Anyone who has taken martial arts classes will know that it is more than just a ‘fighting sport’ that most people have this vision of. Yes, it may be true that it is physical and you do practice fighting moves and even fights with one another and perhaps in tournaments as well.
However, most people don’t really see the mental side of martial arts. It is a sport of discipline and a lot of it has to do with building confidence and mental strength. Let’s take a look at some of the mental benefits you can receive as a result of joining a martial arts class.
1. Relieve/Reduce Stress
Everybody goes through stress and anxiety. For some people, it can be overwhelming. Not only is it bad for the health, since it can lead to other serious medical conditions, but some people who just can’t handle it anymore may choose to take drastic steps and perhaps end it all. People who take martial arts classes know that part of the training involves being focused and going through cardio exercises.
With such extreme focus along with the physical side, the day’s annoyance is soon forgotten as they bury themselves 100% into their martial arts practice. Focusing on their body’s movements along with other physical activities, the tensions of the mind and body are completely released. Some martial arts also practice breathing and meditation techniques which can help control emotions and increase discipline which can relieve stress.
Physical activity helps to release natural chemicals in the brain called endorphins. These endorphins are the body’s natural ‘feel good’ chemicals. After physical activity, you can feel more positive and optimistic, you can have and feel more energy and help to keep you calm and think clearly. Dopamine, another chemical released can affect your emotions in a positive way and help increase pleasure. Dopamine can help improve your overall mood.
3. Decrease Anger
Sometimes, when people get older, they can get more angry and frustrated. This can be very hard to shake off. They can be easily irritated. Practicing martial arts in a safe and controlled environment can be a constructive outlet as it can release a lot of the anger and frustration someone feels. In class, you could have a sparring partner and it can feel good to get some anger out this way with a willing partner under the close supervision and guidance of a trained instructor.
4. Improve Confidence/Self-Esteem
Martial arts have the ability to improve a person’s confidence and self-esteem. Someone with no such issues will also benefit from this, but it is much more easily seen in someone who has such issues. Taking martial arts classes can make such a dramatic change that it can be easily seen and people may even comment on how much they have changed for the better. Besides, taking classes can give you a satisfying sense of accomplishment as well.
5. Helps You Relax
Meditation in martial arts can help you mentally relax as you focus on breathing. You learn to gain more control of your mental thoughts and abilities. Training your mind and body this way can help you to have more control in your daily life. With practice, you can get better at it. Many people use medication to gain such control, but you can achieve this naturally with martial arts training and reap the best benefits from training both physically and mentally.