If you think martial arts are all about fighting and getting physical, then you’re sooo wrong. There are a lot more health benefits to practicing martial arts than improving your fitness level.
All forms of martial arts have their own rich, distinctive history; some even date back to ancient times when people used these practices to either hunt for food or engage in war.
Common knowledge also suggests different physical disciplines originated in various parts of Asia. For example, Aikido and Karate coming from Japan, Tai Chi from China, and Korea’s Taekwondo.
Traditional martial arts philosophies from these countries normally promote mental aspects such as humility and self-discipline. These concepts are the total opposite of its physical manifestation – or what many people deem it today.
Nowadays, with the rise in popularity of MMA and numerous combat sports promotions, it’s normal for fans to view martial arts solely for its physical benefits.
Martial arts, as physical as it is, has a ton of health benefits, especially considering each discipline promotes – in its own right – better wellbeing. However, there is more to it than the simple weight loss regimen and/or a legitimate self-defense system.
In this article, we will look at the ways martial arts can improve your overall health.
Health Benefits Of Martial Arts
Here is how practicing martial arts can boost not just your energy and fitness level, but also your focus, confidence, and self-discipline:
Now that we have established that martial arts are more than just a physical activity, it’s also a way to strengthen your mind. By regularly training and putting dedicating effort into it, you get closer and closer to enhancing your mental clarity.
We live in an age where our attention span is like a goldfish. Due to the many distractions from social media, advertising, or TV, there’s simply too much peripheral noise around us every day. So much so that it’s become a challenge just to focus.
Martial arts, regardless of discipline, grants you a unique sense of tranquility despite its physical nature. The refinement of each technique entails significant attention to detail, thus forcing your mind to concentrate on the present to sharpen techniques.
We have briefly talked about earlier that practicing martial arts is a logical way of losing weight. This is important because it also correlates to self-confidence.
As you begin training on a regular basis, you will gradually feel your body becoming more accustomed to training regimes. Every training session pushes your body to the limits, often beyond, to the point where you are seemingly fighting for your life, depending on which discipline you’re involved in.
So, as you get past every hurdle, you increasingly build confidence, a belief that you can overcome whatever test you face both physically and mentally. This, in more ways than one, goes above and beyond the four corners of your gym or dojo and seeps into your personal life.
The aptitude to control your emotions can be hard, as sometimes your desires and knee jerk reactions to events may get the best of you. This can lead to adverse effects on your daily life.
Part of training martial arts is the control, either managing your opponents during live sparring or limiting unwanted distractions in the gym.
Basically, you must have a disciplined approach to learning and training. They say “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” so what makes us think that we can get things done quickly?
4. Fitness Level
Now, this is the most obvious health benefit of martial arts. Various disciplines from boxing and Muay Thai, to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo, to even Capoeira and Pencak Silat, feature sudden, lightning-quick movements, which fine-tune your body to perform at a different level.
Aside from receiving the obvious advantages of cardiovascular workouts, training martial arts will also improve your flexibility and agility. In addition, you develop your posture, which in due course will help you look and feel better.
Ultimately, as shallow as this reason might be, martial arts are a physical activity that makes you feel proud of the reflection you see in front of the mirror.
5. Energy Boost
Indeed, there will come a time when your body and mind will feel battered and exhausted. However, these are all mere physical indicators of fatigue that a simple chocolate drink, protein shake, or water, can alleviate.
Training martial arts, just like any physical activity, offers a considerable energy boost that can power you throughout the day.
Jordan Bryant, an avid Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and lead wordsmith at BJJ Informer, says that “martial arts are like a shot of espresso – or two – that injects crazy levels of endorphins in your body. This somewhat gives you the impression that you can conquer the world anytime, anywhere, anyplace.”
Part of this also involves enhancing your metabolism, which will help you lose weight drastically (with proper diet, of course). In essence, when you feel tired and/or sluggish, you can just hit the dojo and put in a good training session.
At the end of the day, engaging in physical activities such as martial arts is a good way to improve your overall wellbeing. So, whether you choose more cardiovascular heavy disciplines like boxing and Muay Thai, or more technical arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo, you will be sure to make the most of all these health benefits.