Martial arts have been around for centuries now. But how can martial arts help you in life in the modern world?
Martial arts in general come with a lot of benefits. The main benefits are that they are a good workout, you will meet new people and learn to defend yourself.
On top of that, martial arts also have many other benefits that do not come to mind as commonly as learning to defend yourself, for example.
Let’s go through why you should start training martial arts.
1. Martial Arts are suitable for self-defense
Probably the most common and well-known benefit of martial arts is the self-defense aspect. A lot of times you hear people say they started to train, to be able to better defend themselves.
That is a valid reason to start. Even with basic training in some martial arts, you will be much better off defending yourself, compared with no martial arts experience at all.
Even though there are differences between different martial arts, some are more suitable for self-defense, I would say no matter what martial art you choose to train, it’s better from a self-defense aspect compared to not training at all.
If self-defense is the main reason why you would like to start training martial arts, I have made a list of the best martial arts for self-defense with explanations. You can find the list here.
2. Martial arts can help you to lose weight or stay in shape
Another great benefit of martial arts is that the training is really intensive and burns a lot of calories.
Even though losing weight comes down to calorie deficit, martial arts can help with that. You will burn more calories compared to not doing anything. Combine that with eating clean and well and you are good to go.
On the other hand, training martial arts can justify you eating a bit less strictly if you already are happy with your weight. With increased calorie burning in martial arts, you can worry a little bit less about what you eat.
The amount of calories you burn of course depends on the martial art you train, as well as how hard you train it. Starting martial arts alone will not make you lose weight, you have to eat well on top of that.
3. Martial arts come with social benefits
The next benefit of starting martial art is the social benefits it has to offer.
When you start training any martial art, you have at least one thing in common with the rest of the people training: that martial art.
That is a good starting point for new relationships. Even if that was not your main goal when you started training, that can be inevitable. Sooner or later you will get to know the people you train with, and might even end up making new friends.
Here are some things you could use to start conversations with other people in your gym, as you first join.
- What are their goals with that martial art
- How long have they trained
- Do they train any other martial arts
- Have they ever competed in a tournament
You might also be interested in how to choose the right martial arts gym, you can find a step-by-step guide here.
4. Martial arts can improve your confidence
The next reason to start training martial arts is increased confidence. This depends a lot on the starting point, but I personally noticed a significant increase in my overall confidence, especially outside the gym.
I’m not sure what the science behind this is, but I think it’s about knowing you can handle yourself if you end up in a situation where you have to defend yourself.
That increased confidence alone can make you avoid those unpleasant situations. You are not “the easy target” if someone is just looking to pick a fight.
Increased confidence can help you in other aspects of life as well. That might help you to ask for that raise in your workplace or to ask someone out.
Remember that confidence and arrogance are two different things. Leave your ego off the gym when you train in martial arts.
5. Martial arts are a full-body workout with cardio
This might overlap the section about losing weight and staying in shape, but there is more to that.
Martial arts will use almost every muscle in your body. When you use those muscles, they will remain working for longer.
On top of being a great full-body workout, martial arts include the cardio aspect of training as well. Usually, training in martial arts at least at some point raises your heart rate.
That can even further increase the physical benefits of training in martial arts.
6. Martial arts can teach discipline
Starting and actually staying consistent with your martial arts training, you can teach yourself discipline. That can help you in other aspects of life as well, not just with martial arts.
Small daily habits on top of training martial arts can have a huge impact in the long run. No matter what your goals are, training in martial arts can give you that little extra boost of confidence and discipline that will help you to achieve those goals.
I am not saying you have to go on a full “self-improvement mode” as you start training martial arts. What I am saying is that martial arts can help you to improve other aspects of your life as well.
7. Martial arts come with mental benefits as well
On top of helping you to stay in shape physically, martial arts can help you with mental health as well.
A healthy body is a healthy mind, or so it is said to be. Martial arts training can be physically really intensive and that way helps you to stay in shape physically, which also can translate to staying in better condition mentally as well.
On top of that, when you are practicing martial arts, you have to be in the present. You don’t really have time to think about work or anything else. That is kind of like a meditative state, where your mind has to be focused on training.
From personal experience, I can tell that my mind is never as clear as right after training Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The feeling is like my mind is empty of everything, I don’t have to worry about anything. The way BJJ clarifies my mind is like no other.
8. You can compete in martial arts tournaments
If you are really competitive person, martial arts can offer a way to blow off some steam.
Most martial arts have tournaments you can compete and test your skills. You don’t have to be a black belt or at the highest grade in martial art in order to compete. You can even compete as a complete beginner, after learning the basics.
You don’t have to compete if that is what you are afraid to, it is just a great add-on for most martial arts. There are some martial arts as well, that don’t have competitions, so if you wish to compete, make sure beforehand that the martial art you are looking for has competitions.
Competing can give a little extra boost to your motivation for training. You get to see how you have progressed, on top of belt colors and such.
9. Martial arts can improve your reflexes and flexibility
The last benefit of training martial arts on my list is increased flexibility and better reflexes.
This again depends on the martial art on how much it will improve each part, but I would say no matter what martial art you train, your reflexes will improve over time.
Flexibility helps out in a lot of martial arts. No matter if its ground fighting or high kicks, being flexible is definitely a bonus. More about how flexibility helps in BJJ in this post.
The reason why you should start martial arts can be something completely different, that was not even mentioned on this list.
However, if you are thinking about starting martial arts, I hope this list can give you that little extra bump toward starting. Martial arts are like no other. Be careful though, once you get hooked, it’s difficult to quit.
Martial arts are great for anyone, no matter their age. Here is a post about whether you are too old for Karate, check it out if you are interested.
Hopefully this was helpful to you, have a wonderful day!
Other martial arts-related posts can be found here.