5 Ways Martial Arts Can Boost Confidence
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Defending yourself and pushing your body to its extreme limits have always been the core-essence of martial arts practice.
However, even in modern times, martial arts are still perceived as a (mostly) masculine practice which may make many women apprehensive to take it up. But even though martial arts are physically and mentally challenging, they offer immense benefits for both men and women.
Everyone can benefit tremendously from practicing martial arts, as it provides a full body and mind workout that is not only beneficial to maintaining a healthy physical body but can also help boost confidence.
Throughout the Western countries, many women choose to take up martial arts both as a part of their fitness regime and to learn self-defense moves.
More so, fighting championships – such as UFC in the USA – help increase the popularity of martial arts among both men and women. This also drives interest to learn combat sports, such as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Muay Thai.
If you aren’t sure how martial arts can improve your life, in this article, we are be sharing 5 ways in which martial arts can be an important tool in instilling confidence in both men & women:
1. It boosts your self-esteem
Photo credit: International Krav Maga Federation (IKMF) - Malta
Growing up, both men & women may be faced with a multitude of issues such as being a subject of bullying and peer pressure.
One way to help young adults to deal with such instances is to encourage them to take up martial arts. The practice can help realize their self-worth and boost their self-confidence and self-esteem by way of developing mental fortitude and grit resilience.
For example, some martial arts disciplines follow the belt rank system, in which you work your way up to being promoted and earn different belts as per your skills. As you watch yourself being ‘promoted’ and being valued for your position, your self-confidence and self-esteem continue to rise.
» Read more: Should I Let My Kids Practice MMA?
2. It helps develop superior focus
During a martial arts session, you will likely be asked to spar with either one of the other practitioners or even with your instructor(s). Sparring, however, is not necessarily a ‘real’ fight.
That said, sparring with an opponent could generate an uneasy feeling (or fear). But when done consistently, this feeling tends to fade away as you tackle your fears head-on. By doing so, the lingering doubts you may have are immediately replaced with self-confidence and self-belief.
3. It improves physical strength
Being active, combined with a healthy diet, are two of the most important habits that need to be instilled into a healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, most women & men find it difficult to carve out time for physical activity. It is most often due to their hectic, busy schedules.
If you haven’t yet found an activity that you enjoy taking part in, you may want to give martial arts a try. As you regularly attend classes and continue with your training, you will notice an improvement in your overall physique and a significant transformation within your body. Your muscles will be more toned and you’ll soon notice your strength is also improving. It shouldn’t be a surprise that these results can be a huge confidence booster.
Additionally, regular practice of ‘gentler’ disciplines such as Tai Chi can have a positive impact on older practitioners as they enable them to stay active in their senior years.
Studies have also shown that constant physical activity, including martial arts, can help adults prevent the risk of physical injuries.
4. It serves as a stress-busting tool
Photo credit: Tianmeng Shaolin Kung Fu Academy
Whether we like it or not, stress is a constant part of our lives. Our busy commitments leave us with little to no room to unwind and relax.
Our hectic lifestyle - both at work and at home- make us fall prey to the monotony of routine without leaving any room for embracing a wellness routine.
That’s where martial arts can help. The practice can help reduce stress and regulate bodily functions.
Also, a major aspect of some martial arts disciplines, including Kung Fu, is to learn the role of controlling your breath and channeling it in such a right way to connect the mind with the body and the soul.
In addition, the breathing exercises practiced during a training session can help improve your mood and attitude, thus cultivating mindfulness.
5. It helps you embrace the unexpected
Photo credit: Team Quest Thailand
Anything can happen when you start sparring with your partner. You can, quite easily, get defeated by someone of lower rank or with less experience.
And it won’t be something that happens just once. You’ll likely feel frustrated that you let your guard down. But this also provides a learning opportunity: embrace the outcome. Accept the defeat.
Take what you’ve learned in your everyday life and don’t let the unfortunate surprises spoil your day. Embrace whatever happens to you. The sooner you realize this, the more you will boost your confidence.
Can’t travel right now? Join an online martial arts training program to gain confidence and boost your skills from the comfort of your home.