Benefits Of Martial Arts
Mixed martial arts, boxing, karate, gracie jiu jitsu... these are all forms of martial arts which're all too often dismissed by guys for a number of reasons.
'Martial arts doesn't build muscle' and 'getting started with martial arts is indimidating' are the two most common copouts I hear from guys when they dismiss the benefits of martial arts.
And they're right, you're not going to stack on slabs of lean muscle mass doing karate, judo, thai boxing or any other form of martial arts for that matter.
When it comes to the intimidation of getting started at the end of the day learning a martial art is no different to signing up to a CrossFit class, joining a gym for the first time or standing on stage at your first public speaking event - new experiences, things that we haven't done and thus have no reference point in our minds of our previous successes in this field can make us nervous and uneasy.
Muscle and learning curve aside, martial arts (regardless of style) offers a number of big benefits that unless you've given it a try you probably wouldn't pick up on...
Why Should You Enter The Dojo? Here Are 7 Benefits Of Martial Arts
Before we delve into the 7 biggest benefits I've found from martial arts it's worth noting that there are many, many more benefits that I haven't covered here as they're relative common sense and are similiar benefits to any other form of exercise such as burning calories, the positive feeling as feel good hormones are released due to going all out with your effort along with the flexibility and mobility gained from various strikes, holds and kicks (loosening up of your hip flexors and shoulders).
The 7 biggest benefits I've noticed from martial arts include:
You'll Improve Your Coordination
Certain forms of martial arts utilize a wider array of precision moves than others, but regardless of which form of martial arts you choose to pursue you'll be drastically increasing your coordination. From punching accuracy to switching guards, submissions and kicks - the functional coordination you build through martial arts will transfer across to your coordination on the sporting field and in the gym (which from my experience comes in handy for bodyweight exercises such as the one arm push-up and pistol squat).
You'll Learn Discipline
The only way you develop and more importantly refine drills during martial arts is via repetition, repetition, repetition.
The only way you'll get to learn, practise, repeat and compare your drills and skills is to show up to the dojo for your classes, this requires discipline.
When you've got a goal, be it a belt, a title fight a certain maneveur you want to learn and a date by which it must be executed you instantly become that much more accountable. You won't miss your workouts, you won't dismiss the dojo and you certainly won't make excuses.
You'll build the discipline that'll help you build a success business, have success relationships and conquer essentially any realistic goal you have through the sheer discipline, determination and grit you learnt via your martial arts training.
You'll Be Humbled
You may be able to bench press 315lbs for 5 reps but strength isn't all that matters when it comes to martial arts.
Leverage, speed and skill all play extremely crucial roles in both striking and submission in both martial arts drills and bouts.
Many, many guys go into martial arts, be it from a sporting or gym background and are quickly humbled when they realize just how different martial arts is, how much of a learning curve they've encountered along with just how skilfull and advanced their coach is.
You'll Meet Like-minded People
I can guarantee you there's not a single jiu jitsu black belt out there that isn't a mentally tough, goal setting go-getter.
Especially as you venture up the ranks, there's no excuse makers, no 'I didn't feel like training today' kind of people and no negativity.
The skill, discipline, dedication and sheer willpower required to reach the elite ranks of any martial arts discipline are non-negotiable.
If you find yourself stuck around people in your day to day life that constantly complain and are negative excuse-makers then you're spending your time in the wrong place.
Get to the dojo, you'll meet like-minded people travelling the same road as yourself.
You'll Learn How To Defend Yourself Correctly
Learning how to defend yourself correctly and diffuse hostile situations isn't only an advantage to your well-being, but it'll also give you a nice boost of confidence too.
Through martial arts training over time you'll re-program natural reactions to punches, swings and grabs - ensuring you're defending yourself and countering in the most efficient way possible.
Just like riding a bike, martial arts is not something you'll forget after you stop - through immense repetition it'll be with you for life.
You'll Master Goal Setting & Progression
Progressing from white belt, conquering that BJJ tournament, spending hours on the mat, running through drills hundreds of times... goal setting and progression are one of the major keys to success in martial arts which you'll learn also transfer over to any other endeavour in life you pursue.