If you're looking to pick up a new hobby and get into shape at the same time I suggest you look into taking some martial arts classes. Most cities have countless martial arts classes in all different styles but sometimes it can be overwhelming to find the one that is right for you. Here are some basic tips you can employ when searching for a martial arts training class in your area.
Things You Will NeedAll you'll need for this is the motivation to get out there and try something new. All styles of martial arts provide an excellent means of staying in shape and they also offer a great community feel to them. You should make a list of the things you're looking to get out of your martial arts class before looking for one because not all martial arts styles are exactly the same.
Are you looking to learn how to kick box or are you looking for self defense tactics?
Do you crave promotions and have lots of ambition?
Do you work better in a small class environment with only a few dedicated peers or do you work well in a large class with changing faces?
Are you looking to do a lot of martial arts weapons training? Or are you strickly the hand to hand and meditation type of guy?
All of these will factor into your decision. Pick up a yellow pages and jump on the net to look for classes in your area. Depending on the answers you made to the above questions you will either be looking for a large class like a Tae Kwon Do or you will be looking for a small community led group like a USA Goju. Every dojo is going to have a different feel to it so it is suggested that you go and visit a few of them before making your final decision.
Martial artists have great patience, self confidence, and discipline. When martial arts is your hobby, or if it is your life, you will find that you are a better human being for taking it. The movies may portray the martial arts as a violent sport but in truth violence is only a small portion of the training.
There is meditation, exercise, stretching, self defense, weapons, kata, and all sorts of other great new concepts that you can learn. Try your hand at a few different styles and pick one that is right for you. It may be Karate or it may be Aikido, you won't know unless you try.