There are many physical benefits to training in the martial arts and, many motivations for why we choose to begin training. For martial artists, we are all motivated to train for different reasons and, the benefits of training have been very different depending on our own unique experiences. Various systems emphasize and focus on different types of movement and therefore will develop a student’s body in different ways. However most martial arts can be argued to share a similar range of physical benefits to its practitioners.

Benefits of Martial Arts Training

Benefits Martial Arts Training

The desire to become stronger, both physically and mentally, is a common reason for why many of us begin our martial arts training. Often some of the best martial artists started training because they were bullied or suffered trauma as a child that, emphasised their inability to control the situation. The desire therefore to become stronger and exhibit greater influence over the world around us is a powerful one. In martial arts, we find many systems that dedicate time to developing the strength of the body through calisthenics.

External martial arts such as Karate or certain systems of Kung Fu are chief examples of how intense physical conditioning can build the body effectively. Through specific anaerobic exercises, these systems seek to build the muscle mass of the practitioner to aid them in applying techniques with power. By making use of weight training for example the body will develop stronger and more efficient muscles that can then be applied to striking or grappling and assist in developing power and resistance.

Benefits Martial Arts Training

Another product of martial arts training is an increased level of reflex speed. Through continuous training, often dealing with responses to strikes, weapons attacks or, grappling, a student will develop an intuitive understanding of how to respond to certain actions. By giving ourselves specific physical stimuli to counter in training, our bodies over time will respond faster.

The act of developing one’s reflexes is key to martial arts to ensure that the movement we learn can be applied effectively enough to respond to a committed attack. Therefore, by understanding the movement of the human body, we can respond to a threat quickly and without taking up critical time thinking about what is going on.

Physical Benefits to Training

Benefits Martial Arts Training

Other physical benefits to training are the combination of physical strength and speed to provide effective understanding of power generation in the body. This is especially important in empty handed systems where the limbs of the body must be turned into weapons rather than simply manipulating a knife, sword or, gun. As a result having strong limbs and lightning fast reflexes is good, but being able to marry these two elements is essential to make physical technique work.

Many experts have argued about how the use of the hips is critical to ensuring correct power generation as this is the point at which the human centre of gravity is located. In order to throw a punch effectively, not only the striking arm must move. The legs, hips and opposite arm must also move in order for the full potential of a punch to be realised.

By synchronising our movements correctly in training, we learn how to generate the most power while using the minimum amount of effort. This benefits the practitioner by increasing the physical effectiveness of technique and, enhancing efficiency of movement.

Find Our Limits in Martial Arts Training

Benefits Martial Arts Training

We all want to be able to achieve great physical feats in our martial arts practice but, what use is it if you can only perform an action a few times before you become tired? Endurance and stamina are an essential benefit from martial arts practice but, they are not easy to train. It is key for students to be able to make techniques work and to continue fighting regardless of what happens in a situation. We cannot assume that a single technique will be enough to resolve a conflict, therefore being able to execute as many repetitions as possible is important.

Many practitioners will train a technique thousands of times in order to ensure that not only the movement is perfected, but that their bodies are able to perform even under intense physical pressure. Also being able to receive a strike is sometimes just as important as throwing one. Often in order to develop our stamina, we have to exercise to the point of exhaustion and keep going in order to develop the body appropriately. This method allows us to find our limits and push further to achieve our goals.

Benefits Martial Arts Training

Possibly the most general benefit to martial arts practice is the effect on our physical health. In our modern world it is especially important to ensure that the body is exercised and treated correctly to ensure a full and healthy life. Martial arts practice provides a physical outlet from which we can exercise the body in a dynamic learning environment rather than simply exercising for its own sake. Many claims have been made on how martial arts practice has helped practitioners to live healthier lives.

A bi-product of training is that in order to perform your best, taking regular exercise and eating a balanced diet will facilitate this. Thus martial arts training can encourage its practitioners to undergo gradual yet, dramatic lifestyle changes in order that we may achieve our full potential in training.

Martial Arts Training is Designed to Enhance Our Body

Benefits Martial Arts Training

A somewhat more abstract benefit to physical training in martial arts, is the ability to better understand your own body. A lot of people work and live in sedentary jobs, with minimal physical exercise. As a result, it is easy in this lifestyle for people to become disconnected from their own bodies. By training regularly in martial arts, we do not simply learn techniques or how to build our bodies but, discover its limitations and potentials.

Without being tested and put under pressure, we cannot fully understand where our limits are or how far we can take training. By pushing your body to do more, whether it might be by push ups, striking drills or grappling, you will gain a deeper understanding of how your own body works, its strengths and weaknesses but, also of yourself.

Unlike regular fitness training and body building, martial arts exercises are designed to enhance our bodies towards a specific purpose. This purpose being the application of our movement in a combative situation. As a result, although we may train in many similar ways to others outside of the martial arts community, the intent in training remains unique. Through regular and dedicated training, our physical health is not only enhanced, but also our ability to be effective when applying our skills.

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