Lifestyle

4 Ways Martial Arts Can Drastically Improve Your Mental Health

Jan 22, 2020

If you are under the impression that training in martial arts will only benefit you physically, then think again.

Some of the finest athletes in ONE Championship have seen many mental health benefits from training in mixed martial arts, Muay Thai, kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and various other disciplines.

Here are four powerful ways martial arts can improve your mental health.

Martial Arts Helps You Develop Discipline

Training in martial arts is a physically demanding endeavor that will require total commitment and discipline – the mental discipline to accept your shortcomings and the courage to work on them.

Discipline is necessary to ensure you maintain a healthy diet, get adequate rest, and be committed to your training routine.

As you learn to balance these different responsibilities and improve your skills, it will train and reinforce your habits.

Training to constantly better your technique and skills will help develop mental discipline and toughness. This allows you to better control your emotions and resist negative impulses when presented with challenges or difficulties.

With over 20 years’ worth of martial arts experience, Alex “Little Rock” Silva has developed the discipline to cope with difficulties.

Despite a series of close losses to start 2019, the Brazilian remained disciplined and kept working on improving himself.

He rebounded with two straight finishes to earn his World Title shot against strawweight king Joshua “The Passion” Pacio at ONE: FIRE & FURY in Manila, Philippines on Friday, 31 January.

Martial Arts Makes You Mindful

Many forms of martial arts emphasize meditation and mindfulness. Having a peaceful state of mind is important to get the most out of your training.

Common techniques in martial arts like deep breathing, meditation, and the practice of principles like honor, respect, and integrity help to forge character.

This process clears your mind and improves your mental wellness. As you unwind from a long day at work, training in martial arts can be the perfect way to destress.



In 2019, during his stint in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix, Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy returned to his village and got ordained as a monk.

That experience gave him a chance to unwind and connect to his Buddhist roots.

He has since returned to the Circle to dominate Charlie Peters at ONE: EDGE OF GREATNESS, and now he will battle Jamal “Kherow” Yusupov at ONE: WARRIOR’S CODE on Friday, 7 February for the inaugural ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Championship.

Martial Arts Improves Your Confidence

Martial arts has become a highly popular weight loss alternative to traditional exercise. The resulting physical transformation you can achieve through training martial arts will help increase your self-esteem and confidence.

Training at the gym can also be a great way to meet others and socialize. When you can build healthy social relationships with your peers, it will not only help you feel better about yourself, but it will also help to expand your social circle.

By working and learning together as a team, you cultivate interpersonal skills and gain the confidence to test your techniques against one another in sparring sessions.

This not only equips you with real-life self-defense skills, but it also empowers you with the confidence to stand and face life’s challenges head-on.

Teased for his small stature, Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit experienced a difficult childhood marred by bullying.

Training in martial arts gave Mitsatit the self-confidence he once lacked. The Thai now adopts a warrior’s mindset as he works towards his goal of becoming a ONE World Champion.

He will get a chance to step closer towards accomplishing that goal when he battles surging Filipino Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang at ONE: FIRE & FURY.

Martial Arts Helps You Keep A Positive Mindset

Martial arts instills positive psychology. The physical demands of the sport require its practitioners to have a healthy state of mind to maximize their movements and execute different techniques.

When you achieve a healthy state of mind, it helps to train your focus and control your emotions. This balance is critical in navigating stress and dealing with the difficulties of change in the workplace.

Being positive allows you to better manage sudden changes or situations that may otherwise be beyond your control.

Training in martial arts is cathartic and often accompanied by the release of dopamine, which helps regulate your mood. Not only do you get a great workout, but you also feel good and positive doing it.

Staying in the gym and working on your skills can be a great way to occupy yourself and indulge in a positive activity.

Growing up in a neighborhood with crime and violence, Alma Juniku turned her focus towards martial arts as a positive activity to steer her away from trouble.

The teenage sensation was able to win both the WBC and IPCC Muay Thai World Championships, and she is now ready to make her mark on the global stage when she battles Anne “Ninja” Line Hogstad in their upcoming clash at ONE: FIRE & FURY.

Read more: How Much Will You Pay For A Training Vacation In Thailand