How Martial Arts Provide a Therapeutic Outlet
The most obvious way martial arts help people relax is by providing a physical outlet, a way to take out their aggression. Practicing punching and kicking combinations, whether you’re hitting a heavy bag, focus mitts or simply shadow boxing, allows you to let out any aggression, anger or other negative emotions in a positive way. By letting out those feelings, you’re no longer carrying them around with you. That’s why people from all walks of life practice martial arts, including many celebrities looking for a physical activity with a mental component.
Controlling emotions is an important part of martial arts training. When you let your emotions, such as fear or anger, control you, then you’re not able to perform at your best. Martial artists develop excellent control of their emotions, which then extends to the rest of their lives. People sometimes think that martial artists must get in fights frequently, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Martial artists actually get in fights far less than the average person, because they’re able to stay calm and defuse situations.
Besides emotional control, martial arts provide many other benefits to its practitioners. They’re an excellent social activity, and often the bond between training partners turns into life-long friendships. They’re also very humbling, because when you learn martial arts, you must start at the bottom no matter how athletic you may be.
Building Your Self Image
Martials arts are a great way for people with social phobias or those who don’t have the most confidence to build their self-esteem. Although martial arts are humbling, they also make you part of the group, and martial arts schools are one of the most welcoming environments that you can imagine. From the very beginning, you feel like a part of the team.
As you develop your skills and earn promotions, you’ll become more confident in your abilities. This confidence will carry into your daily life.
The Highest Levels of Martial Arts
While there are people who embody the true spirit of martial arts at every level, from the people who simply train in their spare time to those who compete, the difference between martial artists and those who train for combat purposes alone are obvious. You can see this in particular with the UFC’s champions and legendary fighters.
The greatest fighters in UFC history have all been martial artists motivated by their desire to improve their abilities. It’s that striving for continued improvement that keeps them at the top of their game. Georges St. Pierre is one excellent example, as he started out in Kyokushin karate and become UFC welterweight champion. He was always finding ways to take his game to the next level, which is the main reason why he went on several lengthy winning streaks and consistently looked better in rematches.
Compare that to someone like Brock Lesnar. While Lesnar accomplished quite a bit in his short MMA career, he never developed that calmness that you see in the best fighters. In his loss against Cain Velasquez, he grew impatient and wild the second the fight wasn’t going his way. The best martial artists in the UFC amaze fans with how calm they can look in the middle of a fight, with Conor McGregor being one notable example. Lesnar didn’t have that quality, which is one of the reasons betting sites had him as an underdog in his last two fights.
Martial arts provide quite a few mental and physical benefits. If you haven’t ever trained in a martial art, it’s worth your while to give one a try.