The Benefits of Martial Arts
Why Martial Arts Is So Good
Martial arts; one of the oldest types of sports known to man, and it’s no surprise that many different forms are still around today. Judo, Karate, Taekwondo, Jujitsu, Krav Maga, MMA (the list could go on): each form of martial art is subtly different, but almost all encompass similar elements; physical, mental and spiritual discipline. Because it’s a type of sport that requires such diverse skills, it comes as no surprise that practicing a martial art brings a range of diverse benefits.
Total Body Workout
First of all, it’s flipping hard work. If you’ve ever play-wrestled a friend or a sibling then you’ll know that just 30 seconds of grappling, twisting and turning is enough to get your body aching and your heart going. It’s not like a gym workout where you solely train your biceps for half an hour, no. Martial art forms utilise all the major muscle groups simultaneously. So, whilst it’s a serious muscular workout, it also improves your cardiovascular fitness…two birds, one stone and all that jazz.
However, it’s no good just having bulging biceps and quads the size of tree trunks if you can barely manoeuvre yourself – your opponent would be all over you in a flash! Martial arts require flexibility, agility and balance. That means a lot of stretching and core work is crucial to enable you to use these strong muscles effectively.
Now, it’s all well and good having the brawn and the agility, but you also need the brains. Even if you’re stronger than your opponent, complicated combinations of both defensive and offensive moves are often required to knock them off balance. It’s this aspect of a martial art that makes it not all that dissimilar from a game of chess. You can’t just think about one move at a time, no. Some of the best martial arts competitors in the world are constantly thinking many, many moves ahead.
If this doesn’t sound tricky enough, thinking about such things whilst in the middle of what is essentially a fight, well, it requires a certain focus. Synchronising the body and mind is not an easy task, so studying proper breathing techniques and practicing meditation are some of the go-to ways to improve focus and concentration.
It may sound unrelated at first, but martial arts programmes are positive environments that encourage goal-setting and teach strong moral values. The practice of a martial art itself will be sure to push you out of your comfort zone at times, helping you to become comfortable in all situations. Whilst at first it may sound strange, it actually very logical that one of the greatest benefits often reported by people that have taken up a martial art, is therefore, an increased self-confidence.
Well then, physical workouts, mental workouts, pushing you out of your comfort zone…what’s not to love? But, in the same way you may like to do a crossword or Sudoku to get your mind going perhaps, why not try a martial art instead? Yeah, it will do more than just get your mind going, you’ll be sure to be dripping with sweat in no time, but hey, it’s all good for your right?!