Best Martial Arts for Balance


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Doing any sort of sport requires proper balance. But not all of us have naturally good balance. Balance can be developed in a variety of ways, including practicing martial arts. But what is the best martial art for balance?

As a general rule, Tai Chi, Karate, Taekwondo, and Aikido are the best martial arts for balance. These martial arts focus on mobility rather than strength. They place a high value on balance, and uncoordinated people can learn and improve their balance skills while practicing.

Martial arts, for the most part, focus on developing strength, power, and endurance.

However, not all martial arts require the same level of flexibility and balance. If you feel uncoordinated or you are a parent with uncoordinated young kids, keep reading to the end to find out more about the best martial arts for balance.

Do martial arts improve balance?

Martial arts practice can improve balance as many techniques require balancing on one leg while executing kicks with the other. Alternately, some martial arts teach falls, rolls, and leg sweeps that require precision and timing in conjunction with balance.

The best martial arts for balance are Tai Chi, Karate, Taekwondo, Aikido, and Judo. The training pattern of these martial arts helps with balance.

In the next few lines, I will briefly explain these martial arts and how they help with balance.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi, also known as Tai Chi Chuan, is a non-competitive, self-paced form of mild physical activity and stretching. Tai Chi, along with Wing Chun (what Bruce Lee did originally), are all forms of Kung Fu.

Kung Fu is an umbrella term used to describe almost all Chinese martial arts.

When doing Tai Chi, your body will be in constant motion because one posture flows into the next.

With its effective methodology that improves the body while focusing on the mind, Tai Chi treats many physical and mental health issues, including bone strength, joint stability, cardiovascular health, immunity, and emotional well-being.

Tai Chi is an excellent way to improve balance and prevent falls, which are critical for kids and adults. It also is one of the rare martial arts that doesn’t require a lot of physical strength or strength training to gain agility.

That’s one of the reasons Tai Chi is one of the most popular martial arts for seniors.

Karate

Karate helps a martial artist focus on developing strength, agility, and stamina using punches, kicks, throws, and blocks.

This martial art emphasizes flexibility while building strength and power via its various forms—some styles of Karate attempt to improve flexibility, while others try to improve balance and coordination.

Regardless of age or physical condition, all Karate styles share the capacity to be used for self-defense by anybody.

Taekwondo

While several other martial arts disciplines were being established in Korea at the same time as Taekwondo, none of them focused only on unarmed combat.

And Taekwondo is the most popular Korean martial art.

Taekwondo is a unique martial arts style since it emphasizes using empty-handed techniques for self-defense.

The fighting style places a lot of emphasis on developing balance, power, agility, and accuracy.

Aikido

Aikido is one of the most effective Japanese martial arts because it emphasizes teaching learners how to concentrate their energy to avoid being attacked or wounded.

Instead of employing brute force, this combat technique emphasizes balance and synchronization.

Aikido, like Karate, emphasizes balance and synchronization to dodge or cripple an opponent. This type of combat is commonly referred to as “soft-style” since it is based on skill rather than power.

Judo

The foundation of Judo is the Japanese martial art of Jujitsu, sometimes known as the gentle way.

Judo has a high focus on coordination, balance, and strength development via maneuvers such as joint locks, throws, and chokes.

And it’s one of the top arts used by mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters such as Ronda Rousey.

The meaning of the word “Judo” in Japanese is “gentle” or “friendly.” One of the major benefits of this fighting technique is the development of strength and good flexibility through maneuvers like throws and joint locks.

A study has examined whether young adolescents learning balance and sensory function through martial arts have any benefits. The research revealed a significant advancement in postural control and vestibular function growth.

I did, however, put this last as Judo does typically move to ground fighting where balance is obviously a non-issue. However, it does have a lot of crucial self-defense skills, and the ability to throw an opponent naturally requires excellent balance.

Do combat sports help with balance?

Combat sports such as UFC training do help with balance. UFC fighters are MMA fighters. So, they train in 2 or more different martial arts.

The most popular forms of martial arts used by combat sports and martial arts practitioners include:

  • Japanese Jiu-Jitsu
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Judo
  • Tae Kwon Do
  • Traditional Karate

Now, of those martial arts, Judo and Taekwondo are especially beneficial for balance, as we’ve discussed elsewhere in the article.

Does self-defense or street fights require balance?

In self-defense situations or situations that law enforcement might encounter, balance is an excellent skill to have.

This is because, unlike martial arts training in a safe environment, a real-life street fight is messy. It’s also likely to be dark, and there could be multiple attackers and weapons. And chances are if you are getting attacked, they had the element of surprise unless you have outstanding situational awareness.

You might also have a wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend, or kids with you.

And those elements provide a distraction that can rob you of your self-control in a real fight. So, you may find yourself knocked down, attacked from all sides, or overextending yourself in defending against the attack.

And good balance can help you maintain the advantage, stay on your feet, and not lose your ability to practice good self-defense techniques.

Does Taekwondo require balance?

