In the United States, three to four million children and adults participate in the martial arts. These students understand the value of learning and embracing this ancient practice. In fact, here are seven reasons to train in the martial arts and acquire skills that influence every aspect of daily life.
The martial arts originated thousands of years ago in various regions, including Japan, Thailand, Korea and China. As a result of diverse influences, 170 forms of martial arts exist today. Popular martial arts include Karate, Judo, Kung Fu, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do and Tai Chi.
Each of the martial arts focuses on different techniques. Some forms of the sport are centered around leg techniques, while others concentrate on grappling, chokeholds, joint locks and throws. Regardless of a student’s skill level, he or she has an opportunity to study any of the various martial arts disciplines.
One of the most common reasons to join a martial arts class is to acquire self-defense skills. No matter on which martial arts discipline a student focuses, invaluable self-defense techniques are learned. The student knows how to anticipate dangers and develop an agility and awareness of immediate surroundings.
A martial arts student who increases awareness of her surroundings averts danger, thereby avoiding a physical fight. Nevertheless, mastering self-defense tactics gives children the confidence to stand up to school-aged bullies and adults the skills to fight off attackers on the street.
2. Physical Fitness
The martial art Kung Fu first developed as a way to increase the physical activity levels of sedentary monks in southern China. Today, students continue to study the martial arts in order to gain muscular strength and balance. Flexibility is also achieved as students practice the sport.
Students begin each class with warm-ups and technical drills. Each body part receives a full workout. At the end of the class, students are involved in cardiovascular activity, with the intensity level varying on the martial arts discipline. Staying active is key to maintaining overall physical health.
3. Mental Strength
While martial arts students gain physical strength, they also develop mental focus during training. The martial arts involves executing complex techniques that require intense focus. Students learn to concentrate under pressure, which is applicable to not only sparring but to academic studies.
Training in the martial arts requires students memorize a range of techniques. As students practice their preferred discipline, they ingrain the techniques into their muscle memories. Repetition and memorization of techniques are skills that can be utilized in academic settings, as well.
Martial arts students develop discipline as they learn to correctly perform and perfect techniques. Self-control is necessary to execute martial arts moves. Training in the martial arts instills discipline and rewards the hardworking student with the development of physical and mental strengths.
Each martial artist understands that advancement in the sport is up to the individual. Improvement and growth are achieved by individual effort and dedication. As the student progresses, the discipline gained from practicing the martial arts is beneficial in all other aspects of daily life.
5. Social Development
Martial arts students hone techniques and continue to grow alongside other students. The team environment fosters improved social skills, as students learn to resolve conflict, develop friendships with other trainees and enjoy the camaraderie of likeminded people sharing similar goals.
While making new friends is a clear gain, martial arts students who practice alongside family develop stronger bonds. Many martial arts classes are geared toward both adults and children. When families enroll together, they practice skills at home and create a richer bonding experience.
6. Personal Growth
Martial arts training can be challenging—practicing the sport demands discipline and the courage to perform new techniques. Character development is an outcome for dedicated martial arts students. Students who are brought outside of their comfort zones have an opportunity to grow. Check out one of the essays in our series to see how martial arts can make an impact on personal development.
The martial arts also shapes personal values. Tolerance, fairness and humility are just a few of the desirable character traits that students learn to incorporate into their character. The student learns to respect the instructor and the school and to show gratitude for the teachings they receive.
Snapping a wooden board in half with one strike may seem impossible to the novice martial arts student. However, after practicing techniques over time, students learn they are much more capable than they believed they could be. Students gain confidence in overcoming new challenges.
Confidence comes from learning, practicing and succeeding. This newfound confidence gained in a safe martial arts school environment is also felt outside of class. Confident children perform better in academic areas, and self-assured adults are better able to handle potentially dangerous situations.
Practice Martial Arts with Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts
Studying the martial arts offers practitioners even more benefits, including feelings of empowerment, emotional regulation, stress reduction and life purpose. People have many reasons to study the martial arts. When you make the decision to enroll, choose Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts.
We provide martial arts students with a safe environment in which to learn, practice and thrive. Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts classes are designed for students of all ages, from kindergarteners to teens and adults. Entire families participate in our high-quality classes.
No matter at what age you decide to start martial arts classes, our instructors will help you develop your skills to their fullest potential. Our qualified instructors offer training in a range of martial arts disciplines, including karate, hapkido, judo and ancient weapons.
Students of Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts have many flexible class options. One-hour private sessions are available to students who aim to hone a particular skill. Our twelve-week self-defense program is ideal for individuals and families who are just beginning their martial arts journey.
You have countless reasons to start martial arts lessons. When you seek lifechanging experiences, start classes at Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts. Our martial arts school is based in Oak Park, Illinois. Students from surrounding areas are welcome to take classes at our facility.