So you've seen Enter the Dragon twenty times, and think you've got what it takes to be the next Bruce Lee (or Jet Li). Or maybe the film oeuvre of Steven Seagal is more your cup of green tea (we're sorry); nevertheless, you know that the martial arts are for you. Maybe you're just fat, lazy, and bored (again, we're sorry) and think perhaps it might be time to do something about it. Well, whatever your reasons for coming here, young disciple, you have come to the right place (as always, when you come to us first). And guess what? We have an opinion! We believe that the martial arts can enable you to accomplish these goals, and many more, while looking damn good doing it. So read on, and become the next Karate Kid, or at least the next Next Karate Kid.


As when you begin any new physical activity or exercise regimen, you should first visit your doctor for a complete physical check-up. Let him/her know of your plans so that he/she can specifically check for any health problems that might affect your selection of a discipline and your training. Any problems with your cardiovascular system - your heart and blood circulation - will be a concern for any martial art. Other problems, such as with your back, joints, or limbs, may also influence your choice of a martial art. A low impact discipline such as tai chi may enable you to acquire physical and mental strength without putting undue stress on your feeble body (and/or mind).

If you're smoking, stop now - you're going to need that extra oxygen. (By the way, you may not have heard, but there have been a few reports that smoking may be hazardous to your health.) True, many of the activities involved in martial arts training are anaerobic - meaning "without air." But any routine that you repeat, or any activity that involves prolonged rapid movement, will quicken your heart and breathing rates, thereby providing aerobic ("with air") benefits such as improving your circulatory and respiratory health. (No, you do not get to wear leg warmers and a ripped T-shirt for the aerobic activity.)

Finally, you'll want to consider your diet. If you want to have sufficient energy to bring full intensity to your training, you'll want to cut the junk food out of your diet (that's right, no more Ding Dongs). Instead, make sure that what you do consume consists of a balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats (in minimal but sufficient quantities), and possibly vitamins and supplements. Them's fightin' foods. Consult your doctor, a dietician, or another source of dietary information to get the details as to what diet will be best suited to your training. Your martial arts instructor may also have some suggestions, once you begin training. (We advise that you ask him personally however, and simply take his word for it when he tells you what he eats. No using your ninja skills to follow him or dig through his garbage to see what he really eats.)