...adults & children should take up martial arts classes (together)
There is a belief that traditional martial arts are mainly geared for self defence & whilst this is often the case, if you look at the martial arts as ONLY being about self defence, then you will miss all the other amazing benefits that training in martial arts can offer.
Here are some of the main reasons why adults & children should take up martial arts & the benefits they will receive:
1. It Increases Fitness
Gyms can often be boring places to go to for many people & require a huge amount of self-discipline! People join gyms in the new year, but use of gyms drops off sharply by the second week of February & less than a quarter of gym memberships are regularly used at all.
Gyms do work for a lot of people; however, we think you are far more likely to reach your fitness goals by joining a martial arts class, as a good martial arts Instructor will support & guide you through your training (you have your own personal trainer). They will want to understand what your personal goals are & will try to support you to meet them. They will motivate you in a variety of ways to achieve your goals - both sort & long term.
In an era of cheap gyms, it can be easy not to go a gym when it costs so little! You need to think differently - invest in your martial arts classes (time, energy, money) & as a result you will often be counting down the hours until your next class. A good martial arts class will have a range of drills & activities that test your fitness, increasing it week by week. As a result, you are more likely to go to a martial arts class, therefore you are more likely to reach your fitness goals.
2. It Boosts Self Esteem
Anyone can suffer from self esteem issues from time to time. Children especially can suffer from these issues, but adults also live in a world now where they are bombarded with images of the perfect person, unbelievable success stories & the achievements of others. It is tempting to compare ourselves with our peers, despite our best intentions.
Martial arts training has an ingenious reward system - the Graduation/Grading system - which allows people that work hard to be rewarded for those efforts at regular intervals. The Graduation/Grading process uses a coloured belt system together with a certificate of progress.
The important part of this is the recognition - to have someone telling you that you have achieved your next step in your martial arts journey. Having someone confirm you are getting better & provide you with proof really helps boost self esteem.
3. You Will Learn More About Yourself & to Push Your Limits
Many people who come to martial arts training for the first time struggle with the physical side of their training, yet after a few months they are able to keep up & excel within classes. A good martial arts lesson makes you tired, introduces you to new & exciting concepts/techniques and pushes mind & body as you try to develop your skills.
This is different than going to the gym or going for a run. You have training partners who will help to push you as your Instructor helps you to achieve your goals. It is like having your own personal trainer to push you.
There is a saying that 'a Black Belt is just a white belt that never gave up'! That tough work/school assignment or meeting with the boss doesn’t seem quite so bad once you have experienced martial arts training.
It's easy to dismiss martial arts as an activity that promotes violence. In truth, they are all about RESPECT! Every class starts with a salute & bow and after each different drill, we bow to our training partners before swapping over.
With this bow, we are thanking our opponent for their help to practise as without them we cannot improve - we need these others to help us practise, just as we need others in life. It helps us to recognise that there are strengths in others & by working together we can get the best out of both ourselves & our 'team'. This is team work - mutual respect for others.
The martial arts begin & end with respect - you will not see any other system of training/education like this in the world. In an average class, you could bow to dozens of other students, so when you step back & consider just how many times you will do this in a year, you would struggle to find this level of respect elsewhere.
When you first start martial arts training, you are a beginner & will be looking up to those who hold senior grades, but after a while, you become the senior & others begin to look to you for guidance. This is how it starts.
As your skills grow, you become a leader - you might even consider becoming an instructor. Before long, you are early to class & the last to leave, you are listening closely to all that is being said & you are helping others to achieve their goals. This is leadership.
You become solution-focussed, as you search for ways to land your strike or pass the guard of an opponent. You will take more responsibility in class & start to develop the ability to lead from the front, always showing others the way. This translates into the other areas of your life too.
Whilst martial arts are useful for anyone wanting to improve themselves or their careers, these same skills will be picked up by children as well. They are no longer the child at the back of the classroom messing about - they are now listening, always prepared to volunteer & ask questions because that is the exact same environment that exists every week in their martial arts classes. We even have a dedicated leadership workbook to enhance this development.
All FMAC Instructors are amazing leaders & try to help others develop those same skills. We treat people as individuals & try to help to release the potential that exists within everyone. This only happens with great leadership, something you will find within martial arts.
6. You Will Learn To Overcome Adversity
In martial arts, one thing you will face is adversity & that comes in many forms - examples include sparring with a more experienced opponent, training through an injury, dealing with fatigue or from failing a Grading.
Adversity & martial arts go hand in hand. However, it's not about how many times you get knocked down, but about how many times you get back up - if you get knocked down nine times, you have to get up ten times.
This is the Moo Do spirit & one of the reasons that adults & children learn to deal with the issues that face them in their daily life. Every drill, every session that tires you out, every strike you take that takes your breath away, helps you to face the adversity that we all have to face in real life.
Walking into a martial arts club for the first time is one of the hardest things that you will ever do. At Family Martial Arts Centres, we will help make that easier for you, but it takes real guts & courage to take that first step!
A great boxing trainer once said:
'The hero & the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters'
From that first step inside the club, you will feel your heart racing & when you have your first drill, throw a punch or be asked to do something you've never attempted before, it all requires courage.
It is that courage that keeps you coming back. It builds week after week & will help you to do the ‘right thing’ more often. Courage comes in a lot of forms - it might be telling the gang of youths not to swear as they walk past your young child; it might be calling out racism or sexism at work; it might be telling the teacher you or another child are being bullied; or it might be approaching your manager with a new idea for work.
It doesn’t matter what form that courage takes - martial arts requires courage every time you step through the doors, so you will soon see that courage flowing into your normal life!
8. You Make New Friends
The social aspect of martial arts is perhaps one of the strongest reasons people take up martial arts. We all like to make new connections in the world - just look at apps like Facebook, Twitter & the like, to see how much we like connections!
A friendly, family-focused Family Martial Arts Centres club provides you with a place you can mix with others & make new friends that you may not have met ever before.
9. Self Defence
We've saved the most obvious reason for last - It is often a key reason why people choose martial arts.
The world can be an amazing place but every now and again, we can come into contact with some unpleasant individuals & situations. Martial arts training will help you to avoid these situations &, if you have to, to be able to deal with them.
For children, it might be a case of standing up to a bully in school or protecting yourself from a gang. For adults, it might be about the group of people approaching you as you walk home. Martial arts will give you the knowledge of how you should deal with situations like this. Whilst most situations can be avoided or diffused with some basic skills, there may be occasions where you need to employ what you have learned.
Its always better to have self defence skills & not need them, than to need self defence skills & have none!
10. The Best Reason...
...is that it is FUN. Martial arts should be all about fun & enjoyment. Our aim is to ensure that anyone who comes to our classes, leaves having enjoyed themselves.
Fancy having a go? Book a free trial class online & we'll see you in class soon