4 Things Every Martial Artist Has Had To Explain To His/Her Spouse

Believe it or not, the most difficult aspect of martial arts is not the training. Instead, it can sometimes be the requirement to balance your relationship with martial arts.

Martial arts require an investment of time, dedication, and commitment.

Martial artists commonly train upwards of three times a week. To do this, however, it sometimes requires us to be separated from our spouse. This shouldn’t be a problem, but it can often lead to interesting conversations. Sometimes these conversations and explanations can be light-hearted and funny. But it is likely that many of us have also had to have these conversations on a serious level, as well.

Some of us are grateful to have partners who live and breathe martial arts with us and therefore these investments are embedded into our daily lives. The majority of martial artists, though, are required to explain things to their partners to help them understand why we do what do.

Today, Evolve Daily shares four things every martial artist has had to explain to their spouse.

1) “No, I don’t love martial arts more than you”

All jokes aside, this tongue-in-cheek conversation has probably occurred once or twice throughout your relationship.

You might have been getting ready to attend training, and then your partner spontaneously expresses their wish for you to spend the night together instead.

Hopefully, you explain that you wanted to attend training and that you can spend time together later (training is more important, of course!). This, however, can lead to the maddening statement “You love martial arts more than you love me!”

We are not here to give relationship advice, but the better idea in this situation is probably to respond with “No, I don’t love martial arts more than you”, regardless of your actual position.


2) “I love martial arts because…”

Your spouse is also likely to have asked: “Why do you enjoy martial arts?”

However, it may not be because they are deeply interested in understanding your passion. It could just be because they are trying to comprehend why you prefer to spend a few nights a week at the gym instead of spending time relaxing on the couch.

Strangely enough, one of the most common questions is also one of the most difficult to answer.

After hearing this, your mind begins racing. You know exactly why you train and love martial arts, but it can be incredibly challenging to explain to somebody. For some reason, your passion for martial arts is probably embedded so deeply into your mind that it is hard to explain precisely.

So, instead of responding to your partner with a thorough description of why you enjoy martial arts, your explanation can sometimes sound unclear and frustrating to somebody who is trying to understand it.

Take a moment to think about why you love martial arts.

What did you think of?

Was it the feeling of being involved in a community? Did you think of the challenging aspects of training? The feeling of being inside the gym and how it sets your mind free? Were you thinking about competing against other people?

There are so many reasons to love martial arts. As bizarre as it may seem, these many reasons can make it problematic to explain to somebody.


3) Martial arts is not ‘fighting’

Sky heavy bag

Martial arts is all about self-expression and continuous self-improvement.

It is common for people to mistakenly brand all martial arts as ‘fighting’. To many people, the best understanding they have of martial arts is by comparing it to a typical street fight.

Of course, anyone who has trained martial arts is aware that it is entirely different. In fact, it is almost offensive to have your favorite martial art compared to street fighting.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the people closest to you appreciate the art form of your martial art, rather than dumping it under the umbrella of ‘fighting’?

This explanation is often required when your spouse (or anybody) is explaining what you do to their friends or family or is trying to understand and appreciate your hobby. It is a strange feeling to sit there and listen as your spouse describes your favorite martial art and passion to somebody else incorrectly under the universal branch of ‘fighting’.

This is when you are presented with two options:

  • Do you correct and explain your position?
  • Do you let it slide?

Martial art is not “fighting”. They are art forms that are practiced under specific rules, conditions, and situations. They require great technique, practice, and understanding of the concepts. Each martial art is incredibly different to the other.

So, it is likely that you have had to explain your preferred martial art in great detail many times.


4) No, I can’t do this “just once”

How many times have you been asked if you can miss “just one” training session? Or, alternatively, that eating junk food “one time” won’t hurt you.

For anyone who has been training for a long time is now fully aware that it is never “just one” training session or “one” bad meal. It can quickly turn into 3-4 of these requests per month.

Martial artists have preferred schedule and operating methods. Martial artists are also incredibly disciplined. We are always willing to learn, improve and develop our skills.


Bonus explanation: The weekend is for BJJ Open Mat.

Everyone knows that the weekend is for BJJ Open Mat, right?

“Can you skip training on Saturday so that we can go the market?”

There’s no training on Saturday.

“Oh, so we can go to the market then?”

Actually, it is BJJ Open Mat time, and I really don’t want to miss this one, sorry.

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