How Long Does it Take to Learn Martial Arts

How Long Does it Take to Learn Martial Arts (Explained)

Learning new martial arts can be both a fascinating and intimidating experience.

On average, you can learn the basics of a new martial art within 3 to 6 months of practicing. This depends on the martial art, instructor as well as personal training schedule. It goes without saying that practicing three times a week will make you progress faster compared to once a week.

Let’s dive deeper into the topic of how long it takes to learn and master a new martial art. On top of that, we will go through how long it takes for different martial arts to reach the black belt.

How long does it take to learn a new martial art?

As mentioned above, on average, it takes around 3 to 6 months to learn the basics of martial arts.

For some people, it might take less if they have previous experience in martial arts and they train multiple times a week.

For others, it could take closer to a year, if they have no previous experience, are not in great shape, and practice less, like once a week or twice a month.

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s not a competition on how fast you can learn the martial arts. You are doing it for yourself, and once you learn it, you got the skill.

Most of the learning happens at the beginning of the training. That’s where most of the new information and skills come in. Therefore, you have completed the most difficult phase if you can get through the first six months to a year.

time and progress when learning martial arts
Most of the learning happens in the beginning.

You can speed up the timeline to learn the basics by attending the class multiple times a week. You can also do some training on your own with YouTube videos about martial art, or take an online course to further increase your learning.

How long does it take to master a martial art?

Mastering martial art is another thing. It takes years of time and dedication.

Usually, we can say that you have mastered martial art as you get a black belt if there is a belt system. On average, it takes around 5 to 10 years to achieve a black belt in a martial art, depending on a lot of factors, especially on the martial art at hand.

A few examples of how long, on average it takes to achieve a black belt in martial arts.

  • In karate, you could get a black belt in 5 years with regular training 2 to 3 times a week.
  • For judo, it also takes closer to 10 years on average to get a black belt.
  • The black belt on taekwondo on average hovers around 5 years.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are just average. Some people might get a black belt in much less time, whereas for others it can take a lot longer.

Competitions are another great way to benchmark your skills in that specific martial art. You don’t even have to be a black belt to attend competitions. In some martial arts, you can start competing right after handling the basics of martial art.

More about what a black belt means in martial arts in this post.

Is it difficult to learn martial arts?

Learning martial arts is not easy, but it’s completely doable for anybody who has the persistence and motivation to do so. You can start by practicing just once a week and move up from there if you want.

Like any other skill, learning, and mastering martial arts takes a long time. However, the most difficult part is starting out. After you learn the basics and have the routine of practicing, it will go almost on autopilot.

I have made a guide for people who want to start practicing martial art with some tips on how to get started. You can find the guide here.

You don’t have to practice martial arts several times a week either. You can get huge results by training just once a week if that is what you want. It takes longer, but the progress is there.

On the other hand, if you want to learn as fast as you can, you could try to practice almost every day of the week. Everybody at their own speed.

How long does it take to learn to fight?

Fighting as a skill is very generic and difficult to benchmark, since there are no “belts” in just fighting, assuming we are talking about street fighting and self-defense.

However, by completing a basic course on almost any martial art, it is fairly safe to assume you will be better off when it comes to self-defense compared to having no martial arts experience at all.

Fighting as a skill is not a yes or no game, where you either know how to fight or don’t know how to fight. It is a spectrum of how well you can fight and defend yourself.

The more you practice, the better off you will be in self-defense situations.

More about how long it takes to learn to fight and defend yourself in this post.

I also have a list of the 5 best martial arts for self-defense, you can find them here.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, it takes around 3 to 6 months on average to learn a new martial art. The timeline may differ according to the following factors:

  • Your background in sports and martial arts
  • Your training schedule
  • The martial art in hand
  • Additional practicing methods (YouTube videos, courses)
  • Your instructor
  • The gym you practice at

In the end, it’s important to remember that learning martial arts is not a competition and everybody learns at their own speed for their own good.

You might also be interested in what martial arts the US army uses.

Hopefully this was helpful, have a wonderful day.

About The Author