There are many ways that you can benefit from different forms of exercise, and for me Martial Arts of any kind really sums up a good workout. I have been doing different Martial Arts for many years, off and on, and I have been helped greatly in many areas. Martial Arts was the first “sport” that actually stood out to me, and that I enjoyed doing so much that I was looking forward to going back again and again. Below I have listed a few of the things that I have noticed that Martial Arts have helped me the most with.
For me, what really stands out about Martial Arts is how many aspects there are to it. I have always focused on the physical side of the workout, the expression of the human body. I have since I got into Martial Arts, kind of wandered between different schools, such as Karate, Bujinkan, Iaido, Jiu-Jutsu and Tae Kwon Do, and all of them are great in their own ways and all bring their own specific benefits. But there are a few things that most Martial Arts incorporate, which make them very beneficial, no matter who you are.
In any kind of Martial Art, you have to be able to control your body, to be able to avoid attacks, whether you are doing the Martial Art for self-defence purposes, as a sport or as a workout. There are many techniques that you will learn that will push you to recognize how you can move in a better way, how to position yourself and coordinate your movements with your opponent. You will learn to use both sides of your body, how to coordinate strikes, kicks and other movements, and retain your balance at the same time.
2. Strength and Endurance
If you have never been doing Martial Arts before, you might not think that you need to be strong to start with Martial Arts. This is completely wrong. Actually, once you get past a certain point, the more muscle mass you have, the slower and more sluggish you get. So in Martial Arts, having lean strength is more valued than huge muscles. Another thing that you will improve is your endurance. You will be asked to do the same things over and over and over and over ad nauseum, until you are so tired you want to curl up into a ball and cry, but you will be doing it, and that in turn will build up your endurance and skill. Repetition is key to anything you want to become good at or improve.
3. Improved Reflexes
When faced with new situations, we adapt. When faced with punches and kicks and locks that hurt, you adapt by learning how to counter them, or how to avoid them, but most importantly, you learn to react quickly, assess the situation and act accordingly. You basically teach your reflexes to become faster, by putting yourself in the line of fire. This improvement of reflexes and reaction doesn’t only apply to Martial Arts, but also computer games, when driving, cycling and any other kind of situation where you need to react quickly.
Paradoxically you can become a more peaceful person by practicing Martial Arts. It is a great source of stress relief for many people to be able to kick, scream and get their frustrations out through Martial Arts practice, and in turn that leaves you more relaxed and focused than when you started your workout. And the more peaceful you get inside, the easier it is to cope with stress
Through learning self-defence and being able to be confident in yourself even in pressured situations you gain enormous self-confidence. Being able to trust yourself that you will be able to handle any situation that you will come to face is another thing that Martial Arts can bring. Knowing how to defend yourself is an enormously comforting feeling to have, even if you never end up needing to use your skills. Your goal should never be to get into a fight, but to be able to get out of one, and feel secure with yourself no matter what situation you are in. That is the goal with Martial Arts.
Now that I have listed a few of the things that I find the most beneficial with Martial Arts, it is your turn! Tell me what you think about Martial Arts in general, what you benefit from the most and anything else you want to discuss in the comments. Looking forward to hearing from you!