Top 20 Benefits Of Martial Arts
Martial arts is one of the most ultimate fitness training methods. Since martial arts calls into action your various faculties, you will need to train and improve your overall fitness to be good at it. In doing so, the benefits of martial arts cover the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of fitness. If you were itching to get some martial arts training, this article would give you the motivation to get started!
Improving your fitness and getting a lean, fit body is no easy task. It takes discipline, consistency and a lot of hard work. If you thought regular workouts are tough, then martial arts are even more so! To be good at it, you need to have excellent physical as well as mental fitness. In return, the numerous benefits of martial arts make it worth all the effort. And I’m not kidding when I say numerous…
The 20 Health Benefits Of Martial Arts
Let’s get started with the most apparent, Physical Benefits Of Martial Arts.
We’ve all seen enough martial arts movies to know that it requires a lot of physical fitness to be able to execute its various moves correctly. Perhaps you’ve even had the opportunity to witness a good martial arts training session. Even better if you tried out a few classes. Then you know, martial arts requires a lot of effort and hard training. If you stick to it though, you get plenty of benefits as listed below.
Martial Arts Improves Your Overall Lifestyle.
Martial arts involves an intensive and physically demanding routine. Since martial arts requires a lot of energy, it naturally encourages you to have a good diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, because martial arts instils a lot of discipline in you and clears your head, you will find it easier to be disciplined when it comes to your lifestyle as well.
By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you will be able to improve your martial arts performance as well. The improved martial arts will, in return, increase the amount of endorphins released by your body which will make you feel healthy, confident and happy!
Martial Arts Are Great For Your Cardiovascular Health
As you already know, martial arts is tough! Its high-intensity training pumps up your heart rate, thereby improving your cardiovascular endurance. By improving your cardiovascular health, martial arts lets you train harder and reduces your chances of any cardiovascular issues.
Martial Arts Keeps Your Blood Pressure In Check
You better get ready to be sweating like crazy and catching your breath when taking up martial arts. The rigorous training routine that it incorporates is quite like a high-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. A benefit of such high-intensity training is that it pumps up your heart. This not only improves your cardiovascular fitness but also improves the blood pressure.
Martial Arts Gives You A Full-Body Workout
If you’re looking for a full-body workout, then nothing beats martial arts training. From making you more flexible and agile to increasing your strength and endurance, Martial arts training is an effective way to take your fitness to the next level.
To pull off the various martial arts moves, you’ll need good flexibility. Martial arts involves a lot of static and dynamic stretching, which helps you get flexible and mobile enough to perform its different moves. But that is just the start. You will have to practice its various movements, repeatedly, for a long time before you can even hope to perfect it.
Such intense training routine ensures you train in all Three Planes Of Motion. Thus martial arts training gives you a thorough full-body workout with numerous benefits, as mentioned in the following points.
Martial Arts Tones Up Your Muscles
As you are probably already aware, martial arts involves a lot of kicks and punches. This gives you a solid workout, especially in your arms and legs. The high demands of martial arts help build the muscles in these areas as well as increase your core strength. Additionally, since you’ll be doing numerous repetition of the various martial arts moves, it’ll help tone your muscles.
Martial Arts Boosts Your Metabolism
The full-body workout and the lean muscles you gain by repeatedly practising the various martial art moves increase the amount of calories you burn. This, in turn, naturally boosts your metabolism rate. That is why although you’ll be feeling hungrier than before, you’ll still be burning a lot of fat even if you’re eating more. Which brings us to the next point…
Lose Unwanted Weight With Martial Arts
There is hardly any fitness program that gives you as much of an overall workout as martial arts. As you must have gathered from all the points made so far, you’ll be sweating it out like crazy with martial arts training. But all that hard work is worth it because of the rewards you receive in return.
Apart from the many other benefits of martial arts, you get in return lean muscles and high metabolism. This helps you burn more calories than ever before and lose all that unwanted weight. Of course, if your primary goal is to lose weight, then you should also check out this article on Smart Goals For Weight Loss. Continue reading, though, because there are plenty more advantages to learning martial arts.
