Are they rooted in combat and defense? In many cases, yes. But the benefits of martials arts go so much deeper than that, and it’s critical that you don’t miss out on the true intention (and potential!) behind the training.
Martial arts have been a part of human culture for thousands of years, and for good reason. These practices have not only been used for self-defense, as we said, but also as a way to develop discipline, confidence, and physical fitness. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, relieve stress, or improve your self-defense skills, there are a whole host of benefits to practicing martial arts.
What are the benefits of martial arts training?
Let’s take a look at the top seven.
#1: Self Defense
Learning self-defense skills is one of the primary reasons to practice martial arts. Techniques taught in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, for example, can be particularly useful in dangerous situations as they teach you how to defend yourself against attackers and even submit them to end the confrontation. Because of this, training can help you feel more confident and safe in real life situations.
For more information about different disciplines and how they can be used for self defense, you may want to do a little extra reading here: What Are the Best Martial Arts for Women’s Self Defense?
Practicing martial arts teaches discipline and commitment like few other endeavors can. You’ll learn to set goals, work hard, and follow through, building a level of focus and discipline that will spill over into other aspects of your life: academics, work, relationships, etc.
#3: Physical fitness
Spend a few minutes sparring, working on drills, or rolling on a mat and you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about! Martial arts are fun, but they’re also excellent for weight loss and improving overall fitness. The movements and techniques develop strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance. Many martial arts classes also incorporate aspects of meditation and breathing exercises which can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Just an added bonus!
#4: Mental strength
Along with physical strength, martial arts training also develops mental strength. Through martial arts, students learn to focus, concentrate, and persevere through challenging situations. Regardless of your age or stage of life, these skills have universal value.
You might be surprised by just how strong and tightly-knit the martial arts community really is. Classes are often practiced in a group setting, which provides opportunities for socialization and building friendships. Many schools and studios also offer classes for children, creating a safe and supportive environment for kids to make new friends and learn important life skills.
#6: Character development
Martial arts promote and foster positive character development, with a special emphasis on respect, humility, harmony, and integrity. It’s not about just being a better fighter, but a better and more balanced person overall.
#7: Cultural awareness
Different techniques and styles can be traced back to regions all over the world. Practicing martial arts can help individuals gain a greater understanding and appreciation for other cultures, heritages, and their traditions.
What’s the takeaway?
You know that old cliche, “It’s about the journey, not the destination?” Well, that really rings true for martial arts. In fact, the more you study and learn, the more you realize how much is left to discover. The good news is that you’ll reap priceless benefits along the way: improved self-defense skills, weight loss, stress relief, physical fitness, and more.
Is it hard? Yes! But only in the very best ways.