People get into martial arts for many different reasons.
It can be for physical fitness, self-defense, or sporting competition. Also, it can be to increase confidence, reduce stress, and even relax.
Though training in martial arts can be intense and hard work, a life spent learning any discipline can help you achieve inner peace by harmonizing your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Here is how you can find serenity through training in martial arts.
#1 Martial Arts Lets You Get Comfortable In Your Skin
Insecurity can breed a lot of problems.
Much of the bullying and violence that goes on in the world is an outward expression of this insecurity.
Rarely are true martial artists aggressive, let alone bullies. This is because they have become more skilled and more physically able, and therefore less likely to be insecure.
A person who is comfortable in his or her own skin is less likely to be aggressive.
When you study martial arts, no longer do you have to be eaten up by insecurities and project them onto someone else. You can just be you.
“Martial artists are not instigators, but rather the evaders of confrontation,” he explains.
“Some of the most important values in life are learned through practicing martial arts, like honor, respect, perseverance, and determination.”
#2 Martial Arts Helps You Let Go Of Ego
Almost opposite to insecurity, but manifesting itself in very similar ways, is the ego.
It can eat you up and make your usually rational mind act irrational.
When you consistently have to fail to get better, or when you have to concede skill on a daily basis to more experienced students, the ego must die quickly – otherwise, you will not last.
You have to accept that the world does not revolve around you, that you are not the center of the universe, and you must walk the same path as everyone else.
“Nothing good comes from having an ego, and you won’t be successful if you have one,” he says.
“I want to tell the fighters that if you get famous, you can’t forget who you are or where you come from, and to never forget your first day at the gym.”
#3 Martial Arts Reveals Your Strengths And Weaknesses
Through training and sparring, you will soon find areas where you appear to have success, and yet others where you do not.
You will notice the same with your training partners and, more importantly, you will understand that this is okay.
Over time, you will learn to accept that you are not perfect. Also, you will realize that you share the same imperfections that everyone else has.
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By accepting your strengths and weaknesses, you will not only find both solace and serenity, but you will know what you have to work on moving forward.
It is a philosophy Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao practices with his fabled stable of Filipino warriors.
“Losing is the greatest teacher,” Sangiao says, “And sometimes in victory, you cannot see your faults. The losses helped our athletes re-evaluate their abilities, their weaknesses, and how we can become better.”
#4 Martial Arts Helps You To Focus
It is hard to stay focused in a world that is always after your attention.
You are plugged in from the moment you wake up, all day at work, and even through your phone and emails when the day is over.
There is always something waiting to grab your attention.
However, in the gym, all your focus is strictly on your techniques and your art. At that moment, you are not worried about meetings, tests, or relationship issues because you are focused on the task at hand.
The grasp is so strong, it is almost zen-like. There are not many activities that give you the same feeling and sensation that training in martial arts does.
Even legendary Japanese grappler Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki praises focus as one of the most important aspects of training.
“Martial arts is about studying and learning,” he says.
“When you are training for a competition and focus on something, you will definitely improve. I continued to develop my game, learn new techniques, and refine my current ones.”
#5 Martial Arts Teaches You To Solve Problems With Intelligence
In high-pressure situations in the gym, you have to rely on your intelligence, skill, and guile – not emotions.
For instance, when you spar with someone who is new to Muay Thai and they react purely off emotion, you can instead rely on strategy. If you react emotionally, you will make mistakes and it will slow you down.
That also transfers over to the rest of your life. You can eliminate emotion from situations that do not require them, building from what you learned in your training.
This helps you to remain more emotionally stable and collected. Also, it reduces the inner turmoil and replaces it with inner peace.
Bantamweight veteran Radeem Rahman reminds us why smarts overpower emotions in the gym.
“Training smarter reduces the chances of injury, and it improves your tactical awareness and skill set – while emotion makes you lose yourself in training or competition.”