National Service (NS) in Singapore is something every Singaporean male has to go through. Two years spent in the service of the country is, of course, time well-spent. It is a huge sacrifice for each and every Singaporean. For the love of our country, and to make sure Singapore’s defense is always secure, we are ready to defend our land should the need arise.
It can, however, sometimes be a daunting task for those who have yet to experience it. It is a tremendously physical ordeal and will push your fitness to the maximum while improving your health, wellness, and discipline.
Because NS shares a lot of similarities with martial arts, it makes complete sense to take up martial arts to prepare for your two years in service. Just like NS, martial arts will develop your physical fitness and bring out your maximum potential. But aside from the physical aspect, martial arts also helps you develop various skills such as leadership, prioritization, and self-defense.
As such, it is a great idea to practice martial arts to help you prepare for your National Service. Today, Evolve Daily shares 6 Ways Martial Arts Gets You Ready For National Service.
1) Martial arts helps you physically prepare for National Service
As mentioned before, National Service can be an incredibly physical ordeal. It will come as a shock to those who are not currently at a certain level of physical fitness. This is where martial arts comes perfectly into play.
Martial arts is like no other workout in the world. It will help you discover your physical limitations, and then show you how you can shatter them. It will push you further than you have ever gone before. It will allow you to realize that you are capable of so much more than you have ever imagined.
The bottom line is, martial arts will help you prepare for National Service on a physical level, above everything else. Practicing Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will develop your cardio, improve your strength, enhance your coordination, and aid in weight loss. All of this will inevitably aid you just in time for your National Service, and will definitely help you deal with training stress.
2) It will help you do well on your Individual Physical Proficiency Test
The Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) is a standard physical fitness test issued by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Police Force (SPF), and the Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF) to gauge the basic aspects of an individual’s physical fitness or motor skills.
The test currently consists of three stations, namely push-ups, sit-ups, and the 2.4-kilometers run. Based on various factors, individuals are required to meet certain standards in order to obtain a passing mark.
Martial arts will help individuals prepare for the IPPT because it enhances physical capacity. During martial arts training, we develop our cardiovascular endurance, improve our muscle strength, and enhance our full-body coordination.
There is no shortcut to physical fitness, so before taking the IPPT, it is best to be physically prepared. Martial arts provides amazing benefits for those who would like to obtain high marks on the IPPT.
3) It develops leadership skills
Leadership — the ability to guide others, peers, colleagues, fellow citizens of society — is a skill that is important to develop and is essential to National Service. Luckily, leadership can be learned in many ways, such as in martial arts.
One of the many great benefits of martial arts training is that we develop a solid sense of confidence within ourselves. The confidence gained through training will allow us to lead by example, or by actually helping one another. Because martial arts will push the limits of the human mind, body, and spirit, a person can discover a great deal about himself during training.
Furthermore, it teaches us many great lessons of leadership, such as perseverance and discipline. Martial arts isn’t just something that you pick up and do as a physical activity. It is also a great mental and emotional journey that develops us as proper human beings in society, and also helps us become better leaders.
4) It helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle
In this day and age, human beings tend to lead more relaxed and sedentary lifestyles. We often find ourselves behind our computer screens, spending hours online, sometimes aimlessly. “Surfing” the web becomes our only physical activity, which of course, is a terrible way to live.
In order to adapt our lifestyle towards a more active and healthy pace, we can practice martial arts. Martial arts is an amazing tool to help keep people motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is perhaps the most effective workout in the world that will keep your body constantly engaged in new and exciting ways.
Because martial arts is also an incredibly joyful experience, you’re going to find yourself constantly craving the physical satisfaction of training. This, in turn, will only serve to enhance your health and wellness.
5) It improves your self-defense skills
Obviously, a huge part of National Service deals with security and defense, and part of this is learning how to physically protect ourselves. A certain degree of responsibility is involved in self-defense, however, and gladly, martial arts teaches us not just the physical aspect of combat, but also its mental and spiritual components.
A military force is all about deterrence and utilizing physical force only when absolutely necessary. Like with all great power, there is a certain responsibility involved in self-defense. Learning martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, or Muay Thai helps individuals develop a sense of readiness and an unwavering spirit of self-defense.
Taekwondo was the very first martial art introduced to the Singapore Armed Forces in 1977. Years later, the SAF began to incorporate techniques from various other martial arts. Today, the self-defense and martial arts component of the SAF has evolved into what is called Close Combat Fighting, which borrows the concept of mixed martial arts, combining various disciplines like Aikido, Judo, and Jiu-Jitsu.
6) Constant self-improvement
One of the greatest lessons martial arts teaches us is constant self-improvement. In many ways, learning and practicing martial arts develops various aspects of our lives that fit perfectly into preparing us for National Service.
Martial arts is for everyone, no matter how young or old, no matter what race or gender. There is a principle of equality in martial arts, being that when we practice, we are all treated the same regardless of where we come from. Martial arts teaches us to constantly improve every aspect of our lives.
In this manner, practicing martial arts will undeniably prepare us for National Service.
The reality is, National Service is a sacrifice, but one that every loving citizen of this great nation should be prepared for. It is also something that we should be proud to give to ensure the security of Singapore’s defense. It is certainly a sacrifice worth making.
To ensure you’re fully prepared to make the most of NS, try out a martial arts class for yourself!