For thousands of years now, people have been practicing martial arts not only as a self-defense tool but also as exercise. This has resulted in thousands of styles forming throughout the world today. While these styles can be quite distinct from one another, they do have some physical, mental, and social benefits in common.
Physical Benefits of Martial Arts
Let’s start by looking at the many physical benefits of being involved in this sport. While some of these you may already be familiar with, others you might not. These include:
- Weight loss and muscle gain: Persistence will result in a complete body transformation.
- Better cardiovascular health: This is a high-intensity workout which means your muscles need more oxygen, causing your blood vessels to expand and resulting in improvement.
- Improved agility and reflexes: These things typically improve before you even develop basic technique skills.
- Flexibility: To be successful in karate, you’ll need to have a certain amount of flexibility (just how flexible you’ll need to be will depend on the style you choose to practice). Therefore, you’ll engage in a lot of stretching, so you aren’t injured by the movements you need to make. These movements will also help you become more flexible.
- Balance: Many people say that one of the biggest benefits they received from their training was an improvement in their sense of balance. Some people also say that they’ve gone from being barely able to stand on one foot to being able to do so without tipping to the side.
Mental Benefits of Martial Arts
Many people are actually quite surprised to learn that there are mental benefits to being involved in this sport. Nevertheless, these benefits do exist, and they include the following:
- Stress relief: You get to exert your negative energy and calm your mind, putting it at peace since you’ll have the opportunity to stop thinking about everything.
- Increased confidence and self-esteem: Training in martial arts provides you with a new skill set. You’ll be able to defend yourself, which should make you feel more confident.
- Improved focus: If you have ADHD (attention-deficit disorder), this is a great physical activity to engage in. Even if you don’t have ADHD, it’ll still help greatly increase your ability to focus even in the most stressful situations.
- Better memory: As you repeat the exercises that are involved in karate, your neural synapses and pathways will grow stronger. This is because you use your memory to combine the skills you’re learning into one effective, fluid motion – something that’ll improve your overall memory.
Social Benefits of Martial Arts
Although you may not think that karate has social benefits, it does, and they include:
- Builds character: You’ll develop the skills (e.g., increased confidence, better self-esteem) you need to be able to express yourself better in front of other people.
- Socialization (meeting new people): Making new friends is challenging for adults unless you like attending church or hanging out at the bar. However, when you take karate, you’ll get to meet new people who share the same interest as you. This can be a great conversation starter.
- Learning self-defense: It’s debatable as to whether this is a social or physical benefit. Nevertheless, if someone attacks you when you take karate, you’re more likely to defend yourself effectively without getting seriously injured.
- Better awareness (mental presence in social situations): You’ll be able to get a better grip on what’s going on around you, what people are saying, and how you should react to these things.
Now that you’ve seen some of the numerous benefits of karate, it’s time to ask yourself, “Do I want these things in my life?” If so, reach out to us at Elevate Martial Arts in Tampa, FL, today.