Q&A: Bodytypes

do you need a particular body type for certain sports or martial arts? like, skinny people are better at acrobatics for example?

No, though, martial arts will shape your body. The only thing you need is the perseverance to stick with training when it becomes strenuous.

There are two traits that can be very advantageous.

From a combat perspective, being an adult comes with a couple insurmountable advantages. Mental maturity means the ability to quickly assess consequences, and form a viable plan. Additionally, an adult skeleton will be far more resilient than one that is still growing. This doesn’t mean that children can’t (or shouldn’t) engage in martial arts, simply that they should not be fighting.

The second trait is a lower center of gravity. A lower center of gravity results in a more stable martial artist; one who will be harder to knock down or throw. There are two ways to have a lower center of gravity: One is to be shorter, the other is to be female.

Part of the purpose for stances in martial arts is to lower your center of gravity. For someone who is shorter, they get into a much lower stance than their taller counterparts. This is a significant advantage, but it’s not a filter.

The thing with acrobats is that weight is a pretty significant filter over whether you can participate in the sport. With martial arts the only filter is whether you can stick with the training.

Beyond that, high level martial arts will push you towards a body type (which will vary based on what you’re training in), but that’s more a consequence of the physical activity you’re engaging in; not a function of the community favoring a specific body type. This is true with most strenuous physical activity. If you’re engaging in that activity, it will cause your physique to develop in accordance with what you’re doing. However, it does not mean you can’t participate in martial arts based on your body type.

The only physical filter for martial arts is whether you can actually sustain the training. Martial arts can cause a lot of physical wear on its practitioners. Again, this isn’t that different from any other, similar, physical activity. If you don’t take care of your body, you will wear it down, and martial arts can contribute to that.

-Starke

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