8 Reasons to Train Martial Arts, No Matter Who You Are
From day one, I’ve found martial arts to be incredibly empowering.
It’s not really about fighting, or hurting someone, or physical prowess: it’s about pushing past your own limitations and finding out what you’re really made of.
You’re stronger than you think and you are more capable than you give yourself credit for.
You have it within you to get through any battle, no matter how large. You can conquer any challenge, no matter how hard. Trust me, it’s true. It’s possible. It’s within you.
This theme is central in every martial arts practice you’ll find, and honestly, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
This kind of training isn’t just for people who love combat sports or want to compete, it’s for anyone who wants to feel safe, strong, and empowered.
Here are 10 other reasons to practice martial arts and see the benefits come back to you in your daily life.
1. You’ll Gain Muscle Tone AND Confidence
You will get physically stronger, the more you push past your physical limits. It’s just science.
And it’s fucking great, trust me! I think gaining strength is great. Being stronger will make your life richer. You’ll be able to lift heavy objects with ease and run down the street without breaking a sweat.
But along with your newfound strength, you’ll also find confidence coming along as a side effect.
You will know what you’re capable of because you’ve tested yourself and gone beyond what you believed was possible. You will know you can handle your business and take care of what comes your way.
2. True Empowerment
Empowerment is a buzzword right now in wellness, but for good reason. Taking control of your life, your body, and your dreams does wonders for the mind, body, and soul.
No one can train for you. No one can condition for you. No one can spar, punch, or kick for you. YOU have to show up and do the work. The results completely depend on your decision to be present and endure.
That’s how you find power. That’s how you learn who you are. There are no shortcuts in this kind of training.
3. It’s Kind of Fun
By kind of, I mean REALLY!
I think you’ll be surprised how much fun it is to learn the art of combat. It’s freeing, it’s playful, it’s gritty. It’s messy and sweaty, but also joyful and heart-centered.
4. Mindfulness Can Be Found in the Fight
When you think about meditation, you probably don’t associate it with martial arts. However, the two have a lot more in common than you might imagine.
If you’re learning or applying, you have to be present. You can’t be thinking about what you’re going to have to have for dinner, or the text you sent your boyfriend yesterday. If you do, you’ll get clipped with an axe kick or taken down with a head and arm throw. You’ll actually pay a price for failing to be fully present in the moment.
There’s no motivation like pain to get you to stay mindful. Trust me, this shit works.
5. A Love of Life is Found or Renewed
When you have to survive or fight for your health and wellbeing, you are forced to dig deep and find the motivations that make life worth living.
We take things for granted constantly. We complain we bemoan, we wonder why we don’t have a fancy set of wheels or how we could have been passed up for that promotion. We whine. We numb. We procrastinate.
Martial arts forces you to face the reality that your time on this planet is temporary and can easily be taken away. Seeing this kind of perspective results in gratitude. Suddenly, regular life doesn’t seem so bad anymore when you’re faced with a threat.
6. You’ll Learn About Yourself
If you want to get to know yourself, take a class. Punch a bag. Hit some mitts.
You’ll find out who you are and what you’re made of very quickly into the process. Are you the kind of person who cuts corners to get by, or who takes the hard lessons? Do you tend to quit when faced with a challenge or endure until the final bell?
You’ll have to face the truth, one way or another. The good news? You can change the answers.
Martial arts offers a sense of community and support like no other. In the right environment, your fellow training partners, teachers, and coaches will act as your guides. You’ll have others to lean on, but also have the chance to show up for others.
8. Self-Defense Training
Self-defense should be a basic, given skill that everyone is armed with. Sadly, this isn’t yet the case, as most walk this planet not knowing how to defend themselves or how to find safety if confronted with danger.
Change that. Be a part of a new normal where all humans are armed with knowledge in how to protect themselves from those who inflict harm.
It’s not about what you train, it’s about how you apply it. Remember that.
I believe martial arts is a metaphor for life, with the biggest lesson of all being that you become the best when you are the most ‘you.’
Martial arts forces you to see you. Be you. Love you.
The best kind of fighter is one who is their best self. Trying to mimic someone else’s style or game doesn’t ever work, because everyone has a different body, skill set, size. No two fighters are the same, so no two approaches can be the same, either. You have to learn what attributes you have, as well as identify your weaknesses, and then work to amplify your strengths while minimizing your shortcomings.
There is only one you.
You are the best you there ever could be.
That’s strength if I’ve ever seen it.