down and then pinning them (also called an ippon).

Once you hit the ground, you can work ongoing for a joint lock or a chokehold, but you have a limited amount of time to work before the match gets stood back up. People who are proficient in Judo are said to be equivalent to a blue or purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu (on the ground). (4)

6. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)


MMA in Philadelphia
Mixed Martial Arts or MMA consists of many different martial arts. It is a full-contact combat sport based on striking, grappling and ground fighting. (5)

For people who are a fan of the UFC, MMA is a great workout choice that not only teaches you how to defend yourself but it is also a fantastic workout. Some of the core martial arts in MMA are Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, BJJ and Wrestling.

There you have it. These are the 6 martial arts I believe are the most practical to learn. Not only will they help you develop great motor skills, but you will also learn how to defend yourself as well. If you are in the Philadelphia area and want to try out a martial art, I highly recommend one of the ones I listed above.

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