The martial arts are ancient combat systems consisting of numerous styles and traditions.
They have become so commonplace across the globe that it isn’t unheard of to see practitioners of various ages from toddlers to the elderly.
There are many benefits of martial arts that you can readily take advantage of.
As martial arts require you to move and work your muscles, it can help you maintain a healthier heart. It is well-known that poor cardiovascular health is one of the leading causes of mortality in the U.S.
Through regular exercise that stresses the heart just enough to keep it strong, you can improve your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing control, and cholesterol.
This improvement can help reduce your risks of complications such as heart attacks and strokes.
It is evident that intense activity leads to burning calories. Concerning weight, if you want to lose it and keep it off, you have to be able to burn a greater amount of calories than the amount you put in your body.
As long as you participate in martial arts that require high-intensity exercising, you should be able to shed some pounds.
For instance, about an hour of taekwondo alone can result in burning 900 calories or so.
Martial arts like jiu-jitsu incorporate extreme physical movements that can lead to improving your overall strength.
This technique helps you gain an advantage over your opponent, but it doesn’t require any striking. Rather, it includes clinching, submissions, takedowns, and throws.
To do these maneuvers, you must have incredible skill and strength to maintain an advantage over your opponent.
A technique like a side kick is a powerful move in many practitioners’ arsenals.
These types of kicks not only utilize your core muscles, but they also involve your hips, thighs, and (obviously) your legs.
The more you develop your kicks, the more you develop your strength in these areas.
In martial arts, you are required to perform various punches. They may not be as intense as the likes of boxing, but you can utilize many boxing techniques that can increase your strength in your arms, shoulders, and back.
Try your hand at punching bags or focus mitt pads.
A goal surrounding all martial arts programs is improving one’s abilities. An improvement in your abilities can lead to gaining better self-confidence about your skills and how you use them in any given situation.
Better confidence can especially be found in child practitioners. When your child is placed in a martial arts class, you are putting them in a social environment where they learn alongside others.
A martial arts class can help ease reserved, quiet children out of their shells.
When they acquire a new belt, they can feel a sense of pride about this accomplishment and, again, feel more confident about their level of skill.
Similar to boxing, letting out any pent-up frustration or aggression against equipment or another person can be an incredibly stress-relieving exercise.
When you’re in training, work with the heavy punching bag, and you should feel some of that tension ease away.
Another good thing about martial arts is that although it gives you that outlet, it also requires you to actually slow things down.
You have to master each move one step at a time rather than taking in everything at once. Having you slow down relaxes both the mind and the body, which can also contribute to the reduction of stress.
The benefits of reducing stress are numerous:
If you want to be good at your chosen discipline, you must have good reflexes and time your reactions appropriately.
Every move you’ll learn from a throw to a punch will require you to react fast. If you don’t, your opponent can quickly take advantage and come out on top.
Developing your skills in martial arts will lead to you bettering your overall reflexes and reaction time. This, like many benefits of martial arts, can follow you beyond this activity.
For instance, you can take your incredible reflexes and skills to other sports or use them in your everyday life to better react to your environment.
To learn the numerous of techniques and maneuvers required in the many different martial arts disciplines, you have to focus. You aren’t taught things all at once.
Instructors require you to focus on your mind and body, urging you to take in every part of yourself in order to learn a particular step or move.
You will also learn your own weaknesses, understanding your entire body so that you know how to truly improve yourself.
This is another benefit that can follow you in your everyday life. Concerning child practitioners, the better focus can translate into paying attention better in school.
There are many martial arts styles that require practitioners to undergo rigorous physical activity. This type of activity not only burns calories, but it can build up your stamina.
The muscles in your body must be able to keep up with the length and intensity of the exercises. As such, the more you practice, the better your body can withstand the punishment you put it through.
Thus, the greater your stamina becomes. You should be able to last longer in the likes of competition as well as in any other exercises or sports you may participate in.
Martial arts are about moving fluidly. To do so, you have to have good coordination.
For instance, the likes of kung fu and karate are good at building foot-eye coordination. Those two styles have plenty of footwork techniques that require practitioners to move with ease and focus.
You must balance well, and be aware of how your body is positioned so that each step flows with accuracy.
We’ve mentioned before that practicing martial arts is not a task that is done quickly. Rather, it takes time, and in one session, you may only learn one move.
Slowing things down is good for teaching you about self-discipline. In all honesty, many practitioners don’t practice martial arts to learn skills to hurt another person.
They take on a more spiritual, mental approach.
With self-discipline, you can:
Martial arts practitioners are all about respect. You have to respect your instructor, your opponent, and yourself.
You have to respect the art itself. When you come into learning a style of martial arts, there will rarely be a time where you won’t hear the word ‘respect’.
This is something that can greatly benefit children who practice the arts. From the second your child walks into a dojo, they learn about respect.
They have to bow to their instructors, masters, and to one another.
Their instructors help them take the respect for the arts home with them so that they better respect all those in their lives from teachers at school, peers, parents, and guardians. More so, it helps children learn to respect themselves.
Just like with any sport that has users performing strenuous activities, martial arts can lead to you toning your muscles. Typically, a martial arts class starts with warm-up exercises that help the muscles begin to release.
Afterward, you will usually start more intense exercises depending on your chosen style. Usually though, you may practice the likes of squats, push-ups, etc.
These types of exercises improve your muscle mass. An improvement of muscle mass will allow you tone muscles and develop a leaner appearance.
Breathing is, of course, a natural function in the body. It is something though that you can have greater control over, and that control can be taught to you through martial arts.
Martial arts teach you how to breathe from your diaphragm, something that most people don’t actually do. This breathing technique helps you generate movement by your center of gravity.
Doing this allows your movements to be more fluid. This also helps with granting you better stability while giving you greater power behind your strikes.
As we age, it is a given that we may become less flexible. A lack of flexibility can lead to a range of complications such as poor balance and weakness in the joints.
With martial arts, you enhance your flexibility with every move you learn. Your body has to move in various directions such as performing high kicks.
Having the good flexibility to perform these moves all starts with proper stretching. With greater flexibility, you can better prevent injury while improving things like blood flow and coordination.
We need to emphasize, however, that you should take care to prevent over-flexibility. Overstretching can cause injuries to tendons and ligaments. You should try to create a healthy balance in this aspect.
One of the major benefits of martial arts that people look for is developing self-defense skills.
Several militaries and law enforcement agencies have long made use of martial arts techniques in training. Jiu-jitsu, karate, and Muay Thai are common choices for those wanting to learn self-defense.
These particular styles teach striking to incapacitate an opponent as well as how to avoid getting harmed.
Martial arts as self-defense can greatly benefit children, even those as young as three-years-old.
Children are not innately aware of how to defend themselves in the unfortunate event that they may encounter a stranger or a bully at school.
Through martial arts, your child can learn how to protect themselves whether through physical altercation or through avoiding the problem altogether.
Jason Maine is the founder of FullContactWay, a blog dedicated to provide best martial arts advice and information. Jason helps his readers with martial arts training by sharing personal tips and thorough research.
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