Martial Arts Makes You More Flexible
In martial arts, you’ll be practising a lot of kicks, grapples and dodging moves that require quite a pliable body. As you keep practising, over time, your flexibility will increase helping you execute the various martial arts moves flawlessly. The Benefits Of Muay Thai is one such example where you can expect to gain a high level of flexibility. Improved flexibility helps increase your range of motion, improves your posture and most importantly, prevents injuries.
Martial Arts Also Increase Your Mobility
First of all, Mobility is not the same as flexibility. For those of you who thought it was the same thing, here’s the Difference Between Mobility And Flexibility. Although your muscles can stretch more with flexibility, it may not have enough strength and joint mobility to get into certain positions. You also need to be highly agile, and martial arts training is a great way to increase agility, thereby improving your mobility.
Martial Arts Increases Strength & Power
The improved flexibility, mobility and the lean muscles that you gain from repeatedly practising the various martial arts moves, in turn, improve your martial arts performance as well. You also get to practice more advanced moves by levelling up, which is much more challenging than the moves you practised before. Over time, all these factors help increase your strength and power required to perfect your martial arts.
Martial Arts Boost You Endurance
In martial arts training, you must perform the same kicks, punches, and other moves repeatedly till you perfect it and it becomes second nature. This tends to get very tiring, and in repeated practise, your stamina increases, but that is not it.
Now, just like flexibility vs mobility, this is where you need to understand the difference between Stamina Vs Endurance. Since martial arts training tends to get tougher and tougher as you progress, to cope with it, your body progressively increases your endurance.
Get Faster Reflexes With Martial Arts
Martial arts isn’t just about practising all those fancy combat moves. It is primarily about learning how to apply it in real-life situations. To teach you practical self-defence, martial arts training commonly involves sparring matches and fighting competitions.
With martial arts learn how to block, dodge and find gaps to attack in between the barrage of attacks that your opponent throws at you. Such martial arts training reduces your reaction time and helps you develop quick reflexes that will come in handy in countless day-to-day activities.
Martial Arts Improves Your Coordination
Martial arts give you a heightened sense of awareness required to pull off all those difficult and aerobic moves while maintaining balance. You also need to be aware of your opponent(s) and both of your ranges. Some martial arts also involve the use of weapons. In short, in order to successfully pull-off the various martial arts techniques and moves, you will develop solid hand-to-eye coordination.
Martial Arts Makes You More Athletic
All of the numerous physical benefits of martial arts mentioned so far make you more agile, faster & stronger. You can jump higher, have super quick reflexes and lots of stamina. Not to mention you gain a lean and fit body. All-in-all martial arts training makes you super athletic. No wonder then that most elite athletes include martial arts as part of their overall training program.
The Mental Benefits Of Martial Arts
Many people tend to associate only physical well-being with fitness. However, studies have shown that mental health is just as crucial to your general wellness as physical health. Physical fitness, through specific biological mechanisms, naturally also improves your mental health. Martial arts goes one step further and puts special focus on improving our mental fitness, because well, all the best moves in the world won’t save you if you’re not clear in the head!
Martial Arts Develops Self-Discipline
Martial arts classes are not just challenging; they’re also quite strict. Apart from following the intense training routine, your sensei will also introduce you to plenty of dojo rules and ethics for you to follow. It is not just how well you can pull off those martial arts moves but also how well you maintain your appearances, manner and conduct with your sensei, fellow students, and with others in general.
Such martial arts discipline is intended to instil values that will make you an upstanding and responsible member of society. Such discipline helps remove any distractions in the mind, promotes a healthy lifestyle, increases your mental tenacity and ultimately strengthens your willpower. This is extremely important in mastering any martial art because it is quite physical and mentally challenging. But as they say, Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way.
Martial Arts Instills Strong Morals & Values
Most, if not all, martial arts have a philosophical base to it. That is because martial arts isn’t just about brute violence. It is an ‘art’ after all. In teaching us combat skills, martial arts emphasises on avoiding an attack or even the fight altogether.
