Martial art is an ancient form of combat, combining self-defense, competition, and self-improvement.
No matter what movies may tell us, it’s not just flying kicks and lightning-fast punches (though that is awesome). Martial arts is about self-discipline and learning to appreciate the value of hard work.
Here are some of the often overlooked yet life-changing benefits of martial arts.
1. Full Body Workout
Martial arts is a rewarding way to increase mobility and build stronger muscles.
With most exercises, there’s only one thing you have to do. Take running for example. When you run, you simply pump your legs and swing your arms.
However, when practicing martial arts you might have to duck, weave, jump, punch, lunge, and twist all within the space of the same sequence.
These unique movement combinations are perfect for activating unused muscles.
2. Self Defense
Martial arts legends like Bruce Norris are famous for their self-defense skills.
While you likely won’t be able to pull off some sort of pinky-finger power punch, even learning just the basics is useful.
Self-defense knowledge not only protects you and those around you but it also boosts your confidence.
All of this is nothing without discipline –the self-discipline to train and make sacrifices and work for those martial art skills.
Being disciplined is important all throughout life, for diets, workouts, and learning. Martial arts tests and strengthens your self-discipline through regular practice and hard work.
Practice and dedication is the best way to build a positive habit and the discipline required to maintain it.
4. Increased Flexibility
Repeating actions like high kicks, low stances, and similar fancy footwork has been proven to increase overall flexibility.
Greater flexibility improves posture, provides freedom of movement, and reduces your chances of injury (something we would all benefit from).
5. Constant Learning & Adaptation
For the most part, going for a run or a bike ride is a fairly predictable way to exercise. Nothing really changes.
But when you practice martial arts, you have to be constantly adapting to your opponent and learning additional moves and techniques.
The best part of martial arts is that there are always new ways to test your limits.
6. Challenging Variation
The term martial arts apply to a whole range of individual practices with their own individual benefits.
Something like karate offers a more intense full-body workout while Tai Chi has its own health benefits of reducing stress and anxiety while improving your mood.
It’s important to remember that you’re not just limited to the ever-popular karate or jujitsu. Traditional alternatives like Tai Chi offer calmer yet equally valuable martial art training.
7. Emotional Control
When placed in these high-stakes fighting situations, it’s easy for your mind to be overwhelmed with emotions and make irrational decisions.
Being able to function under pressure and make logical assessments of a situation is a life skill we can all benefit from.
Martial art sparing is a great way to practice under pressure while feeling safe and comfortable.
8. Mental Health Benefits
Martial arts don’t just get your blood pumping, it keeps your mind engaged and working, something that is all too important in the modern age of big dopamine hits.
The biggest mental health benefits of martial arts are it provides a space to meet new friends and can create a sense of peace and calm.
9. Test Yourself
Martial arts training is a powerful way to challenge yourself through safe but exhilarating combat situations.
There’s always room to grow and new ways to test your limits.
10. Goal Setting
A goal is simply a dream that we’re working to make a reality. Goals are the best way to get good at something and martial arts are a great way to practice setting goals.
There are clear steps towards improving and clear milestones, so you can celebrate your successes along the way (and strive for more in the future).
In an increasingly high-tech and high-dopamine world, martial arts is the perfect way to reconnect with an ancient past and test your limits. OOMPH workouts are largely based on martial arts techniques including kickboxing and more.
If you’re looking for lightning-fast kickboxing workouts and access to some of the best coaches in the world, be sure to download the OOMPH app today!