Twelve Reasons to Start Martial Arts
Regardless of style, all martial arts have something unique and positive to offer. However, the reasons to take up a martial art can vary based on the individual and whether the activity/class is for is a child, a teenager or an adult. Let’s look at some of the most common reasons to join a martial art…
#1 – Self Defence
Learning a Self Defence is an important life skill which will empower you with the techniques, knowledge and confidence to defend yourself. Regardless of where in the world you are, there is always a chance you may encounter some unpleasant individuals and/or situations. Training in a martial art will help you effectively deal with these situations if you are unable to avoid them in the first instance.
For children, this could be standing up to bullies whereas for adults it could be dealing with a gang as you walk to home from work. You would obviously look to avoid or de-escalate these situations in the first instance but in some cases you may need to demonstrate you can handle the situation if it where to get physical.
There is a common saying, it’s better to have self defence skills and not need them over needing self defence skills and not have them.
#2 – Improve Your Fitness
Like any form of exercise, martial arts will help you improve your fitness levels, lose weight, tone up and gain strength, both physically and mentally. You will notice by embracing the many changes martial arts can bring you will be getting into shape both inside and out.
#3 – Increase Confidence
Martial Arts is very much a reward-based system. It allows for students to work hard, train hard and on achieving a set target, be rewarded for those efforts. Many styles use Testings as a form of review with progression clearly based on belts or sashes. The important factor here is that the recognition of achieving a goal is visibly demonstrated and helps builds confidence and self esteem.
#4 – Make Friends
Regular training at a Martial Arts school or club requires constant interaction and contact with your instructors & fellow students. The more people you meet and train with, the more friends you will make, pushing you to go beyond your limits to become a better you.
You will also develop on your existing social skills, making new friends from different walks of life. The friends you make may become life long friends. Friends who you may not have met through your current social network but new friends who have a common goal of self-improvement and training in martial arts.
#5 – Skill Development
When you are regularly training in a martial art, you will find that you are on a journey of continual self development. Not only will you improve your fitness, you will be learning new skills, meeting new people and gaining confidence in your abilities and potential as a martial artist.
#6 – Makes You Happier
Like any form of exercise, a high energy, intense training session will give you a high, a sense of productivity and achievement. You will feel great and can forget about all the worries of the outside world. You can focus on getting in shape, learning a new skill, achieving new goals and moving forward in your martial arts journey.
#7 – Build Mental Toughness
Perseverance is an important quality you will develop while training in martial arts. As a martial artist, you will need to work hard on drills and techniques through continual refinement. During this journey, you will need to take on feedback, take the odd hit and/or set back but most importantly learn from these lessons, these experiences and move forward.
This experience will not only help you in your martial arts training but in your daily life too. Everybody encounters challenges and obstacles of one kind or another and like life, martial arts is an ongoing journey of self improvement and overcoming challenges.
#8 – Learn to Love Yourself
Your body allows you to live a full and healthy existence and training regularly in martial arts will teach you to respect it, treat it well and lead a healthy lifestyle.
However, leading a healthy lifestyle goes well beyond just training regularly. You need to eat well, sleep well and live well. Pick up healthy habits like these and you can work your way towards becoming that lean, mean, fighting machine.
#9 – Goal Setting & Attainment
The concept of goal attainment is symbolised via the use of belt ranks in most martial arts. The belt system provides a structured framework for children (& adults) to progress up in rank while providing a sense of achievement, self-fulfilment and satisfaction.
#10 – Train Your Mind
Martial Arts training is not only about kicking, punching , grappling and belts you will also learn how to train your mind, learning skills which will help you in other aspects of your life such as meditation, focus, concentration and reasoning.
#11 – Learn About Yourself and Your Limits
Training in martial arts does not mean you will become a Ninja overnight, but it will give you the opportunity learn more about yourself and what you are capable of. Many students who are new to martial arts may initially struggle with co-ordination, flexibility & memory but overtime will develop these skills to become good martial artists.
Martial Arts training is unlike going to the gym or taking part in a team sport. Your Instructors will provide you with the environment and instruction to learn new skills, achieve goals and push your mind and body to the next level.
#12 – Leadership
When you start training in martial arts as a new student you would consider yourself to be a beginner and look to those holding senior ranks as your role models, asking for help and seeking guidance on training, techniques and etiquette.
However, over time and as your skills, knowledge and experience grows, new students will look to you for help and guidance just as you once did. This experience will now switch you into the position of the leader, the role model and over time maybe even an Instructor. With this in mind you will look to hone your techniques, better understand drills and in turn, help others on their martial arts journey.
Author: Chandresh Lad
Chandresh Lad is a Fifth Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor of Choi Kwang Do.
He has over 20 years experience in martial arts and instruction, runs a professional Martial Arts
school in North West London and author of a Martial Arts blog.
For more articles, visit Master Lad’s Blog @ www.theMartialArtsStudent.com