Physical Benefits of Martial Arts

Written by Dojo Source

How do you know if the martial arts is right for you or your family. I would always say the best way is to try it out, but after almost 20 years of training here are some things I think the Martial Arts does best for your physical health regardless of age, capability or experience.

Sensei Walker (Left) and Sensei Jeff (Right)

Let's start with the obvious answer, all the different ways you move your body. The Martial Arts is filled with an incredible variety of movements you wont' find in your daily life. Movements that will challenge your balance, strength, coordination, flexibility and your control. When you start any new activity your body will go through a rapid growth as it adjusts to meet the needs of whatever you are doing and martial arts is no different. The beauty of the Martial Arts is that this growth is continued for a much longer period of time as your training evolves with you. In fact if you ask any student in the dojo what training is like, most of them will say:

"Right when I start to get used to the drill, the sensei throws something a little harder at me and pulls the carpet out from under my feet!"

This is an experience I have had time and time again with my own instructors and it has helped keep me in love with the martial arts for nearly 20 years. Through my own injuries, and life changes, I have always been able to do something new and challenging! One week it might be hip control, the next it will be footwork, and after that it will be full body mechanics. You never know what might lie ahead in your training.

Those are just the broad strokes of how the Martial Arts can help. One of my favorite ways training helps your body is something called proprioception. What is proprioception? Proprioception is the body's ability to know where it is in space without any other queues. Think about how you can reach and grab an earlobe right now without grabbing a mirror or your phone camera. Especially as we grow, but at every point in our lives, our body is changing and with that, our ability for coordination and control. Because of how martial artists train to be aware of their limbs, how fast they are moving, where they are relative to everything else, proprioception is one of the greatest benefits of the Martial Arts.

Over time you will develop a scientific knowledge of your body that isn't measured and calculated, but instead felt out and ingrained into you. This leads to a greater total body control that ultimately translates into more body awareness, lower risk of injury, relaxation and body confidence. One of the best quotes to summarize this from Arnold Schwarzenegger talking about training your body and taking pride in what you can do.

"...It reflects you worked hard for it; no money can buy it. You cannot borrow it, you cannot inherit it, you cannot steal it. You cannot hold onto it without constant work. It shows discipline, it shows self-respect, it shows patience, work ethic, and passion. That is why I do what I do."

-Arnold Schwarzenegger

There is much more to the Martial Arts than just the physical benefits, if you liked this check out some of our other blogs linked below!