Updated: Jan 3, 2019
A previous article I wrote for the Zone Martial Arts blog focused on the benefits of martial arts for kids but you would be surprised at how much benefit an adult can get from martial arts. Maybe you have seen your child training and thought “Maybe I could do that?” or you are looking for a different fitness option than pounding away at a treadmill for hours. If you need some more incentive to try a martial arts class for yourself, I have put together seven benefits that adults can get from martial arts.
I know it sounds weird to some, but performing a form of exercise can actually increase the energy levels a person has. Martial Arts, not only helps burn fat and calories but it builds strength and gives you an outlet for the stress that you encounter during your day. What’s even better is that it is a much more interesting way to exercise. When you do martial arts training, you need to keep your brain active and thinking about the activity. That means you are training your body and your brain.
An interesting class can not only have you walking away from the class invigorated (yet probably tired), the blood is flowing and you have burned calories in a way that is more interesting than sitting on an exercise bike. Its more practical too from a self defence perspective and is definitely something we encourage at Zone Martial Arts.
As adults, we tend to forget the need to set goals in our lives. We also tend to forget that achieving a goal is a process in and of itself. When a person comes into Zone Martial Arts, they often have goals of getting fit or learning self defence. Most have a goal of achieving a black belt. When it comes to the last one, the program we offer is broken down into belt levels and a student knows what they need to learn at each belt level to progress to the point of testing for a black belt. The program itself takes the larger goal of wanting a black belt and breaks it down into smaller chunks.
The ability to take a large goal and break it down into smaller chunks is one of the keys to really achieving goals.
We take that a step further and set out goal targets beyond just getting the next belt colour or black belt because we see the benefits of setting goals. You should always make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. goals though (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based). You can read more about goal setting in a previous blog post (Blog Post - Challenges and Goal Setting) but when students start setting goals and achieving them in martial arts, it encourages them to set goals and achieve them in other areas of their life.
Think this is just for kids? No way. Adults often suffer from self-confidence issues and this could affect them in their personal life and their professional life as well.
Martial Arts helps build confidence as you see the benefits of the goals you set and achieve. As you learn that the kick you thought you could never do becomes your best kick. As you learn to defend yourself and know that you could fight back in a self defence scenario.
Martial arts builds confidence by encouraging you to succeed and showing you the benefits and value when you do. When you have more confidence, you approach things with a can-do attitude and this will mean a happier you.
Focus and Discipline
Martial arts really does help your focus. For starters, you have to put your smartphone down to train in martial arts so there is no distractions from email or messages. To perform a lot of techniques you need to think about multiple things at once. Where are my feet supposed to be, what are my arms doing, where do I need to look? All of these things take focus and the repetitive practice of these techniques sharpens your focus.
Patterns are another great way to develop your focus. You need to not only make sure you are performing the correct techniques but you need to remember them in the correct order, at the right speed and with a focus on your breathing. Then there is board breaking. There is no point even trying to break a board if you haven’t worked on your focus skills.
To work on these things though ultimately requires discipline. You learn as aspect of that through the formality of martial arts training however a lot of the benefits of martial arts come from developing your own skills in self discipline. Pushing yourself that but further or even just making sure you get off the couch and get to training.
At Zone Martial Arts we work hard to make sure our students work at developing their discipline and focus because we see the benefits for students, not only in their martial arts training but in their professional and personal lives as well.
Violence is most definitely on the increase and it is important to make sure that you can defend yourself when you need to. I am not only talking physical skills to defend yourself either. You need to be able to mentally fight back and not just shut down. How do you do this? Martial Arts of course.
Martial Arts training is fun and exciting but it is also building self defence skills and a tougher mind so you can handle and cope with violent situations. It helps help you improve your agility, balance, endurance, flexibility, and even your strength. It also teaches you how to avoid physical confrontations in the first place
If you are going to exercise, do something fun and martial arts can provide that fun while at the same time providing practical skills to protect yourself. That’s why at Zone Martial Arts we focus heavily on self defence. Its all great being able to kick fast, but if you can’t apply it in a self defence scenario it won’t be much help.
It’s a Great Family Activity
So often, I see parents dropping their kids off to martial arts class, or sitting next to a field while their kids play soccer or netball. Why sit on the sidelines? Martial Arts is for everyone and it’s a great activity to learn with your kids. That’s why we have family classes at Zone Martial Arts, just so parents can learn martial arts with their kids as a family.
There are more benefits than just a family activity though. The kids see you doing what they are doing. You sweating just as much as them if not more. They become inspired by their parents to do better and work harder. They see that hard work pays off and they relate to their parents better through this. You have common goals and common interests to talk about over dinner. For some kids, they even start to see their parents as people they aspire to be like, not just the people who ground them, send them to bed and tell them to tidy their rooms.
We have so many families training with us at ZMAX and its so great to see them achieving together.
There is a phrase I really love. “A boss says go and a leader says let’s go”. It’s easy to be a boss who tells other people what to do but when you lead, when you show others the way to go instead of telling them, that’s when you get real results.
Martial Arts develops leadership skills. When you have to teach someone else a pattern, the best way is usually by showing them. When you team up with someone for the warm up, and you help them by just doing it with them, you are showing leadership skills.
As you progress through the years in martial arts training, you are called on to share your knowledge with other students. Share your skills and insights. I have seen many examples of junior students approaching senior students and asking them for advise or help because they have seen that senior student working hard and practicing their skills and that lead by example approach is what makes the junior student want to learn from the senior belt. It makes them want to follow the lead of that senior belt.
The focus on being a leader in martial arts will flow on into other areas of your life and I am not just talking professionally either. You would be surprised how often this skill will benefit everyone.
So if you are interested in trying martial arts, find a school local to you and give it a go. If you live in the Sutherland Shire, come and try Zone Martial Arts. We would love to see you benefiting from some or all of the above points.
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