As any martial artist will tell you, there are multiple benefits to martial arts training. Of course, the most obvious benefit is knowledge of self-defense, which is one of the main reasons the systems were developed in the first place. Knowing how to defend yourself and your loved ones in a potentially dangerous situation is an advantage in today’s world, just as it was hundreds of years ago. Unlike what is often portrayed in movies, training is not just about fighting. Many people also practice martial arts for the benefits of fitness. Training in karate, taekwondo, kung fu, and other styles will improve cardiovascular fitness and tone the muscular system. Strength will increase from calisthenics commonly used in training, but perhaps not to the same extent as weights. But the overall power of the body will definitely increase, as the techniques teach how to use force effectively.
Most people will also significantly improve their flexibility while training as they exercise full ranges of body motion. This is especially true with styles like tae kwon do, Thai kickboxing, and some schools of karate and kung fu where high kicks are used. All styles of martial arts will also result in improved coordination.
Unlike many other forms of physical activity, martial arts also have a mental and sometimes spiritual element that not only improves the focus of the mind but also helps with self-control. Emotions like anger and fear are best controlled through training. Many martial artists can find inner peace through their training. In today’s hectic world, these particular benefits translate into one of the most effective stress management tools available. When training in a session or in a group class, all the day-to-day problems of the world seem to be forgotten. People leave renewed, energetic and ready to face the great world that exists.
Martial arts training generally involves many small steps and progressions. As one progresses, the sense of accomplishment comes with greater confidence. This is especially beneficial for children who were not very confident in the first place. An increase in the self-confidence of children (as well as adults) will have a cross-over effect on other areas of life, such as other sports and general self-esteem. Other challenges in life, both physical and mental, will be met with much less fear.
An important benefit of martial arts training for parents to consider is that children will generally become more disciplined with the unique formalities of martial arts classes. This is a benefit that is often lacking in other sports. Children who had been “troublesome” with bad attitudes might behave well and be respectful as a result of taking classes several times a week. Respect is something that all teachers attach great importance to during their classes. Martial arts children are often very well-behaved children no matter what social and economic background they come from.
Martial arts training has so many benefits covering the physical, mental and emotional aspects that it is no wonder why it has become one of the most popular activities for both adults and children. However, it is important to note that not all programs will produce the range of benefits discussed. Programs that teach fair combat fighting techniques may not result in the desired mental and spiritual benefits, so it is important to find the right school that offers the benefits one wishes to achieve.