Yes, Taekwondo requires balance. Maintaining balance, as in any martial art, is critical to learning the skills. The same goes for Taekwondo. You must have remarkable balance to do the kicks in a martial art with many types like Taekwondo.

Balance is essential in Taekwondo.

Without the proper balance, none of the Taekwondo techniques can be done appropriately. You will achieve and master proper balance and coordination as you dedicate more time to training.

The difference is evident when you first start exercising and after spending more time improving it.

And unlike some other martial arts, you can get a black belt in Taekwondo much faster than many other martial arts.

When you are flexible, you can move your body in ways that average people won’t be able to. 

In a recent article, I revealed the best martial arts for improving flexibility. But not all of us can do the splits or a head kick to a tall opponent. Luckily certain martial arts can really make a big difference in helping develop flexibility. But not all of them do.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

How do you learn balance in martial arts?

You learn balance in martial arts by engaging in specific drills and workouts during your martial arts practice. The best approach is to perform simple stretches and exercises to improve balance and coordination.

These balance training drills include:

Agility exercises or training: These workouts increase coordination, power, and speed. They assist you in developing more stability for martial arts sparring and self-defense scenarios. Carioca, t-test, and river dance are a few examples of agility exercises used in martial arts.

Bosu balls: Bosu balls can be compared to a standard spherical ball that has been split in half. Using the flat or curved sides, martial artists practice balance and coordination with Bosu balls.

Air kicks or kicking paddles: Kicks in the air or with a light kicking paddle are examples of kicks that may be practiced without a target. Students of martial arts can focus on their balance and technique with the aid of this training.

Exercise on one leg: Undoubtedly, you have seen or heard about this one. A traditional balancing exercise in martial arts is standing on one leg. To make it more challenging, combine it with other exercises.

Blossom pole work: Blossom pole training, also known as Mei Hua Zhuang in Chinese, aids students or practitioners in developing better balance, leg strength, footwork, coordination, and other skills.

To perform Mei Hua Zhuang, some martial arts schools place poles high off the ground, while others use shorter poles to lessen the chance of damage should a pupil fall.

Why is balance important for Muay Thai?

Balance is important in Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing, because good balance and stability may be the difference between hitting a punch, kick, or elbow strikes, evading a blow, getting swept, and eventually winning or losing when fighting in the ring, participating in an event, or sparring.

The secret to success in Muay Thai is to incorporate balance training into your everyday workouts.

Every Muay Thai enthusiast may benefit from balance and stability training. This ability aids in maintaining your balance while making attacking and defensive actions.

Your core, hip, thigh, and leg muscles can become better prepared for the rigors of battle by engaging in these kinds of training activities.

Essentially Muay Thai is an entire body workout that is great for physical fitness.

Additionally, having strong stability and balance helps to prevent injuries. You will have better control over your own body while off-balance, more joint stability, and an improved ability to influence your opponent’s balance.

Are you curious about what martial arts can beat Muay Thai? 

Find out in a recent article I published. The answer will shock you. After all, there aren’t as many arts that are as effective as Muay Thai. But there is one that is deadlier.

Click on the link to take you straight to the article.

Do I need to already know how to balance before starting martial arts?

You don’t necessarily need to know how to balance before starting martial arts. The martial arts you decide to practice will have routines that will help you work on your balance.

What you should do before starting martial arts is basic exercise routines to keep your mind and body in shape to learn the martial arts of your choice.

The reality is that anyone starting martial arts for the first time has a lot to learn.

For some that could be strength. For others, it could be speed, flexibility, coordination, or balance. It all depends on where they are coming from and what types of physical work they have done in the past. But everyone has a lot to learn. So don’t let a lack of balance sway you from getting started!

Do you think an uncoordinated person can learn martial arts? 

Find out in a recent article I published on this website. Being uncoordinated doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. But there’s one martial art that will improve coordination faster than all the others combined.

Just click on that link to read it on my site.

Does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu help with balance?

BJJ doesn’t help significantly with balance as a great deal of the grappling techniques and movements and techniques are done on the ground.

That being said, the fight does typically start standing, so you have to get to the ground somehow.

So BJJ employs takedowns similar to Judo or Aikido, and those techniques, as well as defending those techniques, do require the training partners to be relatively well balanced.

Basic Balance Exercises for all Martial Artists | Kwonkicker

Conclusion

There are numerous advantages of managing your body’s posture, particularly when moving and engaging in physical activities like martial arts.

Now you know the type of martial art you can participate in to help you build your balance.

You can check online and make findings on the dojo close to you that teaches any of the martial arts discussed in this article.

While more a self-defense system than a martial art, Krav Maga can also help with balance too. And the warmups that typically accompany Krav Maga will get you in shape fast!

With consistent practice, you will get your balance right.


Image by 29450 from Pixabay and Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell was Academy Director for a large martial arts school for over 7 years, and has trained extensively in a variety of martial arts including Brazilian Jiujitsu, different styles of Karate, the Russian Martial Art of Systema, Aikido, and much more.

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