When I first decided to train Muay Thai and start my Martial Arts journey I had no idea what to expect. Looking back on that first Muay Thai class years later I can proudly say that starting Martial Arts was the best decision of my life. Everyone always asks me why I study Martial Arts and I always tell them the same thing: I’m obsessed. This wasn’t an overnight obsession however, there were many bumps and bruises (literally) on my journey. There are so many reasons why YOU should study Martial Arts that I had to compile a list of my 10 favorite things to help persuade you even more.
If you have any doubts regarding the safety aspect of training Martial Arts, look no further. Training Martial Arts has its dangers (just like every other sport does), however it’s much safer to practice Martial Arts when compared to soccer or football. It all depends on what Martial Art you choose to study. Of course if you train Boxing and spar three times a week you’re much more likely to get injured when compared to someone who trains Karate with no contact at all.
Reasons Why You Should Study Martial Arts
This is the number one reason why most people decide to study martial arts. It truly doesn’t matter which martial art you study as pretty much any style is a great way to learn how to defend yourself. Martial arts not only teach you the techniques to defend yourself, but also the way to think about defending yourself which allows you to anticipate and avoid potential dangers. Martial arts training also helps build up the reflexes you need if you’re ever in a dangerous situation and give you the confidence to stand up for yourself and fight back if needed.
As you become more proficient in your selected style of martial arts, your confidence will get a big-boost. You will become more self-assured and confident. This is great not only for the Martial Art you’re studying, but also for outside the gym. Learning a Martial Art has not only made me much happier with myself but also more comfortable in dangerous situations as we talked about above.
Martial Arts training is the ultimate physical expression of ‘practice makes perfect’. In a typical Martial Arts class an individual may execute a single movement or series of related movements hundreds of times. This teaches you that progression happens during small improvements in technique and stamina. Learning a specific skill set or attribute will come through endless repetition.
Not only will these skills help in Martial Arts but also this type of discipline will follow them in your non-Martial Arts life. Martial Arts also teaches you commitment and the determination to go to practice even when you don’t feel like. Being humbled and disciplined is what Martial Arts are truly all about, any true martial artist doesn’t seek out violence.
4. Gender Equality
Another great thing about Martial Arts is that nearly anyone can do it! This includes Men and Women of all ages. The thing I love most about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in particular is that you will be humbled by the more advanced belts no matter if it’s a Man or a Woman.
This is also great for families that want their kids to do Martial Arts. Many parents would love if all of their kids could participate in the same sport and now they can with martial arts! Martial arts are one of the few “sports” where both boys and girls can play together. Martial Artist also gives brothers and sisters an opportunity to practice together and learn from one another as well.
5. Weight Loss and Health
The typical martial arts class will involved warm-up calisthenics, teaching from instructors and practicing moves. More advanced classes involve sparring and other physical activities. The warm up and technical drills take up most of the practice, while stretches and ending cardio are usually at the end. This of course is different for every martial arts class, and depending on the art you study this could be more intense. There is truly nothing better than a true Martial Arts workout.
When compared to sports such as basketball or soccer, martial arts is much more intensive because it involves your natural “fight or flight” response. Most sports don’t involve the full use of every body part either where as compared to something like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Martial arts will be the hardest workout of your life, and your body will thank you for it.
6. Friends and Family
Most martial arts schools offer classes for both adults and children. While classes do not run simultaneously, they are usually one right after the other. This means that you can watch your children workout, and then they can watch you.
If you have the proper space for it, you can practice with each other at home, and learn from one another. This will give you a special activity to use as a bonding tool with your kids. You can also become physically fit together and have security knowing that your kids are well trained to handle a variety of real-life situations.
Make sure to avoid schools that have children and adults in the same class.
7. The Never-Ending Season
Many team sports, especially those primarily played outdoors or in specific weather (think Soccer, Baseball and even wrestling) are seasonal. Martial arts have classes year around because 99% of your workouts will be done indoors. This consistency and availability also helps build upon discipline and skill-set. The year round availability also allows children to progress at a much quicker pace in the Martial Arts than in team sports.
The greatest thing about Martial Arts is that even if you decide to take a break from training the gym will always be there waiting for you! This means that you don’t miss any real opportunities if you’re injured or sick, you can always pick right back up where you left off.
8. Martial Arts are Global
Martial arts like Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai have experienced a worldwide growth in the past 10 years unlike any other sport. You can find a variety of Martial Arts schools in any city of the country or any continent for that matter (besides Antarctica perhaps).
Of course with being so popular there are negatives to this as well. When a Karate practitioner travels to another city, he or she may have a hard time finding a school with the same style and philosophy as their home Dojo. However, with Martial Arts like Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai, many schools are so similar that you won’t have any trouble finding another gym that you love if you do decide to move!
9. Personal Growth
Martial Arts is one of the most demanding activities you can participate in. Most Martial Arts training takes people out of their comfort zone and helps them to deal with failures and criticism, as well as developing self-evaluation skills. Training is not always comfortable, it forces you to do things you would normally avoid. It forces you to deal with problems, and ultimately helps your character to grow.
Martial Arts has the fantastic ability of bringing people outside of their comfort zone to a place they never want to be, however it’s a place that they need to be in order to grow. This might sound crazy to many, however Martial Arts really helps build people through hard work and dedication, your failures are your friends.
10. Learn Life Skills and Values
Skills for life are very important, especially for kids as well. Martial Arts is great for shaping values and behaviors such as focus, tolerance, fairness, humbleness, and discipline. Developing these skills through Martial Arts in a safe environment will be a major benefit for students of all ages.
Studying Martial Arts has taught me so much about life that I never expected. Not only is it a great workout, but the mental aspect of it all is very humbling. I never thought I would have grown so much throughout my Martial Arts training, and I’m so glad that I made that fateful decision to start training. Without Martial Arts my heart wouldn’t be as full as it is today. I wouldn’t have met the friends I have, I wouldn’t have the confidence or skill-sets that I carry with me outside of the gym either.