Why should you, your kids, or anyone in your family consider martial arts training? These days everyone is involved in something, whether it is soccer, martial arts, baseball, football, or some other kind of fitness program. I’ve been involved in martial arts from a student, or teaching perspective for 24 years. Here’s my take on why you should consider learning the benefits of karate for adults and kids. By the way, I did not start officially training until I was 37 years old. Which means, it’s never too late and it’s not just for kids!
Eight benefits of karate for adults
1. Mind and body connection – Martial arts has this unique way in helping us make a connection between the mental and physical. Through our training we learn to focus and concentrate on the task at hand. We’ll use words that tie into the moves we’re doing to help build that focus and concentration better, and to get the mind and body moving in unison.
Or, on the other end of the spectrum are the instances when we must show the discipline in where we use the mind to keep the body still. It’s all a part of the development process. This is incredible training and provides multiple benefits of karate for adults and kids.
2. Self-confidence and self-respect – When you learn to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals, your self-confidence grows. When you realize that YOU did it, your self-respect grows. You will begin to develop a stronger belief in yourself and your capabilities.Even when you are faced with tasks you’ve never attempted before, your growing confidence, and respect for yourself, and your abilities will help you to overcome all obstacles, and get that difficult task accomplished.
3. Setting and accomplishing goals – Most traditional martial arts programs have a belted system, therefore, built in goals for students at each level. Each belt is a new goal, and along with it comes a new set of criteria that must be accomplished for that goal achievement. When we get into the habit of achieving those belt goals, it translates to other goals in life. It becomes a blueprint, of sorts, to help us organize the rest of our life.
It’s an amazing tool for kids to learn goal setting, and how to break those goals down into smaller bite size pieces.
4. Comfort Zone expansion – Practicing martial arts will force you out of comfort zone. Many say that true growth occurs outside the comfort zone. For many people, learning to yell in their martial arts training is extremely uncomfortable. It was for me!
We’re taught not to yell while inside, and to speak in a conversational tone. Then you take martial arts and the instructor wants you to yell when you make that punch or kick.
What? Believe it or not, but that little act of learning to yell at the precise time of your kick or punch is confidence building. It’s also mind body coordination. It’s helping you in more ways than you can imagine. Martial arts training will take you outside of your comfort zone in so many ways that growth is inevitable.
5. Positive role models – Your martial arts instructors are there to be a positive influence in your life (or your child’s). If they are not being a positive influence, find a new instructor. There is so much negativity in the world today, that we all need a positive influence on some level.Your martial arts training instructor is going to push you to achieve results beyond what you think you can accomplish, but in a positive motivating way.
What you saw from the Cobra Kai instructors in the Karate Kid movie is not what modern day martial arts instructors are like. We’re there to help you succeed by pushing you when we need to, but also to recognize that most people do not respond favorably to negative motivation.
6. Total body work out – Martial arts training is a full body workout. While you are training you’re working all the muscle groups including your mind. It’s very common to hear the statement, “I’ve lost 30 lbs. since I started training in martial arts with you.
”I’ve heard this, or similar states from many adults, or parents talking about their children. Traditional martial arts movements are designed to strengthen, provide flexibility and toughen the body. When students hold certain positions for an extended time and execute other movements at the same time, we are working multiple muscle groups (along with the mind) at the same time.
7. Cross training for other sports – Martial arts is an excellent cross training tool for most other sports, both physically and mentally. Over the years I’ve had many students and parents tell me that their martial arts training has helped them to excel at their other sports both physically and mentally.
One dad sent me a photo of his 13-year-old son on the pitcher’s mound standing on one leg with his other foot over his head as he wound up to throw the strike out pitch. The caption read “look at that flexibility, thanks to Taekwondo.”
Other Benefits of Karate For Adults
Martial arts training will help with flexibility, focus, hand eye coordination, foot eye coordination, and so much more. Soccer, baseball, football, lacrosse and other sports players will benefit from all the training provided in their martial arts program. In addition, it makes the perfect off season cross training program to get them prepared for the next season.
Many of our students attend martial arts very heavily during the main sports off season and then lightly during their sports regular season. This works really well.
8. Personal Relationships – You will find that in your martial arts training you will begin to develop some of the most incredible relationships that will last a lifetime. I am still friends, 24 years later, with some of the same people that I trained with as a white belt!
Many people have met their spouse or significant other while training in martial arts.In fact, this is one of few sports that the whole family can do together. Literally, being on the floor together! You’ll meet other families that train together. Lifelong friendships are very common and highly encouraged. Many schools will create specific non-martial arts activities to bring people together.
What’s Holding You Back?
Many people don’t start in martial arts training because it’s somewhat intimidating to walk into a martial arts school for the first time. Quite often that intimidation is coming from misconceptions acquired from the movies or stories they have heard. Sometimes, it just the fear of the unknown, or simply inconvenience for some reason.
The vast majority of martial arts schools are going to have friendly people who just want to help you accomplish your goals. Stop by for a visit and discover the benefits of karate for adults for yourself.
Do you have any questions about martial arts? Let us know in the comments and we’ll make sure to get them answered!