To imbibe its philosophical values into the student, the martial arts teacher will also ensure that the student’s behaviour reflects good morals and values. For example, respecting others, not using the martial art skills you learnt to bully others, defending the weak etc.
Martial Arts Improves Your Focus
The process of instilling a strong sense of moral, values and self-discipline has many indirect benefits. Apart from turning you into a fine member of the community, it is also a form of exercise for your mind. Not only does it remove any unnecessary distractions in the head, but it also improves your ability to focus. Meditation and breathing techniques are also a standard part of most martial arts training that will enhance focus.
And why do you need to improve your focus? Well because, in a real-life self-defence situation, you won’t be able to do much with all the martial arts technique, without mental clarity and focus. By remaining calm and focussed, you will be a faster learner and be more successful in dodging and finding gaps in your opponent’s attacks. The better focus will also help you in succeeding at work and in other aspects of your life.
Martial Art Helps Release Stress
In today’s world, all of us are continually accumulating stress through various areas of our life. Work pressure, trouble at home, relation issues, junk food, smoking, drinking and other lifestyle habits, continuously add to the stress we accumulate in our body. The Stress Bucket Model shows quite nicely how easily stress can go out of hand.
The good news for those learning martial arts is that it is also a great way to relieve stress. While practising martial arts, you need to maintain complete focus to execute the various combat techniques and dodge attacks from the opponent.
You also need to maintain proper breathing and mental calm. Such practises of removing distractions and focusing on the present moment is also a great way to reduce stress. Additionally, the physically exerting training routine helps release stress-relieving hormones in the body. With reduced stress, you will see a vast improvement in all areas of your life.
Gain A Sense Of Safety With Martial Arts
Well, you are learning combat skills with your martial arts training. So the ability to defend yourself is one of the primary benefits of martial arts. Martial arts also boost your sense of awareness, which can help avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Such acute awareness and the ability to defend against any assailant will give you a sense of safety and peace of mind. And finally, all of the benefits of martial arts mentioned above brings us to the next and last point…
Martial Arts Gives You Self-confidence
As you have seen so far, there are plenty of benefits of martial arts. The intense martial arts training improves your overall physical fitness. You feel stronger, more energetic and healthier. As a result of improving your physical fitness, you will also see an improvement in your martial arts performance. In levelling-up your martial arts skills, you will learn to be more focused. You will be calm and have solid mental clarity. Now combine all of these benefits. I’m sure it won’t be hard for anyone who has read this far to understand that you can gain super self-confidence by training in martial arts.
Well if all of that got you excited and you think it’s a great deal, then you’re absolutely right! But, mind you, proper martial arts training is anything but easy! It can get pretty tough, physically as well as mentally. But the beauty of it is that you get so much in return!
If you stay committed to your training, the many benefits of martial arts you gain will make your overall life so much better. And you won’t need much convincing either after a while. You’ll begin noticing the benefits pretty soon yourself.
In fact, once you’re serious about it, there are ways to fine-tune and improve upon your martial arts skills. Maintaining a good diet by being more conscious of the food you eat and being adequately hydrated is a start, and there are plenty such tweaks you can apply. For example, although there are many benefits of barefoot training, and martial arts is often practised this way, the right martial arts shoes can also help you improve your training.
Mixing up your training routine is also a great way to improve upon your overall fitness as well as martial arts skills. Choose an activity that compliments your martial arts training. Yoga For Martial Arts is one such excellent example.
I often post such fitness tips on my blog, and if you’ve been considering taking up martial arts, then hopefully this one has helped give you the motivation to go ahead and start training! If you’ve already started, please help spread the inspiration by commenting below and sharing your experience with martial arts and any benefits you’ve personally noticed.
Krix Luther is a Health and Fitness Specialist and one of Asia’s leading Personal Trainers. He is an Ex Professional Muay Thai fighter and Avid Free Diver. At the same time as being a very active person he also has a passion for gaming and has his own Twitch stream. If you have any questions for him, you can contact him via his Instagram.
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