What's The Best Martial Art to Keep Fit?

Can you really consider fitness as a factor when choosing a martial art? Yes! These training programs are often based on traditional martial arts, "re-branded" to fit into a nice commercial package that appeals to a wider audience.


This combines the best of both worlds in terms of a better conditioning, character building, discipline and motivational drive. It is certainly a sport, but the only competition is with yourself. There is no such thing as a Kick & Fun competition where the person who hits hardest wins!

It is martial art that is direct and straight to the point for giving quick results. These sort of classes can be good for beginners who are new to the world of martial arts and also as a good fill-in training for those who are already quite familiar with other “true” martial arts. These types of courses are good for people who have no time or interest to learn the more complicated steps and deeper spirituality and wisdom that is a part of the traditional martial arts. These sort of martial arts generally tend to be a lot more fun! Made for “westerners by westerners” can be said about fitness & wellbeing martial arts.


Currently MANY gyms and sport schools offer classes to get you involved. Here are a few you may come across:


Body Balance

Drawing from the practises of tai chi, yoga, pilates, Body Balance is becoming more popular every year. As the name implies, there is a focus on balance and posture, which is strengthened by motions that require flexibility and proper breathing. The elements borrowed from tai chi and yoga provide for a revitalising feeling. Generally speaking, this is often popular with women, so men may feel like the minority in these classes! Before you feel like a fish out of water guys, give it a try; the extra flexibility and proper breathing can be handy for many things! ;)


Body Combat

This is a fairly straightforward fighting sport for groups but equally suitable for solo missions! It is high powered and heavy duty so it generally appeals to those who already have some experience with other forms of martial arts.


Body Attack

Although it is primarily the same as Body Combat, it is practised at a much faster, harder pace. It is considered advanced and for people who are already quite fit.



This is a dynamic work-out that makes use of some of the elements of Tae Bo, boxing, karate and aerobics. The main difference is that it focuses on the use of special Bokatae materials and training partners. Having fun is an essential aspect to this practise which makes it ideal for kids and those who are not interested in becoming “deadly weapons” or K1 champions!


Kick & Fun

The key to these courses are no-nonsense boxing work-outs set to a upbeat musical rhythm. This is really good for overall conditioning; as you will see any flab converted to muscles in no time!


Tae Bo

This was developed by the American Billy Blanks in the late 1980’s. The concept is a mix of boxing, karate and tae kwan do. These general movements are combined with an aerobic “step” workout. Often practised with fast paced music accompanying the training, it tends to be a high tempo, exciting way to work-out. It has become very popular partially thanks to the many famous people that have been known to use tae bo. This is often considered the predecessor of all modern variations of this concept, like the ones you will see in .


After reading about the variety of martial arts on offer, it is advisable to actually go and visit a few of the classes in and around Amsterdam. We have compiled a great index list of places for anyone who is curious. Remember to check with the instructor or dojo to see if you can watch a lesson... don’t be shy!