WHY LEARN A MARTIAL ART?
Everybody trains in the martial arts for their own reasons. Some would like to be the next Bruce Lee or be able to deliver the world’s fastest punch, while others would just like to have a little more control of their body, or quite simply gain the confidence to regularly walk into a martial arts school. Whatever your own reasons, we feel the three reasons listed below are something that everybody can benefit from.
Nobody walks into a martial arts school for their first lesson (or for that matter, any subsequent lesson) and absolutely nails every technique on the first run through. Like any other skill set, the techniques of your chosen art must be broken down, learned slowly, and the pieced back together to become a cohesive whole. This can be a frustrating process, and when it’s one you’re doing by choice there is always the option to walk away and never think about it again. But sticking through the tougher times, nailing that tricky technique, or just getting the feel that you finally “get” a movement is a valuable lesson that you are constantly forced to relearn in the martial arts. It’s a fantastic positive reinforcement for the value of hard work, determination, and self-belief.
Once you’ve demonstrated to yourself a few times that with some diligence and guidance you can do things that you initially thought impossible, putting that hard work in again becomes an easier thing to commit to. And what are people that can consistently put in the required work even when it’s tough? Disciplined. The vast majority of people that are successful in any field are there because of discipline, and most times when we fail at something in life it can be put down to a lack of discipline. Constantly striving for improvements (no matter how small) in a martial art is a fantastic way to reinforce the value of discipline, and there is always something to work on and improve to maintain that focus.
Once a few techniques and ideas start to come together for you there will times in training that you’re able to run them together without thinking too hard, and with a little more training you’ll be able to switch between drills and techniques without any conscious effort while still maintaining control and awareness. Sports psychologists call this “flow state”, and once found it sets the bar for how you would like very training session to be. It doesn’t always happen but training in a martial art gives you easier access to this relaxed, controlled state of mind. An extremely nice added bonus to continued training.