When most people think of attending a martial arts class, they picture learning all the cool moves they’ve seen in MMA fights and movies. But mastering all those cool moves is just icing on the cake. The end goal of learning martial arts is self-improvement.
Martial arts can improve the quality of your life in many ways and also make you a more productive person. Here’s how:
1) Help manage stress
Stress will reduce your ability to remember things and concentrate, which, in turn, makes it really hard to be productive and meet deadlines. Stress also makes it hard for you to pay attention to details, which can lead to shoddy or inaccurate work.
When stressed, you may find it hard to interact positively with others, and it becomes nearly impossible to have a good day. Stress feeds itself by making life even more stressful.
Martial arts give you a medium to release your pent-up aggression by kicking and punching and working up a sweat. Many martial arts disciplines involve meditation and breathing exercises, which relax the body as well as the mind. This allows you to mellow out and let go of stress.
Like any brisk workout, a demanding martial arts training session will cause the body to produce dopamine, a chemical that gives a feeling of pleasure and well-being. Dopamine can counter stress by stimulating the pleasure centers in the brain.
Since martial arts help us let go of what bothers us, we are able to get rid of or at least manage stress.
2) Improve creativity and problem-solving skills
Regular exercise can speed up your heart rate and stimulate the growth of brain cells in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that is linked to the imagination. You need your imagination to think of new ideas and come up with creative solutions to problems.
If martial arts are a regular part of your life, you are likely a creative person who can find ways around puzzling problems and situations.
3) Teach discipline and concentration
Learning a martial art takes time and repetition. It would be easy to become discouraged when you fail to pick up a certain technique as fast as you would like, but a core principle of every martial art discipline is tenacity.
That means you keep at it, doing your drills over and over until you get it right. This is how you build character.
Tenacity, discipline, and concentration are life skills that translate from the confines of martial arts into the real world. These life skills help you put in extra effort every day while remaining laser-focused on your long-term goals. In the end, you will find yourself ahead of the pack in whatever you set out to achieve.
4) Teach patience
A black belt will be the first person to tell you they did not pick up BJJ in a month. They will say, though, that while mastering it can be difficult and progress may be slow, it can be steady.
If you are someone who likes instant gratification, practicing a martial art will do you good. Any martial arts you study will put things in perspective by teaching you how to be patient.
The patience you learn from martial arts will teach you to have a long-term view of any pursuit you take up. It will keep you from losing interest or phoning it in when your project slows to a crawl. You will learn to do seemingly boring or monotonous work with the Zen and long-term perspective you have acquired from your martial arts classes.
5) A welcome respite in the middle of the day
You can make your day better by adding some variety to it, especially if the day is turning out to be a bit boring for your taste. Find a place where you can do some exercises during your lunch break. Some parks and workplaces have spaces dedicated for this activity.
Scheduling a martial arts workout session into your day has many benefits. It makes your day shorter and more interesting. When you use the time to do breathing exercises and meditate, you can calm down and let go of any stress you may have.
So, turn your lunch break into a time to get rid of stress and negativity and put yourself in a good mood because you will be more productive when you are having a good day.
6) Improve sleep
Exercise is a pretty good sleeping pill. In the case of martial arts, it tires out the body and eliminates any stress that would otherwise keep you up at night.
When your body is well-rested, you become alert, focused, and fun to be around—all because you feel amazing after a good night’s rest.
7) Make you healthier
Martial arts are one of the few forms of exercise that target all muscle groups in the body. After a martial arts class, you are guaranteed to have stretched and exercised most, if not all, the muscles in your body.
Martial arts also give you a very good cardiovascular workout. As a result, the heart and its vessels are kept in good health when you incorporate martial arts into your fitness regimen. Besides good cardiovascular health, the exercise you get from martial arts boosts the body’s immune system.
Someone who makes martial arts part of their life minimizes their stress level and maintains a healthy emotional balance. You will no longer have to be concerned with sick days and will become more productive as a result.
Martial arts improve many aspects of your life. It does not matter which discipline you choose. All martial arts have a common goal: to improve the well-being of the body and mind. Increased productivity is just a fortunate side effect you get when you take up martial arts, along with the killer moves, of course.
Come to one of Evolve MMA’s complimentary introductory classes and give martial arts a try.
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