Learning Martial Arts in Nigeria: How it Works

by Michael Olorunwumi
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Martial arts

Contrary to the popular opinion that martial arts are for some selected few, martial arts is good for you as a Nigerian, no matter your age bracket or life’s season. As we grow older, our body follows suit. Due to this, daily physical activities, diet, and nutrition are needed to foster fitness and vitality.

Children, teenagers, adults, seniors, and anyone can partake in martial arts, be it Karate, Judo, Taekwondo, etc. Although, you need to consider your physical limitations and health conditions before deciding on which of the martial arts suits you. 

Keep reading as we discuss more about martial arts training in Nigeria. 

What are Martial Arts?

Martial arts are combat traditions carried out for reasons like; application of law enforcement, physical, spiritual, and mental development, military fitness, and self-defense. It is the conditioning of the body and mind for the right application to war or fight. They also serve as a means to preserve cultural heritage. 

Martial arts are categorized into many types. The major types of martial arts are:

  • Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
  • Brazilian Martial Arts
  • Korean Martial Arts
  • Chinese Martial Arts
  • Japanese Martial Arts

Types of Martial Arts

Numerous types of Martial Arts are being practiced, such as Indonesian, African, and Indian martial arts, amongst others. However, some are no longer in use or are less popular than before. The major ones are highlighted below;

  1. Mixed martial arts

Mixed martial arts was used for the first time in 1993, during a review by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. It is a total combat kind of sport where striking and grappling techniques are involved.

A blend and incorporation of various techniques from tens of combat sports including the “on-the-ground” and “standing mode.” These days, professional wrestling, boxing, and other fighting sports accept a mix of martial arts. As a result, it has been added to most martial art schools, including in Nigeria.

  1. Brazillian martial arts

This type of martial arts primarily deals with ground fighting and grappling in a system of self-defense and combat sport. There are just two martial arts under it; Vale Tudo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It was coined from the principles of fighting Judo. Japanese jiu-jitsu was its secondary and mother art before it became Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

  1. Korean martial arts

Martial arts has remained a well-practiced culture in Korea for ages. The two most common types are Hapkido and Taekwondo. Hapkido has to do with non-resistance philosophy and shares a similar style of striking with that of the Japanese martial art called Aikido.

Taekwondo is one of the highly imbibed martial arts, and along with Judo has been recognized even to the level of the World Olympics.

Technically, there are contrasts between several Taekwondo organizations, but this is common: throwing kicks from a distance is used to destroy an opponent. It does not concentrate on hand techniques like other martial arts, which makes it distinguished. 

  1. Chinese martial arts

A couple of famous artists of this remain; Bruce Lee (of blessed memory), Jackie Chan, and Jet Li. Tai Chi and Karate are the two features of this. Striking art, also known as Karate, is a blend of Japanese and Chinese martial arts. In Japan, Karate means empty hands.

Open-handed styles, knee and elbow strikes, kicking, and punching are the features of this sport. As for Tai Chi Chuan or Tai Chi, it is a moving meditation. The principles of this sport are from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Additionally, you should note that Kung Fu is not martial arts. It is just a general name for Chinese martial arts. The term Kung Fu was noised abroad in the 1960s through the late TV series of the late Bruce Lee.

  1. Japanese martial arts

“The art of pliance” or Jiu-jitsu, one of the martial arts of the Japanese, where Kendo, Aikido, and Judo also  belong, has to do with mental training, joint-locking, body throws, choking, grappling maneuver, and other techniques to attain control relaxation and a win against opponents. 

Kendo, also known as “way of the sword,” is an ancient martial art. Free sparring and the use of Shinai, bamboo, or swords aided this sport. You may want to consider Japanese martial arts in your drive to learn martial arts in Nigeria.

How To Become A Martial Artist in Nigeria

In line with the popular saying, “The earlier, the better,”, learning martial arts as a kid is better. As an adult burdened with work and other issues, it may be cumbersome. But if you are an adult, and you are interested and serious about it, you will create time for it. Here’s how to go about it; 

  1. Have a purpose

You should have a purpose before deciding to go into martial art. This is what will keep you going when the going gets tough.

  1. Select a type of martial art type to learn

The types of martial arts have been discussed above. The next step is to pick any martial arts you are interested in.

  1. Check for martial arts training hubs near you

You may need to check online to find a martial art training center nearby. If you’re based in Lagos, the Wellness Martial Arts at National Stadium, Surulele, or the Kandoshin Martial Arts Academy at Omole Estate Phase 1, Ikeja, are options you can consider.  

  1. Get your kits

Purchase your kits from an online store or a physical one nearby. You can order it on sites like Jumia, Amazon, etc, and it will be delivered.

  1. Start training

If you’ve picked the martial art of your choice, gotten your kits, and chosen a location close to you, the next thing is to start your martial arts training. Enjoy the process, and don’t be after winning belts alone. Also, practice by yourself after group training with others.

Importance of Martial Arts

Every human needs mental and physical exercise alongside self-confidence and self-defense. Martial arts help to accomplish these. Below are the benefits of learning or going through martial arts training:

  • It makes you more aware and focused.
  • It renews brain cells and reflexes, boosting your brain power for effective delivery.
  • You become happier and less stressed, as its a good way to relieve stress. 
  • Discharges endorphins that result to self-happiness
  • It increases the brain power
  • Reduces the breaking down of reflexes and aging
  • Aids self-satisfaction by breaking new levels 

What is the Age Limit to Learning Martial Arts?

There is no age limit to martial arts learning in Nigeria and globally. Men and women in their 50s can, just as little kings and queens in their teens or 20s can. However, it is advised that children begin at age 4. Some kids may start learning from age 3, but at this stage, they are not involved in complex training, only the basics. As time goes on, they develop into new levels.

Your main objective should be something other than getting the belts but learning the art of martial arts. By doing this, you will naturally win numerous belts.


Learning martial arts or any form of self-defense is something every Nigerian must know. It has unquantifiable advantages and paves the way to a good quality lifestyle, especially in Nigeria where the situation of the country automatically keeps you fit out of fitness.

All you need to do is follow the above-mentioned steps and be focused on learning the sport.

Check out these other exciting and valuable posts;

Oluwanifemi Akintomide edited this piece.

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About Author

Avatar of Michael Olorunwumi
Michael Olorunwumi
Michael Olorunwumi, is a final year student at the University of Ibadan, studying English language and Education. He is an SEO content writer, spoken word artiste, poet, Kampala textile designer, and rapper.

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