Guest post by Evolve MMA, Asia’s premier championship brand for martial arts. It has the most number of World Champions on the planet. Named as the #1 ranked martial arts organization in Asia by CNN, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports, Evolve MMA is the top rated BJJ gym in Singapore.
Knowing self-defense is a lot like insurance. You hope the day never comes when you need your self-defense skills, but you’re happy that you have them on standby. It may or may not surprise you to learn that self-defense is about more than just fending off an attack.
How Learning Martial Arts Translates Into Real-World Benefits
A martial art discipline teaches you various skills that apply outside the dojo, boxing ring, or studio. For starters, martial arts draw you in, teaching you to show up for every session. They teach you to be patient with yourself when you don’t pick up a technique as quickly as you’d like. Many martial arts also incorporate meditation, stretching, and other practices that help with wellness in all its forms.
It turns out that learning a martial art is good for more than just handling yourself in a less-than-ideal situation. This isn’t to say that self-defense isn’t at the top of the list of reasons you should pick up a martial art. Self-defense has different aspects, many of which you can learn from martial arts.
Martial Arts Sharpen The Mind
From hand-eye coordination to anticipating and countering your opponent’s next move, martial arts kick your mind into high gear. With time you acquire skills that allow you to think quickly and make beneficial, split-second decisions. These skills carry over into real-world scenarios that require decisive action to turn a bad situation around. The best part is that these scenarios don’t have to be the kinds that involve physical altercations.
Learning a martial art keeps your mind limber, even in work and social settings. You gain the ability to solve problems, which can save a project or event from falling apart. Our careers and relationships could always use a steady pair of hands and a keen mind on standby.
Learning A Martial Art Gives You a Confidence Boost
At some point, most women will feel vulnerable and fear for their safety on multiple occasions. These feelings of insecurity tend to radiate outwards, changing the person’s body language in a marked, often noticeable way.
Visible confidence works as a defense mechanism that forces would-be predators to second-guess themselves. It would make an opportunist think twice about launching an attack. The confidence comes as a result of gaining fighting skills and knowing you have what it takes to stand up for yourself.
The Confidence Boost Also Comes With A Decrease In Anxiety Levels
Martial arts training will have you making peace with landing on the floor or taking a blow to the shin as you spar. This gradually drives your fear levels down, which works wonders for people who deal with anxiety.
With time you find yourself overcoming anxiety and dealing with the thing that makes you worry. You develop a mindset that tackles issues head-on instead of agonizing over them. This works at a mental and physical level. You’ll search for solutions to the things that bother you, even if it means finding help.
In the best cycle ever, your growing ability to face the things that weigh you down will boost your confidence. Your mental and physical wellness will grow at a steady (if gradual) pace.
Martial Arts Teach You To Dig Deep And Push Yourself
There’s something about a boxing or karate class that almost prevents you from skipping a session. You will show up consistently, even on the days when you’d rather not. This is a fantastic skill to pick up or build on.
Martial arts also require you to keep going when it seems like you hit a wall. When you finally master that move after countless failures, you will appreciate yourself for sticking with it. The skill you learn in this scenario is mental fortitude, and the neat new technique you master becomes icing on the awesome cake that is growth.
You can port this life skill over to other areas of your life, where it will help you achieve all manner of personal goals. Now you can start an ambitious project with the patience, grit, and perseverance needed to see it through to the end.
Martial Arts Is Also Pretty Great For Your Health
Most martial arts double as full-body workouts, which are great for every muscle group in your body. Better still, the exercise you get as you learn to defend yourself conditions your cardiovascular system. This is in addition to helping you to reach and maintain your ideal body weight.
The regular exercise you get from martial arts classes is also good for your bones and nervous system. You also get to improve your posture and minimize the chance of injury (it seems counterintuitive, but it’s true).
Kicking, Ducking, And Punching Are All Great Stress Busters
Even when your sparring partner gets the better of you, your stress levels will keep dropping. There are many aspects of martial arts that help with stress relief. Some martial arts include stretching and meditation, which are great relaxation techniques.
A session with a punching bag is also a great way to flush out the negative vibes from a bad day.
Not to mention how great it feels to duck your opponent’s strikes as you spar. The excitement and sense of achievement banish any negative thoughts skulking around in your mind. You get to leave the gym, studio, or dojo with improvements to your mood and a clearer mind.
You Learn To Defend Yourself
The primary reason you want to take up martial arts is to learn how to defend yourself in case of anything. Martial arts help with that, and a good instructor will explain how each technique you learn can help in an actual attack.
Most places that teach martial arts with an emphasis on self-defense also teach skills like situational awareness. They teach the use of everyday objects on your person to gain an advantage over an attacker. There are many other protective measures that self-defense classes will teach you, and it’s a good idea to learn them. Many martial arts were developed to make it possible for smaller fighters to defeat larger opponents, making them excellent for women looking to learn how to protect themselves. The moves you’ll learn in the dojo are about timing and technique, not brute strength.