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Common Myths About Martial Arts Debunked

Common Myths About Martial Arts Debunked

The marital arts disciplines have been in existence for thousands of years and certainly have their place in lore and legends that transcend cultures.  Even people with little to no experience with martial arts themselves are familiar with them because of their place in popular culture.  However, the average person, while being generally aware of martial arts, may not have a deep understanding of the various martial arts, including the differences between disciplines and what martial arts training really is.  This leads people to believe things about martial arts that may not be true.

Those who pursue martial arts training do so to improve their physical health and engage in an ancient discipline that can sharpen their focus and build their confidence.  If you are considering marital arts training, it is important to understand the specific discipline you are pursuing as well as what you can expect from your training.  This should also include debunking the misconceptions you may be holding about martial arts.

The following are the most common misconceptions that people generally hold regarding martial arts and the truth behind each misconception.

You Must be in Good Shape to Start

Martial arts involve intense physical activity that can make your body sore when you start your training.  However, you do not have to be in great shape or have much experience with physical fitness to get started.  In fact, having less experience with fitness may be an advantage because you won’t be held back by preconceptions about your strength or limitations.  This will make you more open to learning new skills and techniques.

As you get further into your training, you will gain strength and build cardiovascular fitness while also improving your balance, coordination, and flexibility.

Martial Arts Only Teaches Self-Defense

It is true that all martial arts disciplines teach self-defense techniques, but this is not the only benefit people get from martial arts training.  Martial arts also teach discipline and focus and help build confidence.  The training benefits your physical health as well as being a great form of total-body exercise.

Learning Martials Arts is Dangerous

When some people think of martial arts, scenes from action movies in which people are getting kicked, punched, and thrown in epic fight scenes may come to mind.  While there is some risk of injury involved with martial arts training, it is nothing like a scene from an action movie.

Your martial arts training is likely to involve sparring with another student, but every precaution is taken to keep you safe.  Students are required to wear protective gear when sparring, including head gear and shin pads, and they are instructed to spar at half strength.  Instructors also pair sparring partners that are similar in size so there is no clear advantage.  Also, students are learning the important skill of self-control.

The other thing to remember is that even though precautions are taken to keep you safe, you may still feel pain from getting hit or dropped.  Scenes in action movies in which someone immediately gets up after being kicked in the face are simply not reflective of reality.

Martial Arts is Only About Fighting

Defense and sparring are part of almost every martial arts discipline.  However, martial arts training is about much more than fighting.  The training can help you with personal development including improving focus, discipline, mental toughness, and self-awareness.

Martial arts also emphasize showing restraint and trying to diffuse a situation before resorting to fighting.  It is important to remember that if you get into a street fight, the rules of the dojhang do not apply, and weapons may be involved.  Regardless of your level of training, you must always put your safety first, defend yourself, and make every effort to resolve issues peacefully.

Training Must Start at a Young Age

There are benefits to starting martial arts training at a young age, but you can start your journey with martial arts at any age.  People starting training in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s can succeed in martial arts with consistency and discipline.  Martial arts can also benefit older adults as the training helps improve mobility, balance, and coordination.

Men are More Likely to Excel at Martial Arts

The idea that martial arts is for men or that men are inherently better at martial arts is a complete misconception.  Women can also excel in their training in any of the martial arts disciplines.

Martial arts value inclusion and are open to everyone regardless of gender, age, or fitness level.  Many martial arts instructors offer classes specifically for women and children.  As more martial arts disciplines become less male dominated and more inclusive, we hope that this misconception disappears.

Martial arts kick

You Can Start with MMA Training

If your goal is to eventually start mixed martial arts (MMA) training, it is best to learn the basics first with traditional martial arts training.  To be successful with MMA training, you must have a foundation in martial arts and know how to properly kick, punch, and grapple.  Once you have mastered the basics and improved your skills, you can move on to MMA training.

Competition is Mandatory

Martial arts competitions are a great way for those who have honed their skills to challenge themselves in high-pressure situations.  Instructors typically ask students if they want to take part in competitions once their skills reach a certain level, but this is not mandatory.

Everyone has their own reasons for training and forge their own journeys.  No one is required to participate in competitions and there is nothing wrong with choosing not to compete.

Once a Black Belt, Always a Black Belt

This is technically true as once you earn your black belt, you always remain a black belt.  However, the skills you learn to earn your black belt can fade without consistent training.  If you take years off from training after earning your black belt, you will not return to training at the same level, and it may take some time to get your skills back to that level.

Training in Martial Arts is Easy

Some people may start martial arts training believing it will be an easy endeavor.  No matter what martial arts discipline you choose, you will be challenged.  To master martial arts, you must put in the hard work, discipline, and dedication to train and practice consistently.  Your focus and physical condition must also be in great shape.

It will take time to become proficient in martial arts, but you will be rewarded by putting in consistent time and effort in your training.  Remember, there is no set timetable, and you will reach your goals through dedication.

Martial Arts Training from Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts

Martial arts have a place in popular culture but being exposed to the martial arts in this way leads to common misconception regarding what the disciplines are about and what the training entails.  By debunking these misconceptions, we hope to give people a better idea of the martial arts disciplines and how this training can benefit you both physically and mentally.  The beautiful thing about martial arts is that anyone at any age can start training and forge their own unique journey.

If you are ready to start your journey in martial arts training, you can sign up for classes with Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts.  We offer a wide range of martial arts programs to accommodate anyone who is interested in pursing training, including kids karate classes and martial arts classes for adults.  Our programs are led by Sr. GrandMaster Yu, and internationally recognized 9th Dan, licensed 1st Class Certified Sr. Grandmaster.

Give us a call at (708) 383-3456 or pre-register online to get started on your martial arts journey.

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