For some of us, our first experience with martial arts was The Karate Kid. An amazing movie about a kid being bullied who beat the bullies–legally. What Karate Kid did for martial arts in America is comparable to what Twitter has done for those who don’t like to write.

But we all know what you see in the movies is not exactly real life.

So what is martial arts? What is mixed martial arts? How can it benefit me? These are the three questions Empire Self Defense and Martial Arts in Albany, NY, aims to answer in this blog post.


An exact definition of martial arts is broad. In essence, martial arts is various sports or skills, mainly of Japanese origin, that originated as forms of self-defense. These are codified combat practices for self-defense, military, and law enforcement purposes. Martial arts usually doesn’t use weapons–purely your body.


Mixed martial arts or MMA (as the name implies) is a mixture of martial arts and other combat sports. This is a contact sport, which involves striking and grappling. Mixed martial arts is a relatively new sport, originating in the 1990s. However, its origins stretch all the way back to the ancient Greeks who had a sport called pankration, which was very similar to MMA. The ancient Greeks, however, had only two rules: 1) No eye-gouging and 2) no biting.


A lot of people have an idea of what karate is; and that idea does not involve them. They see two ripped guys, duking it out with an occasional blood burst. However, martial arts, like any other sport, is for everyone. Some of the major benefits are:

  • You’re working towards a goal. All martial arts is incrementally increasing in skill. The goal is usually a black belt–the apex of devoting yourself to the discipline and the most coveted symbol in martial arts training.
  • It builds self-confidence. You become more comfortable in your own skin. You learn to control your body and do things you’d never thought you could do before like spin kicks!
  • Total body workout. You use every major muscle group in your body when you do martial arts training. You’ll see vast improvements in stamina, muscle tone, flexibility, balance, and, of course, strength.
  • Focus. Martial arts training involves a lot of patience, self-control, and determination to perform the moves correctly. Practice is key.
  • Better mood. There’s nothing quite like unwinding after a tough day at work than going to the gym. Empire Self-Defense and Martial Arts in Albany, NY, has an amazing facility, great equipment, and excellent instructors eager to help you feel amazing. Contact us today!
  • Make friends. In this technological age, many people are losing deep friendships because they are glued to their electronic device. It can be hard to make meaningful friendships. Martial arts promotes camaraderie. We here at Empire Self-Defense and Martial Arts aims to bring people together in Albany and the surrounding area with similar interests. We offer many social opportunities and night outs to help everyone get to know each other better.
  • Character development. Martial arts and mixed martial arts will humble you, no doubt about it. Getting your butt kicked will do wonders for your pride–and hopefully motivate you more to one day kick others’ butts! So many of us get caught up in ourselves and our own lives that we puff ourselves up to be indefatigable. The fact of the matter is we’re not. There’s always someone out there better than you. Having a place to remind you of this will improve all areas of your life: relations, career, and gratitude. If you’re looking for a place that will remind you of your blessings, look no further than Empire Self-Defense and Martial Arts.

Empire Self-Defense and Martial Arts in Albany, NY, wants you to live your best life possible. We believe with all of our hearts that martial arts training and mixed martial arts training will change your life. Contact us today to learn more and try a class for free!