Every culture of the human race has had a martial art, a formalized doctrine of combat taught from one generation to the next. The word “martial” itself simply means pertaining to war and/or bravery; therefore, studying the martial arts means, at its heart, learning the ways of armed and unarmed combat. In ages past the warrior elite not only used their knowledge to protect the nation, but also safeguarded that knowledge for future warriors. Whether it was the Buddhist Warriors of ancient China, the Pankratiasts of ancient Greece, the farmer fighters of feudal Okinawa Japan, the British Commandos of World War II, and so on, combat instructors have traditionally held a position of honor both on and off the battlefield. Today, however, teachers of martial arts in Bristol come from not just military or law enforcement back grounds, but from extensive martial arts pedigrees. Still more bring to their schools a lifetime of street and sport fighting experience. Thus it serves to reason that what martial arts has come to mean in modern day usage is something quite unique.
In the 21st century, people study martial arts in Bristol for a variety of reasons. Those who engage in Wrestling and Tae Kwon do at least twice weekly gain a remarkable increase in both explosive strength and agility; those who continue for months or years benefit from enhanced stamina and physical coordination. Beyond the physical benefits, practitioners also gain a sense of calm that comes with the experience of combat training. Furthermore, the feeling of accomplishment gained from belt testing and competitions makes all those hours spent on the mat worthwhile. And for those of a more spiritual and philosophical bent, the meditative disciplines, such as Zen and Buddhism, associated with styles like Bushido and Kung Fu offer limitless benefits for the mind as well as the body.
However, the most common reason for studying martial arts in Bristol is self-defense. While violent crimes in the United Kingdom are on the decline, becoming the victim of a armed assault is all too real concern of urban life. Most people want to live without the constant fear of the hooded man waiting around a darkened street corner. Law enforcement officers provide a heroic and much needed service for the city’s population, but on the street precious seconds could mean the difference between surviving a violent encounter or becoming another bloody statistic.
Fortunately for those willing to learn, Bristol presents a veritable cornucopia of opportunities. From Capoiera to Wing Chun, from Tae Kwon Do to Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, from Mixed Martial Arts to Krav Maga, this city is a thriving metropolis of martial arts enthusiasts. And for those wanting to learn self-defense in particular, Bristol city hosts the highest concentration of Krav Maga instructors in all of western England. Though not a martial art in the strictest sense, Krav Maga has been consistently listed in the top ten martial arts for self-defense by Black Belt Magazine. So regardless of whether your interests lie in breaking boards or breaking legs, studying martial arts in Bristol is as easy as picking up a phone to schedule an introductory class.