Overweight People And Martial Arts

Now we have all seen Sammo Hung and thought fat people can excel in martial arts as well right? Well yes and no. A key aspect of martial arts is having endurance, agility and speed. All of which can be greatly impaired by being overweight. Now don’t go thinking I’m overweight so I shouldn’t even bother taking up martial arts.

The benefit of martial arts (amongst other benefits) is increasing your overall fitness, that’s right it is calorie burning stuff! In the words of Neil Degrasse Tyson “Consume calories at a lower rate than your body burns them” of course there is a bit more to it than that but the general gist of what I am trying to say is if you eat well and practice martial arts you will certainly lose weight.

What is the healthy weight range for men you should ideally be in between 10 – 20 percent body fat for healthy weight but not for martial arts and for women you are looking at 15- 25 percent. For women it is much harder to lose weight and keep it off hence the reason there is so many women’s weight loss programs and much fewer men’s programs out there. You can learn martial arts at any size, but to be competitive it is ideal to be at a healthy weight.

Many have opted for the joe’s fat sick and nearly dead diet as seen in his documentary although it is easy and fast it does not seem like a healthy way of getting there.

Is there any martial arts out there for bigger people?

Yes there certainly is Aikido and Tai chi are considered soft arts in the respect that they redirect the opponents force and rely much less on strikes, Kung Fu and Taekwando are high impact arts that require a lot of energy and acrobatics, speed, agility etc. Being overweight will certainly not hamper your ability to do the high impact arts because you can learn at any size.


You do not have to have a six pack, you do not have to look like Bruce Lee to learn self defense. Although it will help you with your fitness and your discipline which are key aspects when it comes to reaching your weight loss goals. Practice an art today you have nothing to lose except for that bothersome spare tyre and everything to gain!