7 reasons everyone needs to train in martial arts
#1 Self defense is the first reason anyone and everyone who can should train in martial arts. It is simply a fact of life that violence exists, and there are people who choose to try and victimize others. That’s just the way it is, and while we can try and change that, we should also train to defend ourselves against that, until the first comes to pass.
Martial arts is uniquely qualified to instruct and adequately train anyone who takes part to defend themselves to the best of their ability.
And inherent throughout the methodology and teaching is the lesson that a person doesn’t have to be a victim. They can and do have a right to freedom, and safety.
The martial arts teaches a student to rely on knowledge of techniques, and systems designed to equalize the battlefield in terms of strength. Brute strength is no longer a sure ticket to winning a fight. Keeping one’s calm, sizing up their situation and utilizing what they know to escape or overcome an attacker is the key to success, and safety.
#2 would undoubtedly be physical fitness. Martial arts keeps a person fit and active and combats a number of health issues related to a lack of activity, such as obesity. A person in need of a system to help them lose weight, and feel better about themselves and their ability to overcome health related challenges will find it with the martial arts. What is more, the martial arts is well suited to attending to the needs of any age group, or any level of previous fitness. Martial arts can be practiced by children, they can be practiced by people needing to lose weight and get fit, they can be practiced by people who are already fit. And it can even be practiced by the elderly or the infirm. A person can simply limit or modify the regular training practices to suit their specific needs. But everyone can benefit from martial arts.
#3 Learning life lessons is another key reason everyone who can, should practice martial arts. The martial arts is designed so that as a person progresses through the belt rank system they naturally utilize lessons valuable in life to achieve these goals. A person necessarily has to learn discipline, goal setting, knowledge retention and more to achieve success. These things are naturally occurring in martial arts through the use of habit, ritual, and consistency. A person regularly practices these life lessons on a frequent basis. Every time they enter the class, they are utilizing various life skills in some form or fashion to progress through class and achieve an understanding of the lesson material itself.
#4 Self image and confidence comes through success and achievement. People feel better about themselves when they earn something, when they overcome a struggle, when they overcome a challenge and know what they’re really capable of. A person encounters an obstacle and they become discouraged, they become crippled with doubt and depression. But through effort they overcome that obstacle, and they have a new respect for themselves and what they can achieve. They think of themselves better, and feel better about themselves and what they are worth. They don’t allow doubt or other voices to set a value to their worth. They do it themselves.
#5 Basic respect is a thing that seems to be all too uncommon these days. And yet it is a thing that is so easy to give, and receive. It’s something that makes a world of difference in the way people feel and the way they interact with one another, and that in itself then becomes the fulcrum upon which major, and very real changes occur. For instance just the act of getting a job is seemingly a small thing, yet it’s also very important. And to show respect, to act respectfully in turn commands respect, and it establishes a foundation upon which greater relations can take place. It can change moods, change perspectives and open up possibilities. Respect offers a mountain of positivity, and yet is so easily given, and received. And our communities would function so much more prosperously and productively if more of it were exchanged.
#6 Self discovery is an aspect of the martial arts that isn’t often talked about but it is no less important than any of the other reasons. There have been countless stories of people who joined up with the martial arts for many different reasons. They came in seeking a solution to a problem they had, and they not only did they overcome those problems, but transformed themselves into entirely different people. There have been people who have come in depressed, and dejected because they were overweight and felt trapped. They had little hope for themselves in being anything other than what they saw themselves as, fat and unhappy. Fast forward six months and they’re steadily and consistently losing weight. But they’re not only blasting past their goal of losing weight and becoming fit, but they’re starting to eye new goals and new motivations. Six months further and they’re in peak physical condition, strong, and virile, and they’re starting to dream about becoming a competitive martial artist. A year beyond that and they’ve become an entirely different person, completely and totally different from what they were and saw themselves as. And this is merely one story of many.
#7 Fun and enjoyment in the community seems like such a frivolous and small or unimportant reason compared to many others. But it is actually very important. Building community is important to us all, because it’s where we all live, and how we live. And we should all want to pitch in and make it something bigger and better. And that’s achieved through the martial arts because people have fun, and enjoy a sense of community, and indeed may discover a sense of community they weren’t able to enjoy before. It changes the way people feel and interact with one another, and it creates and nurtures empathy. People genuinely want to help others because they themselves have been helped. And they want to share in the joy that they’ve received. We see it everyday in the presence of children who join up. They’re always happy to be there because their friends are there. And they learn so much more, and feel great about their accomplishments and time spent there. And ultimately they want to help make it grow.
Article reposted with permission from Go2Karate.com.