Take Part in Martial Arts

Being active is good for your health – Why not take on board life skills whilst training?
Karate participants

The world of Martial Arts consists of many individual sports that all consist of an element of self-defence. Popular Martial Arts are Karate, Boxing, Taekwondo, Mixed Martial Arts, Judo and Jiu Jitsu. They all require hard physical training and to be pushed to the limit to make the most progress. Some Martial Arts have a ranked system, usually in belts, to display your progress throughout your training. In each Martial Art there is a wide range of moves and techniques that you can learn to add to your arsenal. Some Martial arts also introduce you to both traditional and contemporary styles of techniques, which adds an element of learning to your training as well.

Throughout life there are scenarios that you can only be successful in by using certain skills. Being successful in these scenarios means developing skills throughout your life so that you can use them in any circumstance. By doing a Martial Art, you can easily hone your life skills through your training, and also maintain a fit and healthy body at the same time.

Take action: Find a local Martial Arts club on Activities Oxfordshire

Getting involved

Anyone can start doing a Martial Art, it doesn't matter what age or gender you are or what figure you have. One of the main reasons people do not want to start is because they feel embarrassed to be at the bottom. To counter this, you could start with a family member or a friend, get into it, and then you might even find yourself making new friends. This is no reason to be embarrassed, everyone has to start somewhere, and your sensei or instructor will make you feel welcome at the start and during your training.

Crucial: You do not have to be muscular to do Martial Arts – The moves and techniques are suited for everybody’s physique, they do not require a certain amount of strength or to be a certain height.

There are many Martial Arts clubs located in and around Oxfordshire. They are spread all over the county, so they are easily accessible regardless of your location.

Many clubs offer a free class or the opportunity to visit a class, so you can see for yourself whether you’d like to get involved or maybe wait a little longer. With Martial Arts, the benefits largely outweigh the costs, such as the time spent or the risk of injury. Positive impacts on your life if you chose to do Martial Arts include better health, moral improvement and feeling calmer, more confident and more content.

Disability Martial Arts

There is an international charity called the Disability Martial Arts Association, DMMA, which aims to promote Martial Arts in people with disabilities. It has a website that contains more information on the charity and what it offers, it is gaining in popularity as people with special needs can now participate if they want to.

Take Action: If you have disabilities or learning difficulties and want to do Martial Arts, it is a good idea to call clubs near you and ask what they can offer in the way of support. Many clubs are inclusive.

How martial arts can benefit you

Just by training in Martial Arts you are already receiving benefits that will help you throughout your life. These benefits include:

  • Healthy Lifestyle – Martial Arts is the perfect catalyst for growing physically, mentally and spiritually. The intense physical workout encourages you to eat a better diet, as you require more energy to meet the demand in training. It also improves your mental health because it teaches you how to meditate and draw upon your spiritual energy.

  • Building Confidence – Moves and techniques can take years to fully master, however once learned, you are presented with a feeling of achievement. This sense of achievement empowers you with self-esteem and confidence. Being pushed to the limit as humans can allow you to discover a lot about you and your capabilities, which makes you more confident in your own body. Also knowing that you are able to defend yourself through your own abilities brings you a great deal of confidence.

  • Workout – Martial Arts isn’t all about self-defence, it’s also great for maintaining fitness. It allows you to reach peak physical body condition and achieve rapid weight loss. This all happens as you are training so it is an added bonus to Martial Arts.
  • Focus – To get the most out of Martial Arts, you must pay attention to your state of mind. This can be done through the practice of Martial Arts’ various principles such as honour, respect, courage, perseverance and many more. In any Martial Art, you need to develop proper technique, which requires direct focus. Because Martial Arts trains your body and mind to become healthier, it allows you to focus harder.
  • Morals and Values – Martial Arts also transcends what goes on inside the gym and applies it to every aspect of your life. The physical endeavour is very demanding, but it is important to remember that on your journey that you are able to learn the true essence of discipline. This means that once you are able to call yourself a true Martial Artist, you have already been imbued with the true values of Martial Arts.
  • Improved Athleticism – Martial Arts is able to bring out your physical potential like no other workout in the world. Because you train your entire body, practice techniques and master the motion, your athleticism can be greatly improved. If you cross-train in other sports, the physical enhancement you gain from training in Martial Arts proves beneficial to your life as an athlete.

In Martial Arts, the physical exercise and proper breathing causes your body to release a healthy amount of endorphins (hormones in the nervous system). This has a positive impact on your life as it makes you feel stronger, fitter and healthier every single day.

Written by Work Experience student Aaron Thapar

My Opinion – Whether your goal is to learn self-defence, obtain a fitter body or live a healthier life, you have to train hard to achieve it. Martial Arts gives you the opportunity to reach your personal goal, and reap many other benefits at the same time. By doing Martial Arts, you can completely change your life for the better and be more successful in your day to day life. Therefore, I think it would be massively beneficial to start a Martial Art as it develops you as a person and can inspire those around you to become better people as well. - Aaron, 15

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