Can martial arts be a good choice for your fitness goals? Yes!!! Regardless of what those goals are. Most martial arts contain exceptional stretching routines, and naturally involve tons of cardio through sparring/technique repetition, etc. They often involve some level of strength training. Even Aikido, which doesn’t rely on strength, increases your physical strength through practice—at least in the early levels when the techniques are performed relatively slowly.
In fact, many athletes find that beginning martial arts works muscles they are unaccustomed to working, so even if they’ve been lifting weights and running for years, they find themselves exceptionally sore the first several weeks after beginning martial arts training. Martial arts can get you fit fast. If you’re goals are fitness, consider studying martial arts, and you can increase your fitness levels as you learn how to defend yourself.
Before commencing your martial arts study, or in the early stages, check out my resources, Essential Tips for Beginning Martial Artists, and its sequel, Essential Tips for Beginning Martial Artists 2. For solo training, in addition to shadow boxing and using the heavy bag, nothing gets your heart pumping and works all your muscles while increasing flexability at the same time, as kung fu forms practice. Check out my Secrets of Kung Fu Mastery for more on kung fu and forms practice. I’ll have more posts on fitness training in the future, so stay tuned.