4 Ways Martial Arts Change Your Life For The Better
Partaking in martial arts is a great way to boost many facets of your health, helping to improve your physical and mental wellbeing.
Many people yearn for a healthy lifestyle and governments even try to introduce legislation for it, but demands on their time often make it difficult to keep on top of a fitness regime.
This can have a knock-on effect on someone’s mental fitness as they struggle to cope with the fall-out from their lack of physical positivity.
However, martial arts promote a lifestyle that promotes physical, mental and spiritual disciplines that will help you maximise your potential.
Martial arts help to boost self-confidence, increases awareness of eating healthy, improves mental focus, teaches good morals and improves your overall athleticism.
Read on as we look at four ways martial arts can help to change your life for the better.
Learn self-control through martial arts
While many martial arts movements can appear extremely violent in nature, the discipline is widely known to help people control their emotions.
In addition to the physical and mental benefits, martial arts training teaches self-control, improves self-esteem and contributes to spiritual wellbeing.
Some martial arts teachers now focus purely on the health aspects, removing the elements of combat and self-defence from their training sessions.
However, world-renowned flexibility master/martial artist, Stacey Nemour, says that knowing the right times to use martial arts is an important factor of the practice.
“At the beginning of every class I always talk with my students about how Kung Fu is truly a peaceful art, she said. “Whenever possible it’s always best to walk or run away from a fight and go tell a teacher or parent.
“The rule is that it only should be applied if one is in serious danger. If they practiced it on family, friends, animals, that would result in being banned from the class. That worked wonders!
“Bullies learned about control/discipline and not to ‘act out’ due to having a healthy outlet for their stress, anger and issues to be healed and released in a peaceful environment.”
Martial arts promote healthy eating
Research has shown that eating a healthy and nutritious diet can have a significant impact on your overall health and life expectancy.
Martial arts teach that food is not only essential to fuel the body, but it is also an essential part of spiritual wellbeing too.
Sticking to a healthy diet and using the best protein powders for recovery is an ethos followed by many world class exponents of martial arts.
UFC star Conor McGregor says that his healthy food intake has played a major part in his rise up to the top of his chosen profession.
“My diet is usually pretty consistent whether I’m training for a specific fight or not – I don’t like to mess too much with it,” he said.
“I try to eat healthy all the time. I don’t eat takeaways. I drink mostly water or coconut water. It’s important to stay hydrated – first thing I do in the morning is stretch and drink water.
“I eat good meat – chicken, salmon, some steak – and a lot of quality greens and some fruits like bananas. I eat eggs – an omelette with my Americano for a late breakfast or brunch.
“In general, I like the healthy stuff and don’t really have a problem with any of it.”
Psychological benefits are huge from martial arts
Physical wellbeing and a healthy diet are excellent benefits from martial arts, but many experts believe that the psychological advantages are even more important.
Research has shown that martial arts can enhance emotional stability, make people more assertive and help to reduce anxiety and depression.
The intensive training associated with martial arts also help to release endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ hormone that is proven to lift your mood.
Martial arts expert, Michael Jai White, strongly believes that the psychological benefits gained from martial arts are what make them so special.
“When you practice the martial arts, you get more obstacles thrown at you than life would conjure up naturally, so your mind and will becomes well-equipped to mentally and physically face any obstacle life throws at you,” he said.
“Discipline, respect for others, being humble, truthful, healthy – they’re all part of being a true martial artist.
“For me, learning these qualities – and practicing them time and time again in the dojo – has not only improved my life and how I see myself, it’s also made me a better person for my family and everyone around me.”
Martial arts exponents never stop learning
Albert Einstein once said that life “is like riding a bicycle – to keep your balance you must keep moving” and martial arts certainly embraces this ethos.
Whatever your favoured discipline within martial arts there is always something new to learn, even if you believe you are a master of the art.
Belgian-based martial arts expert, Wim Demeere, has been teaching martial arts and self-defense for around 30 years, but he insists that there is no end-level.
“Everything, especially martial arts, has levels of depth of knowledge and understanding, meaning there is superficial knowledge and on the other end of the scale, extreme in-depth knowledge on any given subject or topic,” he said.
“Having superficial knowledge is great but it’s only the first step if you want to become a better martial artist.
“In-depth knowledge is where it’s at but that puppy is an elusive one – it takes years and years of dedicated training to get it.
“It’s also impossible to have in-depth knowledge of everything. Barring the occasional genius, people rarely specialise in more than one or two fields and become world-class level in those.”